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

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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. ūüôā

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!

A is for…. Anthropomorphic ~ Selling Vintage A to Z

I thought I’d start the series off with a word we’ve discussed on the blog before, although it was about 2 years ago. But it’s still a good one!! Anthropomorphic collectibles are still very popular.
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A-Selling Vintage

Anthropomorphic collectibles are all those fun things you’ve seen for years but maybe didn’t know the name for. Now you do.

According to the dictionary “anthropomorphism” means “ascribing human characteristics to nonhuman things”.

It’s all around you. Really. Anything by Walt Disney. Yup. Mickey…he’s anthropomorphic.
Thomas the train? You got it.
Mr. Peanut? An anthropomorphic classic!

I will hold the teabag tea rests (Anthropomorphic tea rests from my personal collection.)

But really, anthropomorphic items are quite collectible! Kitschy and cute, these salt and pepper shakers, tea bag rests, planters, teapots, jam pots…the list goes on…were found in your local Five and Dime in the 40s and 50s. They were also given out as prizes for games such as Bingo.
Most of these novelty items took the form of vegetables, fruit, animals or utensils with smiling faces.

Anthropomorphic Planter

Or…maybe not so smiley. I think I narrowed this planter down to a turnip…but I’m still not sure if the headscarf is for a particular purpose, like a toothache. I was imagining this planter being given with a cheery plant as a Get Well gift. Hmm. I listed this cutie awhile back and she sold the same day for $24.
As shown earlier with the example of Mr. Peanut, sometimes the anthropomorphic item was for advertising purposes.

Handy Flame Salt and Pepper Shakers

These salt and pepper shakers depict “Handy Flame” and were used by the Indianapolis Gas Company (other companies, too, I believe) to promote and spread the word about cooking with Natural Gas. I had the creamer that matched the set but a buyer asked me to separate it out so they could buy it on its own. They sold for a combined total of $26.

So why is this good to know if you sell vintage? Well, because vintage anthropomorphic items sell..and sell quickly. Plus you’ll want to use “anthropomorphic” as a keyword in your listing or as a hashtag in your social media promoting. I’ve also seen #foodwithfaces as a tag on Instagram.
For kicks, I took a look at some of the highest priced kitschy anthropomorphic items and it seems that the maker to look out for is Py / Miyao. There is even a collectible guide I found that may be a bit hard to track down but I found a few copies on Google. The author is Belinda Evans.

PY-MiyaoSometimes the pieces are just marked “Japan” and may originally have had a Miyao sticker, so it pays to do your research. As you can see on that book cover above, one of the telltale signs of Py seems to be the shape of the eyes, with that triangular cutout in the black. Just a tip. Py made other designs as well and distributed to companies like UCAGCO and Lefton. You can read a bit more about them here.

Let’s finish up with a look at some items on Etsy that show the range of products that fit under the “anthropomorphic” umbrella.


Enesco Winking Cat teapot by Bob’s Good Junk on Etsy. (One of the biggest shops on Etsy for anthropomorphic items!! Great stuff!)

AnthroLemonPlatesSnack Plate Set by Brooklyn Street Vintage on Etsy

Not just for the kitchen, anthropomorphic items can also be found in jewelry.


Cat Playing the Accordion pin by Green Kitten Vintage on Etsy

And the anthropormorphic theme also extended to linens and tea towels.

AnthroTowelEmbroidered Tea Towel by Upswing Vintage on Etsy

And of course, you can DIY your own anthropomorphic items!



Happy Fruits Transfer Pattern by Atomic Dog 67 on Etsy

So the next time you’re strolling the thrift store aisles or scanning the tables at a yard sale and you feel like someone is watching you…you might want to take a closer look!

What about you? Have you collected anthropomorphic items before? Have you bought and sold them? Any favorites?

Thanks for joining me on my first installment of Selling Vintage A to Z. Next up will be another term we’ve discussed here…although again, it was awhile ago.
B is for…..Brutalist¬†

Selling Vintage A to Z ~ Announcing a New Blog Series

I am super excited about this post. I have dabbled in the past with various “Vintage Glimpse” or “Vintage Education” posts…but with no real focus. Just items or brands that I had come across that I wanted to learn more about and so I shared my research with you. The idea for a vintage dictionary was also bouncing around in my head but it was only recently that the whole idea gelled together!

