Sunday August 25, 2013 | Comments
Hi everyone. I had an unusual thrifting situation this past week, where I had a "gas-efficient" car all to myself and no other major projects to work on. Whee... you guessed it! I decided to go thrifting EVERY day - that's Monday through Friday, 5 straight days. It might not seem like a lot, but I'm not talking 1-2 thrifts. It was an average of 6 a day - I ended up doing 30 different thrifts without repeating and 2 estates, from 9am to 2pm every day.
Needless to say, it was an interesting experiment - but I don't think I could do it all the time. It was fun, but definitely "work". The problem living where we are in SoCal is that there are plenty of thrifts but they're all spread out away from us, and traffic can be a nightmare. You absolutely have to plan the direction you go based on the time of day, otherwise all your time is taken up travelling.
The thrifting was decent to very good - I found a good amount of things, maybe a little more than usual for me (have been more picky lately though, which has affected our hauls). I tried to take group pics of the finds by day...
On Monday I hit 7 thrifts, and the finds included a Kosta Boda Atoll yellow swirl bowl, a Jon Price crystalline vase and a Knobler of Spain yellow glass bottle with cork. The Kosta Bowl weighs a good 6 pounds or so, it doesn't look like it'd be that heavy at first but it is. I've found Jon Price's work before, believe he's still creating porcelain pieces with these large crystals on them in Mission Viejo. The Knobler piece, I really don't know much about. I think the company is active in a number of different countries making housewares and giftwares like these.
Not shown is another Far Side mug in box, and an Aldo Luongo small print from the 70s that I already took to the antique booth.
On Tuesday I hit 5 thrifts, and only came home with a single item. However, I think it might be the best piece - it's an original Elton Bennett serigraph called "The Storm Coast". I still haven't taken it out of the frame to check if it's been trimmed down, and how it's been framed. All of those things greatly affect the value, but it was still an amazing find (for me). Bennett worked in the Northwest and a lot of his themes deal with the ocean and coastline which I really like.
On Wednesday, I headed out to check on our antique mall booth and hit 5 thrift stores while I was in the area. The handpainted covered jar is actually a Bauer 1lb covered whiteware butter jar - second time I've found decorated Bauer this month after not bringing home any ever. I need to research this one - the painting was all done by 3rd parties, but I think the whiteware jar itself might be quite old - I know they produced this stuff as early as the 1910s .. but I don't think the painted design is that old.
The Arabia kitty pitcher is a fortuitous find from behind the "antique" counter. I need to remember to ask prices on things like this - I assumed it would be full-blown retail, but it was affordable enough for our collection. Yes... collection ;) The napkin rings are Vera Neumann from Japan - first time I've picked up a set of these.
At the last thrift, I hesitated over this nice looking print for quite awhile. I wasn't sure the maker at first, but in the end price won out for me. It's an Anne Tuttle etching(?) and I think we might be putting it up on our wall. The lake scene is really nice on this one.
On Thursday, I hit up 7 thrifts, but I also stopped by 2 estate sales. This day seemed the most "productive" in terms of the number of items found, but they were mostly inexpensive smalls. The Dansk brown mist cups and saucers came from a thrift, while the bowls came from one of the estates. The kitty cup is a Fitz and Floyd while the elephant mug is another Taylor and Ng. I've really tried to cut down on mugs, but still come home with a lot of them.
The interesting pelican kids moveable puzzle in the back is still sealed in the box, and was made by Jack Built Toys in the 1950s. I'm very interested in the fact that it says "Copyright B. Orel", because of those wooden birds that are marked "J.V. Orel" ... it just seems like too much a coincidence that the two aren't related. Also.. "B" and "V" sound similar, and I know they abbreviated Jack Built as "J.B." sometimes ... interesting stuff, anyone know?
The two Mexican ceramics in the front are a Ken Edwards turtle and a Jorge Wilmot small owl. Next to that is a Nuutajarvi Flora bowl by Oiva Toikka - I might've not picked it up if it didn't have a sticker, because I know there's some fakes that look VERY similar. The candelabra thingy is made of pewter and is by Reed & Barton - haven't been able to find too much about it. Lastly - I scored a Blenko cobalt blue "bag vase". I've been trying to identify more glass like this lately, but it's been slow going.
