A little over a week ago, I received an email telling me about an antique mall just north of Pittsburgh, which I'd never heard of before-- the Wexford General Store Antique Center. With two floors and a number of dealers, it seemed a worthwhile little day trip. And honestly, given it's "Construction Season" here in Pittsburgh, there seemed very few places BUT north I would be able to reach without becoming ensnared in four-hour bumper-to-bumper backups. So a quick visit to RandMcNally and some driving directions from there to another antique mall I already knew of north of the city, and the adventure had begun.
It turns out, the Wexford General Store contains a rather delightful collection of dealers' wares. Strolling around the former general store's rooms ended up being a pleasant, relaxing visit. Many of the dealers had their items arranged with a real eye for presentation.
I became merrily waylayed in a series of rooms filled with new and antique books, for instance, entranced by art nouveau book covers and leather spines... Children's cheery picture books and thick historical tomes... I liked the little book-related vignettes, too, that had been crafted and displayed here and there. Like the Scrabble tiles below with their message about education...
There was a room entirely devoted to vintage clothing, and it felt like stepping straight into the past...
And there were antique and collectible items for essentially any interest, all showcased with the attention and care you don't always see in resale establishments.
I didn't buy much during my visit, only because there really isn't much I need these days. Just a Patricia Cornwell book analyzing the "Jack the Ripper" case (historically, that case and the mystery of the Richard III and the princes in the tower are the two that always seem to intrigue me). I also found some lovely early 1900s postcards of actresses I plan to research and share with you all at some future date...
Next on the agenda was a twenty minute drive to Wagon Wheel Antiques in Valencia, PA. A detour due to, yes, road construction, led me somewhat astray from my driving directions. But with a bit of reorientation and some luck, I managed to arrive at the Wagon Wheel without much added trouble.
The Wagon Wheel consists of a main house and number of outbuildings containing booths. The prices are good and the people who work there are quite nice.
I've gotten a few portrait plates here in the past, and my friend Josette had found a Staffordshire-like cat for her collection.
As a part of a long-time running joke with my friend Scoobie, I felt compelled to take a picture of the giant Blueboy statue in one of the outbuildings...
I think I might threaten to make a Christmas gift of it to her, to go along with the needlepoint Blueboy, porcelain Blueboy plaque, art deco Blueboy, and other Blueboy items that have already been forced on her for the collection she never really planned to have. (Insert maniacal laughter here... ) (Hey, if you can't give your friends a hard time, who can you torment?)
But I found a few non-Blueboy goodies at the Wagon Wheel, actually-- some early 1900s lusterware kitchen canisters very similar to a few I picked up a few years ago. I understand from the dealer that these canisters were a part of a much larger set that got badly damaged when some of the store's guests mistreated it and scarpered. He just came to find a number of the pieces destroyed.
At least now the remaining canisters have gone to a good home!
In another building, I found a World War II souvenir pillow cover for $3. This one is for the Navy and reads:
It is sweet to be remembered
When you're feeling sad and blue
It sets the pulse a throbbing
And it cheers the heart up, too
It makes the world worth living
To be remembered just by you.
The vendor I bought this from was asking what I planned to do with it, and I'd explained how these resided in my Shabby Chic/Cottagey guest room.
I think I perplexed her a bit when I relayed how entertained I always was by the strange combination of delicate pink roses and heavy weaponry on them.
With a full turn around the Wagon Wheel, it was time to get in the car and head another ten miles or so further north to Butler. There are a number of antique shops on and just off Main Street in Butler, so it seemed worthwhile to play them a visit.
I stopped at a St. Vincent dePaul along the way, and would have bought a piece of milkglass, but the cashier was nowhere to be found, so I ended up just putting it back and going...
And then it was on to downtown Butler. Folks considering doing this run, will want to keep in mind that many of the Butler shops close early on Saturdays-- usually around 3pm. So by the time I got there, two shops had already closed.
I did get an excellent old Spry cookbook for $1 which I think you'll get a kick out of in future posts. Aunt Jenny of Spry has lots of old timey wisdom -- in cartoon form, no less-- to share with us.
Well, that about wraps up our trip for today. For those interested, the addresses of the Wexford General Store and the Wagon Wheel in Valencia can be found here:
Wexford General Store Antique Center
150 Church Road
Wexford, Pennyslvania 15090
Wagon Wheel Antiques
1399 Pittsburgh Rd (Route 8)
- For folks who missed Wednesday post where a meme asked "What's on YOUR walls?", click here to see.