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Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Booth sales were sluggish in November.
Truth?  "Sluggish" would have been an improvement.

So why, with sluggish sales, am I on the verge
of taking a second booth at another antiques mall?

Because I'm crazy?
Yes, there is that ever-present factor.

Because I've got a really supportive husband, who likes
that being busy with antiques keeps me (mostly) out of mischief?
Well, yes.

Because I think I can better target what people might want to buy
if I split my inventory between two very different locations?

I am beginning to accept that I am not my own buyer!

I have a passion for American country furniture from
the 19th century (18th if I can find it!).

Pieces like this:

And this:

Sadly for my sales, American country furniture
is languishing in all too many antiques shops.
 Despite all that gorgeous patina.
These pieces have such character, and they are
part of our country's history.

But period antiques are just not hot right now,
even at bargain prices.

What is selling?
Let me give you an example:
this little table sat for months in my booth, in its original state:

I finally brought it back home, painted it with
Old White chalk paint, and popped it back to the booth.

It sold in just a few days.

Time to change tactics, don't you think?

I have been peeking around at other antiques malls,
looking for one that would be a good fit for the American furniture.
I think I have found it.

I'll be changing the Somerville Center Antiques location
to appeal more to people just starting to furnish their homes,
rather than collectors.  My period antiques will move to . . .

I'll let you know when I sign the contract!

Yeah, I'm such a tease.  :-P  
Merry Christmas!  -- Cass

Monday, December 3, 2012

What's the Opposite of Smalls?

Antiques dealers lump their china and knick-knacks,
their antique linens and lamps and artwork,
under the vast umbrella of "Smalls."

Sales at my antiques booth lately have been mostly "smalls." 
Smalls are what dealers call things that aren't, well, LARGE.

These are smalls:

And so is this:

This is not: 

Here's a whole bunch of Smalls:

And . . . ditto:

So what do you call things that are not
classified as "Smalls?"

I like to call them "Sold!"
This gorgeous little table sold last week
to a lucky customer, whom I hope is
just crazy in love with it.

'Cause it deserves the very best of homes.

I hope you had a wonderful, bountiful,
and beautiful Thanksgiving!  -- Cass

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sprucing Up

Some bits of furniture sold at That Old House's
antiques booth last week, so on Sunday
Howard and I tootled down Route 287 to
Somerville, New Jersey, to restock the booth
and jigger it around a bit.

Usually I forget to take pictures when we do this.
But this time, I remembered.
Here's how we left it:

I like to take pictures so I can look at them later,
at home, slap my forehead and say, "What was I thinking?"

Whenever I do this, one thing in particular screams out at me:
"I hate white walls."
Picture those 3 walls a nice warm soft yellow,
maybe with a pumpkin-colored back accent wall.
Old wood looks really lovely against yellow walls.

Or perhaps painted a soft dreamy sage green, or a warm gray.
Anything . . . and I mean almost anything . . . except white.
Cold and temporary looking -- that's how it strikes me now.

We added three pieces of furniture.

A pink upholstered, walnut
Empire-style slipper, or nursing, chair.

An antique cherry drop leaf table -- nice smaller size,
country style, and in great shape.  No drawer.
Sturdy wood "wings" for holding the leaves.

And the demi-lune table that I painted in August.
I kept it at home until I was happy with the finish on its top.
By the way, that left leg is not crooked.  Optical illusion.
There are a few real favorites of mine still waiting for their
forever homes, including this mahogany piecrust table:
It has the prettiest crotch veneer on its top.
And no, I'm not being naughty.
I've always loved tole trays on stands, used as
coffee or side tables.  This tray's old, with a Chinoiserie style image.
The stand would fit any size tray; it expands as needed.

I'm seriously enamored of this writing table/desk, below.
It's just so gorgeous and classic, and made by Southwood.
In fact, it's so high end that it's too high-falutin' to live with us,
and begged to be sold to a classier gang.  :-)

This pumpkin/squash tureen is kicking off my Fall offerings.
Now I need to find some more.  Gee, what a hardship!

Now the oddest thing we put in the booth on Sunday was this:
It's a wee little corner cabinet, painted an unfortunate
green and cream, and it replaces
the larger black one that used to hold so many of the "smalls."

That larger black one was not for sale, but . . .
someone bought it.  That's the antiques biz, folks.

Anyway, another dealer was moving her booth yesterday,
and didn't want the little green fellow, above,
so I got it for thirty bucks.
It's not my dream solution by any means, but it will do for now.

Happy hunting in your neck of the woods! -- Cass

Saturday, September 29, 2012

You Never Know . . .

