I don’t know if any of you are like me and enjoy thrifting antique china and pottery treasures for use in your home. I would rather use something that is pretty and has antique appeal than use a trendy version (if I can do it for the same or less money).
According to Wikipedia, an antique (Latin: antiquus; “old”, “ancient”) is an old collectible item. It is desirable because of its age, beauty, rarity, condition, utility, etc. I’ve heard it said that anything older than 25 years is an antique.
From a simple flower vase to tea set additions to a pot-scrubber holder, you can add old charm in unexpected places.
When I do buy something, I want to use it and not pack it away in a month or two because it is adding to the clutter. The antique purple plate above is one of my favorites, though asymmetrical. It was $2.99.
When the children were quite young, we would go on antiquing forays into certain small towns. One of the best times we had was in the company of an elderly gentleman who told us wonderful stories while we searched boxes for hidden treasure and found numerous pieces of gorgeous, useful Theodore Haviland china from Limoges. The elderly gentleman who ran it had not opened the shop for years and years. I knocked on the door of his home and asked (politely) if he was in business after all these years. I think he was lonely, and he enjoyed talking with me and the children while I rummaged around. Among the junk were boxes of mix and match antique china pieces, and some were of fine quality. He charged $2.00 each. What a sweet deal!
Occasionally, you might find something you can make a good profit with on eBay. If that’s what you excel at, it could become a little business from home.
Look for markings on the back of a piece. It may or may not have a mark.
This antique dish, which we use for butter or sliced tomatoes, may hang on the kitchen wall when not in use. It cost more than I wanted to pay – $8.00, but I love the green and white which is hard to find. Markings: Cloverly is the pattern; Johnson Bros., the manufacturer.
If a dish is from China, consider using a piece of cling wrap between the food and the dish if there are small cracks to prevent leaching of any possible lead. If it is from England or handmade in the U.S., it should be fine.
While not antiques, the mugs I look for are hand-thrown on a pottery wheel and signed by the potter. And each one is substantial and unique. It’s an exercise in diligence since they were found one at a time. They ranged from .99 to $1.99 at Goodwill.
They are fun when having company – everyone has their own mug. When they come back, they know which one is theirs.
If you need to give a little gift or housewarming present and know your friends taste, this might be a fun and creative way to do it.
But the best of all, thrifting is a way to teach the value of a dollar to your children when they are very young; the ability to say ‘NO’ to yourself in their presence is practical training in economics. As their mentor, you can use each shopping trip as a learning classroom.
Sometimes ‘thrifting’ can have its downside. First, stay within budget. Make a ‘needs’ list and a ‘wish’ list. Know the difference between a want and a need. Stick to your decision.
Have a use for whatever you buy even if it isn’t antique! You can spend quite a bit just thinking, “Well, if it is so inexpensive, it won’t matter.”
“Few things we can do in this world are so well worth doing as the making of a beautiful and happy home. He who does this builds a sanctuary for God and opens a fountain of blessing for men.” ~J. R. Miller
I know the finding of ‘little pretties’ will never make a house a home, but a cozy and orderly home filled with love and beauty will enrich every member. It is part of the feminine arts to make a home beautiful.
“Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil.” ~Proverbs 15: 16
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Thanks for reading!