Monday, April 2, 2012

Weak Antiques

The five-hour drive to St. Louis has several "antique" malls along the way, so on Friday, I decided to see what's what.

This was an even greater time sucker than Pinterest.

First, let me warn you that every ashtray that used to live in the Chicago area now resides in southern Illinois (and Missouri). Every single one, most not washed.

I used to think those ceramic salt and pepper shakers were the worst part of the so-called collectible inventory. Believe me, ashtrays now outnumber them 10-to-1.

Clearly, television shows like American Pickers, Antiques Roadshow and Pawn Stars have ruined the interstate "antique" mall business. (Unless you wish to corner the ashtray market, that is.)

Check it out:
Bad puppy art.

Steinmart.

Portrait of Gary Cole
 (you know, the gun expert on The Good Wife

Never mind. I know someone who collects these.

Bad reading material.

Disco purse. Embarrassing, even then.

These lamps give me a headache.

Where has all the good stuff gone? Ebay? The dump?

Well, I have too much stuff anyway. And I don't need anything.

But did you hear about the guy in Ohio who bought a print at a thrift shop?

It was signed and numbered.

By Picasso.

It cost $14.

Read (and weep) about it here.

Ever buy something in an "antique" shop that was actually worth considerably more than you paid for it? Care to share in the Comments section?

(I bought a first edition of To Kill a Mockingbird -- with dust jacket -- 2 years ago in Geneva, IL. It cost $15. Now, if I could just convince Harper Lee to autograph it...)



26 comments:

Nancy said...

Thank you for making me feel so much better about all the antique stores and malls we whizzed past on our recent vacation. I am grateful for the time saved, and, frankly, I do not need another thing either, especially not an old dirty ashtray!

It's All Connected said...

The prices have certainly gone up on the good stuff and just about anything is considered a collectible now. I'd say my best buy was a pair of silver candlesticks for $15 that turned out to be worth more than $600. ~ Maureen

Antique Furniture said...

Weep is the right word.Off the topic though, your blog is witty and humor at its best:)No, really. Made me read all the posts like an ardent thunder. Keep going and Have a great week ahead!

Kathy and Freddy said...

Is that a picture of your dearly departed Samantha as a puppy?

Anonymous said...

My best ever flea market buy was a 2 foot tall pair of silver candlesticks at the Sunday flea market in Athens, Greece. I bargained for them, bought them, and clutched them to my chest all the way home on the plane. They are on my dining room table and I smile every time I look at them!

ourlifeinaclick.blogspot.com said...

No, I'm not that lucky!! That puppy painting is too funny and those lamps creep me out!

EG CameraGirl said...

Not my style but I'm sure someone loves them. :)

Linda @ A La Carte said...

So much junk and not the good kind in those antique malls...and the good stuff is priced way too high! I've bought a few things at cheap prices and they are worth much more but not enough to make me quit my day job!

Vicki/Jake said...

Ya, too bad people found all these old antique stores....when that's what they really were.

Coloring Outside the Lines said...

I agree! A lot of these places have truly earned the name "junk shop". I'm finding more fake than real anymore.

Karen S. said...

I know. My mother always had a hard time coming along on my trips. These AREN'T old. I threw away better things than THIS! Oh I remember those visits!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

I love browsing, but rarely buy. It's just more stuff to dust!

paige said...

I love thrifting at garage sales, but I don't really plan on finding that one GREAT find. Darn.

But I do like that chicken!

noexcuses said...

I'm moving to Chicago from St. Louis this summer! Thanks for the tips about antique places. I have a first edition of "Gone With The Wind", but it has a little water damage, so I'm pretty sure it's not worth much!

I think ebay is to blame for hurting the antique malls!

Stopping over from Jenny Matlock. Have a great weekend!

anitamombanita said...

Great post. Amazing stuff...amazingly bad. Loved it!

Sharon said...

I, for one, think the purse is stylin' and I'd carry it today, but then I have a cardboard Moose head hanging in my family room. Go figure!

bluegrassnotes said...

That kind of stuff is why I've never liked garage sales... Fun "T".

Cheryl D. said...

I hadn't heard the story about the Picasso print! OMG what a score that would be!

I have family in the St. Charles area. I like that part of IL!

I never had any great finds. At a garage sale I bought a Beatles album for $5 that might be worth about $100 or so. I researched it and apparently there were a lot of fakes done of this album, but mine had the characteristics of being the real thing. It wasn't in great condition, however.

mrs. c said...

I too have been disappointed in my last visit to an antique shop, very expensive and not anything worth taking home. We have been going to estate sales and find better bargains, hope you had a nice trip!

karen@somewhatquirky said...

No I have never found a "steal" so to speak. Damn! Thanks for the info on the Missouri antiques though... I drive through there a few times a year and always wonder if I should stop. Now I know.

karen@somewhatquirky said...

Hey, since you are a no reply blogger I can't reply to your comment on my post. I just want to clarify to you that that picture is not MY art (as much as I wish it was). The "via" underneath it will take you to my source. I came across this picture when I searched "talent" on Pinterest. Isn't it beautiful? I thought it was a visual that personified the word talent.

Lola said...

Such an interesting post!

Have a great weekend!

Kara said...

One man's garbage is another man's gold

VBR said...

What fun! Got to see what kind of 'stuff' in another part of the country. The funny part is that it is almost exactly like the stuff that is here in VA. don't you sometimes wonder - WHO even wanted these things the first time around?

Jen said...

Amazing find..that Picasso print. Funny how every time I go looking, I can always find something at a yard sale that I must have.

Jenny said...

I am always annoyed when antique shops are more like junk shops. There is a community garage sale here this weekend and I'm hoping to find some treasures.

Maybe even a disco purse!

Thanks for a terrific link to the letter "T".

A+