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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62 Comments

  1. Paula says:

    I guessed the ironstone, and the salt and pepper shakers but I thought the suitcases would be too big, however; they look fantastic!

    • Paula says:

      Incidentally, the sweater looks like it could be an Aran Sweater. My Gran knit them for me when I was a child (UK).

  2. TucsonPatty says:

    What a great srack of suitcases! I didn’t pick any of the correct items from the first set of photos. I think you will find a better chair than the one that you didn’t buy – and it will be more awesome and cheaper and nicer leather. So there.

  3. Barb says:

    I love all your treasures and enjoyed reading your older post about finding a wooden suitcase under old fabric. Who knew!!

  4. Carolyn Schneider says:

    Love the suitcases. I buy old suitcases because they are cool and can hold s#it.

  5. Sachi says:

    Love everything! I want to be you when I grow up. <3 Off to read the post on raising butterflies.

    • Karen says:

      Well if you start to raise butterflies you’re off to a good start! After that all that’s left to being me is giving up on sleeping or ever having a half decent manicure. 😉 ~ karen!

  6. Grammy says:

    I’m giddy for two reasons:

    I usually miss by a mile about what you purchased at Christie’s, but this time most of my guesses were right (the ironstone, the S&P shakers, and suitcases.

    I missed the birdcage and the sweater, and both of those are fabulous. The sweater is so “you” and beautifully made. But your using the birdcage for raising the butterflies is the best thing ever! I was a little disappointed when I first saw the picture of it because I’m averse to keeping birds caged even in an exquisite little structure like that one, but your genius idea just has me dazzled.

    That said, I agree with Tucson Patty. My experience is that when I am lamenting having missed out on something so much, like you are about the chair, my little good faerie that has followed me throughout my life suddenly presents the best thing in the world that I couldn’t have got if I’d acquired the first thing I thought was “it”. You’re going to get a better chair very soon.

  7. Flash says:

    Love the sweater.if I thought it would fit I’d make an offer.

  8. Tina says:

    I just want to comment on the tiny crock with the tiny hole. When my precious kids were little, they would often come running in the house with one little buttercup of dandelion clutched in their hand. And, just by chance when I visited France I went to Limoges. I got several tiny vases to remember the trip. And the vases ended up being perfect for that one, tiny blossom. Now when anyone I know has a baby, I give them a tiny vase for that baby to put a blossom in. And decades later they’ll call and tell me what a wonderful idea it was. Every time I go back I pick up a few more little vases for my friends’ first babies.

    • RachelSD says:

      I love this.

      • Sally says:

        Seconded!

      • Mary W says:

        I third it! I collected tiny glass creamers that were used in restaurants to hold one stubby flower. One day when my garden was full of beautiful spring ‘littles’ (the tiny blossoming plants that are never picked for bouquets) and gave every girl in my office a tiny old medicine bottle (3″ tall) filled with the ‘littles’. They put them under their computer monitor to look at during the day and then gave me the bottles back to refill. The ‘littles’ usually only last one day but are just so cute. Miniature flowers like violets. I did refill later with one gardenia each and the offices smelled wonderful for that day. Your baby idea is one of those little gems that I adore. Thanks for this fantastic pass along idea!

    • Karen says:

      So you understand the power of the single bloom vase. ~ karen!

  9. Stephbo says:

    Nice job! All interesting things, as usual. I’m pretty sure my husband has that exact same sweater. Since we live in Atlanta, he gets to wear it about one day per year.

    • Karen says:

      Ha!! Here I could go from wearing a bathing suit to wearing that sweater in the course of about an hour. Oh, Canada. ~ karen!

  10. Lynn says:

    Ok I guessed all but the sweater lol , I did figure you got more suitcases though for some reason 🤔… All though I could not figure out what you do with the little bird cage , now I know ☺️. You find the neatest stuff you know that don’t you ….

  11. Karen says:

    Now you need to build a bookcase like thing so each suitcase slides in like a drawer. Make it very subtle so it still has the look of a stack, but it is so much easier to pull a case out like a drawer than to have to unstack every time you want that thing you stored in the bottom case.

    • Thera says:

      Oh I actually just saw a thing like that that I love!

      • Eileen says:

        I’ve seen that wall-of-suitcase storage picture…I about fainted it’s so gorgeous.
        And now I am inspired to revisit the case from an old typewriter…I tore the fabric off because it was disgusting and that’s as far as I got. It too is wood. Needs a bit of TLC gluing of corners, but now I’m psyched to finish it up.

