Christie’s Antique Show Spring 2015






At the beginning of every summer, bumbling creatures across Canada poke their heads out, blink their eyes at the sun and make their way out of their groundhog holes.

Then we go to garage sales.

OR if you’re like me, you make your way to Canada’s largest antique show, Christie’s.  And this groundhog isn’t the only one that  marks the start of summer with a trip to Christie’s.  Thousands of people show up every year to marvel at, ponder and buy weird things covered in dust rust, and very occasionally … sparkle.

People wander around asking whatever happened to gramma’s such and such that was JUST like this one, or why did I ever throw that out?!  But far and away the most popular statement echoed around the show all day long was “What the hell do you think that is?”.  And more often than not, some head would pop in from somewhere and tell you exactly what it was.

In fact, I dare say, if there’s a single thing in your house you’re curious about all you’d have to do is grab it, go to Christie’s, stand in the middle of an aisle and quietly mutter “What do you think this is?” just ONCE and you’d have an answer.  Probably 12 answers. Even more fun, they’d probably be 12 different answers.

It was a cold one this morning and in fact there was a frost warning the night before. But by the middle of the day sweaters and mittens came off so my sister and I could focus on the antiques as opposed to runny noses.  There’s nothing less becoming than a groundhog with a runny nose.

Every year it’s something different, but every year I’m on the hunt for something. Having something to search for a purpose at the sale makes it exciting because you aren’t just looking, you’re searching for that perfect thing that may or more not be at the sale.  It could be just around this corner, or that corner, or it could be in someone else’s hands right at this very moment.

Having something to hunt for at a flea market or garage sale makes it less like shopping and more like gambling.  So more fun.

This year I was looking for a midcentury modern chair and ottoman.  I saw one 2 years ago at the fall show but I didn’t buy it. And now I regret it.  I saw another chair and ottoman in the window of a store in downtown Hamilton 2 years ago.  I didn’t buy it.  And now I regret it.  So I swore this year I was finding a classic midcentury chair and ottoman and I was BUYING them.

The first thing I saw upon wandering through the gates was this.




And it went downhill from there.

This, by the way, is the form of a classic egg chair by Danish furniture designer Arne Jacobsen.  A truly iconic piece.  And home to a mischief of mice at one point apparently.


The day started with me trying to casually walk the aisles but about 20 minutes into the show I grabbed Pink Tool belt and told her I couldn’t do this anymore, I had to run to the booth that always has the midcentury furniture before someone else bought my chair.  The chair I knew had to be there.  The Papa Bear Chair. Behold the image of one I’ve had saved to my computer for years.



But when we got to the spot the Midcentury Modern booth had been year after year, the Papa Bear chair wasn’t there.

This was.


This weird doll thing that looks like it needs an exorcism was sitting where my chair should have been.

The whole booth was GONE.  Gone.  Gone girl.

So I was sad and I felt like going right back into my groundhog hole but I still took pictures of things along the way for you to enjoy. Plus I ate french fries.  So there’s that. Please enjoy.



I loved this painting.  At $450  should have bought it.  This will be the thing I regret not buying next year.




Olden day bundle buggy.



Carpets.  All of them were your typical blue and red except for this beautiful PINK one.



Notice everyone wearing coats, sweaters and long pants.




Vintage Corningware etc.



Metal tin. Yup.  Just a cute, dirty metal tin.



Jadeite. Some old, some new, so you’d better know your stuff before you buy.



Silvery trophy and leather bound books.  This is another thing I keep wishing I’d bought. I keep looking back at this photo wondering why I didn’t check the price of the trophy and books.

I blame it on a severe Midcentury mental breakdown.



Vintage Louis Vuitton purses.



The hotdog head man who is there every year.

He never wins my business.  My business always goes to the potato.




Considering this is the biggest antique show in Canada it’s always interesting to see how many American things are there.





Bottle drying rack. Or hat.



