Treasure Box Wednesday: the Road Less Traveled

In Sunday's post, we talked about how the Victorian look isn't particularly popular right now, so those of us who love romantic decorating can find some pretty amazing things at thrift stores.

This post will explain where some of that idea came from.

Saturday's thrifting was a late start for me, as I'd met my buddy Scoobie in the Strip District of Pittsburgh (no stripping involved!) for lunch and some wholesale food shopping.

I had thought, given I was hitting the stores in the late afternoon instead of mid-morning, that the thrifts would be as picked clean as road kill in vulture territory.

I have no problem admitting I was wrong.

The first thing I spied at the Red White and Blue thrift store was this small, deep Victorian pickle dish...
Made in Austria and partially handpainted, I had a hard time believing this was just sitting on the shelf with the bakeware and serving bowls, and not nestled somewhere safe on the shelves behind the counter.

Guess our scantily clad nymph was a bit much for the locals...

Anyway, it was a surprise find, and needed to be rescued.

Heading down to the second level of the store, that's when I came across this large alabaster table lamp...

Ones at 2/3s the size of this go for around $100 at antique malls, and here I found this much larger one-- in pearlescently beautiful condition-- in a thrift store. It was the second find to blow the mind just a bit. It was 3:30 in the afternoon. How could it still be there waiting for me?

And then was my "inkling" find at the Goodwill. By now it was about 5:30 in the evening and I was heading home. A shelf of planters revealed this pretty leaf planter which I had a very good feeling about...
It reminded me strongly of two McCoy pieces I have-- taller ones, but a similar glaze, similar style and color. It wasn't marked on the bottom, but at $1.99 I didn't really care whether it was or wasn't McCoy, because I thought it would look terrific with the other two.

I had a sneaking suspicion, though...
Here you can see it with its buddies.

Upon going home, I sat in my favorite chair and reveled in my good fortune. And then I pulled out my McCoy collector's book. Boy, it never hurts to have good reference books for the things you collect!-- And I was rewarded. The unmarked vase was, absolutely, the real McCoy.

Right now it sits on my mantle, looking very much at home with its cousins. Yee-haw!

Oh, and lastly-- just because I'm finally feeling happy about it (largely because the hard work is done), I wanted to show you all the finished mantle in my one spare room...
All the bits of plaster and grouting and the newspapers and painter's tape (and frustrations) have been wiped away, leaving me with a lovely, calm and quite French sitting room. The cute little blue lamps on the mantle came from the L&L Fleatique in Adamsburg/Jeannette, and the mantle mirror was an Ebay find-- it's a new piece, not an antique, but I think it tops everything off pretty nicely. I'd wanted something that was already painted so I wasn't defacing any antique pieces.

Well, that wraps it up for this Treasure Box! So, here's hoping as you choose your path in your treasure hunting travels, you uncover the things no one else wants-- but which you absolutely love.

Sometimes being eccentric has its benefits!

And maybe I'll see you folks on Sunday. That is, if you aren't out scouting for buried treasure.

15 comments:

JD at I Do Things said...

All of your finds are beautiful. I love that green bowl. You have such a good eye for things. I tend to stumble around those antique shops and never know what's "good" or not. I guess "good" is whatever you like!

Jenn Thorson said...

JD- "Good is whatever you like"... Couldn't have said it better. It's absolutely true.

Knowing what you like DOES help when you go into antique shops and thrift stores. That and being sort of consistent in the kinds of things you like.

Sometimes I'll see fellow shoppers with a whole cart of things that look like they go together. You can tell immediately that that person knows their own taste and has a plan.

Vonlipi said...

Congratulations on those amazing finds! Especially the McCoy! How cool is that? Wow

Da Old Man said...

Nice score on the McCoy.

Color me surprised that you managed to find a lamp.

Jenn Thorson said...

Vonlipi- I admit to a certain sense of cat-like smugness about the great luck of that McCoy piece. :)

DaOldMan- Ah, you MUST be feeling more like yourself again-- I recognize that old familiar sarcasm. :) Lovely to see ya again, OldMan!

vintagesue said...

i think that little pickle dish was too much of a dish for those locals too!!! what do they know??? i think she's perfect!! i would have snagged that up too!!!
love the other finds and your mantle is elegant and fabulous!
thanks for the post....
sue

Jenn Thorson said...

Sue- You made me laugh because it's funny you mention it being "too much of a dish"-- the cashier exclaimed, "There's a naked lady in your dish!" And I had to actually think-- is she naked? Well, not EXACTLY... I think he was a little scandalized and couldn't quite see why I'd want the dish.

What I didn't say was, "But the dish is about 100 years old!"

And heck, if only we all looked so good in gauze at 100, right? :)

Shirley said...

Your mantle is beautiful! I love that lamp too!

Tami said...

fantastic!! i recently put back a rosewood vase becuz it wasn't marked and i figured i was wrong about it. i googled all nite and discovered i was right!! guess what?- not there the next day :( strike while the iron is hot!

down comforter said...

LOVE the table lamp - can't go wrong with alabaster :)

Jenn Thorson said...

Shirley- Hey, thank you! It's been a lot of fun.

Tami- Ohhh noooo... I'm sorry about the loss of the Rosewood, but how could you know? The only Rosewood I've ever seen at the thrifts was badly damaged and way overpriced. And even so, someone bought it! I guess for the name alone.

Andrea said...

That excites me to hear that the Victorian look isn't very popular right now, because that, of course, means more for me too!! (:
(: (: I'm smiling all the way to Goodwill! I love that dish! Wow! It is gorgeous. The fireplace is fantastic! I've never seen a blue fireplace...you little eccentric thing, you!!! We need to have an eccentric convention...wouldn't that be a hoot! Seriously, you should be proud of how nice your fireplace turned out. You continue to inspire us!

Jenn Thorson said...

Andrea- Interestingly, the Victorian fireplaces in our area all have tile in vivid colors. I went on a house tour a few years ago of local homes from the 1860s-turn of 1900 and the older ones all had mottled colored tile in navy, burgundy, hunter green and black, and as the homes became "newer," ones like mine toward 1900 had the same style of tiles but in pastels. Like the original fireplace in my home has mint green tile which I LOVE.

I was hoping to find pale blue tile in our architectural salvage store, but they only had a handful of tiles that would work in stock-- and I needed a lot more of them.

Ben said...

I love the Victorian look. That fireplace at the end is just beautiful. I wonder why it's not very popular right now. It all boasts excellent craftsmanship. I might have to try and get my hands on some pieces while the prices are good. Thanks for the tip!

marge said...

I don't know if previous comment went through so I'll say it again,Of all the blogs I have explored yours is the best. I am going to read all your blogs.Enjoying so much. I feel that Victorian style will soon be coming back but I hope. not too soon...as you said there are more treasures for us.