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. ronda says:

    love love LOVE Christie! The fries are great WITH the BBQ sausage! And to top it all off, the deep fried apple slices coated in cinnamon and sugar … best lunch ever! Well worth the slow crawl on Hwy 5. yeah, didn’t get there till 9:30.

  2. Karen too! says:

    You have a lady’s maid who is a cat! We have a butler who’s a Yorkie! He’s really good at prewashing the plates and greeting people at the door but (secret) he’s just a little bit lazy.
    Karen too!

  3. Mary says:

    Ahh! My dreams consist of a place like this..beautiful! Love your blog! Maybe someone mentioned it already, but the Eames chair?! :( that would have been worth a shot ;) Blessings

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mary! Yup, Christie’s is GREAT. There were “Eames” chairs everywhere but from where I was they all looked like reproductions. Plus I guess I’m just used to seeing them around. :) ~ karen!

  4. Julie says:

    I am American. And I DO have one of those minnow buckets. Do Canadians not fish with minnows? Just curious…

  5. mayr says:

    OMG those fries. I’m all drooly mouthed now.

  6. Bols says:

    And I was surprised that you didn’t post anything about Christie the Monday after the show, because I was curious to see what you bought. Then I thought it would be posted on Wednesday. And then I forgot about it.

    I did go, and I like to be there early (like by 8:30 am at the latest). So I was driving, the weather was nice albeit chilly and when I was roughly at Valens Road (I drove from north) suddenly I realized I had left all my cash at home. I may have had enough cash to buy a coffee, but that would be it. I know there is a bank machine on the premises but that is AFTER you pay admission. And the admission fee being collected in that little hut, I had serious doubts that they would have Interac or that they would accept credit cards. So I had to make a detour and visit glorious Dundas. I happened to found that intersection where you a bank at each corner: CIBC, BMO, Royal and TD. I thought, wholy moly, aren’t you guys lucky. So that my visit to Dundas this year.

    I made it to the show and I recall seeing most of the stuff that you posted (although not the egg chair – how much did they want for it actually?). I recall seeing the booth of the first picture, then the corningware, the jadeite and of course I saw the portrait. It was beautiful. I don’t know how appropriate the price of $450 but it was probably ok as it was a really nice piece.
    By the way, the Statue of Liberty was $11,000 if anybody is interested to have it the back yard. It was roughly 6.5 ft tall.

    I didn’t see Karen anywhere. But I did buy a small painting on a canvas for which I probably paid too much but I really liked it. I had a sausage and it sucked (compared to previous years).

  7. 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…

  8. 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!)

  9. 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.

  10. Jennie Lee says:

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

  11. 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.”

  12. 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.

  13. Erin says:

    I’ve got a meadow…just sayin’

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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