Howdy, folks! Another week on the hunt has come and gone, and what have I learned? Screw Round Top AND Carmine! Ugh!
So, as stated in my last blog, my picking pal, Cecile, and I were planning possibly a two day trip to Round Top, Texas, for the spring antiques fair, one of the biggest in the country. I felt like as a picker I needed to make this trip at least once, especially since it’s so close to Austin. And It’s big alright, and lame! A town of 90 people has obnoxious sellers descend on it twice a year like locusts. There’s one ATM, one restaurant, and one gas station in all of this mess. We were in a ford transit van, AKA the smallest vehicle in a 20 mile radius. Our first “experience” took place in the second tent we entered. The dickface seller had custom lamps made out of weathered logs. They were cool but NOT antique. He flipped out when I took a pic for this blog entry and asked what I was taking a pic for. I explained my shop blog and he looked at me like I was insane. I deleted the pic in front of him, told him lamps made out of logs were indeed NOT A HUGE PROPRIETARY SECRET, told him he lost two customers and called him a dick and possibly his lamps pieces of shit. I don’t know, it’s a blur. (I have not discussed my “flip out skills”, as I like to call it, on here before). I was LIVID! Then right after that my friend gets sexually harassed by another seller about 20 feet away. Wow, Round Top is great! We soon decided to ditch the tents and go to a massive indoor antique mall. And I mean MASSIVE. The prices were also MASSIVE and in the hour+ we were there I literally saw NO TRANSACTIONS TAKE PLACE. NOT ONE SALE! One Bakelite dealer was selling $80 rattles for $400. Another pyrex dealer wanted $200 for the standard primary colors mixing bowl set. Seriously?! Needless to say we didn’t stay long.
We worked our way back down towards Carmine and I found a bottoms up stirrup cup for the shop. When I tried to haggle with the seller she agreed to my price because she was “too tired to argue”. What the hell did you just say to me?!?! My response was “I didn’t come here to play ‘Riddle Me This’!” A reference to her missing price tags. OMG, go to hell, Round Top!
I will grudgingly admit that there were a few really nice sellers and amazing things I would have bought if I had the space, especially salvaged art deco metal pieces and paintings. Here are a few pics:
And what did I score out of this mess, you ask? Very little, that’s what!
The owl is signed Maya Que, but I haven’t found anything else on it. On the right is the stirrup cup I got lip for when I haggled on the price.
I did have way more luck on the way down in Giddings at the Whistle Stop, one of my favorite antique malls. Figured they’d be picked clean but I was surprised to find THESE!
EEK! Two BIG art nouveau limited edition lithographs including the famous Lait Pur Sterilise by Theophile Steinlen and Caudiuex by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec! Both are numbered 776 out of an edition of 2000 and embossed by the printer. Caudiuex still has the label from the framer in London, likely where they came from. The wooden frame on
Lait Pur is birdseye maple. Needless to say I was pleased to find these and might have to keep them.
After Round Top abuse and all day starvation we hit Threadgills for some Southern comfort food and prickly pear margaritas, then I slept for 13 hours straight.
Regarding the rest of the week; I assumed the picking would be lame in Round Top so I broke my no picking rule and glad I did too since I found some great stuff.
My first rule of thumb, when I see an 18th century clown clutching a monkey like a baby, I buy it. So I bought this guy. Turns out he’s a Nymphenburg Mezzetino by Rococo figurine master Franz Bustelli. If this little guy’s club weren’t broken he’d be worth over $1000 easily. Unfortunately it is, but I’ll live.
Two sets of child’s dishes for Tiffany & Co, the left is older Mason Staffordshire, the right is 1992 Japanese (both picked at same store same day!). A flapper sequin beanie, a 1970s fine art photo of seagulls by Texas artist Chris Regas, vintage painting, framed Mayan metal piece, Boynton, Baby Ben alarm clock, Takahashi glass, super cool brass and copper sconces, my first toy for the shop, and more.
I had Friday off, which meant easy, unencumbered picking. It was glorious and I want more of that!
Oh yeah, I also got lectured by my accountant for not listing more items to Temple of Vintage. As a result I plan on listing at least three new items daily and so far so good.
Until next time….