Category Archives: Shopping

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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Christmas Windows, Asheville NC

I went to Asheville today to see what was “new” in my favorite vintage places, and also to check out the Christmas windows.   It had never occurred to me that Asheville might have great holiday windows, but I saw in the newspaper that there had been a design contest on the theme “A Star is Born,” and I felt I owed it to myself to see them.  I had no illusions that the Saks and Bergdorf’s and Macy’s windows were facing stiff competition, but for a small city like Asheville I thought the display was pretty impressive.

Over the past twenty years, the civic leaders in Asheville have worked hard to revitalize downtown.  After most of the stores and restaurants abandoned the area and relocated at the mall, downtown Asheville was a rather scary place.  Only a few stores were able to hold on.  But they did, and slowly they were joined by other urban pioneers.  Today downtown Asheville is a wonderful place to shop and eat.  Best of all, almost all the businesses are locally owned.

But enough bragging on my little city.  Here is a tour of some of my favorite windows.

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This window was made entirely of layers of cut paper.  It really was a showstopper.  Note that there is no product to be found!  This was one of the windows at
Sensibilities Day Spa.

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This sock monkey carolers window was at the yarn shop, Purl’s Yarn Emporium.

Windows are really hard to photograph, so I’m sorry about the quality of this one at clothing store, Caravans.

I cannot resist polar bears.

This is one of the windows at Spiritex, which is a clothing store.  All the clothing is made here in Western North Carolina.

This is one of four star windows at the Chevron Trading Post.   These stars are made of paper and they are stunning.

This is the window at Mountain Lights, which is a seller of locally made candles and crafts.

Hip Replacements had a retro theme and won the Judges’ Favorite prize.  They sell retro and vintage clothing.

I couldn’t help but notice that some of the most effective windows I saw today were the ones that featured only a few, or even one product.  Some of the windows that I did not photograph looked like windows from the turn of the 20th century where shopkeepers piled the windows high with as much merchandise as possible.  I think people are attracted to visual clutter (like the star windows) but the clutter has to make sense.   Trying to show everything in the shop is just confusing.

So, what are the holiday windows like in your corner of the world?

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Vintage Charlotte Holiday Pop-up Market

I first went to the Vintage Charlotte Market in June, and I liked it enough that I made the trip for their holiday show.  I was not disappointed.  The show is not just for vintage clothing, but rather, is a mix of all kinds of old stuff.  The vendors were well stocked and prepared for the 10 am opening.  By 11 the place was packed.

Many of the vendors did have clothing, and so there was quite a bit to look through.  I bought a pair of 1960s bowling shoes from the owner of this booth.

With Christmas and the Holidays coming up, there were boxes of vintage decorations.  I can remember when these could be found for a dime each at the thrift stores.  That was before Martha Stewart showed the world how to make a wreath from them.

The fishy bag was unsigned, and was a craft project, maybe.

This basket bag was not a craft project, as it still had a JC Penney tag attached.  I can remember when these were popular in the late 1960s.  I made one from a fruit basket and some red, white, and blue canvas.

The dress does not look like much in my terrible photo, but it was very nice.  It is net with appliques and an attached under dress.

And here is a close-up of the sleeve.

I had these shoes in the 1980s, and if these had been my size I would have bought them.  Made by Hush Puppies, they were the most comfortable shoes ever.  It is a bit of a bummer seeing the very same stuff you wore not too many years ago being sold as vintage, though.

From 1968, this “Misses Gay Nineties Costume” might be something to carry in the back of my mind just in case a weird “old” bathing costume comes my way!

The market was held at the Fillmore Charlotte, which is a music hall located in an old industrial building.  The only real problem with the set-up is the terrible lighting.  The room is dark, as you can see, and all the lights are extremely bright.  The lucky sellers were located near a window because they could get a little natural light.

So pretty… so distracting…

Finally, the mustache craze makes sense to me.  Isn’t this the best food truck?

At the last minute I decided to drive a few miles to Concord, NC, to two malls I’d heard of but never visited.  First up was The Depot at Gibson Mill.  Housed in an old cotton mill, the building itself was very interesting.  Best of all it is huge.  I could have spent the entire day there, and by the time I’d seen it all, I was pretty much out of energy.  I did manage a quick walk-through at the White Owl Antique Mall, which was also nice.

Concord is in the middle of cotton country, and today there are dozens of the old factories standing empty.  It was great seeing the Gibson Mill being used not only as an antique mall, but also housing offices and other businesses.  The community around the old mill consists of mill houses, many of which look to have been restored and nicely maintained.

My eight-year-old self wanted this badly.

I’m always happy to see Vera Neumann designs.  This is a tablecloth.

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I’m looking at this Yuengling calendar, wondering why I did not buy it.  Why?

What is it about old letter sweaters?  I love them so much.

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This beautiful old tennis graphic was glued inside an old box, which I assume held lawn tennis equipment at one time.  Still, the box was a real find and it was in nice condition except for the crack.  It also was not for sale.

More tennis, a few decades later.  This is a poster ad for tennis shoes.

All in all it was a great day.  I’ll share what I bought in another post.

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What I Didn’t Buy – Victorian Jacket

My area of collecting (and knowledge) pretty much starts around 1915, and anything earlier is just a mystery to me.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t take the time to look at and examine the odd piece of antique clothing that might show up in my local antique malls.  You just never know when there might be a Worth label or something insane like that sewn inside.

Well, unfortunately, the label was not Worth, but there was a label, which you don’t always see in antique clothing.  This one reads “Allemus, Philadelphia, Pa.”  I’ve come up empty in a search for this store or maker, although there were quite a few people with the Allemus surname living in Philadelphia in the late 1880s.

But I thought the jacket and its details made it interesting enough to show here.  It was a combination of cotton velvet and a plain weave wool.  The  cording was applied in an intricate pattern.  The inside was lined in an off-white silk that was completely shattered.  In fact, there were bits of silk on the floor below where the jacket was hanging.

In the late 1960s and early 70s when some crazy kids were starting to become interested in wearing old clothes, this would have been a real prize.  Today I can see it as part of a Steampunk ensemble.

There were only two unfortunate holes on one sleeve.

This looks like a very labor (and time) intensive button to me.

This was priced at $10, which I thought was a real bargain.  But I wasn’t tempted.  I’ve learned how to say no to all kinds of lonely old clothes hanging forlornly on wire hangers in antique malls.  It has taken years for me to get to the place where I can actually say that!

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