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Friday, June 4, 2010

Last Weekend's Thrift Store Finds

Inspired by MoS Washington's recent JACKPOT finds at the GA Avenue Thrift shop (she hasn't told you about them yet, but just wait, you are going to die!), I decided to hit up a few thrift stores here in Charlotte.  By "thrift" I mean true thrift stores, where everything is donated, so prices are rock bottom.  Finding treasures at thrift stores takes both some work and some vision.  I went to five different stores, from one side of town to the other, and only one of them had anything worth buying.  That's what I have found with thrift stores- they are SO hit or miss.  It really is just dumb luck as to whether you find something great or leave feeling like you really want to wash your hands (actually I always feel that way, whether I find anything or not).
This time I didn't find any Tiffany bowls or upholstered x benches, but here is what I did find:
A ceramic clamshell for $2!  It's a creamy white with periwinkle lining.  I am considering painting it but haven't quite decided yet.  I think it's technically a planter, but I feel like putting a plant in it will hide the pretty clamshell detailing.  Can you think of another use for it?

This beautiful handpainted red and blue plate marked Gural Porselan, from Turkey, (still had the brand new price tag on the back, in Turkish no less).  The colors are so vibrant, and it is perfect on the gallery wall in my downstairs den. 

My heaviest find was this vintage lamp with bamboo detailing.  It's made of solid resin, and I swear it weighs 50 pounds. 

It looked a little dirty, so I cleaned it up and fixed the paint job.  Now all I need is a lampshade!   I am thinking black...  What color and shape lampshade would you use?

I also found this little brass lamp with a beautiful black paper shade.  It's small- I'm not sure where I will use it.  Might be just the right size for a powder room or kitchen counter.

The black paper shade is lined in gold, to mirror the brass on the lamp itself.  I think it was probably a rather expensive lamp.  But since brass isn't really popular right now, thrift shops are FULL of it.  And I love it!

Every thrift store I went to had shelves FULL of brass.  It's easy to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to brass.  Just pick it up, and if it feels flimsy and lightweight, put it back.  Or if it has obvious rust places where the brass plate is chipping off, don't bother.  But if it's heavy, you might have found some solid brass.  You can further test it by putting a magnet on it.  If the magnet doesn't stick, it's brass.  If it does stick, then it's brass-plate.  Brass will tarnish some, so if it's heavy and seems like good quality but has some dark spots, don't despair.  You can easily clean it up with a little Brasso, just like polishing silver.

I found this gorgeous solid brass shell dish.  It seems so Kelly Wearstler to me, and it is perfect to sit atop a stack of books!  I need to add a bit of Brasso, and it should be good to go!

Finally, I have a weakness for soup tureens.  I think alot of people see them as old fashioned, but I just adore them.  They are functional and perfect for keeping food hot when entertaining (they are usually oven safe, although I don't think I would risk that with fancy Herend or Meissen), and let's face it, they are so much prettier than a casserole dish.  This particular one is white ceramic with gold trim- it doesn't photograph that well, but it is pretty in real life and has an art deco feel.

Soup tureens are also great for holding flower arrangements.  More on that to come next week!

Have you had any thrift store successes lately?  Tell us about your finds!


Tonia @Chic Modern Vintage said...

Great finds, I have so many, but here is a link to my post of my favorite

but I've only primed them, still deciding on a color.

Nina said...

Nice finds! I especially love the shell dish and the white lamp. I had a super exciting Salvation Army find last month – a signed Charley Harper lithograph from 1969 for $7.99 (!) at the Salvation Army. When I got it I was assuming it was worth maybe $200-300, but I looked it up when I got home and almost passed out – one recently sold on eBay for $500, and I found it listed on a Charley Harper specialty site for $900! He is one of my favorite artists…I still can’t get over finding this!

High-Heeled Foot in the door said...

Wow amazing! I need to go visit you ladies and shop with you guys.

You both always find the most amazing steals.

Lately my thrift stores have been coming up empty, but now I'm itching to go do another look.

Rebecca said...

Sarah, I think that clamshell would be awesome filled with fruit in the kitchen (bananas at my house!). Keep us posted!

Anonymous said...

I saw the greatest picture (which i can't find now of course) of someone using a clamshell as a dog bowl. they'd affixed it to the deck, and has a spout coming out of the house to fill it easily.

Kathleen Fisher said...

I love the bi-colour of the clam shell and would use it as an ice bucket for wine or champagne (although you'd have to make sure to put the screw top back on as the bottle would be almost on its side). Bamboo comes in black or green, so these might be great colours for lamp shades. I've had a bit of luck at thrift shops lately with vintage Italian glass lolly (candy) jars and pure wool crocheted granny throws in pristine condition. Love what you girls do!

camdesign said...

I love thrift shops, last week I found 2 red Starbucks mugs for 49 cents each...I have a rust one just like them I paid 6.99 for a few years ago.
I love the lamps you found,great finds one and all.
Regards, Carol Ann

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