On Friday I hit only 6 stores - this is my usual route and I often do 8-9. I didn't go to any estates either. I was pretty worn out by the end of the week though. This etching print seemed a little boring at first - I think it's a trunk of a cypress tree. But it was signed and numbered, and cheap, so I decided to take a shot. I found out later the artist is "O'Henry" aka Heinz Seebauer. Very little info to go on besides the name so far.. I might just put it up in the booth next week.
The books in the back, I got on a whim - it's a set of 1898 books "Stories by Foreign Authors" with each book featuring a different country, including Germany, Russia, Spain and Italy. I thought the white bud pitcher vase was German, but turns out it was Otagiri. The blue vase, I thought might be Blenko - but I think i might've nailed it down to a company called "Rainbow" that was eventually bought out by Viking Glass.
Bowl in the back is another Ken Edwards, while the single dish in front is Heath. I searched all over for any more Heath, to no avail. Tiny book "The Sailing Ship" in the back was also another whim purchase. And in the front is a glass Rosenthal Versace bottle stopper. I think these are pretty common, but still have some value.
OK, hope you enjoyed my five days of thrifting roundup. I might take a break next week, famous last words...
Sunday August 18, 2013 | Comments
Hi everyone. I took more group shots of our finds this time around for our thrift roundup. I was planning on hitting the LB Flea today to meet up with a few thrifting buddies, but ended up staying home to list a few things. We'd gotten very behind listing, because of the work put in on the antique mall booth, so I figured I better stay home today - next time!
The previous week, I hit up an estate sale that promised hundreds of original prints. While I didn't score much in the way of art, I did get some Ken Edwards pieces. The horse (which has already sold), chicken and shakers are KE pieces, while the owl is a Jorge Wilmot rattle. I'd actually seen these in the estate preview, so since I got there late I figured nothing would be left. They still had these plus a number of other KE pieces that I passed on (regretting passing a large bull, another thriftbreaker had it earlier) as well as a Pablo Zabal horse that sadly had a broken tail.
I know these probably aren't Tackett canisters, but I thought the red dot and reverse red dot was interesting so I picked them up. Was tweeting with Esoteric Survey about how it was interesting how they were so similar. The feel of the ceramic on these and also the fired on paint is closer than some other "pseudo-red-dot-tackett" pieces I've seen. (Edit: the size is also almost identical to the known Freeman Lederman spice set, and the cork appears also same.)
I can't remember if I posted this Wishon Harrell large platter that I found a few weeks ago. Interesting piece, though prices are extremely inconsistent on these. I used to think it was a single potter, but it's actually two guys named Wishon and Harrell, who produced in Muncie, Indiana as well as San Diego.
These three pieces all came from another estate sale. A Taylor and Ng Minimals bear mug, a nice orange and brown Scheurich West German pot and a Rosenthal Variation small teapot designed by Tapio Wirkkala.
We seem to be attracting these Kobenstyle rectangular baking pans - I'm afraid to say we're hoarding them.. this yellow one is the 4th one I think. The device in the pan is actually an older compact camera tripod that I've been trying to get for awhile. It came out of a different estate, along with the two Rosenthal Wiinblad small plates. I got a little too excited and didn't really read the back - it appears these were reproductions made by Rosenthal as part of a "Best of the Century" edition of some of Wiinblad's work. Still nice, but I need to pay more attention! (edit: although, these sold almost immediately - so maybe they were better than I thought..)
This unassuming leaf pottery dish is actually by Harold Johnson, who worked for a number of different California potteries including Catalina, Bauer and Pacific. It's a really nice piece of 40s pottery, but unfortunately the collector base is not really there, at least for these type of pieces. Still, I think it's the first piece I've found from him (not counting any Cemar and West Coast re-makes using his molds).
I've gotten lucky with finding Blenko water bottles at the thrift lately. I think this is the Amethyst color. The "Feeder for People" bird was a first for me. I found two actually, but one is already in the antique mall. Might keep this other one. I admit the little red mouse with the top hat is a little weird looking, but he was hard to pass up at a quarter.
