What I Bought at the Antique Show.

Wondering what I bought at the Christie Antique market this year?  Nah. I didn’t think you were.  You have better things to think about. Like cute cat videos and the role they play in your life.  But I’m going to show you anyway.

The first of two Christie Antique shows for the year went down last weekend and I was there. If you missed my original post on it from the beginning of this week you can read about all the bodily fluids that particular day involved. 

I went home devastated because I didn’t get something I really wanted.  I waited to long to commit to it and by the time I went back to get it someone else had bought it. Totally my fault. No one’s fault but my own. I am the one to blame.  But really if you’re looking to yell at someone it should be my sisters who were with me and  didn’t talk me into buying it.  I mean if you can’t trust your own sisters to push you into doing something you don’t want to do then who CAN you trust with that sort of thing?

Even though I didn’t get the big purchase I wanted I still left Canada’s largest outdoor antique market with enough stuff to make me get the guilt sweats.  Which are like the meat sweats, but not as bad for your arteries.

First up? A whole whack of ironstone from a new vendor at Christie’s – Square Table Round Bowl.

The booth is run by the son of another vendor I follow, Vintage Inspired Cottage.  The interesting and I think inspiring thing is that this particular son quit is big city (Toronto) job to get into the picker trade.  It takes guts to walk away from a really cool, big time job (he worked at a talent agency) to do something a little off the beaten track.  I did the same thing and I’m always incredibly happy for people who work up the guts to do it themselves.

Especially when that leads me to ironstone.  From his booth I got several little ironstone and transferware butter dishes along with a covered ironstone butter dish.

The transferware salt and pepper shakers I got from another booth for $10. I’ll be using them for my Thanksgiving dinner table.

I make a point of only buying things I will actually handle and use.  I don’t buy just for pretty.  At least not normally.  I love using old things that have been around forever.

I also got a couple of crazed ironstone plates from Square Table Round Bowl, a sauce boat and little crock that’s perfect for holding one single flower.  Don’t underestimate the importance of a single bloom holding vase.  They’re GREAT things to have around because – obviously – you only need one flower for them.

I also bought this little bird cage which I assume is for a finch. It looks big here but it’s tiny. It has a little ironstone water dish and it’s in excellent condition.

Now. I don’t have a finch.  But I just said I don’t buy things just because they’re pretty. So what am I going to do with this little cage?

I’m going to line it with mesh and use it for housing my Monarch butterflies in the summer while I raise them.  It’ll look infinitely better on my counter than the dirty vase I normally keep them in.  Want to learn how to raise Monarchs yourself?  I’ve been doing it for years and have a whole series of instructions on it.  And now is the time to do it, so read up if you’re interested. Here’s the first post in the series to get you started. 

One of the hazards of an antique market like this where you’re in a good mood, have french fries in your belly and money in your wallet is – the impulse purchases. For me this year that was a suitcase.  And then it was two suitcases.  And then three.

By the time I left Christie’s I had randomly bought 4 suitcases.  Like some sort of suitcase lunatic. Or serial killer.

The bottom two are two of the suitcases I bought at the show. I haven’t even wiped them off yet. The lowest one is made of wood.  The one above it is a beautiful leather suitcase.

I also bought two green crocodile suitcases with tan leather handles. Add them all together along with a few others I had already and you get this.


Because my house is so old it has a tiny winding staircase to get upstairs.  It’s incredibly charming; when you’re not trying to fit anything larger than an occasional chair up them.  I can’t fit anything big up the staircase so even though I’d like an armoire for storage at the top of my stairs it’s never going to happen.

Instead I have a stack of suitcases.  You might recognize the suitcase that’s third from the bottom as the one I tore the fabric off of to find beautiful wood underneath.  Here’s a tutorial on how you can do that.

The stack looked O.K. all on its own but adding the portrait painting above it brought it all home.

Finally you may have noticed the vintage Irish Fisherman knit sweater in the first photo.  I bought that too. It was $25.  Weather permitting I’ll wear it to the Christie Antique Show fall sale.

100 days and counting.

Have a good weekend!

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  1. Serge Bastien says:

    Ha ha ha, I think I have an idea what you didn’t get at Christie and why you were devastated. I think your post needs an update ….. : )

    • Karen says:

      Oh there’ll be a whole other post for that portion of the story! :) I completely forgot … I was going to ask if I could take your photo for it! ~ karen!

  2. ellen says:

    Looking at the width of the floor boards my hunch is that you have a set of what we call here on Cape “Cape Cod Suicide Stairs”. Winding, steep, and no two treads the same size. You sure can’t run up and down!

  3. Heather Yung says:

    Just found this and immediately thought of you! I had never noticed those chairs until I read your post…now I am seeing them everywhere! Online, magazines, and now auction sites! I couldn’t get the link to post correctly. Hope you can see it to copy and paste. (I promise I am not a scammer trying to get you to click on bait) 😉


    • Karen says:

      There are SO many of those things in life, lol. Things you’re completely unaware of but when you’re made aware of them suddenly you see it or hear it everywhere. :) ~ karen!

  4. Alena says:

    Hah! I once knitted myself an almost identical sweater, but it had a turtleneck. I don’t think you will be wearing it to the fall show. Invariably, both the spring and the fall shows always fall on disgustingly sweltering days and therefore I don’t go. Walking around in a 30 C heat is not my idea of fun not to mention my skin that would fry to a crisp.
    As if it could not be this past Saturday – that would have been just perfect. Although I got a lot done in my garden, so there is that to grateful for.

