A Family Affair
Last week was chock full o’ sales for me, as I ventured out Tuesday and then again on Thursday with my sister Lindsay and dad Timmy (and again on Friday with Sarah). Timmy was super excited because there were like 6 sales within a 5 mile radius on Thursday, so our prospects for treasure looked good.
The first sale was in Redford, and was actually a repeat of a sale that happened a few weeks ago. This time, there were even MORE items, and the basement was opened. I forgot to take pictures at this sale, so here are some I pulled off estatesales.net:
This sale had some GREAT dolls, but they were all priced pretty high. I carried one around for awhile, but it was $70, so I don’t know who I was kidding…I put it back eventually. As you know, Sarah and I are on a doll kick as of late, which has been SUPER successful for both of us. Here’s what I ended up selling that little “idiot doll” for last week:
The first item I did find to buy was a Stangl pottery box. One of my newer estate sale tricks is to buy things that I personally like and would be happy to keep if they end up not selling on ebay.
The box did sell after all. I paid $4 for it and it sold for $20.
A funny thing happened when I was looking at this box. I was all alone in a bedroom, examining the piece. A window near me was open, so I could hear people outside. All of a sudden I hear a woman ask one of the sellers about a particular item, and the seller responds, “Oh, I think it is in that room right there where that MAN in the plaid shirt is standing.” Upon hearing this, I look down at my shirt, and I AM WEARING A PLAID SHIRT. And I am alone in this room! I AM THE MAN IN THE PLAID SHIRT. Hilarious and sad. To be fair, my hair was up in a bun this day.
I think my sister had the best scores at this sale, but I can’t remember all that she bought. I know she found a Rushton rubber face squirrel and an old Monchichi monkey.
At the next sale, everything was super high end, but the prices were fair. My sister found a super cool item and was nice enough to give it to me:
This is a Knight head wine stopper, but when you lift its little face shield, you can pour the wine out through the spout! How cool is that?! I can’t wait to use it.
We stopped at a few more sales which were duds. I did make one final purchase, which was a piece of cast iron enamelware. It was brand new!
These things are on Amazon for $120, and the lady had a price of $45 on it. I bartered her down to $30 after explaining that I love rabbits and showing her my rabbit tattoo. Embarrassing tactics, but they worked. She said she would make the deal because I was “cute.”
I didn’t tell her that earlier in the day someone mistook me for a man.
Hey y’all, my birfday is next Friday. Feel free to buy me this Griswold cast iron rabbit mold for $350. Or some fancy ass porcelain.
Holy Grail: Super Fancy Porcelain
So the New York posts continue…
While walking around the West Village with Zach and our friend Mary, I spotted this little basement shop called “The Porcelain Room”. It seriously looked like the cutest place on Earth, packed full of tiny porcelain creatures and decor.
I don’t think I realized my love for porcelain until I went in this store. I wanted pretty much everything, especially this deer bowl:
I kept imagining what it would be like to have a party and serve something in this adorable dish. It cost $2,500 though, so I guess I’ll never know.
I did find something a bit more reasonable in price. It was this cute rabbit made by KPM in Berlin. He was $310, which is still pretty outrageous for a porcelain anything. I pulled this photo of him off the KPM website:
So the point here is that I want me some baller porcelain. It’s something I am going to keep my eye out for at future sales, which I am sure Zach will be thrilled about.
Traverse City Treasures
As mentioned, Sarah and I hit the road last week for a mini vacay up in Traverse City, MI. We were sure that many antique stores, yard sales, flea markets, and more awaited us. It turns out though that most of the antique stores in Northern Michigan have gone out of business. And for whatever reason, there wasn’t a single estate or yard sale! What a true bummer!
We did manage to find some treasures though, as well as wacky things that I’m sure Sarah will blog about at some point.
One antique store we did find was in downtown Traverse City, and was 4 floors of high-end collectibles (including antique gynecology tables.) Unfortunately for us, we arrived there 10 minutes before they were closing. Before being kicked out, I spotted some old chocolate and ice cream molds:
Of course, I particularly liked this rabbit one, but it was too pricey.
Having a glimpse at this store made us plan a special return visit. A couple days later we made the 1/2 hour drive back to Traverse City (we were staying in nearby Cedar) to find us some treasures. When we got there, the store had closed early BECAUSE OF A PARADE. Usually I love parades, but not when they ruin our fun. We were so disappointed.
