I never expect to find vintage tablecloths when I’m thrift shopping, but the past few months have been exceptionally surprising. Would you like to see my newest tiny table toppers?
First up, a bright sailcloth piece with Wilendur-style pattern blocks. (It doesn’t have a pink stain. I took a crummy photo. No one will pin it on Pinterest now.)
I just found a kitchen tool that was so caked in dirt that it was hard to tell what it was.
But I could tell that it was cast iron, that it was green, and that it was certainly old.
It took me twenty minutes of careful scrubbing to get the gunk off the cast iron without also removing what remained of that wonderful green paint. Sorry that I don’t have a “before” picture.
Here are the clean parts:
First, a crank with a silky polished wooden knob. I love that little wooden flange that keeps your fingertips from rubbing against the crank. A very thoughtful design detail!
I wasn’t looking for tablecloths, honest!
Janeray and I sold so much furniture at September’s Vintage Bazaar that I went to the flea market at a bracing 6 a.m. to see what I could scare up to replenish our meager remaining stock.
You gotta go early to get the good stuff. I’ve seen customers there before daylight, shining their flashlights into dealers’ vans as the poor guys are trying to unload in the darkness!
Alas, I wasn’t quite early enough for a piece I would have snapped up in heartbeat—a vintage wood desk with a single drawer, a big old glass knob, and a black painted finish that just needed a little polishing. The lady standing right in front of me snagged it for under ten bucks. Darn!
You win some, you lose some.
So I lost on furniture this time, but boy did I ever win it big on tablecloths!
A whole bunch of dealers had piles of vintage linens that they seemed willing to practically give away. The reason probably is that almost all of them have stains small or large. If a dealer doesn’t specialize in linens, she usually doesn’t want to be bothered trying to get stained ones back to pristine shape.
I don’t exactly specialize in linens, but I do love them, and I consider stains a professional laundry challenge, so . . . .
Here’s what I came home with!
A card-table size Florida souvenir cloth. I love those blue . . . coconuts? giant dates? in the trees.
I’ve been hot on the trail of warm Fall colors to take to Sage Farm’s November show. First up, an 1920’s orange compote (or comport) with a wide gold rim. The glass is clear, the orange is a layer applied on the outside.
The more I look at it the more I’m tempted to keep it for myself! I’ll have to wrap it up and tuck it in a tote now. Click here for more!
Not that we’re complaining!
Here’s one I just dug out of a thrift-shop pile of otherwise boring linens. Measuring a tidy little 43″ by 45″, it’s made of a tightly woven cotton percale with a wonderful all-over plaid & fruity pattern.