Copper pots.  They weighed a TON which is a good thing in a copper pot.



I spent the rest of the show looking for the horse.



Midcentury stuff.  But not the kind of midcentury stuff I’m lookin’ for.  Although that chair would look great somewhere.



Just a bunch of stuff.



Mugs.  (In case you thought they were not mugs)



Flow Blue has always been a favourite of mine.  It’s transferware that is blurred during the firing process. On purpose. Love it but it’s expensive.






Found the horse!  No, wait …



Probably one of the greatest things at the show was a big basket of Roy Rogers toy guns. More Americana.



Stacking luggage.

O.K. here we go … my FAVOURITE thing at the whole show.

Are you ready?

Are you curious?

What do you think it’s going to be?

It’s a ginormous PICNIC BASKET!

For Downton Abbey-style picnics.



It was in perfect condition, was really reasonably priced and gleaming.  Really the only reason I didn’t buy it was because my lady’s maid is a cat, and she could never lift this. Plus there’s the issue of finding a meadow.






There was some pewter at the show but not as much as I was hoping for. By next year I predict there will be more of it.



Minnow bucket. For keeping one’s minnows. Again, an American item.




Internal mannequin with part of his guts and penis missing.



Acupuncture chart. For those days when you want a really great adventure.



Ah HA.  Moose Crossing. We are in Canada.

So I didn’t buy a chair, I ate a bunch of french fries and ran into a few Art of Doing Stuff readers. On Friday I’ll tell you what I brought home with me, how much it cost and what the hell it is.


  1. Vanessa says:

    Okay I now want the Papa Bear Chair! That would work awesome at my house!! I work out in a retirement community which means ESTATE SALES!! You should see all the stuff I find, not to mention all the stuff that is given away for free!! More glasses and dishes than any one person needs, furniture, and that’s not even mentioning just the really cool knick knack stuff. I got a set of 12 vases of different sizes and shapes for free, they were selling for $200 to $800 apiece on Ebay. I’ll let you know if I come across the chair…

  2. Laura Bee says:

    Oooh, I need to squirrel away a wad of cash & go one year. Love me some Pyrex & mcm with some kitsch thrown in. I am more vintage than antique (in age & style!)

  3. Sarah Neely says:

    I love your treasure hunting updates! Okay, okay, I love all of your updates. Please let us help you find your dream chair! We have the treasure-filled state of Florida to search on your behalf… We’ve had the papa & mama chairs before – gorgeous AND comfy.

  4. Jennie Lee says:

    I want the Jadeite containers w/ lids, the leather box next to the trophy, and the colorful frog. Now. Please.

  5. Rondina says:

    Too late for the picnic basket. It would have been the item that would be the most impressive if you had just moved into the neighborhood and new neighbors were sizing you up. Just having it propped open when someone was walking through would make a, “Hey, I’m superior” statement. THEN you build the coop and plow under the front yard. Confused, they would then think, “Yes, but look at how she picnics.”

  6. Darla says:

    I would have bought the bundle buggy to store gift wrap in. I am currently trying to re-vamp an old clothes hamper into a holder and the bundle buggy would have worked perfectly because it already has a solid bottom.

  7. Erin says:

    I’ve got a meadow…just sayin’

  8. Sonia says:

    I bet your readers would be willing to donate to send you to a different antique show each year just for the posts. I vote for the Round Top antique show down here in Texas, you would love it.

    Pretty sure that’s Pyrex not Corningware and the hipsters go crazy for it.

  9. Ann says:

    I love mid century modern too. I often cruise ebay just to look at what several of the awesome east coast vendors currently have for sale. They even ship but I have no idea how that would work with you north of the border.

    A few years back I was on a log cabin tour near the holidays. They always have 1 very upscale place on the agenda and this particular year, that log mansion was all decked out in mid century modern. They had a chair that I just drooled over. It was something handed down thru their family and had been reupholstered once, within the prior year. I dreamed about that chair and tried to find one similar but never did. I now have a house full of very sturdy, long lasting furniture that is not of the MCM period and if I found a great piece I would have to pass it up, since I no longer have any place to put it. So I guess I will just have to save that for my next life.