Sometimes you just don't know what will sell,
when you are selling antiques and near-tiques.

For instance, in this picture of my booth at  Somerville,
taken in August, there's a tall dark corner cupboard in the back, on the left.

It's used for display, and is not for sale.
Or, it wasn't.
Until someone made me an offer I couldn't refuse.

And now, I need to find another display cabinet.

Don't worry, I'm cruising Craigslist as I write this post.
I excel at this sort of multi-tasking.  -- Cass

Friday, August 24, 2012

Squatty and Glam

Good morning!  What a gorgeous August day.

Anne and I are popping into the booth
a little later, to bring two new - rather, old - items.

One looks as if it should be
dancing in a Disney cartoon.
It's a small, vintage bombe' chest.

The other piece has a little bit of the bling about it.

If you are curious about their histories,
visit That Old House today.  
Now I'm heading for a 2nd cup of coffee . . . Cass
And a bit of random information:  a bombe chest is a French style of dresser or commode (stop giggling, not that kind of commode!), with a rounded or curved "belly" and short legs. It is pronounced "bom-bay" but is spelled with an "e" at the end, not an "ay."  

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Auction-ing, Again

So on Tuesday, daughter Anne and I scuttled off
to eastern Pennsylvania
for an estate and household goods auction.

Where a cigar store Indian went for 16-thousand dollars.
No, I didn't buy it.
Good grief . . . 16 grand.  Makes my head spin.
Yup.  That's the Indian that fetched so much moolah.

But at the end of the evening, into the back of the red minivan
went a Sheraton wash stand in need of a surface refinishing,
an Eastlake settee that is just adorable but will probably get new fabric,
and a really pretty pie-crust-style table with snazzy legs.
It just needs a waxing, bless its little heart.

Oddly enough, all of the really nice things at this
Pennsylvania auction came out of houses in New Jersey.
Which greatly amuses me.

No time to show them to you --
I'm working at Somerville Center Antiques today,
bringing the pie crust table and my can of beeswax with me.
No rest for the wicked.

Happy Wednesday!  -- Cass

Sunday, August 19, 2012


A call today from Somerville Center Antiques,
letting me know that the little antique desk-slash-vanity
that I popped into the booth 2 weeks ago was sold today.

Now I have room to pop in the spinet desk,
and a couple of other little beauties.

Still working on getting rid of that awful
black smudge on the Nikon's lens.  Or, getting a Canon again.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


On Saturday, at an auction, we picked up
a Hickory wing chair,
and popped it into the antiques booth.
Someone bought it today,
 taking it off to a glamorous new life.
Proving that there is still a market for plaid.

We like "sold."  
Partly for the money thing.
But even more for the "now I get to find more stuff" thing.

That's what I'm doing now . . . finding more stuff.
Hey, someone's got to do it.  -- Cass

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Booting Up The Booth

I think that jabbering on about my antiques booth on That Old House is boring for TOH readers . . . so Booth jabber will now be on this blog, That Old Stuff.

Which I began a year and a half ago.
And wrote one post.
And didn't even make it public.

This was my first booth set-up, above.
I opened my booth at Somerville Center Antiques during Thanksgiving week 2011.  Most things sold, eventually, and new things came and went.  Which made me realize that if I wanted to really have some fun with this . . . I needed more space.

6' x 9' just wasn't going to make it.

In August 2012, my little booth moved into a bigger space - 8' x 12' - and so far, so good.

Oh yikes.  When I see the booth in pictures, it looks awful. I really need to do something about those walls.

And that is not a horrid black stain in these pictures; it is something on the lens of my camera.  My hated Nikon.  Hmmm ... could this be a good enough reason to get a new Canon?
Please say "Yes!"

 Furniture is what I really love to find.  Today I picked up an antique spinet desk at a beautiful home in Glen Rock, New Jersey.  The desk is adorable.

And one way or another, I'll squeeze it into the booth.  Check back on Friday.  Right now, it's still in the red minivan, on its back, snoozing, and faintly rattling at speeds above 40 MPH.

One of the hardest things about selling antiques and vintage stuff is . . . you kind of want to keep things.  Like, most things.

Like, a nice old quilt.  Does anyone out there know the name of this quilt pattern?  What I know about old quilts is pretty much nuttin' honey.

Remember the one-drawer stand I got off Craigslist last Thursday?  It sold the second day in the new booth.  Furniture works for me.

But what about wanting to keep everything you find?  You watch an episode of Hoarders, and there goes your need to keep it all.  Plus, you remind yourself that you have a husband.

Sanity.  It's a Good Thing.

And now I need to go and figure out how to make this blog public.  Ugh. Not my strong suit -- Cass