Selling VintageI don’t have to explain again to you my struggles with this blog. I love it and love writing it and I love the interaction I get with you..my blog peeps. Finding a focus or direction for the blog…a PURPOSE…I guess is what I’m talking about…has always been the challenge.

I was talking to another vintage blogger about the struggle and the conversation made me focus in on one important thing: who is my audience? I believe, for the most part, my audience Рyou fine folks Рare other sellers. You love the thrill of the hunt and live for that buzz you get when you reach for that REALLY. GOOD. THING. on the thrift store shelf or yard sale table. You share your finds with others and sell either online or in person. I get you. You are my tribe.

True, I get random visitors through Google who want to know about Oneida and the Betty Crocker catalog or how to identify their stainless flatware pattern. But mostly, my visitors and readers and commenters want to know more about vintage, where to find it and how to sell it.

So that is the direction this new series will take. Sure, it’s fun to research old stuff. But let’s take it a little further. That’s why this series is called Selling Vintage ~ A to Z. We’ll go through the alphabet letter by letter and identify trends, items, keywords and vocabulary related to vintage. Knowledge is power, right? So if we learn about all things Anthropomorphic (next week!), then we know when we see salt and pepper shakers in the shape of carrots with faces…maybe we shouldn’t pass those up. And have you seen the word Brutalist tossed around? What exactly is that? And should you¬†be looking for it?

If you’re not a seller, no worries! Many of us who sell vintage are also collectors and just love vintage! Maybe you’ll find a new area or niche to collect!¬†

Sound good? Please, also, feel free to shoot me an email or leave a comment below if there’s a term or phrase or item you’ve wanted to know about and I’ll try to fit it in. Thanks!

Look for Selling Vintage ~ A to Z ~ A is for Anthropomorphic next week!

If you don’t want to miss future posts, you can subscribe to the blog via email…—–> over on the right side of the page, down a bit.

Or you can Like my Facebook business page or follow us on Twitter!

Oneida Flatware and the Betty Crocker Catalog ~ A Vintage Glimpse

NOTE: If you would like help identifying your Betty Crocker silverware pattern, please see the post: Top 10 Betty Crocker Silverware patterns by Oneida. 

One of the reasons I’ve said that buying and selling stainless flatware can be profitable is because of the memories and emotions involved. People want items they remember from their childhood or want to recapture the feelings they had while eating at Grandma’s house.¬†A big contributor to this later effect was the popularity of collecting Oneida¬†flatware from the Betty Crocker Catalog.

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Oneida Flatware

One of the longest running coupon redemption programs, the Betty Crocker program began slowly in the late 1920s, with first a spoon, then coupons, being inserted into bags of General Mills flour. After awhile, coupons with points were printed right on the product packages directing people to a catalog where they could find “fine kitchen and home accessories” including Oneida flatware.

Countless families collected sets of both silverplate and stainless flatware patterns from the Betty Crocker catalog. Moms collected for themselves, and even started putting together sets for their daughters’ hope chests.
The result today? Memories.



1970s Catalog – Image from Pinterest (I just sold a spoon in that Viola pattern shown on the front. ūüôā )

I get countless comments from people purchasing replacement pieces of Oneida flatware explaining how they were recreating their Grandma’s set or had inherited their mother’s and wanted to fill in the last few pieces.

When I began selling replacement flatware, I would research patterns and see “Betty Crocker” in the listing or in the description on replacements.com. I learned why the name was included when I learned about the catalog. But I really never understood the process until one day I came across (while thrifting) a large bag of unredeemed Betty Crocker flatware coupons.

Oneida Flatware and Betty Crocker Coupons What a fabulous glimpse into the past! One of the Oneida stainless flatware patterns that has gained popularity recently is the very atomic Twin Star pattern. One of my favorites to find and sell. There were several coupons for that in the stash I found.

Oneida Twin Star Betty Crocker Coupon

As you can see, the coupon wasn’t limited to just one pattern. It also worked on Queen Bess, hollowware and cookbooks. Very smart!

