Monday, January 19, 2015

A little folk art carved mouse – got cheese?

There’s something so charming about folk art. Whoever we are, whatever we do, the overwhelming desire to express ourselves runs deep. For many, that expression takes the form of folk art –objects created by untrained people as a form of whimsy, for a gift, for pleasure, often with a little pun thrown in. 

I confess to an unrelenting passion for folk art. My grandfather whittled in his spare time – carving tiny baskets from peach, and even cherry, pits. Care, patience and love went into each piece. His need to whittle was as great as his need to breathe, yet his objects served no function other than self expression. It was from him that I learned to appreciate the beauty in the ordinary, the possibilities in the mundane, the treasures at our feet, if we just open our eyes to see through a different lens.

Which is a long way of getting to this charming little carved mouse. He's not "art" - he's far too crudely made for that. But he does have a wonderfully expressive face, feet and tail carved for detail; he is a perfect example of folk art. I haven’t quite figured out the irregularities of why the base was carved as it was. One theory is that he was made to prop open a lightweight door – a tongue in cheek reference to a mouse getting in the house maybe? Whatever the maker’s intention, he’s (she’s?) created a delightful little piece I thought I’d share with you. Find him in our Etsy shop - Sophisticated Florida.

Go have some fun today!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

It was a horse's head, of all things!

Back in the day, in my college journalism class, our professor Larry Maness, who had an accomplished writing career, used to stress the importance of the first line in anything you wrote. So we all spent the semester feverishly creating witty, captivating, intriguing first lines - some more so than others. But I'll never forget this one, written by one of my class mates: "It was a horse's head, of all things". Who knows. Maybe she's gone on to be a famous writer and used that as the first line to her greatest work. It was a good one!

I was reminded of it with this find, recently posted to the Etsy shop:

Folk art horse's head for your wall

Who knows what next week's finds will be? Last weekend it was a fabulous lamp - as many of you know, I have something of a lamp fetish. I'll do my best to get a photo posted this weekend!

Je Suis Charlie

Saturday, January 3, 2015

A Shopping We Have Been!

Happy New Year, all! We couldn't be more pleased with how the year has started as treasure hunting was good! Here are a few of our finds, now listed in our Etsy shop - Sophisticated Florida!

Lovely antique tin and mirrored sconce

Vintage Asian head and hand

A most unique pair of mid century brass vases in the shape of narcissus bulbs


vintage store display letters - never used
Thanks for following! - marilyn

You can find Sophisticated Vintage - Florida at Sugar Chest Antique Mall in Pompano Beach, Florida, on Etsy as Sophisticated Florida
or email us at

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Count down to 2015!

Bits and pieces of glamorous barware, collected all year long for this time of year! Wishing all of you a very happy 2015!

Soon to be listed on Etsy in our shop Sophisticated Florida!

Fab oversize champagne bucket with lions head handles and gryphon monogram - 65.00
Vintage Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque flutes (two of four pictured). Set of four - 58.00
Napier sterling jigger (obscured by the shaker) with muddling spoon attached. Rarely found in sterling - 80.00
Incredible silverplated trophy pitcher from the exclusive Massachusetts Oyster Harbor Club. It's really worth taking a close up look on Etsy, you'll enjoy the stylish detail! - 85.00
Set of four lovely vintage Gorham appetizer forks - 60.00
Silverplated Italian "bottoms up" stemmed jigger - classic & fun - 45.00
Superb vintage German small cocktail shaker with interior juicer, glasses & shots. A rare find! - 95.00
Terrific post modern footed strainer - another piece worth a closer look, because it's such fun! - 30.00
Two sterling silver drink long stem muddlers - $45
Set of four mid-century shot glasses - Daquiri, Martini, Manhattan & Sours - 18.00
And you can't have a party without party animals! A whimsical collection of mid-century Dansk animal paperweights (designed by folks like Gunnar Cyren), with a jungle theme - giraffes, elephants, lion, hippo & rhino - 22.00 each

Of course, some of us never do last long enough to shut the party down and usher in the new year. We'll just wish you sweet dreams and all our best in 2015!

You can find Sophisticated Vintage - Florida at Sugar Chest Antique Mall
in Pompano Beach, Florida
on Etsy as Sophisticated Florida,
or email us at

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Things

A fun day of shop-hopping to some of my favorite haunts - such a delight to see champagne buckets filled with greenery and golden ornaments - enough so to put even the Bah Humbugs among us in the holiday mood.

This was always a time of year that we filled the shop window with fabulous items collected over the year especially for our holiday windows. Oh how we loved enormous silvery entree domes, clean white ironstone, gilded architectural fragments and cherubs - a piled-high collection of our most special finds.

This year I'll resort to a virtual window and share some of my favorite things with you, minus greenery. You can also visit with me in person at the Sugar Chest Antiques Holiday Open House, Saturday, December 13. And I'm working to have things posted for online shopping this weekend. So much to do, so little time! Must be the holidays!

Antique French apothecary jar, red coral, architectural fragment on stand and mercury glass stoppers

I love Mid-Century! Tack Schmid's "Spanish Fly" egghead, Gunnary Cyren's iconic antelope, Fornasetti's whimsical recipe plate and classic architectural design espresso cup.

Who doesn't love an Abercrombie leather bulldog footstool, or the humble style of his carved folk art friend?
The graceful form of a swan's head on a gilded chair

 Happy shopping, wherever you are! Wishing you all your favorite things - marilyn

Have a question or want to reach me? Email!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Maisie, I've a feeling we're not in Chestertown anymore!

Perhaps it was the palm trees that gave us the first clue. Or the fact that instead of furry boots, scarves and coats we're breaking out the sandals. But maybe it's just the tropical blue skies. Regardless, here we are.

If you've followed Sophisticated Vintage in the past you know that it was a charming little weekend shop in historic downtown Chestertown on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. But life changes, and we move forward. And in this case, forward is to Florida where Sophisticated Vintage has taken up residence at the Sugar Chest Antique Mall in Pompano Beach where we offer a selection of great finds - from antique to post modern - in both a booth and a showcase. It looks like this:

We're calling this endeavor Sophisticated Florida, and with any luck at all, we will soon open an Etsy shop in that name so you can browse our finds in your PJs. And I just might need some luck because my plate's a little full right now with another new addition, our wire fox terrier puppy Maisie. As you can see, she's already a fan of zebra!

So here's to new adventures in Florida. We'll be sure to keep you posted!