My Top 5 Vintage Finds of 2017

Well, it’s that time again! Feels like I was just writing the post for My Top 5 Vintage Finds of 2016, and now it’s time to sum up this year as well. I know I had some good finds…when I was thinking about writing this post, I was trying to think of some highlights from the year. A few items popped to mind right away.
For me, it’s not always so much about the monetary value of the finds…although it’s always nice to hit one out of the park.

My Top 5Vintage Finds (2)Sometimes it’s just how certain items give you a thrill when you find them…or you listen to your gut on a certain item and then you get home and do research and are blown away.
The first items on my list totally fall into that last category. Let’s get started. (This post may have affiliate links)

1. Peter Shire for Acme brooches.
2017-12-26So here’s the story. I don’t/didn’t know much about Memphis Style anything. But I was at a yard sale early last year and was poking around in the costume jewelry they had. It was an interesting sale and the jewelry was reasonably priced. I was new to costume jewelry and so it took me awhile to make my decisions and I was taking my time.

I saw these brooches and couldn’t read the signature on the back. Just that they were signed and said Los Angeles. And let’s face it…they were unique enough to be *something*.  My gut was talking to me. I bought one.

I was running low on cash and was still uncertain in my buying.
I got home and was finally able to make out the signature and started my research. Oh my.
Peter Shire was one of the artists that was instrumental in starting the whole Memphis style…More about that later. (Join me in Selling Vintage A to Z…..we’ll cover this at the letter M 😉 )
He was an artist for Acme Studio and they put out a line of jewelry called Melrose Emblematic of which these 2 brooches are a part.
They recently re-released the line in limited quantities and the larger brooch up top is for sale by them for $850.
That day I had found comps in the $200-300 range so you better believe I hotfooted my way back to that yard sale to buy the other brooch!

In my typical procrastinating fashion..no they are not listed yet. I get a mental block to listing things when they are really special!! See this post here and no it’s not listed yet!!) (and on another side note, I just realized that the designer of that typewriter was also part of Acme Studios with Peter Shire! Weird!)

I do have photos of them and they are on my to-do list for this week. I will update the post with links when I’m ready.

So that really piqued my interest in vintage costume jewelry. I opened Mod Cat Treasures this year and this new niche has been fun fun. The next items are also in this niche and they were something I was more familiar with.

2. Bakelite Jewelry
2017-07-02Okay, so this was not a new thought for me. I love Bakelite. I’ve sold Bakelite handled flatware and Bakelite buttons. I wrote a blog post awhile back on how to identify Bakelite. And I’ve sold a few pieces of Bakelite jewelry here and there when I’ve come across it. Now, though, I’m actively searching out jewelry and I’m surprised at how many pieces I’ve come across.
Here are a few from this year up above.

3. Dansk Odin vintage flatware 
DSC_0020A top finds list of mine cannot be complete without some flatware. I snagged this bag of flatware at Goodwill. I had one of those *thrills* as I was reaching for it…I just knew it would be good! Here was the listing on Etsy. It sold pretty quickly.

4. Diane Von Furstenberg iconic wrap dress pattern by Vogue
DSC_0055Figured I should throw one out there from my other niche, vintage sewing patterns. This made my heart stop a bit…I was finding lots of good, vintage patterns one day at the thrift store (same day and store as the Levi’s Big E jacket from a few posts ago) and then I saw this one.
This is not THE Vogue pattern (1548 or 1549..prices may have actually dropped a bit on these) that is such a BOLO (be on the look out)…but it is a similar one and sells pretty well.

5. Vintage chalkware blue birds
DSC_0059And I’ll just finish up with just a fun vintage piece. Not super high end..but attractive and got a lot of attention on social media. They took a bit longer to sell than I expected but they were nice to have in the shop while they lasted. The listing can be found here.
It was nice to find these, especially since I had already done the blog article Selling Vintage A to Z…..C is for Chalkware and so they probably especially caught my eye at the yard sale because of that. See what a vintage education can do!?

So that was my year! It was fun. Lots of bread and butter type stuff…and of course, I also had some non-vintage scores as well. How about you? How was your year? What was your top find? Share in the comments below!

 

D is for Decorated Tumblers ~ Selling Vintage A to Z

Welcome back to the fourth installment of our Selling Vintage A to Z series. To see previous posts in the series, click on the page at the top (or dropdown on mobile) where all the A to Z posts are handily gathered together! Today’s letter is the letter D and we’re discussing Decorated Tumblers.
This post has affiliate links.

DisforDecoratedTumblersLet’s face it. Vintage kitchenware is hot. It’s a fun category but can also be a fairly broad one so many collectors and resellers niche down. Vintage glassware is one way to go…specifically the decorated tumblers that started coming on the scene in the 1920s and 30s.
These are some of the decorated tumblers I spotted in a recent trip to an antique mall.