  10. Tina says:

    I have the cousin to the pink rug. Mine is blue. I cannot believe how similar the pattern is! My ex-SIL, who was born in Tehran, told me the village where it was made; so it is an authentic Persian rug.

  11. Therese says:

    Nice dream chair and ottoman! Coincidentally I know where you can get one of those – I just got this on FB yesterday. Pity it’s in Australia!

  12. Kathleen says:

    That picnic basket… I want it. How can I have “byers remorse” for not buying it when I wasn’t even there? I really, REALLY want it!
    *sniff. snivel*
    I also really liked the luggage. (the yellowy / checked stack)

    No I don’t!

    I just really, really, REALLY want the picnic basket!

  13. Aspasia says:

    Okay, well, I know where I’ll be next year (at the Christie’s show, drooling over the jadeite table). That is a great picnic basket. Incidentally, I have the exact same luggage (just the smaller one) in the picture with the, uh, cage chair thing. Now I’m wondering whether it’s actually worth something…

  14. Ardith says:

    Oh, goody, no one here seems interested in the taxidermy goat with two sets of horns. I don’t know why, but I want it. If only I wasn’t writing this note from Texas. Cheers, Ardith

  15. Heather Howard says:

    Headed to Brimfield show in July…… You going? That should be an adventure. Went 15 years ago when I was preggers and didn’t know it. Maybe this time I won’t pass out HA!
    Would have totally bought the picnic basket for here in the Texas hill country!!! Been looking for one!

  16. Leslie Fleury says:

    Do you think you could grab the moose crossing sign for me? There have been two separate instances of a moose in our yard in the past two weeks! And no, he didn’t call it – lol

    • Karen says:

      Hahahah! I can’t remember how to do a moose call, which is very sad for me. I’m such a city slicker the only thing I can call are chickens. Tell that husband of yours that moose are prettier than they are tasty and he should just leave them alone! ~ karen

  17. Grammy says:

    I think Karen bought the acupuncture wall chart. She should have. And I predict we’re going to hear her lamenting for years to come because she didn’t buy that painting she liked — it’s a beautiful painting and a good deal.

    I hope whoever took home that picnic basket uses it! That is just the most beautiful thing in the world. I have a regular picnic basket outfitted with heavy plastic utensils and plates and cups, and my grandson and I still think it’s some kind of wonderful to take it to the park for lunch.

  18. ellen says:

    Not Corning Ware but Pyrex – I almost fell off my chair drooling over it.

    • Evlayn says:

      Now I don’t have to say it! Vintage Pyrex – a serous weakness of mine.

      • Karen says:

        Pyrex was invented by and is made by Corning Evlayn. I’m using the words interchangeably even though technically they aren’t exactly the same thing. ~ karen!

  19. Ruth says:

    Love the picnic basket.

    That lady in the ‘hats photo’ giving you the side-eye though….. hmmm.

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Someone else mentioned that. I didn’t even notice. I just run around taking shots and ignore pretty much everyone and everything. ~ karen!

  20. Okay. I wanted to eat the picture of those fries.
    I have quite a few pieces of Flow Blue, only I didn’t realize what it was. I just knew it was old. Very old. Wanna barter? :-D

    • Karen says:

      Sure. I’ll continue to give you highly entertaining posts for the low, low cost of nothing in exchange for the plates for the low, low cost of nothing, lol. Just kidding. I dooooo love Flow Blue. Send me a pic if you’re ever thinking of getting rid! ~ karen!

  21. jainegayer says:

    I adore the pink carpet. But those french fries are making me drool!

  22. Etta says:

    Should have bought the picnic hamper….just sayin’ .

