Sunday June 30, 2013 | Comments
Hi everyone. We were supposed to hit the Long Beach flea market today, but decided against it on account of the heat and waking up late again. So I'll use the time to go through some of the thrifting finds instead...
Picked up some more Gainey Ceramics pots. I actually left a few behind because they were too large, and unmarked. We're sort of working on trying to find a suitable antique mall booth so that we can list the larger stuff like this. Incidentally, the white planter pot is NOT Gainey - it's U.S. Pottery of Paramount. I made a mistake getting it because I saw writing on the bottom but didn't read it - you know, the thing is that these Paramount pots are actually seemed better constructed and glazed than Gainey some of the time..
I'd discussed these teak wood and metal trivet trays with a few folks previously... we still aren't sure why some of them have been desirable lately. I wasn't even sure if they were new, but decided I'd better put them on Ebay instead of Etsy. One has already sold, so I guess people do like them...
I almost missed these Dansk Summerfield forks and spoons, because I thought they were just cheap imports. It turns out they're Gunnar Cyren designs and made in Japan. I think they're got some followers, as they've already sold too.
This baby calf figurine was another one I almost passed by - it's by Bing and Grondahl from Denmark. I thought for sure it was a made in China piece, until I flipped it over and saw the mark.
This Bay Keramik vase from West Germany still has the original tag on it. The "fat lava" drip on this vase is pretty impressive - extremely bubbly.
I can't remember if I posted these trays earlier - I got them at a booksale, the kind where you fill up a bag of books for $5. They had some housewares too, and I just threw these in the bag because I thought they might be useful to hold keys and they were heavy duty plastic. Turns out they're pretty well regarded Radius One memo trays by William Sklaroff for Smith Metal Arts. I had no idea they were well-known until I got home and looked it up.
This is the third time I've found a Walther Glas solifleur bud vase. It has a really cool bullseye design. Unmarked usually, except for stickers, so keep an eye out for them. They came with and without the bullseye design.
I was happy to find a number of David Stewart Lion's Valley designs recently - there's also a cat planter not pictured here. I'm keeping the blue kitty for our collection, but the angel candleholder is up on Etsy already. First time I've found either of those at the thrift.
I'd posted these saucers previously as a "thriftbreak quiz" - to see if anyone knew what they were. I was surprised at no guesses - but I did post it on Friday night. They're actually a Rosenthal series of cups and saucers that were made for Illy - and these are designed by Jeff Koons. I searched EVERYWHERE for the cups that go along with them, but no luck. The full boxed set can go for a pretty penny. Rosenthal produced a bunch of these different series for Illy, I think.
Last up - this slightly creepy little figurine is one I'd waited to post on until I got more information. So far, I haven't turned up much but I do know who the artist is. It's by Terrie Bennett, and while it's a newer piece from 2000, she's a well-regarded sculptor. Actually, she comes from a family of well-known sculptors, including her dad Tom Bennett. I think she focuses a lot on marine and ocean themes. The only thing is that most of the items on her site are bronze sculptures, while this piece is some sort of ceramic or clay. I don't know if it's a one-off, or she made them to sell at shows. Was thinking of contacting her directly later - but I'm always hesitant about contacted the artists when I know for sure I'm going to try and sell their work. I guess we'll see - if anyone knows more about her work, let me know.
Whew, I sure hope the weather cools down a bit to make thrifting and flea markets easier. Happy hot thrifting!
Sunday June 23, 2013 | Comments
Hi everyone. Just wanted to recap our visit to the Antiques Roadshow in Anaheim yesterday. To sum it up - we didn't get on TV, haha! (There's only 50 items selected, out of maybe 10,000?) But we had a great time, though the lines were long as expected. We'd actually hoped to tweet and take more photos inside the main room, but they didn't allow any photos or phone use inside at all. So we only got photos from the outside staging areas.
By the way, I'm not gonna say how much the items appraised for - but email me if you'd like to know. Suffice to say - nothing went over a grand. ;)
Our "timeslot" was 10am - the tickets had entry times from 8am to 5pm. We got there a little late to the Anaheim Convention Center, but the way they do it ensures that you can pretty much arrive any time after the hour stated on the ticket. They line you up in an enormous hall in these "pens" based on your hour, and then they connect each area with the main line when its time comes.
Remember, this gigantic line was just to get IN. Luckily it was indoors and air conditioned. There were a lot of, ahem, older folks in the crowd but it was also surprising to see a good number of people younger than us.
The line moved surprisingly quickly, it wound back and forth about 8 times this length. They also gave you a program to read while waiting - it was cool that this program had an article on Harry Bertoia.
