Happy Flag Day!

As any collector of vintage items, antiques or kitschy stuff in general knows, the process of amassing “treasures” can become addictive. Attending auctions, visiting estate sales, checking out thrift stores for unusual or useful old items becomes a habit that one looks forward to keeping up with.

I began visiting all the aforementioned venues many years ago and have found some beautiful and rare pieces that I treasure to this day. One of my first purchases was a quilt that was made during the Depression. I still have the quilt and had to have it repaired when some of the calico fabric was showing its age and tearing. Other unusual items I’ve often purchased with the express thought of reselling them. I’ve been told I’ve got a good eye –my children have the gene as well, and now it seems my niece, Traci, is getting into the fun.  

Traci is quite fond of old furniture and other vintage family pieces, but it also seems as if she has tapped into her inherited love of the hunt for antiques.

She’s the third generation –my late grandmother, Stella Murphy, was an avid collector of clocks, blankets and quilts, fine china as well as musical instruments and other items. Luckily she had a place in Michigan as well as a large home in Chicago that held her treasures. And she’d bring some of them back and forth from Michigan on a regular basis. I can remember my grandfather complaining that one particular dresser must have had 100,000 miles on it.

But let’s get back to Traci. She and her husband recently purchased a lake home in southwestern Michigan and she came to my storage unit to look for some items she needed for the new home. After looking through some of my items, she went to Michigan with a Thomasville chair, a vintage drop-leaf table, an oil painting and a cute white cabinet with drawers that she had earmarked for her boys’ bedroom at the lake. She paid me for the items, and the chair was a gift from my daughter, Megan. A quick story about that chair –Megan’s neighbor in Phoenix (7 years ago) was moving and didn’t want to take the chair, which isn’t old, but it’s a lovely chair in a chintz, striped fabric. Megan quickly put it in her garage and when she moved back home to Illinois, the chair made the trip.

Meanwhile Traci’s taken to visiting estate sales in the last couple of years, and her most recent estate sale trip took place last week, when she made three trips to the same sale purchasing more items that she can use in her home for her family and two young boys.

She spotted two student desks on her first trip but didn’t buy them at that time. One her third trip back Traci was thrilled to find the two oak student desks (with matching chairs) still there and she bought them. The third time’s the charm!

“Compared to the lower quality furniture found today at stores, I’ve gotten into the estate sales for higher quality items,” Traci said. “I recently found a Thomasville dresser and mirror as well as the night stand for under $200.”

It makes me happy to see the younger generation getting involved in the auction, antiques and collectibles market. We can always use more collectors and I’ve always said vintage furniture, tables, bedroom and dining room sets are constructed of higher quality materials than some of the new pieces out there.

Here’s some information about some sales and auctions that are coming up:

An important auction is slated for Wednesday, June 26th, by Weiss Auctions, online and at the gallery in Lynbrook, N.Y. Headlining the eclectic sale will be a collection of significant, early Magic: The Gathering cards, including Alpha, Beta and Arabian Nights cards that will be sold as complete sets, not in individual or group lots. There are many BGS-graded cards in each set, including Alpha Black Lotus, Alpha Mox Pearl, Beta Time Vault, Beta Black Lotus and Beta Earthquake cards. Online bidding is via Invaluable.com and Proxibid.com. If you need additional information about this auction, you may call Philip Weiss at 516-594-0731; or, you can e-mail him at phil@weissauctions.com.

Billed as Iowa’s Largest Indoor Flea Market, sponsored by Simpson United Methodist Church, takes place June 15 and June 16 at the 4-H building of the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa. Hours are Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dave Sigmund has more information at (515) 210-5224. Additional flea markets are scheduled in October, November and December at the same location.

I hope everyone will celebrate Flag Day this coming Friday, June 14. Have a wonderful week shopping and adding to your collections. Please contact us with unusual collections, Auction Action news, club and convention news, mystery items and any other antiques-related matters at editor@collectorsjournal.com; meego929@aol.com or via telephone at (319) 472-4763.