  23. SarahP says:

    I’ve been waiting for your Christie’s post. I couldn’t imagine you’d miss the show. I loved that picnic basket too. If the jar lids hadn’t been cracked, I may have thought about it.

  24. Jody says:

    I love going to Christie’s Antique Show. I always get something or five. This year the quirky item I bought was a diary–the old 5 year diary with the lock that never works. It starts in 1953 and the 14 year old girl writing it, from Cheektowaga, is delightful. It is so sweet. With the wonders of the internet I may be able to find her and ask if she wants her diary back. It makes me wonder how the diary ever ended up at an antique sale.

  25. Sally says:

    I always love this post! It looks like another great year. I look forward to seeiing what you hauled home.

  26. Cathy says:

    Dang, girl, you have great restraint. I’d have snatched the picnic basket up in a hot minute; and a bunch
    of the jadeite. And copper. And some of the frames.
    So, do you guys ever get warm weather? Longer than 3 weeks? I just don’t know how you do it.
    I have a hard time with Central Ohio winter as it is….

    • Karen says:

      Hey Cathy! I actually think it’s much hotter here for the summer than in central Ohio, lol. People automatically assume all of Canada is freezing cold. We just had a weird cold day which happens around this time. All this week it’s supposed to be around 29-32 celsius though which is between 85 and 90 fahrenheit (although yesterday and the day before felt more like fall). And chances are the 80-90 degree weather will continue until the middle or end of August. And it’s HUMID. So it’s oppressive heat. Which I happen to love. :) That’s a fairly typical summer for Southern Ontario. It’s a bit different for my friends in central and Eastern Canada though. They don’t have as long or as hot a summer. ~ karen!

  27. Amanda says:

    I love the picnic basket. I’ve always wanted one!

  28. Anti Kate says:

    That umbrella, next to the wine sign! Ack! I would have been all over it. I wonder if you are being sneaky, and nonchalantly showed us what you got, but glossed over it. You wouldn’t do that, would you?

  29. Catherine Vosper says:

    Thanks for sharing, great pictures, I so much enjoy your blog!

  30. Rachel says:

    This is my favorite post every year.

  31. Hi Karen, just wanted to say that living in Winnipeg, there is NO such thing as a good garage sale and even our once a year ‘giant’ flea market is a place one can easily walk away from empty handed. I had so much fun vicariously following you about the grounds at Christie’s sale. Don’t anticipate being that far east in the near future, but until then, I’ll periodically pull up this particular blog and buy all the things that take my breath away and I KNOW I haven’t room for anything in my under 1000 sq.ft. home. Thanks for the pleasurable and cost effective adventure through wonder land.
    Charlotte T
    P.S. I truly look forward to your blog every single day. You’re one cool chick.
    : )

  32. SusanD says:

    If that first chair was dirt cheap, considering the condition, it would have been a great choice to try your hand at upholstery, if you have any interest in that. By doing it yourself, you can choose the fabric. I always enjoy your shots of the show. You choose interesting things. I’m beginning to think I probably shouldn’t be reading your blog anymore, though, because I’m even more vintage than the Corningware. I’m definitely out of my age group here. If you’re ever going to Los Angeles, there’s a flea market at the Rose Bowl (in Pasadena) every second Sunday of the month. I think you might like it. It looks very much like Christie’s, with booths specializing in certain colors or eras or types of things. It’s huge – too large to cover in a single day – and it has pretty much everything, also!

  33. marilyn says:

    those fries looked a little anemic

  34. Diana says:

    Since 3 weeks I am Walking around our lokal antiquestore. There is a sweet little wooden table. I love love love it.
    I asked the owners wife (while my dog was sniffing her Dogs Ass) what it may cost. She said, she would have to ask her husband. Now, one week later I drove by, looked into the window … AND THE TABLE WAS GONE!!! AAARRRRGGGHHH…
    I parked the car and looked deeper into the store… They only changed the decoration. YES. That was a sign! Tomorrow I will buy it. I swear!

