What do you consider your best "collectible/antique" find?

Frederick, MD(Zone 7a)

My sister-in-law and I are always scouting out thrift shops, yard sales and flea markets. Last week I found a large Maxfield Parrish print, called Hilltop. Since it was half price day, I paid $27.50 for it! I was so tickled, I had to call my sister-in-law at work and tell her. So, what are some of your best "finds". I have a few more, but I'll wait to see if anyone is interested in posting their found treasures!

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Decatur, GA(Zone 7a)

My best find really isn't a find at all, but a huge surprise. Several years ago I was yard saling and came across a beautiful pink ceramic bowl filled with seashells for only $1. I immediately grabbed it because I had seen that bowl selling for $20 in the stores. I remember a lady next to me asking if I was going to buy the bowl, and I said yes. Well, I put the bowl on a side table and left it there, with the shells for a couple of years until I decided to reduce the number of shells I had. Since the bowl only had the large, flat shells in it, I dumped them on the floor to empty the bowl. Imagine my surprise when I saw an engagement ring on the floor! I thought it was a cubic zirconium, but my dh told me to take it to a jewelry store. The first thing the guy said was, "Well, I see a couple of flaws." He then told me that the flaws meant it was a real diamond! It's 3/4 carat, European cut. He said that someone must have put it in the bowl of shells for safe keeping and forgot where they put it. And, after 2 years, I had no idea where I got it. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. ;-)

Melvindale, MI(Zone 5a)

Wow, that's some story. Teriffic!!!

Frederick, MD(Zone 7a)

That is so neat. Now I'll be looking through all kinds of things for hidden jewelry. I like your best find story better than mine!!

Decatur, GA(Zone 7a)

I've read (but never had it happen to me) that people find money on the undersides of drawers and under the bottom of dressers and side tables. Another instance of hiding valuables and forgetting where its hidden.

Modesto, CA(Zone 8b)

I should be so lucky....LOL

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Here's a couple of mine.
The little plow is a salesman sample, paid $20.00
The car is 1960's Japan tin toy, paid $1.00
The corn isn't worth anything, just interesting. Golden Jewel variety. I have no idea how old it is.
I have a half of bushel of seed corn in the original bag, with a 1949 germination test date. Thought of planting some to see if it would grow, haven't got to that yet.

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So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Mine is a fluorescent Coca-Cola sign I bought years ago for $25. It's worth about $2,000 now. It is formed (etched? cut?) glass in the inside, and says "Please Pay When Served"...

Marysville, WA(Zone 7a)

The most recent find was a large number of Fostoria pieces at an Estate sale,notably a decanter for $20.00,which in the most recent price book is valued at $150.00.Now if I could find three more,and the tray I'd be jumping for joy.

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So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Robert, good find! I bought an Orrefors decanter with stopper at a yard sale for $2

Marysville, WA(Zone 7a)

Darius,that's a great buy!! Good decanters,especially with ground glass stoppers,are hard to find used and really costly new.I suppose if someone were to make a little "rule of thumb",it would be to have the contents worth more than the container. A truly fine wine or spirit just seems to be more enjoyable from a nice crystal glass and decanter.Life's too short to not enjoy good food and drink.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Hear, hear!

Modesto, CA(Zone 8b)

I think my best "antique find" was my antique school desk. Wrought iron legs, flip down seat in front and desk with ink well in back. I was driving through town during one of those "put anything you don't want at the curb and the city will pick it up for free" days and spied it sitting at the curb with a bunch of junk. I pulled my Toyota 4-Runner over to the curb, jumped out in my skirt-suit and heels, dropped the gate in back, shoved that puppy in, shut the gate, jumped back in and took off! LOL, I must have been a sight! Luckily I was in a part of town where I didn't know anyone....Ha ha ha.

Karen :~D

(Edited.....seriously....how tacky can one woman get?)