On Friday I didn't do my usual whole day of estates and thrifts, but I still came away with a few nice things. The book is a 1967 calendar of Hokusai prints, sold by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Nino Parrucca plate is the largest I've found so far - it was also pictured in the estate previews.. I don't know why it was left behind, along with...
.. this enormous blue Hanova Enamels covered pot. I had to take a picture next to an Ultima Thule rocks glass to show just how big it is. It has a few dents and chips, but they're always more forgiveable on Hanova because it sort of blends in with the finish. I'm not sure yet what to do with this monster of a pot - I guess I better decide soon because it sure takes up a lot of room!
Monday August 12, 2013 | Comments
Hi everyone. Belatedly getting some more pics up of stuff we've found. Work on the booth is going well, I'll try get a post up about that later (incidentally, you may have already seen pics if you're on Facebook - and just so you know, that's mostly Linda posting over there).
Found this complete set of Dorothy Thorpes including a tray at the flea market the previous week. I think the DT fad has cooled quite a bit, so we decided to try these in the booth for now.
This cute smoky bear is only the second piece from Pigeon Forge I've ever come home with. Many years ago, I'd skipped on an unusual Douglas Ferguson piece because I didn't know the name. I know that most Pigeon Forge isn't terribly valuable, and they made it up until the 90s, but I still keep an eye out for it.
Barbara Willis made this canister with unusual fruit pattern. By now, this falls into the "should have known better" category - the Willis with decals tends to be much, much lower in value than the un-decaled pieces. It was too hard to pass up at the price, however.
This mini Pablo Zabal bird from Chile was an instant pickup, and it turned out to be an instant sale within a half hour. Keep an eye out for these since the sig is often too hard to read - but the style is instantly recognizable. I actually had to pass on a great looking Zabal horse this weekend because the tail had been broken off, boo...
I'm really not into many of the Couroc trays, and they also take up a lot of room when storing, but I still keep an eye out for unusual or older pieces because there's a strong collector base for them. This poodle tray is a good example. There's several other even more unassuming trays that bring in a decent amount.
I'm getting a little better at spotting glass - I wasn't sure if this little pinch "wedding" vase was Blenko at first but it seemed to fit. Handy to have the iPhone around for a quick lookup. The Blenko colors are still a little confusing to me, not sure which blue this one is.
Last up, I found some more Japanese prints. As I've said before, we've been taking a closer look at Japanese and Chinese artwork and prints, especially because of the area we live in. These are by Takeuchi Seiho (he changed his name from Tsunekichi). They're likely from a book of prints called "Twelve Mt. Fuji", but we're not 100% sure about that. The book was originally published in 1894! At least it seems like it, but we aren't sure yet if they weren't reprinted - still believe them to be pretty old even if reprinted. Nailing down which edition a print comes from is difficult enough when everything's in English!
All right, hope you enjoyed this roundup - I actually took more pictures of finds from this past week, but that'll have to wait until next time - happy thrifting!
Wednesday August 7, 2013 | Comments
Hi everyone. Decided to start documenting whenever we refinish or fix up vintage items for the store or our antique booth. We've been doing it off and on for years, with varied success (our Moreddi coffee table was probably one of the better ones), but it's only now that we have the booth that we've been trying to do more items. I actually already refinished a small Westnofa single nesting table for the booth, but that was in such good shape that it was mostly just teak oil.
This Lane Acclaim stepped end table was a piece we've had for several years. I'd gotten it originally to try and practice on. The finish was in pretty sorry shape, and the wood was splitting a bit (I ended up not even messing around with tightening up the joints). Sorry, I don't even have a picture of how bad it originally looked. At one point (when we were in the midst of moving) I almost left it on the curb because I thought it was too much trouble to bring along.
I've read a few different methods for refinishing Lane Acclaim. The problem for me is the lighter colored dovetails seem to really stand out too much when this stuff is refinished. I mean, I'm not too particular about refinishing - I know a lot of people are super particular about getting it back into exactly the state it was when it was new. Me, I'm sorta ehh... but yeah the super light dovetails bother me. I think some people actually like it, though.