Everyone was pretty friendly, though a lot of people didn't really go into depth about what they found. It seemed they wanted to keep the wraps on their goodies until they got to the appraisal.
At the front of the line, they checked your tickets and then directed you to these smaller tables where you were given "category" tickets based on the items that you brought. We'd brought three items - yes, I know we probably should've filled up to the max of two per person. But I couldn't think of another piece that we needed to find out about - but more on that later.
Our categories were "Decorative Arts", "Pottery and Porcelain" and "Paintings and Drawings". From this point, they let you inside the main room. It's a kind of weird setup - the area where all the appraisers and the film crew are located is a small-ish screened area in center of a huge room. The lines for the different categories extended out from the central area, like spokes on a wheel. And some of those spokes were EXTRA long.
In particular, the Painting line, the "Collectibles" line and then Asian Arts line were insanely long. Our time slot was fairly early, so the lines were still not that crazy. But as the day wore on waiting in line, they just got longer. We chose to do our appraisals together because it was more fun, but other ticket holders would split up and go into separate lines and meet up at the end.
It's very interesting how they did the appraisals. Once you waited in line for, say Metal Work, and you got inside the main area with all the filming and appraisers, you were directed to a table where one of them would look at your item. But after it was over, you were again directed OUTSIDE the main area and if you had more items in different categories you needed to get back in line(s). In other words - unless all of your items were in the same category, you had to repeatedly go stand in line. You can imagine how this confused people who thought that once they were inside they could just skip from category table to table for all their items. They had tons of helpers and runners directing this madness, which was really good.
We lucked out and our first item appraised was put into the Decorative Arts category which had NO line.
So I held off posting too much about this Richard Anuszkiewicz enamel bowl, as well as the Obican painting below, because I wanted to save them for the Roadshow. I'd found this along with a Kaj Franck Finel mushroom bowl at a Goodwill. From the reaction of thriftbreakers, I knew it was something. It turns out he's actually one of the FOUNDERS of the Op Art movement. Pretty amazing - but we'd never heard of him before.
The appraiser who handled the Anuszkiewicz bowl was Timothy Gordon. All of the appraisers were super nice, friendly and honest - we had to give them a lot of credit for doing a tremendous amount of appraisals in such a short period of time. He hadn't heard of Anuszkiewicz either (more on this theme later), but a quick lookup and he got the general gist of it, and also really seemed to like it. I almost thought he was considering it for TV, but I think it was still too early in the day. It appraised for more than we'd thought - not bad for a GW purchase.
This handled multi-color vase was the main "question-mark" piece I was interested in finding out about. It's from a couple years back - originally I'd thought it might be one of the Bauer Pottery Rebekah vases by Matt Carlton. But I never found out for sure, so we were really happy to get Suzanne Perrault as the appraiser on this one!
Unfortunately, she had the same concerns I did - the multicolor effect seems very atypical of Bauer. Handling it, she also said she thought it was American, and 1930-70s. I asked her about Panama Pottery, but she didn't know that company - I knew her expertise was more on tile though. In the end - she said it was nicely made, but that she didn't have a direct ID on it and (cue the 'wah-wah-wahhhh' music), gave it a nominal value.
I'm still not 100% convinced that it's not worth more. But Suzanne was really nice, yet honest - she admitted there was a lot of pottery stuff that she didn't know. I'd still like to figure out the company, but it seems like it's not a Bauer Rebekah.
Our third item was this small Jovan Obican painting. I'd also picked it up at a thrift store, but was wondering if it was real. I'd seen prints online, but his actual paintings seemed to be worth quite a bit more. The line for paintings, as I mentioned before, was insanely long. It took us about 1 1/2 hours to get to the front. Even though they had the most appraisers (7) in that category, the line would slow to a halt once anyone brought anything "interesting" to the table. Thinking back on it, we should've hit this line up first while it was still shorter.
The appraiser we got for the painting was Debra Force. She was very professional and knowledgeable - but again, she didn't know the Obican name. He's well known for this style of painting. A quick lookup, and she verified it was his, and got us an approximate value on it - pretty much what I'd thought it was worth.
All right - so, ending thoughts (we decided not to do the feedback booth). Overall, it was a fun experience. What I'd do differently if we went again is not bring paintings unless I REALLY wanted to figure it out, and/or I'd try and make sure all our items were in the same category so we wouldn't have to wait in line multiple times.
I think the Antiques Roadshow experience, it's a lot different when you're a reseller like us, or if you already know a lot about the item you're bringing in. A lot of these folks who come don't have any idea about any item in general, so they're just happy to have someone take a look at it. I had to actually think about what to bring, because most of the items we'd ID-ed already, and if not the chances of it being "something" were low. We didn't have any possible "home run" things to bring.
