Trust Your Thriftstincts: Brass Mirror of Dreams

Earlier this week, I made my way to a charity sale that consisted of items leftover from estate sales. Basically, all of the items not sold at several estate sales had been donated to a local charity, which then held its own “estate” sale (it was actually in a warehouse). It’s kind of funny that I go to so many sales, I actually recognized several pieces from estates I had been to in recent months.

Anyway, here’s what I scored. I initially walked out with a slew of little tchotchkes: A gold Mexican mask (I have a large silver one just like it); a mid-century bull sculpture; some great iron book ends that look like little men; vintage jewelry; and a vintage leather MCM bag. All of the above were $6-$8 each.

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And THEN, as I was walking out, a gorgeous mirror caught my eye. I stared at it for a few minutes, then walked out with just my small stuff. No less than ten minutes later, I picked up my boyfriend and turned around the car to scoop up said mirror. Good thing I did. Turns out, it’s a vintage brass Chapman piece (the same one was auctioned off for $700, but 1st Dibs sellers are asking $3,000+). I plunked down $24 for this gorgeous thang. Trust your thriftstincts, ALWAYS. If you like something, and it’s affordable, buy it. You always regret the vintage you didn’t buy.

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Goodwill Finds

Another great weekend spent thrifting. Here’s what I found:

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  • Art Deco-style clock, clearly made in the late ’80s/early ’90s, by Empire Art, a Miami company. If you are lucky enough, you might find items at a thrift store with original tags attached. This one had an Empire Art sticker so I was able to easily track down the provenance. This piece is seriously so fun and I’ll be listing it on Chairish this week (though I’d happily keep it for myself).

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  • Hammered brass footed platter. This was my favorite find of the weekend — and that’s before I took off the tag and found the signature. It’s signed by Egidio Casagrande, a midcentury Italian designer/metalworker. I love the little feet and it’s a large piece (measures over a foot across), so it would make a dramatic centerpiece or look fabulous on a kitchen counter. His work is fairly well-known and some pieces have even been auctioned off (his work usually prices within the $400-$1,300 range so finding this for $2.99 was, yes, a good find).

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  •  Painted fish vase by Italica ARS, a well-known (in collector circles) Italian pottery maker.

 

 

Turning Tables

Came upon a pretty stellar find over the weekend if I do say so myself. Not one, not two…but FOUR gorgeous tables attributed to Charles Hollis Jones. A console, a coffee table, and two side tables, each with lucite legs, brass accents, and glass tops. Major Hollywood Regency vibes with these babies.IMG_1532

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Oh— and did I mention the price? The two side tables were $9.99 each, and the larger two were $19.99 each. So my grand total was around $63.

Annnnnddd here are the side tables on Chairish:

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And here’s one side table and the coffee table on sale for $5,500:

 

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Recent Finds: My Name is Burl

I am the estate sale queen, no doubt about it. I often research estate sales weeks in advance, getting to a house sometimes hours before a sale starts to get my name on the list. The early bird truly does catch the worm when it comes to a great sale.

Case in point: My recent Burl wood finds. Whoa, nelly. Buckle up. These are some major finds.

I was number four in line to go to a magnificent home on the river in Jacksonville. The homeowner had some truly luscious collectibles (I also came away with an enormous brass panther) but I had my eye on two specific pieces of furniture: a Burl wood and chrome coffee table and matching side table. The pieces are by Drexel (signed), and I am fairly certain they are attributed to Milo Baughman, who worked at Drexel for a time. I am a huge Milo Baughman fan and a huge Burl wood fan. These pieces are truly amazing and I got both for an insane price (coffee table: $200, side table: $100).

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A few weeks ago, I got three other beautiful burl wood pieces at a separate sale: An insane armoire (I plan on using it in the dining room, as a liquor cabinet) and TWO matching side tables (which will look beautiful on either side of an upholstered bed). The armoire was $125 and the two tables were $125. They have mirrored accents which I adore. I’m drowning in burl at this point, but it’s a good way to go.

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I love the look of burl wood incorporated into a home with more modern furnishings. It’s a beautiful contrast (the Architectural Digest image below features a Milo Baghman coffee table and side table):

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And to think, I bought all five of these pieces for $550, or less than a quarter of the price of just one Burl wood Jonathan Adler table.

