Hi everyone! Over the past couple of days, I’ve enjoyed looking back at all of my vintage finds from 2015, but I’ve had trouble defining what I mean by “top.” Do I mean most valuable? Least costly? Most cool? I finally decided it was a combination of all of the above, along with what “spoke” to me.
So here are twelve of my top finds, one from each month of the year.
#1 January: A Double-twist Duty Bugle. These bugles were introduced in England in the mid-1800s. Mine is either an original or a copy that would have been made in Pakistan; they are often mistaken for Civil War bugles. It has no marks, and I suspect it is the Pakistan version (cost: $6.99 at Goodwill).
You may recognize it from a gallery wall in my kitchen. I had it for sale in my Etsy shop (listed at $60.00), but when it didn’t sell, decided to add it to my gallery wall. In the past it’s been a patriotic wall, but right now it’s a Christmas gallery.
#2 February: Ash Splint Work Basket. I remember buying this, deep into the winter. I ventured out to three nearby estate sales and couldn’t believe it when I asked the price on this beauty–ten dollars! Initially, I valued it at $85.00. After it didn’t sell for six months in my booth at the Gristmill Antique Center, I brought it to the recent Shaker craft fair, and it sold fairly quickly for $65.00. (You can learn more about baskets in my Basket Price Guide.)
#3 March: A Postal Scale. I bought this scale from the owner of the Gristmill for just $10.00. I like that it’s a bit different from the scales one usually finds. I decided to keep it.
Right now, it’s holding my funnel Christmas tree atop my country cupboard [value: $35-40.00].
#4 April: Child’s Farm Table. Wouldn’t you love this table in a “grown-up” size? The green is that perfect, elusive green that many of us love and try to replicate. It was an estate steal for $10.00. [Sold: $70.00, Gristmill Antique Center]
#5 May: Norwegian Wool Sox. These socks still have the power to make me smile. I had hoped to use them in my Christmas decorating this year, but it just didn’t happen. They cost just $3.00, so I can afford to hang onto them for a while longer [value: $25-30.00].
#6 June: Ironstone Chocolate Pot. Do you remember how much I paid for this unmarked chocolate pot? Five cents. You heard me right. Five cents. Highly undervalued by the owners, this piece is likely worth about $50.00 or so. These decorated pieces of ironstone are not as sought after as the plain white, but this pot is in perfect condition and has lovely features, like the finial on the lid and the embossing on the side. (For more ironstone info, see my Ironstone Price Guide.)
#7 July: Vintage Putz Houses. I made a trade for six of these adorable Putz houses with a gal who has a space at the Gristmill Antique Center, where I also have a booth. She offered me the set of six for a small piece of Torquay, motto-ware pottery (English) that I had priced at $12.00.
Here you can just see the corner of one of the houses. I painted each of their roofs pink and then applied super-fine glitter, and now I’m more in love with them than ever! (You can check out my Putz village if you’d like.)
#8 August: Green Yellow Ware Bowl. I discovered this 12″ McCoy, “Sunburst,” mixing bowl at an estate sale, hiding in a corner on the porch, filled with tent stakes. When I heard the price, $3.50, I couldn’t buy it fast enough [sold: $65.00 at Gristmill Antique Center].
#9 September: Cane-Sided Chair. I’ve been keeping an eye out for a chair like this to give a makeover, maybe painted light with some faux grain sack upholstery? For $4.00 this is the perfect chair to practice on. It’s on my 2016 to do list.
#10 October: Vintage Chalkboard. Try as I might, I could not justify keeping this $5.00 chalkboard, it was just too large. It was even too large to sell in my space at the Gristmill, so I resorted to Craigslist [sold: $40.00]
#11 November: Vintage Landscape Oil Painting. This large oil painting continues to captivate me and is hanging in my office as I write (and it’s still missing a piece of white molding on the bottom). Art by unknown artists can be difficult to value. You have to rely on past experiences selling similar artwork and your gut. I paid $5.00 for this piece and originally, I valued it at $60.00. If I were to offer it for sale now, I’d price it more in the $100 range.
#12 December: Herbal. December is a rough month for buying vintage and antiques. Usually there are fewer sales and less time to shop the ones that are available (because of the holidays). But there’s a new, local flea market in Cohoes (NY), where I’ve managed to find a few items, like this coffee table book, Herbal, which was priced at just a dollar [value: $35.00].
Aren’t the illustrations beautiful? Melissa at Melissa’s Antiques suggested they look like illustrations from an adult coloring book; I agree. Of course, they would make lovely frameables, but I’m not sure I could bring myself to do that.
Thanks so much for stopping by to see my top finds of 2015–
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Bye for now,