Hi everyone! I hope you’re having a great week. I mentioned on Monday that my sweet husband and I hit a few of estate sales on Friday. We drove nearly 85 miles to shop at some rather mediocre sales, but the company was delightful and the day, sunny and bright–perfect for a drive. All that said, I did [of course] make some purchases. Usually, if you dig deep enough, you can uncover a vintage treasure or two.
Two of the sales appeared to be run by dealers (or former dealers) trying to unload some of their inventory. They had things priced high, but when I asked for prices on unmarked items, they gave reasonable replies.
Many of you know, I have a thing for old bottles, so it should come as no surprise that I bought this Gordon’s Dry Gin with strap sides (embossed “London, England”) (cost: $1.00, value: $8-12.00).
The side seams run right up to through the lip, which dates it to post-1900. I explained this dating process in my post about amber bottles last fall and also provided some tips on how to clean old bottles here.
Pint-sized canning jars are a bit rarer than quart-sized, so I like to pick them up, even when made of clear glass (cost: $1.00, value: $10-15.00). Learn more about pricing your canning jars here or about dating your canning jars here.
License plates sell well for me, so I buy them whenever I can. This plate dates to 1973-86 and should garner more as a vanity plate (cost: $1.00, value: $20.00-30.00). One with random numbers and letters would likely be worth only about $8-10.00.
I always buy folding rulers priced at a dollar or less. They sell well, and can easily be shaped into stars and hung from something in my antique booth (cost: $1.00, value: $8-10.00).
A set of four vintage handles, always good to have on hand (cost: 50¢).
A pair of glove hooks ($1.00 each, value: $4-5.00 each). The 5″ bottom one needs a good cleaning (see below). [NOTE: I stand corrected! The bottom button hook, as you can see from the writing on the reverse side below, is a shoe or boot hook (duh). Glove hooks tend to be on the short side (they don’t need to reach as far), hence my mistaking it momentarily for a glove hook.]
I picked up these three tools because of their good construction and interesting look, but have no idea the function of the two on either end (cost: $1.00 each). Collectors desire the center tool, a caliper (cost: $1.00, value $10-12.00) and buy them up. The instrument on the far right seems to have small circular cutting blade that can be moved up and down with the twist of the handle. The pointy bit at the end is also blade-like. Any ideas?
I treated each of these formerly rusty pieces according to the recommendations I made in my post, How to Clean and Care for Rusty Metal.
A couple more vintage wooden rulers to add to my accidental collection (cost: 50¢ each, value: $4-6.00). They could benefit from a bit of Howard’s Feed-N-Wax. I especially enjoy finding the local ones.
I like to pick up books about old arts and crafts that have been long forgotten, but may be on the rise again, like this one, Wood Carving and Whittling (cost: $1.00, value: $8-10.00). Interestingly, a folk art school in our area happens to offer whittling classes.
It contains a number of excellent diagrams, like the ones you see here.
I definitely have a “thing” for cool office supplies, like these vintage exam booklets (cost: $1.00 for all, value: $1.00 each). I think they’d make a neat scrap booking project.
Final Fabulous Find: I have to tell you the story about this basket. As my husband
sped drove down the road toward one of the estate sales on our list, we passed a consignment store that I hate going into because it’s overstuffed with un-priced merchandise, most of which has a slight musty odor. I am a seasoned, junker who has been known to climb into dumpsters, but you can’t drag me in this store. However, as we drove passed, I noticed a box of baskets out front, and this one sat right on top. It’s shape and color stood out to me, so I asked my husband if he would mind turning around. Of course he didn’t mind. It was everything I hoped for: an antique, ash splint basket with twisted paper accents/handle dating about 1910-20 (cost: $4.00, value: $65-75.00). It has a small amount of damage one one handle strap.
Here you can see what the twisted paper looks like. I think I’ve also heard it called “Japanese twist” or something like that. Anyone else know any more about it? If you need help pricing your baskets, check out my basket price guide.
That’s it for me–what vintage treasures have you found lately? Have garage sales started up yet in your neck of the woods? Happy hunting everyone!
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