Like the Japanese floral dress clip from my earlier post, makers in Czecho Slovakia molded and painted cute pins and other pieces of jewelry using celluloid. This little pin pre-dates WWII.
I picked this bracelet up recently at an auction. It is a circa 1940 Mexican silver panel bracelet with very large amethysts set into the front. The size of the amethysts is unique and I’ve been all over the web looking for similar bracelets. I haven’t found anything quite like this bracelet.
Dealing with so much jewelry tends to make me blase’ about most jewelry. It’s exciting when I run into something I haven’t seen or owned before.
This bracelet is currently for sale in my eBay store but I almost hate to part with it. Not that I need any more jewelry…..
When I walk through an antique mall, I tend to see the majority of the booths as not very interesting. I hate to see a bunch of garage sale level items, overpriced and dusty, sitting in an unlit and jumbled booth with no real theme. Once in a while, I’ll run across a booth that’s truly exciting. These booths tend to have a theme where the seller is marketing a family of items that go together. At the Ohio Valley Antique Mall in Fairfield, I saw several great booths recently.
There were a couple of vintage kitchen spaces with kitchen furniture, dishes, hand appliances and decorative items. I saw a colorful mid century furnishings and art booth.
Someone was selling a few vintage refrigerators which had me salivating. The stainless fridge is really a freezer that has been outfitted to hold a keg with a tap on the door. So fun!
The Ohio Valley Antique Mall in located on Route 4.
Visit My eBay Store: MidCentury Jewelry
This 1920s era photograph by famed photographer Man Ray shows Nancy Cunard with African bangles up to her elbows. I would call this jewelry “bohemian” style jewelry.
I can see how boho jewelry could fit into today’s fashions. A spring outfit with a tunic top would be complemented by a chunky amber & bone necklace along with loads of bangles. I’m going to try it if the snow ever melts and when I can finally unbundle.
If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll see that I’ve already written about one of my pickers named Darrell. I’ve purchased from another picker named Sally over the years, but she’s what I call an “undercover picker”. This means she sells things to me but doesn’t want anyone to know, especially her HUSBAND!!!
I don’t want to give too much away but her husband sounds like a hoarder. According to Sally, the husband is manic at buying and hoarding antiques, collectibles, goodwill quality items and rancid junk. He stores his hoarded items in various jam-packed storage units all over the city and pays storage bills higher than their household rent. This storage unit rent is literally breaking their budget but the husband won’t stop. He says that his treasures are too valuable to sell. So, in order to survive and cover household bills, the wife trades secretly on the side.
I’m sure I’m not the only person Sally sells to. But dealing with her requires an entirely new language, one that won’t give her away when the husband is possibly listening. According to Sally, she’s allowed to sell linens (don’t ask me why) so the word “linens” has become code word for what I REALLY want — jewelry. Our telephone conversations go something like this…”Hey, Sally, I’m looking for some “linens”. (Wink, wink.) Do you have any new “linens” to sell me?” Sally replies, “Yes, let me call you back”.
So, later I usually will get a call from Sally with a very brief window in which she can meet and let me look at her goods. One time her husband walked in on us while she was showing me some “linens” and I had to shove the stuff in my big purse and run into the bathrooom. After waiting an inordinately long time and realizing that the husband was not going to leave, I strolled out of the bathroom and said, “Oh, hi husband! I didn’t realize you were here! I just came to visit Sally. Well, I’d better be going!”. I backed out of the place with the jewelry still in my purse.
I had to go back days later to conclude the deal with Sally.
Darrell is my favorite antiques picker. Let me tell you how I met this guy….
I was at an auction a few years ago, purchasing jewelry for resale. Bids were low and I was raking the jewelry in. I love it when nobody shows up for an auction! Anyway, this little guy approaches me and asks me if I want more jewelry. I say “Sure!” and give him my number.
Days later I get a phone call from the guy. Now, I don’t know him from Adam, but he’s ready to meet. So, I say to him, “Well, is there a McDonald’s near where you are and maybe we can meet in the parking lot so you can show me your stuff?”. Darrell doesn’t like that idea. He says, “I’ve already got all the jewelry laid out on tables at my house. That way you can see it better“.
Wouldn’t you think I might decide that this idea is possibly not prudent? But, nooooooo, that’s because as an antiques dealer, I live in mortal fear that I’ll never find good stuff ever again so I’ll go just about anywhere for that next find.
I called my husband at work to let him know my whereabouts. “Honey, I’m going to meet a total stranger at his house to buy jewelry. So if I don’t come back, his name is Darrell and his phone number is 555-XXXX”. My husband grunts and I hear the clicking of a keyboard in the background. “Did you write this DOWN?!!!!” His response gives me no confidence that he’d be helpful in locating my remains, so I hang up and call my best friend. After telling me I’m crazy, she takes down the info.
Well, Darrell’s house ends up being a moldy 1970s split-level on a large lot, isolated from other houses by trees and undergrowth. I knock on the door and hear fervent rustling behind the door. As Darrell opens the door, I take a gander and realize that jewelry is no-where to be seen. “So, where’s the stuff?” I ask. Darrell chuckles, “I’ve got it all laid out the basement. There’s more room down there!”
So, here we go down into the basement. Holy Moley, it’s the Mother Lode! And you thought Darrell was going to kill me, didn’t you? Well, you will have to stay disappointed. Darrell turned out to be totally legit. After that initial buy, Darrell became my picker. He goes to auctions and garage sales as a hobby. I can’t be everywhere all the time so it’s nice to have someone out there looking on my behalf.
Darrell likes to do business on his terms, and that’s OK with me. He calls me when he has a large group of jewelry and miscellaneous items to sell. When he calls, he wants to meet RIGHT THEN. Sometimes I get the feeling that Darrell’s motivation to sell is directly related to his immediate need for cash. I have to buy it all…good, bad and indifferent. Sometimes I get the better of him and sometimes he gets the better of me. It’s been a good thing, though, and Darrell has come through for me when I have felt like things had dried up and there was no vintage jewelry to be found.
Would I meet a total stranger at his house again? Probably not. I certainly wouldn’t recommend it! I’ve cultivated other pickers from my goings-about and didn’t have to resort to meetings in dark places.