And sort of in that vein - I guess I couldn't help be a little disappointed at the actual appraisals. Not the value amounts, but the fact that the appraisers didn't really know about any of the artists involved in our items. I know I hyped them up (unfairly) in my mind that they had super powers and would know about them already - but the truth is the sheer volume of stuff coming in such a short amount of time means that they're often not going to know about obscure artists. And, as vintage resellers, we have quite a bit of knowledge, and we're able to use the internet or other resources just as well as they are. So: we had fun, but the appraisals just weren't as satisfying because the info we were given (with possible exception of the pottery vase) we pretty much already knew.
But I'd definitely want to go again - it was fun to see the familiar faces of the appraisers, and to witness the filming of the show inside the tent. I'm wondering which of those appraisals we saw being taped are going to show up in the actual show!
Tuesday June 18, 2013
Hi everyone. I decided to start posting our mid-week thrift finds whenever possible. I'll probably just do a single picture to save time, but might also run individual pics, if we happen to be listing stuff right away. I'll probably run these posts Tuesday to Thursday. Today's finds:
I went northwest a bit this time, which is somewhat of a rarity. I really dislike going west in general, because the traffic, freeways and parking completely suck. But I hadn't been there in awhile, so I figured I'd look around.
The Taylor and Ng coasters, I might've passed on another thriftbreak. We have both a trivet and mug in the Chicken in a Basket pattern, which have languished on Etsy forever. But they were too cheap to pass up.
Funny, we'd just found Stockholm Eva Zeisel glasses last week. Today a bunch of Prestige showed up. I've had good luck with the juice glasses previously. The old-fashioneds... not so much, but it was difficult to leave them behind.
The green small planter or vase is by Sascha Brastoff. Right next to it is a Heath Ceramics bowl or individual casserole that's missing a lid. Unfortunately, I discovered afterwards that both these items had hairline cracks. This is a huge, huge problem while thrifting. It's hard to catch this type of damage until you're able to examine the piece in really good light. I don't have to tell you the sub-par lighting conditions in the thrifts. Hard to blame the thrift workers, they're probably going through items so fast that they won't catch it. I'm disappointed at myself because I checked these pretty thoroughly before purchasing, but didn't see the cracks on either. Sigh... probably will keep them.
The large planter with interesting modern design is probably the best piece found today - it's by Chalice, a California pottery that we're familiar with. I saw the edge of the corner sticking out from under a stack of pots, and knew immediately what it was. We've seen this particular design before, but this one is unsigned as far as I can tell.
OK, hope you enjoyed a mid-week thrift roundup. And hope we do more of these in the future!
Saturday June 15, 2013 | Comments
Hi everyone. Playing catch-up again with our thrifting finds.
I don't remember if I posted these Iittala Ultima Thule glasses already, but anyhow we've decided to keep them! In fact, I already went ahead and sold our Queen's Lusterware glasses - so there's no going back now hehe. For some reason gin and tonics taste quite good in these Thule glasses.
Speaking of keeping items, I already posted a pic of this orangey Zanesville Stoneage Modern pot. I think I need to start passing on some of the more common colors and forms, in order to keep the "hoard" to manageable size. I'd always be interested in some of the more interesting ZSM shapes, though.
Broke the "No Ashtray" rule for this nice Jaru Art Products piece with the starbursts. I'm pretty sure it's Jaru, due to the form, glaze and the starburst quality - but those Cleminsons ones sure are similar too.
This Vera Neumann napkin set has already gone to a new home. I know I said earlier that we were thinking of passing on vintage Vera, because of the new stuff from Target complicating the already crowded secondary market. But I still have hard time passing the scarves, napkins and tablecloths when they can be found inexpensively.
Look, it's another "Tackett-style" Kahlua bottle. We have an, er, history concerning this item. I'd rather not get into it again - but I'm still curious why these very similar ones were made.
Was happy to come across a Blenko water bottle in this nice blue-green color. I'm still unsure the exact color (check out this amazing site if you should be curious about the Blenko water bottle colors) but it looks sort of like Emerald or Peacock to me.
I found these elegant, extremely thin juice glasses in a sort of smoke color. I immediately thought of Holmegaard, or maybe another Scandinavian glass maker. Anyone have an idea on who it might be from? Very thin glass with thicker bottom, and bottom is ground completely smooth (no dimple or anything).
This vibrant magenta color bowl is by Paul Smith for Stelton. This was part of his "Dot" series, and they made a bunch of different colors and sizes. Newer piece, but still pretty cool.