This message was edited Mar 17, 2005 10:53 PM

Osage City, KS(Zone 5b)

How does one know it's a Fostoria or a Orrefors..... I bought a bunch of bottles at a GS filled them with colored water and set them on the deck... The dog knocked it over and broke it.... It looked a little like your bottle........ but I would have never thought it was worth more than the 50 cents I paid....... (I'm sure mine wasn't of any value but for future reference)

Marysville, WA(Zone 7a)

VS, I don't know how to identify Orrefors from a knock-off,but with Fostoria,at least the American pattern which I collect,there are a couple of tell-tale signs to look for.First is to get a book on Fostoria to determin if the piece was even made by them as there are a lot of very similar imitations in the marketplace.The Fostoria will be bright and clear,smooth edges,high polish.Prices vary from $3-5 for a 6" saucer to $3,000- 3,600 for a large porch vase.Fortunately most of the items are still affordable (as far as collectables go) and show up in antique stores and estate/garage sales.The American pattern was patented in 1915 and the Fostoria Company was closed in 1986.The Fostoria Glass Museum in Moundsville,West Virginia would be an interesting place to visit.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Orrefors pieces are always signed (etched on the bottom of the piece).

edited for spelling

This message was edited Mar 18, 2005 12:12 PM

Osage City, KS(Zone 5b)

That's good information.... it's almost that time of year to start hitting the GS's

Waaaay Down South, GA

Well, all your collectables sure sound much better than mine ... but I'll share any ole way! I have an original Underwood typewriter with the ribbon winder on the outside ... before they were made on the inside. You actually use a little crank to wind or rewind the typewriter ribbon. It's dated back in the 1920's I believe. AND THAT SUCKER MUST WEIGH 50 LBS *smile* You can get a hernia just by lifting the thing!

Lake Toxaway, NC(Zone 7a)

Mine was a gift from my sister. She had my grandmother's china, the old Desert Rose pattern by Gladding-McBee and alter by another company. Now it's made by a company in England for Wedgewood and is not very good at all. Glee actually used them for many years before her husband got tired of them and wanted some of their own
My grandmother bought this huge set when she began keeping WACs and soldiers in her home during WWII. The military bases just didn't have enough room for them all. Her home was actually a tourist home on Wrightsville Beach, NC and business was slow because of the war so this really supplemented her income.
I have bought some missing pieces off eBay to round out the collection.

Homosassa, FL(Zone 9a)

this is mine

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Kernersville, NC(Zone 7a)

My best find was a metal dresser that matches 2 metal chests of drawers I bought when I was in college. I searched for one for over 10 years, so it was a great day when I found it on an auction listing. I took almost $1,000 to make sure I got it LOL, it was only $50. No one else bid, so I prolly could have gotten it for $5 or something, but the auctioneer said 'let's open the bid at 50 dollars' and I jumped up and down, going going gone lol. Way to play it cool eh?
some other things I love:
a light pink and green Hull swan planter for 50 cents
an antique tiger oak desk, $3
vintage 'big' wicker rocker for $4 (I actually had a pair but dh decided to try and rock sideways grrr)

I'm sure I'll think of something else after I hit send! I am enjoying everyone else's finds:)

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Got a This Old House magazine yesterday. A guy bought an old house to restore. He come across an old light fixture, was going to throw it in the dumpster, his friend stopped him.
To make long story short, it ended up on an auction & brought over $300,000.
It was a Stickly.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Great story, Bernie.
How's your TIAS shop doing?

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)


So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Oh, sorry to hear that.

Lewisburg, KY(Zone 6a)

Hi, guys
A good buy that I found was a picket fence crock. I bought it at a yard sale for $4 dollars. Earlier this week I saw one that looked like it priced for $150.00. Maybe I should not be keeping my fresh fruit in it!

I like using my old stuff. I must need new kitchen stuff because I am now find my items in antique stores. Pyrex cann't be that old.

