I come from a long line of merchants. My mother Elsie was an antiques dealer, shop owner and treasure hunter. My grandparents, Gaetano and Palmina had a general store in a coal mining camp where they lived and worked with a group of Italian immigrants
I like to sell anything, but I love to sell antiques! I had an antique shop for years. But maybe more than selling antiques, I love the hunt for them! I admit I’m addicted. Its so rewarding to find a piece of history that’s been neglected and turn it into something beautiful or useful. In the words of William Morris, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” It also appeals to my frugal nature. I work like a bloodhound to track down a deal. There’s an art to the hunt, it’s helpful to have a plan when searching or it can be overwhelming!
Be specific if shopping in an antique mall, look for one or two or maybe 3 items per trip, if you’re like me, I just can’t focus on anymore than that, unless something just jumps out at me. At an auction, (is anything better than a country auction?) have a limit, know what you’ll do with the item, and if your’re buying it for resale, know what you can sell it for, that will dictate your buying price. I frequent Goodwills, resale and consignment shops and dig through barns, basements and attics. I have refinished tons of furniture in my time! Stripping is not one of my favorite tasks, but necessary at times. My handpainted furniture was always a quick seller in my shop and a pleasure for me to paint. I love to find appealing lamp bases and make shades for them, another quick seller. This is a 26 dollor lamp! Twenty dollars for the base in an antique shop, a free shade from a junk store and 5 dollars worth of fabric from a bargain bin. The trim was in a dollar box at an auction. An inexpensive way to get artwork, is to find bargain frames that need attention, refinish it and buy online repro prints. When we built our cabin 29 years ago, we were on a very tight budget, so finding bargains was crucial, it really honed my hunting skills and we did all work ourselves. Stay tuned for lots more!
I found this gem in an old goat barn! It looked like it was ready for the trash heap! But it jumped out at me and I saw the potential. It was difficult to strip and refinish because of the turns and grooves, but it was so worth the work. The crackled mirror just adds charm, I wouldn’t think of replacing it with a new one. The grand total is $15.00!
This beauty was a bargain in an antique shop because the oil painting was chipped and scratched and the frame needed work. I got the oil paints and mixed up colors to match, and used metallic gold and bronze paint for the frame. There is absolutely no way to tell it’s been repaired! It’s very easy to do, so don’t walk away from a bargain oil painting in need of repair! Grand total – $45.00
Summer Auction – July 16
We attended an auction very close to our cabin in the little river town of Pacific. A two story Victorian packed with antiques! Twin sisters were born in the house and are 97 yrs old today! I found several items that I was delighted to buy, I had my eye on a dresser that was spectacular, but it went too high for my frugal nature, but this is what I found!
Ruby glass candy dish with silver jacket – $5.00!Leaded Crystal Pitcher, a steal at $17.00!
Nippon jelly dish, fine and delicate $5.00
Another leaded crystal piece, candle holder, beautiful! Also $17.00
Nippon bowl, amazing color! $6.00!And last, but certainly not least, because I love this old meat cleaver, a real bargain at $11.00! Not a bad day! Can’t wait to open my antique shop so I can buy more! Stay tuned.