I convinced Sarah that we should hike our way through the parade and its crowd to another antique store nearby. Luckily, it was open. They had some neat items, particularly this giant bear skin rug:
I was also pretty obsessed with this bird basket, but it was expensive. I also don’t have any birds to put in it.
I ended up buying a sterling silver rabbit ring. I think Sarah bought some earrings.
No one bought these little mermaid cat statues though. Whomp whomp.
Update from Sarah: I was very bad about taking pictures everywhere we went, but Erin summarized our disappointment fairly well. What the “antiquing” experience did affirm for me is that I love estate sale-ing and don’t really care for antique shopping. It’s so hard to get into it when you see the prices on stuff that we normally see at sales for about a 10th of the price.
I did purchase a cute pair of sterling silver heart earrings and a copper piggy bank. The earrings were totally overpriced but I hadn’t really purchased a lot for myself on the trip, which is abnormal for me. So I splurged.
In a day or two, I’ll give y’all an update about one “antique store” that found in Northport that contained countless gems. In the meantime, check out this treasure that Erin decided to pass on:
Me, Erin, and my mom had an extensive argument about whether this was a beaver, squirrel or chipmunk mask. Feel free to weigh in.
Hard to Resist: Cottonball Bunny & Children of the Corn
Here’s our latest installment of items we found pretty hard to resist!
The craftsmanship on this cottonball bunny is pretty remarkable. I couldn’t find a maker’s mark on it, but I’m sure the artist was professionally trained.
I mean, look at that whisker placement! Spot on!
P.S. I thought about asking Sarah how much she would pay me to eat one of those jelly beans, but then I realized that if I did that, I would feel obligated to buy this cottonball bunny. You can’t eat pieces off an item you haven’t purchased. I then realized that if I bought this cottonball bunny, I would want to throw it in the trash, which would make me feel guilty and sad.
Moving on, here are some body doubles from the movie “Children of the Corn”:
These guys were$10 each, which is half of the price I would need to be paid to take them home.
Money Maker: Antique Metal Molds
Like I mentioned, I’ve known for awhile that antique chocolate molds are collectible, but that’s about all I knew. So here’s what I discovered after buying a bunch of them…
First off, not all old molds are for chocolate. A few of the molds I bought were pewter, and actually meant for ice cream. Fancy rich people in the Victorian era used to have their ice cream molded into festive shapes for parties. Each guest would be served an adorable mini ice cream, all dolled up to look like Santa or a President or even other foods (vegetables mainly). Here is one of the ice cream molds I bought:
The outside of the mold said “E & Co.” which I soon found out meant Eppelsheimer Company, one of the earliest mold manufacturers. This was a good thing, because signed molds are generally more valuable. This Santa dated to 1890!
The chocolate molds I bought were thinner and not made of pewter. Most of them were 2-piece molds. One of the most interesting I found was this tiny Pope mold:
I almost didn’t buy this mold because of the rust on it, but one of the men running the sale mentioned that he had never seen a Pope mold before. I bought it for $5, which turned out to be TOTALLY worth it. This little guy is made by Joh. Fohn, which is apparently pretty rare because I can hardly find anything about that company online. I do know that it is German and pretty darn old.
I had a lot of people asking me questions about the Joh. Fohn mold and whether its sides matched up well. Turns out that this is super important in mold collecting. Molds should close up snugly and all edges should align, otherwise the value decreases drastically.
Another tip in mold collecting is that the larger and heavier a mold is, the more valuable. I found this out with my most favorite mold from this sale. It is a super large Santa that weighs 3 pounds!
The heavy hinge, along with clamps that kept the mold shut tight, made this piece the most collectible. It didn’t even have a maker’s mark, but its size and girth were enough. It also helped that the mold had such impressive detail inside. Reading about molds online made me realize that the more detail, the more desirable.
I bought this mold for $30, which made me nervous at the time. It ended up selling for $177! I could not be more thrilled, obviously. Here’s how all of the mold auctions went:
OK, so before one of you tries breaking into my house and stealing all of the cash I made on these, just know that the proceeds were used to buy George the otterhound.
I also used some of it to get my very first tattoo, a rabbit on my right forearm, which I may or may not be disowned by my parents for.
That’s it in progress. Also, I was totally THAT PERSON who wore a rabbit shirt while getting a rabbit tattoo. UGH.