DecoratedTumblersSome of the companies that produced these fun and colorful pieces were:
Anchor Hocking, Bartlett Collins, Federal, Hazel Atlas, Jeannette, Libbey, West Virginia and more. In the early days, decorations were done by hand but during the 1930s, various automated methods were developed. The silkscreening method was perfected and is still the main way of decorating tumblers today. The stage was set for the production of the decorated tumbler to take off!

DecoratedTumbler2Green and white leaf tumblers by Federal Glass offered by Nanosdollectibles on Etsy (a great shop to see more examples of decorated glassware)

And the demand was there to meet it. The decorated tumblers were now more affordable because they were mass produced and they were colorful!! Such fun. People were eating them up.

Bartlett-Collins Rhythm Tumblers by AmbassadorGrooviness on Etsy

Kraft Foods had the inspiration in 1933 to offer their cheese spread with a “premium”: reusable 5 oz. glass “party glasses” in a variety of colors and designs. We know them as Swankyswigs. They continued being produced until 1958, first by Hazel Atlas, then by Bartlett-Collins. People loved having them to collect.

SwankySwig1Swankyswigs Kiddie Kup Set by Sidetracked Vintage on Etsy


SwankySwig2

Swankyswigs Tulip Set by RobertaGrove on Etsy

And people still do. Scouring thrift stores, antique shops and the internet, they look for that last one to complete their set.

A while back in one of my thrifting adventures, I found this book, “The Decorated Tumbler“.

DSC_0110

What a bunch of eye candy!! And a very helpful reference book. The author, Hazel Marie Weatherman, has compiled full color reproductions of actual catalog pages from the different makers, so we can see pattern names as well as glassware names assigned by that maker. It includes not just tumblers, but other items produced with these designs, such as pitchers and canisters.
Here is an example from page 52.

DSC_0112My book landed in my reference library but you can check ebay and Amazon for your own copy.

Just a few researching/collecting tips: If you’re interested in this niche for collecting or reselling, I’d suggest doing your research. Develop your eye to spot the more popular themes or subjects…anything atomic is a yes right now. Browse the book I mention above. Browse Etsy  listings. Search “Swankyswigs” and “Swanky swigs”. Use “Decorated glassware”. Search by makers. Go check out an antique mall.
Condition will be fairly important. Super faded pieces should probably be given a pass.

Let me know! Do you collect decorated tumblers? Have you sold any? Are you going to be on the lookout for them now? Leave a comment below.

A Vintage Glimpse ~ Fad of the Month Club

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But first, an apology. I disappeared! I shouldn’t just disappear like that. I always tend to think I need to do a big, beautiful blog post and if I don’t have time, I just stay silent. But I should have at least touched base.

Now, you know we had our epic 5 week road trip. Then we got back right before school started. My 5 year old started kindergarten. So I have both boys in school full days now. I should have more time, right? Not so far, lol. I also upped my involvement in some volunteer work and many days I’m out of the house the same hours my kids are. Then when I’m home, it’s housework, homework, cooking, laundry, etc…and then of course…listing! So the blog was on the back burner a bit.

As of yesterday at 10pm…2 hours before the deadline…I finished my taxes for 2016 that I had filed an extension on. Woot! Procrastinators unite! So now I am rewarding myself by writing a blog post and reconnecting with y’all!

Okay..onward and upward!

Today’s Vintage Glimpse is about a new-to-me club called the Fad of the Month Club. This was one of my MIL’s thrifting finds that she graciously let me have.

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Even the envelope is gorgeous! The date on this is 1963. From what I gather, you would subscribe to this club and every month they would send you a small craft to complete. You could pay in advance or pay month by month ($1 per month).

DSC_0139This particular one I found was from January of 1963 and was a “Garden Party” apron. Inside the envelope were instructions and material to complete the apron.

DSC_0141-001There was also an order form to re-order past months’ Fads as well as some bonus kits for the current month that were generally less than $1. Here’s a picture of what was available in February 1963.

DSC_0144Members were encouraged to sign up other members and doing so could earn them prizes.

DSC_0143

I looked at other Fad of the Month Club listings on Etsy and some were much bigger and involved. Looks like fun!

What about you? Have you heard of the Fad of the Month Club? Do you remember it? Were you in it? Feel free to leave a comment below!

This Fad of the Month club Garden Party apron kit is listed now in my Pish Posh Notions Etsy shop!

B is for….Brutalist ~ Selling Vintage A to Z

I hope you enjoyed the first post in my new Selling Vintage A to Z series:  A is for…..Anthropomorphic. For this second post, I’m covering another topic that I touched on in the blog years ago: Brutalism or Brutalist style.
(This post contains affiliate links)

B-Selling Vintage

I’d seen the word “Brutalist” here and there on Etsy and it seemed to get a lot of attention. I decided to do research to make sure that A) I could identify the style myself and B) that I would be using the keyword correctly.
Brutalism began as an architectural style.

2017-05-14

(All photos above are from brutalism.online as shown in the watermark.) The buildings are: (clockwise from top) 1. Habitat 67 from the 1967 World’s Fair in Montreal, Quebec, Canada 2. One Police Plaza in NYC and 3. Freeway Park in Seattle, WA.