One of the clippings also gave some insight about how you could collect your pieces faster. Just use less coupons and pay more money! You could choose either the “Speed Plan” or the “Thrift Plan”.

Betty Crocker Stainless Flatware coupon order form

What about you? Does the Betty Crocker catalog bring back memories? Do you have a set of flatware that was passed on to you? Share your memories below!

Click HERE to see all current Oneida Betty Crocker listings on Etsy.

Click HERE to see all current Oneida Betty Crocker listings on Ebay

Mid Century Monday ~ WMF Cromargan

Another Edition of Mid Century Monday. This week features WMF Cromargan and their history.

Welcome to another edition of Mid Century Monday!
Today we’re going to delve in for a few minutes and examine a company that for some, epitomizes Mid Century sleekness and minimalism.
WMF Cromargan.

WMF Cromargan Stainless Egg Cups

WMF Cromargan Domus Stainless Ladle

First of all, let’s clear up what WMF stands for and what it does NOT stand for. Sometimes you’ll see a listing that mentions “William Fraser”. This is not¬†what WMF stands for.
**As a heads up, if you’re a flatware seller or researcher and have purchased the Stainless Flatware Guide and would like to look at WMF flatware patterns…they are filed under “William Fraser”.
Hope they change that someday. However, the website, Replacements.com, who is the publisher for the above mentioned guide, just uses “WMF” in their online reference guide. Phew.

So..what does WMF stand for?

It actually stands for¬†W√ľrttembergische Metallwarenfabrik.¬†Well, no wonder that people like “William Fraser” better!
The company that would become WMF was founded in 1853 . After a few changes in partners and other mergers…the company started going by¬†the name¬†W√ľrttembergische Metallwarenfabrik¬†in 1880. They grew to be a significant producer and exporter of household metal and tableware. They leaned heavily toward the Art Nouveau style.

After losing some ground at the end of the Second World War, WMF slowly rebuilt and focused on their retail networks. Influenced by the modern and minimal style of the later 1950s, emphasis was soon turned from silverplated items to the trademarked Cromargan cutlery and hollowware. Wilhelm Wagenfeld was a major design contributor.

Edit:¬†I wrote this last night and then woke up this morning and my first thought was what I left out of this post! It was why the name Fraser is associated with WMF. It wasn’t just pulled out of thin air. Fraser’s Ltd of New York was a retail outlet founded by Gordon Freeman Fraser and after WWII, they were a distributor for some WMF stainless products. Items from that time may be marked ‘Fraser’s WMF’ on the box.¬†

Let’s take a few moments to revel in WMF Cromargan designs. ūüôā

WMF Divided Dish by Modern Throwback on Etsy WMF Cromargan Divided Serving Platter by MODern Throwback on Etsy

WMF Cromargan Bowl by luola on Etsy

WMF Cromargan bowl by luola on Etsy

WMF Sardine Server by COOLLECT on Etsy

WMF Cromargan Sardine Server by Coollect on Etsy

Well, we could go on forever with these awesome designs. You may remember from last Friday’s post, that I had a salad bowl to get listed. Well I finally did that. Still haven’t redone the photos. We’ll see how it does.

WMF Cromargan flatware and hollowware is one of my favorite brands to find¬†while I’m on the vintage hunt.¬†¬†How about you? Have you found any? Do you own any pieces of WMF Cromargan that you want to brag on?
Feel free to leave a comment below!

Linking up to Monday Madness.

Move It On Out Monday ~ Monkeypuzzle by Carol Leith


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

So I promised at the end of¬†a post last week, that I would explain what was up with the wooden puzzle of the can-can dancers. So here we are on Monday…and the start of a new feature. Maybe weekly, we’ll see.

Move It On Out Monday is about those lingering, languishing, lolly-gagging items that have forever been in my listing pile heap mountain.
Of course I have a backlog of flatware and sewing patterns and kitchen utensils…the list goes on. If I bought things¬†in bulk, its safe to say I haven’t caught up yet.

