Thursday, October 28, 2010

Antiquing Roadtrip

I grew up with a flea market/resale shop/garage sale addicted Grandmother. She always made second hand shopping fun by renaming stores like The Kidney Foundation (proceeds of sales benefited the organization) to "Kennedy Fashion" and taking me out for antipasto salad after our shopping excursions. Throughout the 80's I shopped with her, mostly for clothes and accessories and over the years found some beautiful pieces: dresses from the 50's, leather go-go boots from the 60's, 70's black suede pants, jackets from the 40's and beautiful leather bags. When I left Chicago in 1990 to attend Ohio University I discovered antique malls and small antique shops in the small towns of Ohio, each one was full of all sorts of treasures.

At 22 I moved back to Chicago and rented a little apartment but being a single mom had very little money to decorate. Searching garage sales, resale shops and antique stores for art work, dishes and furniture was a fun and economical way to decorate my home. Over the years I've become a little more choosy about what I buy and lean more towards antiques and estate sales over garage sales. Because I'm also a bit of a Gypsy and move every few years I don't clutter up my house with knick knacks, holiday decorations or cheap collectibles.

I had a few days off last week and my parents and I spent the weekend antiquing in Indiana and Michigan. I collect rare books, 18th and 19th century paintings and prints (portraits and hunting), silver plated goblets, jewelery, small lamps and glassware. To meet my criteria the piece needs to be either practical or beautiful.

Below are pictures of a few of my finds from last weekend. Not pictured a 19th century copy of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Volume 1 bought for $2!
I bought 4 of the small aperitif glasses, 4 tulip shaped water goblets and 2 wine goblets. I found them at the Coachman Antique Mall, 500 Lincolnway and Up Towne Shoppes, 623 State Street, both in LaPorte Indiana. Total paid was under $50 for 10 silver plated cups, not including the silver polish I need to shine them up. Why serve water or wine in a boring glass from Target!

2 antique hunting prints, framed. Total for both was $60. Bought at the charming and beautifully displayed Millie's Antiques, 13815 Red Arrow Highway, Harbert Michigan, a few miles north of downtown Union Pier. The detail is stunning and the hunting dogs in the prints remind me of my beagle Eloise.
I found 2 of these small lamps at The Antique Market, 3707 N.E. Frontage Road, Michigan City Indiana. Total price for 2 lamps was $22.00. They have the softest glow and fit perfectly under a kitchen counter or nestled into a bookshelf.

My favorite find of the year, this all gold cigar band style cameo ring found at an antique store in Charleston, South Carolina. It's my favorite piece of jewelry and the piece people comment on the most when I wear it.

So do you antique, resale shop or stop by every garage sale you see? If so, share your favorites! I'm looking forward to buying my next home, possibly a small vacation cottage in Southwest Michigan and am excited to start hunting for antique furniture and art.

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