        Thanks for linking back to your suitcase revitalization Karen!

      • Cussot says:

        Wow – that’s wonderful!

      • Karen says:

        Wow! I haven’t seen that before. So great. ~ karen!

  12. MrsChrisSA says:

    The sweater and the suitcases…………………………………. swoon!!

  13. Elaine says:

    Love it all, Karen! I would have grabbed those salt & pepper shakers too as I have quite a few blue and white pieces. I LOVE the suitcases and kick myself that I tossed mine out years ago. Stupid me! I’m fascinated about your cage for the butterflies and will definitely be reading about that. Great finds and you WILL find your chair one of these days and love it even more than the one that got away.

  14. Lez says:

    The salt & pepper shakers! Surely I can’t be the only one that thought, “Oh no, here we go again, the great debate on how many holes each should have!!” Then those makers go & confuse us all, by putting 5 holes in BOTH!
    How will you tell the difference, come Thanksgiving Karen!? 🙂
    Love everything you bought! Especially the cage, I would put an Air plant in there, as we don’t have Monarch Butterflies here! Enjoy!

  15. Beth says:

    Somehow I thought the little bird cage would show up around Halloween with some interesting doll parts inside!

  16. Dotti DiFiore says:

    love the purchases!! immediately assumed you’d gone with the ironstone – the others were a fun surprise.

    as for the armoire that you can’t get up your stairs, i have a very large armoire that we use for our liquor cabinet that I acquired several years ago, from who knows where – with the most unique feature – it comes completely unassembled and is held together with pins at the top and bottom sides, together with the hinge pins on the doors. I understood that this was a “thing” in the early part of the 1900s and it makes for very easy moving. I found this site that calls them “collapsible” or “knockdowns”: http://www.country-gallery.com/armoireassembly-doubleexterior.html (my pins are metal and much smaller and hidden than his, but the concept is the same.

    If you REALLY want an armoire up there – you could look into this. Thanks for the fun posts!

    • LOVE the knockdown furniture! Imagine how easy to move everything if you could disassemble easily and carry it piece by piece?! Thanks!

    • Catrina says:

      Oh my gosh! I have a knock-down wardrobe, only I never knew it was called that. It’s mahogany, it was built in the 1850s or 1860s (I have a copy of the receipt for it somewhere), and it’s about 10′ long and about 8′ high. It was in my great-grandmother’s house in Tallahassee, FL, from the time that home was built in the 1920s, having moved from her grandmother’s home also in Tally, and my grandmother gave it to me. She shared that when she was young she had hidden on top of it when she and her siblings and their friends played hide-and-go-seek (I have no clue how she climbed to the top!).

  17. meredith says:

    Really disappointed you didn’t get the giant horse statue. I thought for sure! It would have made your backyard pop. Or your front yard for that matter.

  18. Amy Watson says:

    I guessed the S&P….the ironstone and the green crocodile suit cases…I FREAKEN LOVE THOSE!!!!
    Oh and I guessed the French Fries……Great picks!!!! You will find your dream chair, and it will be in better shape and cheaper!!!!

    I can see into the future 👀

  19. Wonderful purchases! The ironstone is so classic and I love how it can be “dressed up” with antique silverware on special occasions…of course I’m addicted to antique silverware so pretty much anything goes with it in my book. Did you happen to see any while you were at the show? I might even make the trip up next autumn for good antique sterling I can make into jewelry.

    I’m intrigued about growing monarchs but I think my cat might be also… so maybe a few bromeliads in my birdcage. 🙂

    Those suitcases are awesome too! Thanks for the virtual shopping experience!

  20. Perish the thought that in 100 days you could be needing that beautiful knit sweater!

  21. 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.

  22. Gretchen Sexton says:

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

  23. Rachel Schindler says:

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

  24. 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!

  25. 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.

  26. 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!

  27. Elizabeth says:

    The suitcases look so good! I love them!

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

  29. Jo-Ann says:

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

  30. 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!

  31. 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!

  32. 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!

  33. 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

  34. Jane says:

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

  35. 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!

  36. 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 😎

  37. 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.

  38. 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) 😉

    http://indiana.hibid.com/lot/15510-133148-504599/eames-lounge-chair-and-ottoman-by-herman-miller/?utm_source=hibid&utm_medium=email&utm_term=TopPick&utm_content=y2018w23&utm_campaign=Newsletter

    • 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!

  39. 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!

  40. 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!

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