Category Archives: Shopping

Shopping with The Vintage Traveler

I realized that it has been a while since I did a vintage shopping post.   I’m not completely sure why, but I’m not taking as many photos as I used to while shopping.  It may have something to do with Instagram.

More and more I find myself posting shopping photos to Instagram.  It’s almost like shopping with a lot of virtual friends, as the feedback is almost immediate.  I know I talk quite a bit about the pleasures of Instagram, but it really is fun.  Even Suzy Menkes says so.  If you use a smartphone, I really do think you should at least try it out.

But back to the shopping finds,  taken over the course of the past month or so.

The first photo is a vintage California Perfumes poster.  This was the company that became Avon.   Things like this are commonly seen as reproductions, but this one was an original, and quite expensive.

I’ve got a bit of non-buyer’s remorse about this apron.  It was terribly stained, missing a tie, and over-priced.  Still, what a marvelous mid century fashion print!

I am such a map lover.  Just throw a map on something and I’m all over it.  Still, I managed to resist this bed tray, or lap desk, or what have you.

I loved these tobacco cards from 1936 that featured the tennis stars, both men and women, of the day.  You can see how this was a transitional time in tennis wear, with some women wearing skirts below the knee, some wearing shorter skirts, one is wearing a skirt open over shorts, and two are wearing just shorts.  Get a better look here.

I’m a sucker for an old zipper display.

This is the label from a pack of 1920s tissue paper.   By comparison, it sure makes the graphics on packaging today look a bit uninspired.

This is a water sprinkler for ironing, an object that appears to be more decorative than functional.  There is a handle on the back, but it was the unhappy but fashionable ironer that caught my eye.

It’s finds like this that makes one (almost) want to go back to selling.  Three mint in the box French corsets, reasonably priced.

A lovely linen parasol.

Another good for re-sale find, this late 1920s lace dress was in good condition and was a larger size.

Proof that there are real bargains to be found, these Tammis Keefe unicorn placemats were $5 for the set.

And finally, one dealer had a whole stack of antique Kate Greenaway calendars.  This one is from 1884.

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1960s Chanel-Inspired Davidow Jacket

I mentioned a few days ago that I lucked into a vintage pop-up shop on the streets of Asheville.  One of the great things about Asheville is that there are numerous little alleyways and side streets, many of which are not being well utilized, but which have great charm and potential.  In this case there is outdoor seating for a restaurant, but the space behind it was perfect for a temporary shop.

The business is called the Urban Gypsy, and the young woman who owns it does pop-ups in Asheville and Savannah.  What a perfect combination of cities!

After the disappointment of the very needy Bonnie Cashin I kept looking, hoping that lighten would strike twice.  That’s when I spotted a small group of tweed jackets.

There were a couple of jackets in shades of blue, and here is the one I choose.  I tried it on, and even the older man standing there waiting for his wife to finish up looking gave it a thumbs up.  It was truly a perfect fit.

The icing on the cake was the Davidow label.  Davidow was a high-end ready-to-wear label.  According to the research of Claire Sheaffer, Davidow made both Chanel-inspired suits and Chanel reproductions.  The reproductions actually used Chanel fabrics and in many cases, buttons.  My new jacket is probably of the inspired variety, but the wool plaid tweed is one mighty fine textile.

The jacket has bound buttonholes, something I’d be afraid to risk on such a loosely woven and bulky fabric.

The pockets are functional, and I love how they are cut on the diagonal.

I’m not 100% sure that the buttons are original, but the thread used to sew them does match the color of the lining.  The underside of the buttons is a mottled blue, which indicated these may have faded over time.  I’ll probably replace the buttons, as I bought this to wear and I want blue ones.  I will carefully save the old buttons.

Unfortunately, the lining proves once and for all that Southern women do actually sweat (as opposed to glisten).  The lining is a rayon faille, and is not as luxurious as I like.  Am I crazy for even considering replacing the lining with silk crepe de chine?

The seller found the jacket in Savannah, and it has a nice store label.  I can’t find a thing about Fine’s, but I do remember shopping there on a trip to Savannah in the mid 1970s.  At that time the store was located in a mall, as their downtown was in a downward slide.  Today downtown Savannah is a charming place with nice shops, most of which are local.

 

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Liberty Antiques Festival, Spring 2014

Last weekend was the one event that try to never miss, the spring Liberty Antiques Festival.   Twice a year some of the best sellers in the region gather for a big two day sale in the middle of a large field.  I can honestly say that I always find at least one exceptional item every show.

And now for the virtual shopping:

I used to collect vintage Halloween before the prices went sky-high-crazy.  These cards were tempting.

