What do you do when you attend an auction?

So you have decided to go and see what goes on at an auction.  You scouted out the perfect one, and have even showed up about 30 minutes before it started.  Now what do you do?

The first thing that you need to do is to register to get a bidder’s number.  More often than not, the auction company will have a special area set up for just this purpose.  All that you need to is to show the auction company a valid ID and supply a phone number, and you have a biding number.  What this is for is to let the auction company know who you are and even able to contact you if something arises (like if something that you bought gets left behind).

Whenever I have attended an auction, this will only take a few minutes at most, and it doesn’t cost me anything to do so.

The next thing that you will want to do is to look at the merchandise that’s in the sale.  Getting to the auction a few minutes before it starts will help you look over the items to see what’s there and to see what kind of condition that it’s in.

Make sure that you listen to what the auctioneers say at the very beginning of the auction when they make their announcements.  This will let you know what will happen during the course of the auction and what will be sold first.

So, have some fun when you go to auctions and see what’s out there!


Etsy Vintage Team Store Highlight: PECollectibles

This weeks Etsy Vintage Team Store Highlight features the PECollectibles shop that is run by Erica.

Erica has enjoyed collecting since she was a little girl, whether it be Care Bears, dolls, or even stickers. Although what she collects has changed over time, her passion for collecting and preserving the past is still strong.

She loves selling vintage because there is always something new to learn, and has a wide variety of items in the shop on Etsy.  One of the items is this terrific silver tone leaf brooch.


The vintage pin would go with a wide variety of outfits, weather it’s casual or dressy.  It can be seen in Erica’s shop here.

Another great item in the PECollectibles shop is this great Tin Type featuring a group of three men.


The Tin Type dates to the 1800’s, and I love the way the men are dressed.  You can see the Tin Type here.  If you love to cook, this Cook Booklet is perfect for you.


It dates to 1942, and is Quick Freezing Birds Eye Brand Advertising (I also like the dog on the cover).  You can see this great item in the PECollectibles shop here.

As a matter of fact, you can see all of the great items that are in the shop here.  Head on over and see all of the great items!

Let’s Play! ~ Fun Finds Friday

When Summer comes, the grownups go outside to play!  Check out these goodies from the Etsy Vintage Team…

1980s Chanel Scarf
1974 Pittsburgh Pirates Pennant
Vintage Roller Skates
Antique Croquet Set
Tennis Tumblers
On Your Bicycle Book
Sport-themed Cocktail Mixer
Vintage Fishing Lures
Sport-themed Duro Wallpaper Border
Vintage Wasaga Beach Ontario Postcard
boxing glove
Vintage Boxing Glove
Sterling Silver Roller Skate Charm
1940s Motorcycle Helmet

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Summer! ~ Fun Finds Friday

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer in the United States, bringing thoughts of family vacations in packed cars, picnics, days at the beach, trips to the lake and fun in the sun!  Here are some fun finds for summer from the Etsy Vintage Team…

Atlantic City NJ Souvenir Pennant
1906 Postcard – Woman in Bathing Costume
Well-travelled Leather Suitcase
plastic ware
1940s Plasticware with Box
Redmon Woven Picnic Basket
1940s Cat’s Eye Sunglasses and Case
halter top
Hawaiian Print Halter Top
jute tote
1960s Hemp Beach Bag
Washington State Souvenir Hankie
Sears Aluminum Thermos Set
Golf-themed Vinyl Ice Bucket
1970s License Plate

Happy weekend, everyone!

Early Vintage Tea Towels


When I began collecting vintage towels, I was drawn to the beautifully colored, intricate designs of the 1950s and 60s, when the screen printing process was very sophisticated and elaborate designs were the norm.  As my foray into collecting continued, I discovered that I was equally attracted to the simple one and two-color designs of the 1920s and 30s from the Art Deco period.  Their charm is in their simplicity and ability to paint a complete picture with little color.
Linen tea towels made their appearance in Victorian England in the second half of the 19th century in service of tea, hence the name “tea towel”. They were used as tray liners, covers to keep tea hot and, of course, utilized to dry precious ceramic teapots without scratching or leaving behind lint.  Often these towels were elaborately embroidered by ladies of the household, becoming an integral part of the tea service itself which was passed down through generations.
When household linens began to be mass produced, block printing by hand was utilized to decorate towels.  The monochromatic nature of these early printed tea towels often created striking designs.  One-color, tonal variations of one color and then two-color towels were produced with successful results.  They have a lot of character and depth even with the lack of detail and simple color scheme.
As time went on, towel designs were machine printed using more sophisticated methods producing multicolored and intricate designs. However, I’ve discovered that early printed tea towels deserve as much attention as their fancy successors.
If I had to choose a favorite, I would pick the lanky maid in yellow.
Which one do you like best?

May Day ~ Fun Finds

This is a special Sunday edition of Fun Finds Friday because it’s May Day!  When I was in elementary school, we made little paper baskets and filled them with paper (or real) flowers to hang on people’s doors for May Day.  This friendly activity may have gone away, but May Day still is a celebration that spring has arrived.

Enjoy these sweet May Day finds from the Etsy Vintage Team…

Vintage Postcard
flowers in color
1948 Gardening Book
1960s Flowered Hat
flower pin
Flower Basket Brooch
Flowerpot Novelty Fabric
tiered tray
Blue Ridge Pottery Tidbit Tray
blossom girl
Ceramic Figurine
Damascene Rose Print
Handmade Vintage Button Bouquet
bud vase
Milk Glass Bud Vase
blue flower
Periwinkle Flower Magnet
HappyVintage Iris Tin

Happy May Day, everyone!

Books with Library Bindings

Guest author, Amy from Pistilbooks

In the bookselling world, ex-library books are often maligned and scorned as being worthless or beneath the highfalutin standards of many antiquarian booksellers.  While it’s true ex-library books are marked by the library (some would say defaced) – with stamps, stickers, bar codes, pockets, and the like, I find these very markings and institutional traces to be charming and sometimes beautiful.




I’m talking mostly about older, specially bound,  library books in this regard.  (Modern library books are often simply regular books straight from the publisher with the dust jacket encased or laminated in a plastic cover, taped to the boards, with stamps and a pocket for the due-date card added, though now even the pockets are obsolete and absent.   These do not particularly appeal to me unless the dust jacket itself is a nice example of vintage dust jacket art.)

Many library books have been specially bound in a library binding of sturdy buckram cloth.  These are the books that are often embellished with  the binder’s metallic label inside the front or back cover.  Buckram is a sturdy, shiny coated cotton or part-cotton cloth that is used for library bindings.  The cloth can be a solid color or a multi-colored pattern and is easy to wipe clean after marred by borrowers’ dirty hands with a damp cloth.  Often children’s library books previous to the seventies had an illustration printed on the buckram cover.




Some even older library books I’ve come across have cloth or leather spines and corners, but decorated  paper covered boards – perhaps marbelized paper, or paper printed to look like wood.



Some of the library markings that have their own special appeal are the perforated stamp, spelling out the library name in tiny holes, the stickers from the maker of library bindings – often in a metallic paper, with cool names like “Bound to Stay Bound,” notices and warnings of fines to the library borrower, and instructions on the proper treatment of books.





Cool date-due card from the 1940s amd ugly bar code