Monday, July 20, 2015

Traditions worth keeping

Some things never change, and in this little story, that's a good thing. It will be no surprise to those of you who've known Sophisticated Vintage when we were a brick and mortar shop in Maryland, and who know us in our Etsy shop Sophisticated Florida, that not only do we love monogrammed silver (ok, mostly silver plate) but that we are fond of using it in our daily lives.

So when we packed up and moved to Florida, our apothecary jar of monogrammed napkin rings, coin silver spoons and serving pieces made the trip with us. We still stir our coffee in the morning with spoons over 100 years old, with names like Bessie, Aurelia and Harry. When we need a serving fork we're frequently reaching for the one monogrammed Minnie or Gladys. We enjoy bringing to the table these folks from long ago to share an evening with friends in our home.

And when we have a dinner party we bring out the jar with the napkin rings and let our guests pick who they'd like to share the evening with. It's a tradition we started for ourselves quite a while ago, and one we were happy to rekindle in our new home.

So with our table set, we sat down to a new menu with new friends in our new home, casually elegant as always.

We were joined by Elsie and Marie, Frederick and a monogrammed dog, with Madame and Monsieur presiding. By the end of the meal, an old tradition was part of our dining protocol once again. A good time was had by all, as you can see.

Meanwhile, things are hopping at the Etsy shop. We're looking forward to an extended road trip soon, with stops in Atlanta, the Poconos, the Adirondacks, Vermont and, yes, the Brimfield Antiques Market. We'll be posting (and selling!) from the road if you'd care to tag along!

Happy Trails!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

In Florida, even lizards go to estate sales!

Here in Florida we seem to be having a dry spell of good estate sales, at least my kind of estate sales. There are plenty with jewelry and high end "fancy" antiques, but that quirky, unusual piece that I enjoy is a tough find these days.

Sometimes I get lucky and see a sale listed that looks promising, and that was the case last weekend, so off I went. Naturally, a line at the door which meant waiting outside. I wasn't alone, I had plenty of folks, and a lizard to keep me company.

I found a couple of things (perhaps the lizard had already picked through), but further adventures revealed more treasures, listed in the Etsy shop, with more coming soon. Perhaps you'll like these:

a turn of the century french clock face and pendulum

or one that I'll be posting later today:

a Napier cat jigger - how fun!

Posting regularly to the shop - be sure to check for great finds coming this week!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Brimfield Finds!

How fabulous it was to be in Brimfield again! (The May antiques market in Brimfield, Massachusetts, was the occasion.) Over the years I've gone from taking a 14 foot truck to a van and an SUV, to a van - and now I'm down to checked baggage with shipping as a back up. That was a steep learning curve. Nevertheless, it was a successful trip - I've been listing all weekend in the Etsy shop, with more to come!
Here's a taste:

Sweet little jar, Chinese export maybe?
Polka dot bowl with a modern look
Lithographed tin pail with monkey and birds
Vintage canning labels
Tree slab used for serving
Italian deSimone pottery vase
and of course, a wonderful hotel silver entree dome!

Petite entree dome from The Roosevelt in New York

I had great fun shopping - hope you'll find something fun too!


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Brimfield Bound!

For those of you who know me, this post will come as no surprise. Not even being in Florida can keep me away from the Brimfield Antiques Market in May. Every year, around April 1, my first thought upon waking is "Brimfield!" and, after much hemming and hawing, I decided to give in to the urge, hop on a plane (well, two each way, to be precise) and head for Brimfield. Bonus hint: Did you know you can take a large size moving box on Southwest as checked baggage at no charge?? My head is swimming with the possibilities. I've already mapped out my course, know the spots I'm hitting first - now it's just counting the days.

Meanwhile, here in Florida, you have to seize opportunities when they present themselves. What I've found here lately is that there is an overwhelming amount of "ordinary stuff", some spectacular really high end merchandise, and sometimes some fabulous, affordable treasures. So when a couple of terrific estate sales (of the 'no Tupperware' variety) popped up this weekend, I jumped at the chance. And while they might not have been amounted to quite the number I was hoping for, I managed to find a few rather wonderful things. Some I've managed to list on Etsy, and one has already sold, but I thought I'd share the weekend's finds with you to get you warmed up for Brimfield bounty.

a fabulous pair of Italian gesso crowns - sold in a heartbeat in the Etsy shop

A pretty terrific Asian face, (our standing Sophisticated Vintage motto - "buy the heavy stuff") cast in cement, a wonderful find, I think, for the garden!

find him here on Etsy

and then on the smaller size, a terrific Taxco (Mexico) sterling bicycle pin - such a modern look!

listed here; love how it looks with these vintage blocks!
A couple more recent finds - you know I love figures and fragments -

figure here, fragment here, lapis cups here

And last, I'll leave you on a whimsical note - who couldn't use a pair of "people feeders"?!

love that mid century play on ideas - bird people feeders!

That's what's happening in Florida now. Time to get out the suitcases - I'm headed for Brimfield! Peace out -

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!!