Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Vintage Finds in NE Maine, PA

As part of our trip to Canada and NE Maine in October, I took advantage of some otherwise downtime (rainy weather and travel day) doing some vintage shopping.

While staying in Bar Harbor it rained one day, and our innkeeper had recommended the Big Chicken Barn Books & Antiques in nearby Ellsworth.  The name alone intrigued me, so off Mr. P. and I went.
This place was big! The first first floor was antiques and vintage goods; the second floor was books, and the third floor was used for storage.
Mr. P. is not a shopper, but he is a reader, so I thought perhaps......but no.  He did take his Surface tablet with him, though, and was content to sit in the car and read while I shopped (without complaining).
I made a pretty good haul of some nice, unusual pieces, and for good prices (bundling helped). I bought the tool caddy mainly (no pun intended), which was fairly large, so I could carry my stuff easily to the car.
I found a couple of primitive pudding molds, a cast iron lamb cake mold, a Dundee jar (cheap!), and some brown transferware pieces to add to my collection.
The two pieces (above), a vase and small pitcher, are styled in the Aesthetic Movement period (latter half 19th century), where "art for art's sake" was epitomized with natural elements (birds, leaves, etc.) in the porcelain and ironstone.
The two pieces above are more than ordinary in that they are both toiletry items:  a toothbrush holder and a covered soap dish, both with pastoral designs, mid-1800s. There was a matching wash pitcher, which I left behind. I also purchased a smaller tool caddy, which you'll see in the photos below of my finds on the way home.

Knowing we wanted to avoid I-95 traffic, we traveled I-83 southbound, and stopped by Antique Marketplace in Lemoyne, PA. This place piqued my interest after Shirley from Housepitality Designs talked about venturing there while visiting with Mary Alice of Chateau Chic. They both have great taste in decor and vintage finds, and it was a good location to stop in our long drive home. We checked in for an overnight stay, and Mr. P. settled in for watching football while I shopped.
If I only have a little time to shop, an antique mall is my natural choice. A place with many vendors usually has enough competition that any given number of dealers will be running sales.  This proved to be the case in Lemoyne, as well as Ellsworth.
I picked up several smalls in Lemoyne, including four ironstone bowls, a very nice set of ivorine knives, a set each of red and navy blue bakelite knives and forks, three alarm clocks and a leather binocular case (for a homeless set of binoculars I already had).  All of these items will be for sale after they've been fostered a while.
I chose various smalls that were attractive to me, either in price or patina, or both (above). A horse bit, garden weeder, Bell Atlantic lineman's tool with leather case, a razor, Stanley & Lufkin folding rulers, and a Coca-Cola advertising ruler  (A Golden Rule - 'Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You'). The middle item is a very old tea strainer, with ebony handle and duck-lip spout. All the items above are laying on a grain sack, with original draw cord and nice advertising graphics.

I also found a pair of ice skates in Lemoyne that I'll be taking to the antique mall right away for winter display/resale.
Shopping in Canada was mostly through windows.  Even with the favorable exchange rate of the US dollar, we didn't venture far enough away from the tourist areas to find any good deals.  One store's window displays, Claude Berry, was like a magnet to my eyes - awesome dishes on display.  They sold Quimper, but it was all at retail pricing (spoon rest for $72!).
While in Quebec City, we went to Erico's Chocolatier, recommended by staff at the Frontenac when asked for a good chocolatier. Erico's even has a small museum within the shop, telling of the history of chocolate making and a viewing station to watch the chocolate artisans working.
I purchased (besides several chocolates) a reproduction of an antique metal sign that appealed to me for its French graphics.
I bought a simple cotton dish towel at the Frontenac gift shop as a souvenir, with beehives and Queen bees woven throughout.  I chose it for its iconic French symbolism, but the clerk said they stock them because the bees apparently reside on the many gabled roofs of the Frontenac. It will be a nice reminder of a great trip each time I use it in the kitchen.

That's everything from my fall trip. Have you found any great vintage finds lately?

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