    By the way, I like the picnic basket. It is the nicest one I have ever seen. But who would drag it to the right place. It would look naughty in a Bollerwagen!!! Maybe the missing horse….hmmmm

  35. Ann Brookens says:

    I thought the metal cage frame chair with the orange upholstery was interesting. You didn’t even comment on it!

  36. Carey says:

    What, no buyers remorse on the Statue of Liberty? pfft.

  37. Kim says:

    I found the chair you’re looking for, but no ottoman, see link above

    Luv your site!

  38. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    LOVE IT..I was so excited when I saw what the post was today…lots of awesome pictures this year..Sorry you didn’t find your chair but I’m sure you got some good stuff Karen..That lamp with the tall shade…I sold one of those on eBay a few years was hard to give it up as I love retro lamps..but it did take up some room here..Love all the Pyrex..the ladies hats..the luggage..the guy missing his penis..and the awesome acupuncture chart!!!!!!..I had such a good time..thanks for taking me there again!

  39. sheila says:

    That pink chair reminded me of The Coneheads (Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin) on Saturday Night Live – back in the days when the show was entertaining to watch!

  40. Jan in Waterdown says:

    So glad you posted this cuz we were going this year fer sure. Then I booked a last minute beach vacay and so we were sitting and looking at Akumal Bay in Mexico that Saturday! Ah well, there’s aleays the fall one to go to eh? Looking forward to vicariously appreciate your purchases!

  41. You talk for garage saling and Christie’s in the same post but i feel like they are worlds apart as far as pricing goes. Would that be a fair assumption?

  42. Leisa says:

    Thanks for all the pics! So jealous, I was away and missed it this year – maybe next year you could wear a head cam for the true virtual experience!

  43. FlagirlinTN says:

    I would have bought the big ass lamp! Just for the shade alone!
    I think this is the post I look forward to most every year. Love to see what the trends are, and of course what you brought home.

    • Grammy says:

      Yes! Perhaps we would’ve got in a pushing match to see who got to take it home. But I would have got the tall pink chair, too.

  44. Linda Weber says:

    I too am on the hunt for pewter – Art Deco, Art Neuveau (even brass or bronze) Great pics! Hope to make it there in the fall.

  45. ~JackieVB says:

    Loving the lantern behind the olden day bundle buggy, the light fixture below the dirty metal tin, the cabinet behind the trophy and of course the pink mid-century chair. Every year I say I need to go up to that show – maybe one day I’ll even brave the cold and go.

    • Stephanie says:

      Actually, like the show, with the weather you never know what you’ll get. I received one of my worst sunburns ever at this show…. got rained on another year, caught a cold one year, this year I sadly couldn’t attend, but looks like I didn’t miss much (or that’s what I’ll keep telling myself).

  46. Chris says:

    No need to wait until next year, there is another Christie’s Antique Show in the fall – September 13, I believe.
    I saw two of those egg chairs (in much better condition) at a James St. North store recently. Don’t think they’re in the window anymore but may still be in the store as they move things around all the time.

  47. amy watson says:

    I would have bought…corning ware…….copper pots…….flow blue…..and a holster, because l am packing….heat that is….oh and the picnic basket for sure :)

  48. Tigermom says:

    That painting is a tad haunting and I think Margaret would disapprove, but that would have part of the fun of it.

    I’m glad to see you passed on the personal jail pod chair with the orange upholstery. Yikes!

  49. Liz says:

    This post actually made me feel so excited when it popped up!! Treasure hunters unite :) Ironically someone told me that today is international picnic day…but I just googled it, and they were wrong; it’s on June 18th. I’m hoping that someone found pink chair and pink rug and is creating an eclectic, monochromatic room around them. Thank you for a dose of vintage today :) you might want to check out @bex_vintage on instagram. She’s far from you, but seems to have an abundance of midcentury sources.

  50. Tris says:

    The woman in the hat picture looks a little mean.

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