One of my best finds of 2013

Luray and I went on an epic vintage shopping trip at the end of December when I bought one of my best finds of 2013. From the outside it doesn’t look like much. A slightly battered old suitcase:


I thought this was a vintage record player at first glance. Don’t judge a case by its cover

It was mostly hidden under a pile of stuff including an ugly fan. I’m sure lots of shoppers overlooked it just as I did the first time I was in the store. I thought it was a portable record player which would have been pretty cool. Nope! I nearly squealed when Luray opened it.


YES! YES! YES! But what happened to the spoons? And what did the plates look like?

It was a vintage Gold Bond picnic suitcase that belonged to a Philadelphia couple.


Gold Bond, but not the foot powder type. I wonder how much this “investment” cost when new?

Their address label is still intact with its later-than-1960 zipcode.


Yes, I went internet snooping for info about you, Mr. Dovberg. You lived in the same neighborhood as the thrift shop where I found your suitcase. I wish it could talk!

And it had forks and knives with Bakelite handles! So how old is this suitcase? 1940s 1950s? The colors seem earlier than the 1960s to me. I wish I could find more information about Gold Bond! If was truly “an investment” then it must have been pretty swanky in its day. Maybe it was a wedding present?


I bet these handles were originally ivory colored. I could polish them like crazy, but they’d revert to yellow again before long.

From the size of the loops that held the spoons I can tell they didn’t have matching Bakelite handles. Two ordinary spoons fit perfectly in each of the two slots.


I’ll have to look for spoons. Something plain might be best.

Now I have the fun of outfitting the rest of the case. I have a plaid blanket, red plastic containers and an old thermos, but I’m not thrilled about the mix of yellow, burgundy, red and green. Too many colors. I’d like it to look a little more authentic somehow.


Meh. Not loving the clash of red and burgundy. Outfitting this picnic suitcase isn’t going to be a picnic.

What would that look like? I know the plates can’t be very thick or four of them won’t fit in the straps. Should they be plastic? Enamelware? I have no idea. Makes me wish I knew someone with a library of vintage magazines and advertising!

What would you be looking for?

One Comment on “One of my best finds of 2013”

  1. Luray says:

    So hmmm, why slots for four knives and four forks, but only two spoons? Seems odd, no? Maybe the two slots were for, I dunno, a corkscrew and a martini stirrer? And the spoons were stored separately in a little case or something?