But sometimes, there are items that I REALLY like. Items that I think are super interesting, awesome and fantabulous. For some reason I drag my feet on listing them. Sometimes its because I want to make sure my research is complete. Other times I need something special or one more prop to make the photos just right.

But¬†more often than not, its just because I want to OWN the item for a little while. It’s a OOAK (one of a kind) item and won’t come my way again. So it stays.

Whatever the reason, there’s no escaping the fact that I have quite a few of these fabulous items doing no good to anybody, hidden away in secret tubs and bins in my house.

So for the debut of Move It On Out Monday, I have chosen this gorgeous handmade wooden Monkeypuzzle by Carol Leith.


Carol Leith started Monkeypuzzle in 1976 and her designs included a wide range of freestanding sculptural jigsaw puzzles. Some of the larger ones were specifically commissioned by galleries and were only produced in limited editions. I dug up some examples.


The Green Violinist by Chagall
(photo credit: www.puzzlemuseum.com)

The puzzle above was only available at the Guggenheim Museum Gift Shop. Here’s another amazing, multilayered one: (photo credit, same as above)


When I first started doing my research, I came across some forums that Carol Leith herself participated in. She had contact information and so I reached out to her. I found out something interesting about my puzzle from her.
She said, “Yes this puzzle will stand either as it is in one piece or there are two pieces which can be removed on the skirts then if you divide the puzzle into two equal parts they will slot together to form an X shape. ¬†Alternatively carefully stand the whole puzzle and bend it in a slight arc and it will stand.Some people have framed these and hung them from a wall or stood them with their backs to a wall on a shelf.”

So of course I had to try it out!
DSC_0006 (1) DSC_0005

So I’ve taken the first step towards Moving this monkeypuzzle On Out. I’ve listed in on Ebay where hopefully a collector will be thrilled to come across it and give it a better home than the one I’ve given it the last few years. Yes, I said years.

Oh..and to finish my story about Monkeypuzzles. Unfortunately Carol Leith closed the business in 2001 I believe but her creativity hasn’t ended. She has written a children’s book called A Cloud of Souls which is available on Amazon.

One of¬†my epiphanies (more like a Duh!!!-moment) about our debt and what I’m gonna do about it was about the fact that I don’t really need to add to my inventory. I have lots of potential money laying around here and so Move It On Out Monday is one small way to hold myself accountable and dig into that stash. Honestly, I have enough to run a Toss It Outta Here Tuesday, a We Don’t Need It Wednesday, a Throw It On Ebay Thursday and a Finally!! It’s Gone Friday¬†but we’ll stick to Mondays or every other Monday for now.

What about you? Do you have a stash? Do you stay on top of your vintage finds? Have you seen a Monkeypuzzle before? We love comments so feel free to share below.

Mid Century Monday – Cylinda-Line by Arne Jacobsen for Stelton

Welcome [back] to Mid Century Monday! As usual, I make no promises about the regularity of my posts..but I love alliteration and will use it any chance I get. ūüôā 
Today’s feature is about Stelton, the Danish design company and their iconic Cylinda-Line products.
I was first introduced to these amazing products a few years back when I found this coffee pot at Goodwill. 

I didn’t know anything about it, but knew enough that something that fabulous looking, marked “Denmark” was worth picking up.

Doing research on it, I learned that this line was designed by Arne Jacobsen in the 1960s. “The simplicity of cylindrical shapes and specially designed plastic handles characterized the line which, along with its brushed steel surfaces, stood in striking contrast to the highly polished curves of its day.”
(www.stelton.com) (more history at the link)

 This line won the ID award in 1967 and has been on display at the Museum of Modern Art. 
It’s so popular, the design is still in production and available. 

I never really expected to find anything else in this line, not on the thrift store level anyway. And I’ve promised Hubby if we found another coffee pot he’d get to keep the next one. ūüôā But I was pleasantly surprised to come across these salt and pepper shakers.

Hubby didn’t have quite the same interest in these, so they are listed in his Etsy shop, Metal and Tweed.

Although I have a love / hate relationship with stainless tableware (collected way too much of it and it sells too slowly)…this cylindrical shape is one I will always keep an eye out for!!
Happy [vintage] hunting!