Virginia Is For Thrifters!

My husband and I took a weekend trip down the shore to Virginia Beach a couple of weekends ago. Our intention was to sit on our beachfront balconies and decompress, maybe eat some seafood (great crab cakes, ya know!) and hang out with some new friends. We did all that. But I also found time to hit a thrift store or two and even a garage sale.

At the ONE garage sale I went to that Saturday afternoon, I was delighted to find a seller anxious to rid himself of everything. When I inquired about an old desk, he quoted $2 as the price. When I repeated the price back to him he immediately changed it to $1. Great. But I only had a $100 bill on me. “Load it,” he said.

What I REALLY was interested in was a dresser that had seen better days, with an awkward paint color and missing handles (original or otherwise) and bib on the bottom (which is in one of the drawers). “What about this?” I asked. “Load it,” he replied.

So they loaded both pieces into my rental van and off I went. Two free pieces of furniture. For me. A furniture hoarder, er, collector. What a great day.

Youngsville dresser destined for a new life

Youngsville dresser destined for a new life

This piece was delivered to a furniture dealer in Washington, D.C.

This piece was delivered to a furniture dealer in Washington, D.C.

So I bring them home. I start researching. The desk is nondescript and needs a new front/hinged panel. I’m not sure what I’ll do with it/who I’ll pawn it off on.

But the dresser! The first thing I noticed, as they were loading it up even, was that it had a label stapled to the back.

The label indicates that the piece originated at the Youngsville Manufacturing Company, Youngsville, PA. And it was delivered to Hutchison Inc. in Washington, D.C.

Youngsville Manufacturing Company has an interesting past, which includes incorporation in 1835. In 1896 they burned to the ground, and a new building started in 1898. In 1956, Youngsville Manufacturing was destroyed again.

All I was able to find out about Hutchison Inc. is that they were located at 2004-06 Fourteenth St., N.W. in D.C. in 1945. So not much.

What would you guess the age of this little gem to be? I am GUESSING that it is from the ’20s or ’30s. The legs say so but what do I know?

I don’t know what color I’ll paint it or when I’ll even get to it. (I’m a hoarder, ya know.) But its future is bright. Very bright.

$1 Vintage Light Fixtures Need New Life

Vintage Porcelain Sconce Before A Cleaning

Vintage Porcelain Sconce Before A Cleaning

Heavy cast antique sconce with outlet

Heavy cast antique sconce with outlet

There was an amazing yard sale over the weekend in Ellicott City, Maryland. The online ad boasted tons of antiques and motivated sellers. Unfortunately, I didn’t go to that sale FIRST. By the time I got there at 11:00 a.m. there were just a few items left and these two light fixtures were the best things remaining. (I also got a cedar-lined trunk for $3, but that’s a different story.) When I asked the property owner about their origins, he said he and his wife had found them in the basement of the home they were remodeling, so we assumed that they were original to his house. They weren’t much to look at, the porcelain one had at least four coats of paints brushed up on it throughout the years and was pretty dingy. But it cleaned up well!
I’m not sure if I’m going to use them in my home, sell them or repurpose them. My husband’s uncle bends neon, so there might be a fun project there somewhere. Stay tuned. 🙂
Vintage Porcelain Wall Sconce After a Cleaning

Vintage Porcelain Wall Sconce After a Cleaning

Manhattan Laundry Bag in the Bag

Vintage Manhattan Laundry Bag - Dupont 1111.

Vintage Manhattan Laundry Bag – Dupont 1111.

Exciting find from this weekend’s favorite estate sale in Silver Spring, Maryland. I found this bag in the bottom of a closet, most assuredly headed for the dump after the sale. They cared so little about it that they didn’t even charge me for it. I’m only sad I didn’t grab the other, less sexy bag that accompanied this one. The hunt continues!

Ships by Edwin Lamasure Sang To Me

Antique print bought at Cottage Antiques in Ellicott City, Maryland.

Antique print bought at Cottage Antiques in Ellicott City, Maryland.

I took a few humanities courses through high school and college but don’t consider myself “educated” when it comes to art. I like what I like.
I bought this print, Ships by E. Lamasure, at Cottage Antiques in Ellicott City, Maryland recently and I didn’t waste any time in getting it home and up on my wall. I love its moodiness and reminder that even the most mundane image on water is beautiful.
It was framed by A.H. Grape & Co. in Baltimore, Maryland many years ago. The back of it is in rough shape but I’m loathe to “fix” it if it means I have to get rid of the A.H. Grape label.
E. Lamasure signature, Ships print

E. Lamasure signature, Ships print

Topper Table Is Tops in Gypsy Life

Convertible table

Antique card table from the ’40s or ’50s.

This little beauty was discovered at a consignment shop in Glen Burnie, MD. When I brought it up to the register, the clerk said, “Oh! Finally someone’s taking that little guy home!”. So I guess it’s beauty is lost on a lot of people.
No bother, as it’s perfect for our constant-moving life.
It’s basically a glorified TV tray, only older and bigger. Its surface measures almost 27″ squared. It folds up to practically nothing. Made by Topper Products out of Lowell, Massachusetts. It’s called a Bridge Table, a nod to yesterday’s social past-time. My Grannie played bridge for many decades; it was the thing to do in her day.
The top features a floral needlepoint design. It’s in original condition and is most likely from the 1940s or 1950s.
Antique

Back of Topper Bridge Table

Antique TV tray / card table

Antique TV tray / card table

Topper Table Label

Topper Table Label

Mission-Style Magazine Rack Finds New Purpose

I’m all about making old things relevant again. Form can have many functions, and I’m intent on keeping an open mind to how something old can be useful in other ways.
I picked up this Mission-style magazine rack in Baltimore recently. I paid more than I usually do for impulse buys (this was $30) but I still think I got a great deal. It appears to be homemade. No dovetail joints, nothing fancy, but it’s maker carved their signature on the bottom: “H. Nesbitt Jr.”.
I don’t subscribe to magazines anymore. But I do need a pretty and functional filing system for the paperwork I carry with me from state to state. This fabulous find works perfectly.
But who is H. Nesbitt Jr.?
Nesbitt Mission Magazine Rack

