So I decided to visit the Antique Alley Arkansas Antique Show this past weekend. Basically, this event consisted of about two hundred antiques dealers in a convention center with booths of various items for sale. The criteria at this particular event stipulated that over eighty-five percent of the items for sale must have been made before 1950. After paying the five dollar entrance fee and recieving my ultraviolet admission stamp, I proceeded to peruse the various wares for sale. It didn’t take long for me to realize this event was probably aimed towards an older generation than the millenial one to which I belong… I think my first clue was the sock hop music blaring from the loud speaker overhead. Nonetheless, I managed to find a few booths with some interesting advertising and collectible items.
While I did not buy anything at this convention, I have bought a couple pieces from estate sales recently. I think one of my favorite finds so far is this fairly large Dazy Churn and Manufacturing Company butter churn. Judging from my brief internet research, it looks like these can sell for anywhere from $150 to $250. Based in St. Louis, this company produced kitchen products in the first half of the twentieth century; other items they made include juicers, knife sharpeners, and smaller versions of a butter churn. This one looks to be in pretty good condition; either it was never used or maybe I bought a reproduction. Nonetheless, definitely an interesting find with some unique history. Now all I need is a few quarts of heavy whipping cream, and I can be making industrial-sized portions of butter in no time!
Another purchase I like is this Bertels Can Company popcorn tin. Based in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, this company produced tins with various college, company, and decorative designs until they were acquired by the Independent Can Company a few years ago. This piece is not in perfect condition with rust in a few places, but I think $5 was a pretty good bargain.
Vacation days really are a dangerous thing for me as I once again stumbled upon another antique store. This time I discovered an old Frabill’s metal minnow bucket. It turns out Frabill’s is still in business and still selling fishing equipment; in fact, a modern-day minnow bucket from this company can be purchased from Cabella’s or Dick’s Sporting Goods. This one looks like it is in pretty good condition except for some missing lettering; underneath the Frabill’s logo, the “WADE BUCKET” lettering is mostly gone. Nine dollars was probably a good deal as I spotted the exact same one for sale on Etsy.com for $22.
I managed to find another pretty cool piece; this one being a 1968 Chein Company Revolutionary War tin wastebasket. On one side is a recruiting poster demonstrating the progression of firing and reloading a rifle as well as the date and location of this specific recruiting event and the benefits of enlisting in the Continental Army.
On the other side are pictures of three Revolutionary War-era soldiers accompanied by a short history and job description. The first picture is a 1781 New Jersey Infantry Officer. The description tells of the regiment’s early defeats in New York and subsequent victories in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The middle picture details a 1794 Dragoon Orderly. These highy trained troops were used effectively during the Revolutionary War and in later campaigns against the Indians in the early 1790s.
The final picture is a 1786 Artilleryman; these soldiers were used in the frontier region to protect U.S. interests from any hostile Indian activity.
While not in mint condition, I do think this collectible was a good deal for $5 as I spotted similar items selling online between $20 and $35
I come from a long lineage of antique and auction aficionados. The patriarch of this movement is no doubt my grandfather who has been collecting antiques for several decades. His specialty is Depression-era glassware; the running joke in the family is he could start an antiques store simply by hanging an open sign above the basement door. Apparently antique-collecting is pseudo-genetic because my mom most definitely enjoys the hobby. Her areas of interest include quality wooden furniture as well as European pieces and dinner china. By no means have I fully developed a passion for antiquing, but I do enjoy frequenting antique stores and auctions occasionally.
My latest expeditions have yielded some unique pieces. One of my finds is a Wisconsin covered cheese box bought for $15. I highly doubt I will ever possess enough cheese to fill this box, but I’m sure it can be repurposed to hold/display any number of momentos…or my Bon Jovi CD collection.
Another of my other finds is a Seagram’s Epsom Derby mirror bought for $30. Named after the same area as the famous Epsom Salt, this English horse race has a long history dating back to the 1600s. From their website displaying men in suits and women wearing fancy hats , I imagine this event is the British version of the Kentucky Derby.
Auctions can be another source for distinctive pieces. I thought about bidding on these life-size horse replicas, but $550 was too rich for my blood.
I did manage to collect a few items which will hopefully serve both a functional and decorative purpose in my apartment. I liked the worn look of this magazine rack and placed the winning bid for twenty dollars. However, I did discover a Made in Phillipines sticker on the bottom, so I’m not sure how authentic or vintage this piece actually is.
I also placed the winning bid for a pair of hand-carved, wooden camel footstools. Maybe $90 was a little steep for these two, but the bidding was fairly intense in the heat of the moment. I’m unsure of the origin or history of these pieces, but they seem fairly well-made. Hopefully, they are genuine products from the Middle East.