Saturday June 30, 2012
Hi everyone. Woo - thrifting post! I won't bore you too much with how rough the last couple of weeks have been on the thrifting and estate sale front. I must've went to 20-25 of them, and I came home with absolutely nothing. Not ONE thing.
This weekend was better, but I've definitely decided to pass on most estate sales for the near future, unless they're part of our normal thriftbreak. Estate sales around here have the nasty habit of being disappointing or downright depressing. And I refuse to play the "wait in a long line at 7 in the morning and then push everyone out of the way to get what you want" game that the "pro" vintage dealers revel in.
Ok, off that soap box. I was pleased to find another one of these Jaru bottle vases at the thrift store. In fact, this was the item that broke that long streak of fruitless thrifting days. We've seen these in several colors including blue, orange and black... they have a few different sizes of this style of vase. Keep an eye out for them, since they're always unmarked, or they have a paper tag which looks like a price sticker.
I also came across a Bauer Pottery blue speckled mixing bowl at the single estate sale I went to. This estate sale was actually close to the house where I used to take piano lessons in the 1980s. They had another brown speckled Bauer bowl, but it had a crack unfortunately. The checkout lady at this informal estate was hilarious - if the customers tried to get a cheaper deal, she'd RAISE the prices just to be persnickety. I'm on her side - if you're paying for something at an estate early in the morning, don't hold up the line trying to bargain. I WILL kick your ass if you do... I'm serious.
I confess to stalking this wonderful, modern bird (seagull?) in the "expensive, behind-the-counter shelf" at a local thrift for a few weeks. When it went half off this week, I grabbed it. I'd actually thought it was Roselane, but now think it might be Jaru. I'm pretty sure it's California pottery and I've seen this exact bird sculpture somewhere, but can't remember where. Anyone happen to know?
I was extremely pleased to find this Hanova of Pasadena enamel bowl. This is the first time I've come across one which has multi-color glaze treatment, though I've seen them online before. I know that I promised to put up a special on Hanova after receiving some information on them - I just haven't felt like writing long features right now. Perhaps next year.
Lastly, I couldn't stop myself from buying this homemade Dala horse doorstop thingy at an estate. It's pictured next to Linda's current Kokeshi setup. It's much bigger than it looks! I think it'll be reserved for Xmas decorations, or maybe used as a photo prop.
Happy thrifting, and don't let the estate sale bugbears bite you!
Sunday June 10, 2012
Hi everyone. I'm just going to highlight two of our better finds this time around. I might start saving the smaller items for a group shot later on.
Funny, after finding the Just Andersen pewter plates just last week, I came across some more metalware by the company at a flea market. I was sort of shocked to find these shakers thrown in with a bunch of broken down toys. Yes, they've got wear, and they originally came as a "cruet set" with a tray and an additional mustard pot. But I was still surprised, since they're marked.
I'm chalking it up to a mistake or oversight on the part of the seller. I have mixed feelings about this, as I'm sure some of my thrifting friends do at times. We definitely benefit from others "making mistakes" - but I think it's all part of the process as a reseller. And, I've been on the other side of the "picking fence" quite a few times. I still think it's possible to be a re-seller, and to take advantage of opportunities like this, without being a total jerk about it. There's times where I've actually told flea market sellers what their unmarked items were, because I wasn't interested in buying them. I'm not sure if they'd do the same for me. What do you all think about this?
I'd spotted this nice midcentury style stoneware vase or pot at the thrift the other day. It was signed on the bottom, but I couldn't make it out in the bad lighting at the store. I ended up carrying it around with me for a bit, mulling it over - I nearly put it down a few times. But in the end, I decided to buy it. I figured at the least it would make a nice display piece around the house.
When I got home, I was able to read the signature. It said Michael Arntz, and some quick research online showed that he was an accomplished (if not as well-known) potter who also taught at UC Santa Barbara for a time. He also did work for Architectural Pottery in the 1960s, which got me a little excited. The only thing was that this particular pot didn't really resemble the work that Arntz is known for. It's a much more subdued piece.
I ran it by Charlie B. from #thriftbreak, and he confirmed that this was likely the known potter's work. He suggested contacting Michael directly. I ended up writing to him, via his website. A day later, he responded saying that, yes, he'd created the piece! Our correspondence was very short, and I haven't purused more information on it yet. I have mixed feelings sometimes about contacting the creator or designer of a work about a particular piece - especially if they're well-known. On the one hand, more often than not the person is extremely gracious (as Michael was), and they're happy that there's interest in their work. On the other hand, I sometimes feel conflicted knowing I'm probably going to sell the piece. I try to be upfront and say that I'm both a collector AND a seller, which is a true statement. I'm curious: what's your opinion on this?
Hope you have a great upcoming thrifting week!
Saturday June 2, 2012
Hi everyone. Can't believe it's June already! We had some good finds over the past couple of weeks, but I'll just post a few of them today:
I picked up this lovely Arabia Finland handpainted jar that unfortunately may be missing a lid. I haven't been able to find out the pattern name yet, anyone have an idea?
Haven't done any real digging around so far, but the bottom stamp type dates it to 1964-1971. There's also the word "handpainted" in the stamp, and what looks like the initials "Fd" or "Td"?
These Just Andersen of Denmark pewter pieces were an interesting pickup. I almost didn't get them because of the wear, but I have a hard time passing up any Scandinavian stuff. Plus, the company's pretty famous and dates back to 1918. Interesting that one is marked with an exact date: "9-12-57".
Back when we first started thrifting for the shop, I nearly picked up a blue enamel pot that looked very close to this one. At the time, I didn't know it was by Seppo Mallat for Finel, but the "Kobenstyle-ish" look was distinctive. I found out who it was by, and I've sort of been on the look-out for them every since. I actually asked #thriftbreak in real time on twitter about it to be sure it was one of the Mallat pieces because I'd forgotten, and got several instant "yes" answers back - thanks thriftbreak! This is the first one I've brought home because they usually have too much damage.
Lastly, yes these are more ashtrays. But I certainly had to break our "No Ashtray" rule to pick them up. They're by Doyle Lane, a renowned potter whose work usually appears in museums. We actually saw one of his pieces in the recent LACMA PST exhibit on California design. We've found one Doyle Lane ashtray previously, but these have the "crackle" glass in the center as well. I couldn't believe we got four in one shot! They have quite a bit of wear, but I had to grab them anyhow.
OK folks - until next time, happy thrifting!