The Brutalist architectural movement was a spin-off from the modernist movement of the first half of the 20th century and had its heydey from the 1950s to 1970s. The style had its fans…and its detractors. It was controversial.

Concrete was used a lot, often revealing the texture of the boards that were used in the forms. Le Corbusier used the French phrase “beton-brut” or ‘raw concrete’ to describe his work…and from this French phrase, the term “Brutalist” was coined.
There is much, much more to the architectural style and history. If this interests you, I found a great website called BRUTALISM:ONLINE

What fascinated me was how this style spilled over to smaller objects of the time. I’ve seen the word “brutalist” applied to jewelry, wall decor, furniture, sculptures and other home decor items. And this is where it gets interesting for us sellers of vintage.

Examples of Brutalist style

Let’s look at some examples because this is how I learned. Brutalism may be hard to describe in just a few sentences but you will soon begin to recognize it when you see it. Think repeated geometric forms yet often asymmetric and abstract. Rough texture. Earth tones. More organic and natural vs machine produced precision.

We’ll start big with furniture and then go smaller.

BrutalistCredenzaLane Brutalist style credenza or dresser from QuinnCASA on Etsy

BrutalistDiningTableSkyscraper Dining Table by Pasadena Antiques on Etsy

As you can see, there can be some big bucks involved if you find Brutalist style furniture, especially if there are designer names attached. But that top credenza or dresser is by Lane..a popular mid century furniture maker whose pieces are not ultra rare.

See more Brutalist style furniture here.

Wall decor, tabletop sculptures, lamps and clocks were also influenced by the movement.

BrutalistWallBrutalist Torch Cut Sailboat wall sculpture by VieuxFaireGoods on Etsy

BrutalistTreeBrutalist tabletop tree sculpture by ModHouseCA on Etsy

And this clock below is one of my favorites…I would die to find one in the wild. It’s by Syroco and it’s PLASTIC!
BrutalistClockSyroco Brutalist style wall clock by Vintage by Viola on Etsy

See more Brutalist style home decor here. Take a note of the prices.

One of my favorite categories that showcases the Brutalist style is jewelry. I have only found a handful of pieces myself. This was the most recent one. This pendant is not a high ticket item but it is signed by Napier and it definitely has that Brutalist influence. It went into my own jewelry box. 🙂

DSC_0015There are so many great Brutalist jewelry pieces. *sigh* Names to look for are Robert Larin and Guy Vidal. There are also many Scandinavian pieces.

BrutalistPendantBrutalist Pewter and Moss Agate Pendant by Vintage in Bloom (a familiar face!) on Etsy

BrutalistLarinRobert Larin Brutalist jewelry set by JanEleven on Etsy

BrutalistVidalGuy Vidal Statement Necklace by My New Discoveries on Etsy

See more Brutalist style jewelry here. Take a note of the prices.

Selling Tips

Okay, so keywords associated with this style would be:
brutalist, modernist, mid century, organic, torch cut, abstract, asymmetric, textured, burnished
You may have noticed that some sellers use Robert Larin-style or Guy Vidal-style. I don’t recommend that if the pieces are not signed by those makers. Technically it’s keyword spamming. And it’s not necessary. The word “brutalist” alone will get you the views and buyers you need if the style fits.


Now, I do understand this style is not for everyone. You may look at these pieces of decor or jewelry and think to yourself “who would pay that kind of money for that piece of ugly??”. But that’s the point of a vintage education.
You take the time to look at different styles and niches and you train your eye. You stop dismissing things as “ugly” and start seeing the value in them.

What do you think of the ‘brutalist’ style? Have you thrifted anything brutalist? Is it a new keyword for you?


Thanks for joining us on the latest installment of our series. Stay tuned for the Letter C!!

TIKI TALK – An Upcoming Webinar to Teach You All Things Tiki

(This post contains affiliate links)
Tiki culture in the United States began in the 1930s with the opening of Polynesian themed bars and restaurants such as Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vics. It gained popularity in the mid century and is still going strong today.
Collectors are serious and they know what they want and need for their collections and will pay for it. 🙂

Do you know a lot about Tiki culture? Can you identify what qualifies as Tiki and what doesn’t? Do you know what to look for at thrift stores or yard sales that is worth flipping on Ebay or Etsy? Do you know what the holy grails of Tiki mugs are? Or which ones are worth nothing?

Well, Jason T. Smith (formerly of the Spike show Thrift Hunters) does. As you can see from the picture below, he is a Tiki Collector Extraordinaire.
And he is having a webinar next week to share what he knows!

Click here to sign up for TIKI TALK – The Ultimate TIKI Master Class! This class is very reasonably priced for the amount of knowledge you’ll receive.
Let’s let Jason T. Smith explain for himself what he will be covering…it is extensive!

Did you see the EIGHT different categories he’ll be covering? So much information. You won’t want to miss it!
Again, you can sign up here!