Store and salesman display boxes always get my attention.  I loved this one from Kickaway because I have a pair of black wool Kickaway bloomers.

This was a huge table of just summer handbags.

I thought this display for hair nets was interesting.  “For the Woman in Every Stage of Life”

That’s a great pair of 1920s or 30s outing boots.  The wooden thing behind them is a sweater block for knitters or for reblocking a sweater after washing.

This great dress was in the booth of Down South Vintage.  It is actually two pieces, with the skirt being attached to a bodice, and the beaded top is worn over it.  Note the curving waistband of the top. This was an exceptional garment, and I was not surprised to find an exceptional label:

Helena Barbieri was a very high-end evening and cocktail dress maker.

I’m afraid I’m starting to enjoy the self-portrait in the mirror thing.  Here I’m modeling a 1940s tilt hat that was all one big bloom.

Nice travel tag

This is a reminder to always look under the tables.  This was a lovely 1950s suit with matching shawl.

1966 Ar-Ex cosmetics color card.  I sure wish I’d saved all the ones the Avon lady used to drop off at my house.

I’m not a big fan of  Catherine Ogust for Penthouse Gallery dresses, but this print is great.  Seen at Design Archives in Greensboro.

For years Shadowline was a family-owned business in Morganton, NC.   Then the business sold and production stopped.  Now they have reopened with many of the products still being made in the USA.  Seen at Granddaddy’s Antique Mall in Burlington, NC.

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Metrolina Antiques Flea Market, Spring 2014

Last weekend was the first big seasonal market of the season, the Metrolina in Charlotte.  I’ve been attending this show since 2003, and it is a good case in how the selling of collectibles and antiques has changed over the years.   This show has gone from being one that took all day to see everything to one that can be adequately covered in four or five hours.  On the other hand, the items are, for the most part, of a higher quality, with less junk and more real vintage and antiques.

I’ll admit that I miss the old days of prowling through boxes of ratty this-n-that only to pull out a wonderful vintage novelty print textile.  I miss the rows of part-timers selling out of the backs of their trucks.   And I really miss some of the long-time vintage clothing sellers from the Mid-Atlantic who don’t bother to make the trip south any more.

The key to success in this era of reduced opportunities is to get to know the great vendors who are left.  That’s Nanette of Wintergreen Farm hiding behind her display.  She has become a valuable source for me.  She knows what I like and in her own buying trips is always looking for sportswear for me.

This time she had some of the niftiest 1940s hats, which of course you can’t really see in my photo.

Another advantage of a smaller show is that you have more time to really stop and examine the merchandise and talk with the sellers.   It seems like I always spot things I’ve never before seen, like these cute Little Dressmaker kits from the late 1950s.  The seller had a whole stack of them.

I’m not sure what one would do with these spools of Lurex, the metallic yarn that never tarnishes.

I had seen this print before, but I always enjoy it.  Dated 1898.

I loved these women skiers postcards, but they were priced a little out of my range.

I’d love to say that there was several yards of this wonderful nautical print, but it was merely a square on a quilt.

I love old pennants.  This one was $300.  I didn’t buy it.

Another plus to attending a smaller show is that there is time to stop at antique malls on the way home.  One of the newer malls in the area is the Catawba River Antiques Mall, which was recommended by Marge Crunkleton.  As you can see, the place is huge,  It is housed in an old textile mill, the Majestic Mill in Belmont, North Carolina.  Opened in 1910, the Majestic Mill was a cotton spinning facility which made fine yarns for stockings and other fine uses.  Imagine, if you can, the 10,944 spindles that operated in this mill.

Though not fully occupied, this mall shows real promise.  I found lots of things there that were interesting.

One dealer had quite a few of these WPA costume prints.  They were part of the Museum Extension Project, in which workers assisted museums with various tasks.  These were educational prints intended for museum programs.

Marge has a wall of her lovely heads, as well as her small sculptures and dolls.

This was a funny little find.  It is a comic book that demonstrates basic sewing techniques. Note the name of the author.

I suppose this is a clothespin bag, as the seller had on the tag, but it’s a funny print for a homemaker to have chosen.

There was a nice selection of feedsack fabrics.

This hangtag was on a pair of mid 1960s Quarter Deck Pants from White Stag.

This fabric was actually part of an apron.  I’m not a cat fan, but boy, did I ever love the print!

 

 

 

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Vintage Shopping – Part Two

I your weather is anything like mine (cold and snowing) then you’ll not be vintage shopping this week.  I hope you’ll enjoy instead part two of my virtual shopping expedition.

I thought at first that the above object was a folded hat.  Nope.

It’s a handbag, and a very nice one.  It still has the change purse, comb and mirror, and look at the pristine condition.

