Thursday, August 04, 2011

American Pickers Got Nothin' on Me

Of course I love watching American Pickers.  They do what I do.  Except I don't travel all over the country, just the tri-state area.  And I don't climb in barns because NWA doesn't really have a lot of barns.  And I don't have a Danielle. I am Frank, Mike AND Danielle in my operation.  But do I find cool stuff?  Yes, Ma'am, I do.

The other day, I was going through old files and found a stash of photos I had saved of some of my favorite scores of all time.

1.  The 1950s dress.  I confess I don't remember much about where I found this dress.  But I do remember that it was patterned after Jackie Kennedy Onassis'  wedding dress and that it sold for well over $200.  I paid...$2.

2. This is a designer dress, created in 1980s...see the shoulder pads?  I found it on the floor at an estate sale and thought it looked interesting.  It sold for over $80.   I paid.....25 cents.

3.  At the beginning of the vintage camera craze, this Polaroid something model B was prized for it's special lens.  I found it at a grungy mechanic garage with two sad little tables out beside it full of even more grungy junk.  This looked like it had been fished out of a dumpster. It sold for over $75.  I paid....50 cents.

4.  It was one of those piping hot Arkansas summer days when a neighbor in our old neighborhood had a garage sale a block and a half away from me.  This copper pitcher spoke to me out of the pile of stuff on a trailer the guy had brought out from his dad's place.  It was purchased by a museum in Delaware for 40 some dollars.  I paid...50 cents.

5.  This is an Atomic Lamp from the early 1960s.  I found it at the Salvation Army in Fayetteville early one Saturday morning.  Can't even imagine why I was there early on a Saturday morning, but I was.  I spotted the exact same lamp in the movie "The Devil Wears Prada" (which was a horrible movie, btw.)   I paid a whopping 10 dollars for this lamp...much more than I normally spend.  I sold it for $300.

6. This is a signed piece of Higgins glass, a mid-century maker from Michigan.  I found it at a garage sale where they didn't even have tables...just a bunch of trinkets set on top of plastic storage bins...which usually keeps me from stopping.  I was in between sales, however, and hadn't seen one for a while, so I stopped.  In a sea of novelty salt and pepper shakers, this stood out to me.  One recently sold on Ebay for $75. I recall that I got about that much.  I paid...75 cents.

7. Oh the mid-century lounge chair. I've had many of you in the past 10 years. But this one was just one of four with a matching settee that my friend alerted me about on the curb in Michigan.  The settee remains the single largest item I have shipped...from Lansing to Cincinnati via Greyhound bus.   Wasn't until about the 3rd one that I sold that I realized this fine model could be disassembled by removing just four screws, resulting in a lovely, flat package that met USPS limits.  You can see the Danish symbol in the front right corner...a mark that still makes my heart flutter a little.  You already know they were free...I sold them for $200 - $375. 

8. This is a piece of Edwardian net lace with copper embroidery.  I found it at an Arkansas estate sale run by a certain dealer who doesn't often let goods slip through his fingers.  He sold me this with a pile of silk scarves for less than a dollar.   I sold it for $119. 

9. This is a dogwood plate made of Majolica, c. 1890s.  I was on my way home from  dropping Sara Christenson (then Williams) off at the airport when we still lived in Bentonville when I saw a sign for this garage sale, being held in a storage unit.  I had taken a quarter off the kitchen counter on my way out the door and it was all I had on me. (It was probably all we had in the world at that time!)  The man was asking 50 cents but it was after noon on a Saturday and he was clearly tired of trying to sell this old lady's stuff and he took my quarter. Imagine my delight when it sold for over $400.   

10.  And finally, the mac-daddy of them all.  This was when we still had just one car and Robb was working at Family Christian Store.  I could go out for an hour or two if I got up early to hit a few sales before he had to go to work.  I found this at an estate sale in Johnson in a neighborhood I'm not even sure is safe in the dark.  I paid two dollars for this pictorial map of Nantucket by Ruth Haviland Sutton.  It sold for over $700.

And huh....I just realized I forgot to tell you about the diamond I found for a dime....


Into Vintage said...

This is such an inspiring post to everyone who thrifts & resells -- have you considered linking it up to some of the other thrifting blogs? They'll be green with envy (and inspired!). I'd love to know more about the process of shipping furniture via Greyhound -- I have a garageful of it. :-)

Ness said...

Greyhound isn't flawless, but it is an alternative to freight. They have those big luggage bays and if they are not full, they will take a big box off your hands. You have to take the piece to a bus station and the buyer has to pick up from the bus station. It's been a while since I did it, but it is kind of a green way to ship, really. And it wasn't horribly expensive.

Sally said...

wow!!!! I should show Jeremy this post! I love going to the thrift shops around here in Japan and I love buying stuff for 50 yen(used to be like 50 cents, now more coz of the lower rate of dollar to yen) I would come home and show Jeremy what I found and I would ask him to guess how much it is to the point that he got tired hearing of 50 yen and asked me if everything is just 50 yen to me, hahaha, the other day I found Noritake coffe cups and saucers for just 20 yen each!!!! Ive been collecting a lot of Japanese tea cups over the years that Ive been thinking of taking pictures and blogging about all of it, it is just so pretty. Today my friend and I drag a kitchen shelf home, she got it for $200, it would sell for $800 at the store. Im sure you would fall in love with Japans thrift stores too. Please be on the look out for wax seal stamps whenever you go to estate sales. Thanks!

Sara said...

you definitely have a talent :)

natalie said...

you... are amazing. the end.

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