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.
Holy Grail: Zuni Fetish Necklace
So Sarah and I are up in the Traverse City area this week on vacation, and besides eating deep fried Oreos, we are also busy treasure hunting. We’ve found many blog-worthy things up here, so stay tuned. In the meantime, I saw a “holy grail” item in person today that I will be thinking about for a long time…
While in Leland, MI we saw this tiny store called Tampico. It turned out to be my dream come true, which Sarah was certainly thrilled by. She finally left me at the store to go venture elsewhere because I had basically set up residence.
The store was mostly Zuni jewelry which I am obsessed with, as well as Mexican old pawn pieces and newer Michigan fossil jewelry. I was chatting with the owner about Zuni earrings when he mentioned a super rare Zuni fetishes necklace he had in the back.
I had seen Zuni fetishes before, and was actually looking at some in this store. I had never seen a fetishes necklace in person though. Ok, so before we get into that…
Zuni fetishes are little carved animals (out of fossils, mother of pearl, corals, rocks, etc.) that represent guardian animals and important tribal icons. They are cool and adorable. The necklace this man had was owned by an important member of the Zuni community, and it was made from fetishes collected for years by her family. He bought it out of her estate for an undisclosed amount, although I saw a price tag on it that said $980.
I obviously cannot afford this necklace so it will remain a holy grail for now. However, while in the back of the store looking at this, the owner mentioned some other Zuni jewelry he purchased out of this estate. He had yet to sort and price it, but agreed to show me anyway. I instantly fell in love with some handmade sterling and turquoise earrings. He offered them to me for $70, which is a steal. I’ve seen smaller and less impressive Zuni earrings for about $125.
Here they are:
They’re larger size, about 2 inches long each. And they look very cool on. After I bought them, I kept telling Sarah that I was “happy as a clam.” They really made my day!