So I decided to try use a more darker red colored stain - someone suggested Minwax Gel Stain in Cherrywood, so I bought a can of that. The hardest thing was actually getting the finish off to start with. I was going to sand the whole thing down, but I heard that the veneer is thin, so I used some Circa 1890 Paint stripper instead. That didn't seem to work very well, so I switched to Citristrip and it went much easier (and safer - geez that paint stripper burns!) I used some 0000 steel wool after that as well. I think next time I might try wiping it down with mineral spirits too afterwards. Also, one thing that was lucky was that the black painted ferrule feet were still in good shape so didn't have to mess around with that. Just taped it up.
After the finish was mostly off, I used that Minwax gel stain... I have to say that I liked the color on it, but I didn't like the way it dried so fast and streaked so much. Maybe it was because I just wasn't used to applying it, plus it was like 90 degrees out. I wasn't able to put on a full coat before it had dried already on one side. I even got some finger prints in it on accident. I did like that you could apply it with a rag instead of painting it on. It came out OK, but streaky. I did two coats of that to get the color the way I wanted. I was going to sand in-between coats, but the directions said specifically not too... so I didn't. I'm wondering a little about that.
I know you're supposed to put lacquer or polyurathane on afterwards - but I decided not to - yet, at least. I'd actually picked up a small can of Minwax Polyurathane in Satin to try it. I might still do it. Have also heard of poly that you can just wipe on. That actually seems better option, rather than spray or painting it on.
Overall, it came out OK. I think it'll be fine for the booth. If I ever try refinish this line again, I might try and not strip the finish if it's not too damaged and just sand it down some and then apply stain. I'm not too familiar with the different type of stains - but next time I'd like to get one that doesn't dry so darned fast.
Happy furniture refinishing!
Thursday August 1, 2013 | Comments
Hi everyone. Doing another mid-week thrifting update to catch up with some of the latest finds.
This group shot was from a thrifting few weeks back, but we'd been so busy with getting ready for our antique booth that it was never posted up. Two Taylor and Ng mugs, a set of 6 Bing and Grondahl pin dishes by Antoni, a Dartington glass heart by Frank Thrower, a Takahashi cat jar, two small Heath Ceramics ashtrays and a tall 90s Nambe Studio vase probably by Karim Rashid.
This was the first time I've found an Aseda vase that had a tag on it. It's by Bo Borgstrom and it was amazing to find it with no damage.
The same couldn't be said for this great looking red Finel bowl - quite a bit of damage to the enamel, fleabites etc. But I've heard that even damaged Finel does decently, and the price was too good to resist. First time we've come across this pattern - still haven't decided yet whether to keep it.
Now that we have the antique booth, it's been interesting trying to decide which items should go in it. Obviously, the larger and heavier items are our first choice for the booth, to avoid shipping hassles. Paintings and prints have mostly been going in there - like this nice Peter Hurd stone lithograph entitled "Windmill Well at Night". We had some help from our friend Scott in looking this one up, but we haven't been able to find what edition it is. We even checked out Hurd's catalog raisonne of lithographs from the library - but the print wasn't in there. The print isn't signed by hand, but the sig is in the print itself.
I'm still shocked that pre-war art pottery pops up occasionally at the thrift. This is likely a Burley Winter handled vase from the 1920s-30s. We had some help ID-ing it from our friend Steve who's the goto guy for pre-war info. I suspect the cheap red ribbon tied around the neck is what caused people to overlook it. That, and I've seen new vases with this style of glaze treatment. A quick check of the glaze and the bottom clay, however, made me take a chance on it.
Lastly, I picked up this cool lithograph at the flea market. The frame was busted up, the litho was falling out, AND it had been sprinkling a bit so it was getting rained on. I just took a chance on it because I liked the look - it turns out it's a 1970s stone lithograph by Will Petersen, a well-regarded artist and printmaker. You can see some of his other work here. We need to look into getting it re-framed, but I think we may be keeping this one for now.
Hope you enjoyed this mid week roundup - happy thrifting!