Biltmore Table Always Makes The Move

Biltmore (Miami) Biltex tile shot

Biltmore (Miami) Biltex label

Biltmore (Miami) Biltex leg bottom

Biltmore (Miami) Biltex leg screw

Biltmore (Miami) Biltex tile side shot

Biltmore (Miami) Biltex tableThis little beauty found me at an estate sale in suburban St. Louis fifteen years ago. I can’t remember if I paid $1.00 or $3.00 for it, but it doesn’t really matter as it’s worth so much more than either price.
My husband is a consultant, which means that we travel a lot. We’ve lived in a dozen different residences during our almost-9-year marriage, so we’ve almost perfected the “light move”. One requirement, we’ve found, is furniture and comfort items that don’t take up much space. This little table fits the bill, largely because the legs unscrew, making it take up no room at all. So we always have space for it, even if we’re only packing the 4Runner for a three-month assignment. It has not only survived those moves across the country, but it looks just as fabulous as the day I bought it. It has served as a nightstand, an end table, a printer stand, and myriad other uses.
It measures 15″ squared on the top and is 17″ tall. It boasts Biltex vinyl on the top, which really, really looks like tile. The label on the bottom identifies it as being made by the Biltmore Manufacturing Company in Miami, Florida. I can’t find much info on that company (something I should have looked into when we lived there for 18 months), but can say that the table is mid-century modern, making its origins date to 1940 to 1960. I’d guess it was made closer to 1960.
I see other Biltmore Biltex tables at flea markets and antique shops from time to time. Usually they are two or three nesting tables whose tops are designed with gold flecks and butterflies. They are usually somewhat triangular. I’ve never seen another like mine.
Don’t pass these babies by if you come across them. They’re not all that treasured now but I would guess that they’ll hold their value if cared for properly. And let’s not forget how fabulous and easy to travel with they are.

Blue Grass Pastures by Paul Starrett Sample

Blue Grass Pastures

In an effort to track down more information about this charming print, I called the C&O Historical Society. They were incredibly friendly and helpful, and here’s what they said:”The print appears to be of one of the paintings that was commissioned by the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway for use in the new cars on their post-war streamliner that was to be instituted between Washington and Cincinnati for daylight travel from serving the major cities along that route, but to primarily to provide convenient daylight arrival at White Sulphur Springs, WV to serve guests of The Greenbrier, C&O’s famous resort. The train was to be called The Chessie and while its equipment was all built and delivered to the C&O in 1948, the passenger train market was drastically changing, with air travel coming into favor, and the train was never actually operated as intended. Some of the equipment served on C&O for a short period, as they waited delivery for other new equipment that was designed to modernize their other long-distance mainline passenger trains. Eventually almost all of the cars from the 1948 group were sold to other railroads and served well into the 1970s and even went into Amtrak service in 1971.

Generally,each of the coaches built for The Chessie, had a display case incorporated in its interior to contain and exhibit original paintings of scenes along the C&O route that the train would travel. The Paul Sample painting was one of those pieces of art. C&O had art prints, suitable for framing, produced for all of the paintings in the collection and they were available to persons who were interested in obraining them. Whether they were sold or provided as gifts, I am not certain, and I am not sure how many were produced. The B&O Museum in Baltimore sold prints in their gift shop in the late 1960s and 70s.”

The question remains: Where is the original?

As of today, this post is the only record in cyberland of this particular work by Sample.

Trawling for Treasures in Coral Gables

One recent Saturday in Coral Gables found me at a garage sale close to the University of Miami campus. The sale was being run by two sisters in their 80s, and one of their daughters. The women were Southern and had all of the charm you would expect. From what I gathered, their husbands had passed, as they were selling men’s clothes along with their colorful clothing, various furniture and other fabulous items. I bought a few things and returned the next day to check it out again. On the second day, I grabbed up some fabulous designer clothes (one of the sisters was quite the entertainer in her day) and various items. As I was leaving, one of the sisters directed me to a couple of wood balusters. “My husband and I bought these over 50 years ago when they were tearing down an old mansion in Charlotte,” she explained. “We planned to make them into lamps and he even sanded them down to get them ready…” she trailed off.
The home she was talking about was the Edward Dilworth Latta mansion which was demolished in 1965. These heart pine balusters are bulky, heavy and pretty fabulous in their simplicity. She was worried that no one would take them and strongly suggested I fulfill their plan to make them into lamps. I couldn’t guarantee I would, naturally, but I’m a sucker for provenance and after agreeing on a price I brought them home. I reached out to an architectural salvage company in Charlotte later that week but they were not interested. So the question becomes, “What do I do with them now?”

Edward Dilworth Latta Mansion Balusters

Edward Dilworth Latta Mansion Balusters

Edward Dilworth Latta Mansion

Edward Dilworth Latta Mansion

Goldberg Surfside Estate Art

In March, I went to an estate sale in Surfside, where I bought a (baby) painting and two (dog) charcoals signed by Goldberg. I think the artist was a family member. The estate was left to charity, so there was no family to collect these works. Along with the pieces, I also got a family photo album that gave them at least a little provenance (one or more articles in the album mentioned the Goldberg name).
I think they’re cute and figure they must have been important to someone to have been kept for so long. One of these days I’ll figure out where to display them.

Poor baby

Poor baby

Puppies 01

Puppies 01

Puppies 02

Puppies 02