Melvindale, MI(Zone 5a)

I found a Royal Copley vase at a garage sale last weekend for $l.50. I thought the name sounded familiar so I got it. I looked it up on tias.com and found it selling for $20 so I think I got a bargain.

Cincinnati (Anderson, OH(Zone 6a)

I snagged this lamp (but no shade) for free because it had a crack in the back side which we repaired (kind of)...now I have it in our front hall because we like it so much...had to purchase the shade, though...

the thrift shop fella told me nobody liked 'french style' things in Cincinnati and he couldn't find a buyer for it... his loss, my gain I think. Although you have to like 'french' stuff!

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Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

The thrift shop guy must be from la-la land. That is a very nice lamp.
We have lots of "would be expensive if not chipped" china & things in our house. They all look just great. The nice part is they don't cost very much.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

I finally came across my lighted Coca-Cola Sign!

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Lewisburg, KY(Zone 6a)

I have several items that are only slightly damaged. I bought a matching Watt tulip mixing bowl for $12.00. An inside hairline crack was the only damage. It looks fine from the shelf.

Blenheim, New Zealand

I bought this 30 years ago , I now know it is a micromosaic small picture frame 2ins by 11/2 , but that is all I know,

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Lewisburg, KY(Zone 6a)

Bernie, how can I find your online store on Tias?

Melvindale, MI(Zone 5a)

Very lovely picture frame.

Mount Prospect, IL(Zone 5a)

My favorite "find" was a 1917 Bing and Grondel Christmas plate that I paid $5.00 for!

NW Qtr, AR(Zone 6a)


.. bootandall ...

Your micro-mosaic frame is truly gorgeous!! I can't begin to imagine such fractional mosaic pieces being ever so carefully arranged & placed - even with the accurate gear & lighting! Such intricacy! The portrayal of the frame as an artists palette, contributing even further to its fine beauty. Have you got around to researching this piece? I'll have to go see what I can find out about it ..

As you can tell ...I am awesomely intrigued! With the beautiful lil frame .. and, the origins of your photo, also!

A fantastic shot! Superb clarity in the capture of the detail of your lil mosaic frame! May I inquire about the camera that was used to shoot this photo?

- Magpye

Spring Valley, CA(Zone 10a)

I got this painting (without frame) in the late 60's at a sale in a San Francisco Hari-Krishna vegetarian restaurant for 25 cents.

It's an original Jack van Ryder (cowboy artist) painting signed and dated 1927.

I contacted an online art appraiser recently and he appraised it for $1500.

It's my favorite painting.


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NW Qtr, AR(Zone 6a)

.. OMG !!! ..
Talk about a dandy 'drop-in-the-bucket' PAY OFF!?! How truly thrilling it's gotta be for ya, Ron !!
Pat yourself on the back a few more times - for 'me'. Mitely proud for you ...
Tis a beaut .. for sure!!

- Magpye

Palm Bay, FL(Zone 9b)

My mom and I opened an Antiques and Collectibles store in 1988 after we'd collected stuff for about 6 years. One day in 1989 we went to a garage sale and I found an oriental looking silver dragons cream and sugar set that was very tarnished and the sugar bowl was dented. I had no idea what the set was worth and hesitated to pay the $10.00 but I just had to have it. Several months later a couple from up north came to our store and they did not hesitate to pay the $250.00 price for that dragons set. Several months after that a lady came in and said "this is the store where some people bought a silver cream & sugar that sold at Southebys for $10,000 isn't it?" My heart stopped.
Til this day I try to convince myself that it was just a coincidence ... they bought it somewhere else.
Oh my goodness what a sick feeling it gives me to even think about it still.

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

here is my best find, a Bradley & Hubbard lamp with everything original including little acorn pulls.

i was at a flea market in so.florida in the late 80's. when i passed this lamp i thought to myself that 200.00 wasn't a bad price, then i did a quick double-take, it was 20.00! i was so excited i was shaking when i handed her the 20.00. i still love it to this day.

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