This piece of 1940s doggie print rayon fabric was a real heart breaker.  Besides the scattered holes, there were dark stains throughout.  

Hat or wig?  Does it even matter?

This great psychedelic print from the late 1960s was made into a maxi skirt.  

I stumbled across plaid heaven.  Most of these were pleated Pendleton skirts.

This beautiful suit has a label I’d never personally seen before, but thanks to my friend Monica, I knew the story behind the label.

Utah Tailoring Mills made custom fitted clothing for their wealthy clients.  The clothing was ordered through sales representatives across the country who placed the order using the client’s individual measurements and personal preferences.  To finish the garment, a personalized label with the client’s name was attached.

When I spotted this dress, my first thought was Geoffrey Beene.  Instead the label was Teal Traina, where Beene was designer from 1958 through 1963.  My guess is that this dress is later, from the late 60s, but it sure does have a Beene aesthetic to it.

 

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Vintage Shopping: Sporty Finds

The weather this winter has been very unpredictable and so I’ve had quite a few plans cancelled, but then other opportunities have arisen.  I try to fit in vintage shopping especially when I’m out of town, and I recently took a bloodhound to rescue in Georgia, I had a visitor from out of town who wanted to hit a few antique stores, and I had a bit of business in a small town that I rarely visit.  It’s always fun to compare what is found in  other places compared to my usual haunts.

I guess lots of sellers have had the Olympics on their minds, as I’ve seen a lot of great winter sports themed items.  The George Barbier ski print above is a newer reproduction of a 1920s print.  That explains the $8 price sticker.

I don’t know the proper name for this type of picture, but the black silhouette is printed on the back of the glass, and the snow and mountain are printed on the paper backing.

This is a table surface from a 1939 Genco pinball machine.  Someone took it apart, and now it is ready to hang on the wall.

Here is the ultimate vintage cold weather coat – the Hudson’s Bay Company point blanket coat.  I bet this one is from the early 1960s when “Chanel” style jackets were so popular.  And what a great project idea.

Other sports items were found as well.  These wonderful hiking or outing boots are probably from the early 1920s.

And speaking of outings, here are two wind-up record players in travel cases.  In Sabrina, Humphrey Bogart used one like the smaller model on the right to woo Audrey Hepburn with long out of style recordings.

For people going a bit farther afield, here are two little Limoges boxes shaped like suitcases.  I’d love to have seen inside them, as these boxes often hold a little surprise.

This is a blank sample for an advertising calendar.

And in another example of women golfers being a useful sales motif, I found this great candy box.  And be sure to admire the Scottie box as well.

Tomorrow, more shopping photos.

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Vintage Shopping in Asheville, NC

Over the past two weeks I’ve visited all my favorite vintage shopping places in Asheville.  To be such a small city, there are lots of interesting places to look for vintage treasures.  I actually took these photos over three days.  There is no way you can do justice to the old stuff stores of Asheville in just one day.

This record tree and the Santa ladder above can be found at The Screen Door.  This place is a little off the beaten path, but it is well worth finding.  It seems like no matter how often I go there, I find new things of interest.

I really liked this pretty equestrienne.

I actually found this Scottie print at a thrift store.  The thrifts in Asheville sometimes seem to be really picked over, but it is possible to still get lucky.

Click to enlarge.

There are several antique stores and malls downtown.  I’ve shown this fantastic store, Magnolia Beauregard’s, before but it is worth another look.  The collection of mannequins and hat heads is really impressive, plus he sells some great hats and vintage clothing.

Here’s an interesting twist on an old favorite: Pin the Shoe on Cinderella.

This is the cover of a 1920s tourist brochure for Glacier National Park.

Lexington Park Antiques is also a favorite of mine.  I found these cute 1950s clam diggers.  They were made by White Stag.  Note the striped lining where the leg is rolled.

This forearm looks a bit gruesome at first, but note that it is a display piece for Van Raalte gloves.  It actually stands on the base.

My photo comes nowhere near to showing off this lovely quilt, made of velvet pieces.

Time for a break.  This is the Mellow Mushroom, which is housed in an old service station.

These two coats were made by Davidow.  I was happy to be able to examine them so soon after writing about the company.

If I don’t stop with the vintage patterns, I’m going to have to get one of these vintage storage pieces.

The day after I took these photos of this Red Cross vest, one of my Instagram friends posted an old article on knitting a Red Cross Sweater.

Someone bought this Sally Victor flower explosion and didn’t have the nerve to wear it.  Or at least that’s my guess.  Anyway, it was fun seeing the hangtag.

And here I am, unable to pass a mirror without taking a look at my own image.  I’m wearing my favorite vintage coat, a Pendleton!

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