    I will pray that you can wear the sweater to the fall show because that would mean the weather would be just perfect.

  5. Sabina says:

    Love your treasures! My heart was palpatating for you over that chair. I had a similar situation yesterday. There was a village-wide yard sale event here yesterday and I totally fell in love with a vintage, totally original and beautifully intact AMF Skyrider cruiser bicycle, it was only $20 and I walked away. I see these at estate sales all the time in much rougher condition and the dealers always price them ridiculously high. After we walked three miles back to our truck and at least an hour later the BF circles back around and says wait here…and happy early birthday to me 😎

  6. Ruth Vallejos says:

    Oh, I like your finch page idea – much like the Chinese cricket cages! I’m sure your monarchs will be very happy and comfortable.

    • Karen says:

      I love that! I remember reading about keeping crickets inside last year and wanting to do it. I can’t remember what stopped me. But after the monarchs it might be a cricket house. ~ karen!

  7. Jane says:

    How does one get the musty smell out of old suitcases to use for storage?? Is it possible?

  8. Jody says:

    How the heck did people travel back in the day when they had to slug around HEAVY suitcases that had to be carried and not pulled on 360degree wheels. Insane, I say. Insane.

    • Karen says:

      They had “people”. And those who didn’t have people didn’t have the need for suitcases, lol! ~ karen

  9. Elizabeth Kiesling says:

    Love your stuff. I still remember a table I didn’t get. When you see something that immediately grabs you, grab it!

  10. Kimberly says:

    I love the sweater. I had one like that for years which finally gave up the ghost in the form of elbow holes. During the time it was still with us in the land of the living sweaters (sounds like a horror) I passed by several at vintage shops with nary a glance because I had one already. Regretted it terribly when it got holey all of a sudden (also maybe my house rabbit ate it. I can’t be sure. He does that). I was visiting another city this last weekend thinking: okay. I will just buy a new one for 200. I will do it. I need another wool fisherman sweater. But I was saved when I found one for 10 a few days before. This is what I mean about your chair. It’ll come to you just right!!!

    Anyway. I hope you love your sweater as much as I’ve loved mine. I’m sure you know to try and wash it as seldom as humanely possible. 😆😘

    • Karen says:

      I’ll try to never wash it, lol. It has a couple of marks on it so I’m going to spot clean those. I’ve wanted a fisherman knit sweater for years and years. I go to the Royal Horses show every year where they have all kinds of vendors with BEAUTIFUL clothes from England and Ireland. I always check for a sweater but they are never quite right. Not enough variety in the cables and patterns etc. So I was THRILLED to find this one out of the blue that fits like it was made for me. Definite score. It’s been 10 years waiting on this chair so …. ~ karen!

  11. Carol says:

    Great purchases, of course!
    The fisherman knit sweater brought back an old memory. I was in the Shannon, Ireland airport in the early 70’s and bought the wool and pattern to make one, as they were all the rage back then. Not being much of a knitter, I was overly ambitious and unrealistic to do this. Several years later, my aunt offered to knit it for me. I was thrilled! She sent the finished sweater in the mail (thankfully) and when I opened it, I burst out laughing and had a pang of disappointment at the same time. The sweater would have been a perfect fit for a very slender monkey with its loooong arms! I didn’t even try to put it on because I’d have never been able to get it off again! I felt so bad to think of all the hours my dear aunt put into knitting it up. I finally took the whole thing apart after a couple of years and sold the beautiful oiled wool at a garage sale for a couple of bucks!

    • Kimberly says:

      You need to buy yourself a fisherman sweater! Just keep at the vintage shops and one will turn up!!! I wear my constantly. At home. And out! It’s like I don’t own any other clothes!

  12. Jo-Ann says:

    I love all of your purchases also, although I was hoping to see the Blue Boy painting come home with you.

  13. Cheryl Young says:

    I too have an affinity for old suitcases, they are wonderful for storage and I would love to know the stories they could tell!

  14. Elizabeth says:

    The suitcases look so good! I love them!

  15. Pam says:

    To get an armoire upstaris you could always knock out a wall, hoist it up into the house from on top of a car then drywall the hole up and paint lol. Just like magic!

  16. jaine kunst says:

    Love your finds!! I bought an old fisherman sweater a few years ago and had to shrink it a little and then decided to dye it a medium blue. It’s my favorite fall sweater. And the bird cage is so sweet. Your monarchs will love it.

  17. NinaMargo says:

    Those s&p shakers are beauties, as are the suitcases and that sweater. Wow! Thought you’d transfer your chair lust to the leather safari chair though, but chair lust is very sticky. I still wish I had a huge over-stuffed armchair that I disappeared into when I sat in it. Spent so many happy hours in it, wearing a sweater just like that! Yikes!

  18. Rachel Schindler says:

    I love it when you share about your trips to Christie’s Antique market. One of my favorite posts. Thank you

  19. Gretchen Sexton says:

    Your posts about Christie’s before, during, and after are some of my favorites! I love your creativity and style!

  20. Mary W says:

    Your stack of trunks is wonderful! I just adore the thought of monarchs raised in royal treatment for release and hope for the future. One good thing to concentrate on when I’ve got my fingers in my ears while politics is being discussed. I guessed the gravy boat and the ironstone plates – they screamed your name. The salt and pepper shaker just didn’t fit with my idea of what you would use so it now makes sense that they are for Thanksgiving and I can’t wait to the that table.

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