Friday, April 10, 2015

Spring at Sophisticated Vintage - Florida

It was about this time of year, back in the Sophisticated Vintage - Chestertown days, that Ellen and I began planning our Spring windows and look, each of us bringing in new finds and objects to add just the "punch" to kick off a new season.

I find myself feeling the pull toward launching a fresh look and mix, so have been working diligently in the Etsy shop to present some special (if I may say so myself) treasures. This will give you an idea! Follow the links in the description to go directly to the Etsy listing. Happy Spring!

Vintage tole compote - perfect for display, a garden party, a wine chiller (and yes, I have round and roller pin floats, just email

Vintage oak Captains Bar box with silverplate cups inside

Modern pottery - Roger Capron mid century decanters (two!), Italian animal figural pitchers (lion and hippo), Italian de Simone teapot (and a terrific jug too!)

A fabulous authentic patent model for a wash boiler (original paperwork included) - use it for wine, plants...

Stunning gilded container - it has hooks to hang so perhaps it was originally a lantern but I love it as a vase, an ice bucket, with a candle...

A monumental turquoise glass stopper - a wonderfully fun object to add a pop of color anywhere

Antique French "Coiffeur" (hair stylist or barber) sign, a modern wicker hat display stand, a "French" bank 'Pour Les Vetements" (for the clothing), sweet miniature frames

Little zinc pots - lovely for herbs, as vases, in the garden. . .

It's been great fun hunting for these! Thanks for being along on the ride! - Marilyn

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Enough with the chit chat. What did we FIND???

Back in the Sophisticated Vintage - Chestertown days, whenever Ellen and I came back from a buying trip everyone wanted to hear our "stories". But what they REALLY wanted was to see what we found. We suspect there were folks hanging around the parking lot to peek while we unloaded the van.

So, I know you're anxious to see what Ellen and I discovered on our Florida adventures. Just posted in the Etsy shop, and now here.

Perhaps our most favorite find - an original inventor's patent model wash boiler. We'd like to give it a new life as a wine bucket, planter - just think of the fabulous garden parties you could have!

Inventors patent model wash boiler, 1875, with certificate of authenticity

You know how we are about anything turquoise, and our passion for objects, so you'll understand how this one caught our eye.

An enormous mid-century blown glass bottle stopper in turquoise

I found this next one without Ellen but thought you'd enjoy it.

A vintage copper architectural obelisk finial on base

And finally, though I didn't find this with Ellen on this trip, we did find one together on our last Brimfield trip, so this is a tribute to her. Hers read "Pour Les Vacances" - For the Vacation - while mine reads "Pour Les Vetements" - For the Clothing. Ooh la la!

Mid century savings bank "for the clothing" by Lefton

More new finds posted in the Etsy shop and more coming later this week. Having a grand old time. Wish you were here! - marilyn

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Lest you think we've been frittering February away...

Where does the time go? In this particular instance, I know exactly where it has gone. The month of February has been busy, busy, with dear old friends paying us a visit.

I managed to post some photos of finds from the monthly West Palm Beach Antiques Fair last month, but since then it's just been a whirlwind of activity.

Ellen, of Sophisticated Vintage - Chestertown fame, came for a visit just in time to hit the Renninger's extravaganza at Mount Dora. Just like old times, we shopped like pros and found some great things - did you know you can actually take a large size moving box on Southwest as checked baggage at no charge??? This is exceptionally handy info to have, especially if you have purchased a pair of nesting Florentine tables that have to get from Florida to Maryland. I'm not naming names but I think you know who I mean.

It wouldn't have been a complete visit without hitting the Lincoln Road antiques market in South Beach, Miami. More fab finds there. And as long as we were in Miami, who can resist a mojito on Calle Ocho in Little Havana? Not us!!! Cheers, Salud, Skol, Sante - however you said it, a good time was had by all!

This week I'll be back on the job with new Etsy listings. Just wait til you see what we found!!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Stick with what you're good at

There's nothing quite so humbling as taking up a new endeavor - say, bowling. It's truly inconceivable that a big, heavy ball - thrown with whopping force - doesn't knock down all those puny pins. But as it happens, more often than not, one watches the pins valiantly struggle to stay upright, and succeed. Perhaps the lesson is in the sheer will of those pins not to fall down, in spite of the pressure to do so. The lesson I'm taking from this is: Stick with what you're good at. So I shall.

February is a major month for antiquing in Florida and I got a good start last weekend. The real fun will come when Sophisticated Vintage shop partner Ellen arrives in Florida to hit the road with me! But until then, new finds are posted in the Etsy shop - Sophisticated Florida - seen on the Etsy page on this website as well. These a couple of my favorites

Mid century Tapio Wirkkala candlesticks with gold leaf candle rings

A petite bell metal swan planter with glass eyes

I'm much better at this than bowling.

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 on Etsy as Sophisticated Florida
or email us at