I had some help again from Bit of Butter getting some info on this interesting Kokeshi doll. It's constructed from a single piece of wood, and the style is known as Kijiyama, after the prefecture in Akita. The painted kimono and the chrysanthemum blossoms are also typical motifs. Not sure on the maker yet, as there were/are quite a few artisans who made these in the area.
Last up... what in the world is this? That's what I said out loud when I opened this box at a local thrift. If it didn't say Martini Spike Vermouth Dispenser right there in the box, I might've thought it was some sort of real, antique medical device. But what got me to buy it was the fact that it's sterling silver. I can count the number of times I've found sterling silver in thrifts on one hand. From what I hear, it used to be a lot more common occurrence. Too many pickers like me out there, right? Well then #THRIFTHARDER ;)
Happy (harder) thrifting!
Wednesday June 12, 2013 | Comments
Hi everyone. Just a little bit of a house update. I'd been planning on rennovating parts of our "office" for almost a year now. One plan was to convert the old 50s closet with its giant doors (removed them even before we moved in) into a built-in daybed / couch with storage. I'd been dilly-dallying on it, because it was a little daunting to figure out. However, an alternate plan we had was to put a table in it instead. And when we saw our friend Bea's Apartment Therapy feature, we realized that it made a lot more sense. We just got the curtain up yesterday, and are still figuring out the space:
I built a curtain rod out of EMT pipe, and used EMT clips as well with small pieces of wood to mount the curtain on the inside behind the top wood piece. We'd done a similar thing in the bedroom closet, replacing the gigantic sliding doors with curtains. I think it looks pretty decent, and it'll be nice to have the option to hide the mess. And yes - there is still mess... it's just moved to the other side of the room in the photo!
Sunday June 2, 2013 | Comments
Hi everyone. Hard to believe we're into June already. The weather was nice, so I hit the flea market looking for some goodies. It was an average day, with just these finds:
I'd actually missed a Gustavsberg owl previous to finding this stuff. The seller was occupied talking to 2 customers, so I drifted off to look at another seller's items 2 stalls down. I got distracted, and when I went back to ask about the owl, it was already gone. You snooze, you lose...
I did get two other birds instead. The ceramic one is another Ken Edwards piece - first time I've found a pelican. The wooden bird is by Einar Lilleberg and is made of walnut. I'd thought at first it might be Scandinavian.. because I could only read "Einar". It turns out (if it's the person that comes up in searches) that he lived right here in SoCal - in Green Valley Lake. That's interesting to me because we used to go up to the Running Springs area to fish at Big Bear Lake. I think I'd been fishing at Green Valley Lake as well once. Apparently, he was a person of note in the town - there seems to even be a museum named after him.
[Edit:] Our friend Charlie actually told us about some very similar birds done by Emilan (Emil Milan) that are quite sought after. Ours differs, mainly in that the base is pyramid shaped as opposed to a cone. The signature on ours is also stamped as opposed to handwritten, and of course the name is different. Still,cool to find out about it.
The little dark blue hanging plate in the front is an Arabia Finland piece by the well known designer Heljä Liukko-Sundström. This is from the "4 Seasons" series she made in the 1980s, and this one is "Autumn". The tiny bowl (or is it a candleholder?) is a Bo Melander piece from Denmark. I'm not too familiar with these works, believe it to be vintage. They made a number of small items like bowls, paperweights, flower frogs and candleholders.
I'm gonna keep it short today, so that's all for now - happy thrifting!
Saturday June 1, 2013 | Comments
Hi everyone. Behind the scenes at the A La Modern shop, we've always curating our own "collections" of vintage items. It's been tough, but we've tried to make a commitment to collecting fewer items - because it leads to hoarding rather than fun collecting. Oh, we still have some major areas to work on (studio pottery, Pyrex, books) but so far it's been working out.
We've been sort of picking up these Zanesville Stoneage Modern pieces (sometimes called Homespun) because they go kind of nicely with the rest of the outdoor items we have. Sorry, ignore the mess - we haven't really gotten settled on what plants to keep in them. We were introduced to the line awhile back by our friends Scott and Steve and some other thrifting friends. I just found the small orange ZSM yesterday at a Goodwill.
Previously, I'd sort of been
hoarding collecting Bauer, Pottery Craft and U.S. Pottery of Paramount garden pots - but decided to switch over to ZSM. Since it's a midwest product, I thought we'd find less of it than some of the California pottery items. But I think people pass them because of the lack of an identifying stamp, plus the fact that they have a really rough, homemade look to them. ZSM seems to be overlooked so they're usually more affordable - for now. They're also extremely heavy, and that combined with the relatively low resale value is the reason we're keepers instead of sellers right now. In any case, we usually keep an eye out for them wherever we go.