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PS. I am thinking of selling the Drexel coffee table and side table, though I haven’t made my mind up yet. I use Chairish to sell some of my pieces that I bought, loved, and realized I don’t have a home for so they might wind up there!

 

 

Two New Paintings

I was unfamiliar with the artist of these two behemoths (they are both four feet tall) before I bought them, but now I love her work. Very early Alex Katz. Her name is Nancy Denison and there is an absolute slew of her stuff on ebay. Fortunately, I scored these for $100 (for both). Which is an insane price for signed, numbered art in gorgeous frames.

And I love a 90s painting. Super feminine and the large scale is so wonderful. These need to be hung side by side.

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Catch and Release

Recent finds that I saw, loved, and ultimately didn’t buy. Will I regret it? Will I wind up seeing one of the below items on Antiques Roadshow for $5 million? Only time will tell.

First up, a really chunky and glamorous brass lamp with a bow on it. Reminds me of this Chapman piece. It was $4.99. Why didn’t I get this again?

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Next, we have another lamp. This one is mid-century and kind of sexy and masculine. Those lightbulbs are awful. I didn’t check to see if there’s a way to unscrew the top and switch out those lightbulbs…I can picture it with some tiny circular bulbs. (This was I think $8 or $10).

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Chinoiserie vase! Chinoiserie is always big but it’s definitely having a resurgence lately. This was a nice, big piece. Several feet tall. Small chip but who cares if you can’t see it? It was like $12.

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Chairish

I recently started selling some vintage goodies on Chairish, one of my favorite websites. All of the merchandise on the site is tightly curated, so pretty much everything is gorgeous. I’ve been fortunate to come across some beautiful pieces lately.

Here are some of the goods currently on my Chairish page:

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Vintage soldier bottle / Signed poster  / Brass antelopes / Vintage Rustic Metal Banana (which seems like it would fit right in with the beautiful, beachy pieces at Look Linger Love‘s new Bahamas home)

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Fashion Finds: Vintage Boleros

I have long had a love affair with boleros and cropped jackets — they are easy to throw on and add so much interest to an otherwise casual ensemble. My favorite way to wear them is with a vintage tee or plain bodysuit and jeans.

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I scored this fabulous fringe number at a vintage shop in Palm Springs, California last year. Palm Springs is vintage MECCA (especially if you’re into ’60s, mid-century modern), but the wares tend to be pricier. Fortunately, I got this piece for just $40.

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This is a gorgeous vintage velvet Emanuel Ungaro cropped jacket. I am always on the hunt for Ungaro at estate sales and thrift stores because it is so detailed and usually very over-the-top ’80s and ’90s (think shoulder pads and major floral prints). This piece has some pretty detailed embroidery, and it looks very current thanks to the material (velvet is huge right now). Love it with a vintage tee and mom jeans.

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And this is my latest, maybe favorite, piece. I love a statement sleeve and this jacket seriously looks like it came from the collection of Isa Arfen or Johanna Ortiz (two favorite designers). I scored this beauty at an estate sale over the weekend. Found it stuck in the back of a closet, pulled it triumphantly out of a pile of junk, and asked, “How much?” They gave it to me for 75 cents.

 

 

Fashion Finds: Sick Shoes

I love a good Nordstrom Rack find and I was lucky enough to score three of ’em this week! Behold, the current-season Gucci pearl sandals:

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And the Proenza PS1 chain wallet, which is an ideal little, fuss-free bag. I’m wearing it with my third find, Alexander Wang mom jeans. Super comfy and the fit is spot-on.

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So here’s my Rack secret: Look for items labeled “altered or refinished.” These are typically returns from the full-line store (Nordstrom has a notoriously wonderful return policy, so you can return anything to any of their stores). They aren’t even damaged or “altered” as the tag suggests, but they are usually current-season items. The shoes above, for instance, are on Nordstrom.com for $695 currently. I got ’em for $199.

Oh an pssstt. The Rack’s Clear the Rack sale starts TODAY. That means lots of goodies are marked 25% off. Get to shoppin’.