Recently Thrifted Treasures
It feels so good to be thrifting again on a more regular basis.
There’s something kind of cathartic about treasure hunting. The quest to rescue things that others have decided they no longer need, want, or love… or maybe all three.
What has always intrigued me about vintage, and second-hand , things is not only the things themselves, but also the stories these things could tell if they were able to tell them.
Stories about where they’ve been, whose lives they’ve touched, and why they eventually ended up at a thrift store.
I will never know the true answers to many of the questions that pop into my head with each thrifted treasure.
But just because they can’t tell me their stories doesn’t stop me from having fun imagining the lives these treasures may have lived.
Like this hand-painted wooden rocking horse. I could see that fabulous woolen red mane from the other side of the thrift store.
It attracted me like a magnet.
I’m not sure how vintage it is, but it has the look.
It’s about 6 inches tall, so it’s way too large for a doll house. So maybe it spent some time in a child’s nursery. The colors are so bright and cheerful and would be fun for a child.
But they’re also fun for the child in all of us.
So maybe it was part of a wonderful Christmas display. Brought out year after year as part of a family’s tradition.
What do you think its story is?
I’m always attracted to things I haven’t seen before.
Like these large (15 inch) hand crafted beauties. Trivets and pot holders are usually much smaller, so maybe these were meant to be place mats.
At first I thought they were identical, but when I got them home I looked more closely and there are subtle differences.
And that is the tell-tale sign that each one was definitely hand made.
And the labels on the back can help tell that tale too. lol.
Handmade in the People’s Republic of China.
I imagine artisans, probably women, painstakingly making these to provide some income for their families.
Maybe for the local tourist market, or for export to places far and beyond the lives they lived everyday.
I do think these are vintage, and the labels look vintage, but it can be hard to tell.
My research tells me that the People’s Republic of China has been in existence by that name since 1949, so they could be from any time after that.
Sometimes it’s the shape of things that calls out to me.
Like these vintage 1970s AVON perfume bottles. The bottles are empty, but when you remove the lids you can still smell those pretty scents of the past.
The three were displayed together just like this at the thrift store. Someone knows what they’re doing because how could I resist but buy all three. They seemed meant to be together.
I imagine these sitting on the dressers of women who enjoyed getting dressed up to go dining out on special occasions.
Maybe they were given as Christmas or birthday gifts by husbands or boyfriends.
Or maybe a women treated herself with a little something special when the AVON lady came calling.
I also think about the many women who were able to be financially independent by being those very AVON ladies.
The bottles are all marked AVON and the bell shapes are pretty irresistable.
The middle one has an actual bell on it’s bottom.
How fabulous is that?
Anyone who knows me knows that I can’t resist vintage silver teapots and sugar/creamer sets.
I have a collection of my favorites, and the ones that I think are somewhat valuable, in my hot pink china cabinet, but I also have many more that are waiting for their day in the wind chime sun.
These were sold as a set, but they’re not. It’s important to always looked at the marks on the bottoms.
The teapot is marked Baronet, and the sugar and creamer are unmarked and also are a different pattern.
The set was priced at $10, but when I showed the thrift store clerk that they weren’t actually a set, she cut the price in half.
Even though they didn’t start their lives together doesn’t mean they still don’t have a reason to exist, something new to become.
It does make we wonder where they’re missing partners are right now, and what caused them to be separated.
Even though I’m not a cake baker, AT ALL, I do have a thing for vintage cake pans.
Like this $3 vintage square cake pan set.
I think it must be because my mom was, and still is, a great baker.
We had many a cake when I was growing up, and she still makes them for special occasions.
And here’s a round vintage set, also $3.
These two sets were found side by side.
These vintage cake sets are a particular fave of mine. They have removable bottoms and they always make me think of weddings and birthday parties.
I imagine how many cakes were created using these pans, and how many people enjoyed those occasions, not to mention eating those cakes.
Everyday things that are used with love can bring a lot of joy into the world.
So the next time you pick up a treasure at a thrift store, think about what its existence might have meant in the past, what it could mean again in the present, and in the future too.
To you, or to someone you may want to gift it to.
Sharing thrifted treasures is a way of sharing history, memories, and your own stories.
Do you have any stories to go with any of these items that I shared today? If you do I’d love to hear them.
Thanks so much for reading and until next time,