Saturday, June 24, 2017

a nautical find of the week

I've found several things recently with which I'm pretty pleased, but when the votes are cast, this antique New England pond boat, or pond yacht as some say, has to be the winner.

antique pond boat available here in my etsy shop
The size alone makes it quite special - 35" tall and 30" wide, and when you add to that the original painted surface, crackled with age, and that it has its original stand, it becomes a true one of a kind piece.

Living in Florida I don't come across good antique rustic pieces that often, but about once a year (twice if I'm lucky) I come across a sale from a former New England resident or antiques dealer. There were a lot of good things at this sale and I grabbed up all I could.

Hope your week is full of pleasant surprises and great adventure - marilyn

Thursday, June 15, 2017

find of the week - a weakness for primitive antiques

Some people are glass people or pottery people. If I had to categorize myself, I'd probably have to say I'm a wood person. Give me a good dough bowl any day. Perhaps it comes from my first exposure to antiques being in eastern Pennsylvania where wood and antiques are virtually synonymous.

The picture tells the whole story for me. And even though these pieces were found separately, they speak to one another quite nicely. And they appeal to my sense of simplicity. Iron and wood.


The shovel has its origins in Maine. Carved from one piece of wood, it has two make do iron repairs that give it even more character than it already has.

The bucket on the left is also early New England. You can see that the lip has a curve on it which indicates that it would have been used as a scoop. On the back of the handle are carved the initials T.G. Wow.

The tall bucket is most likely European in origin. Maybe French but also perhaps Eastern European. My instinct tells me it was used for carrying water. With a handle on the top, it has a great look.

Find these in my Etsy shop. Find me on the road! - marilyn

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

my heart belongs to Paris

I admit to getting a little weak in the knees over all things French. It probably comes from fond memories of traveling to France with my husband, and who doesn't love a country where there's such a variety of public markets every day - antiques markets, flower markets, produce markets, even a bird market. My idea of heaven.

There's lots to see and do, but some of the best "seeing" is people watching while sipping a coffee at one of Paris' cafes or bistros. Maybe that's why I'm particularly fond of French pyrogen (or pyrogene as some say) match strikes. I've found many styles of them but recently found one that may well be my favorite, probably because it's a bit of a mystery and, I think, quite rare.

It reads "Plassard aine Distilleurs Cassis Surfin La Clayette (Saone & Loire)", in green and black lettering

Like many pyrogen, it advertises a liqueur

Pay dirt! an old postcard with our maker (Plassard) advertising Cassis

So from our post card we can determine that the distillery was founded in 1855; the clothing and automobiles date it to the first quarter of the 20th century. La Clayette is a commune in the SaƓne-et-Loire department in the region of Bourgogne in eastern France. What a stroke of luck to stumble upon this post card!

A pyrogen match strike striker is exactly what it sound like it is; matches were kept in the top well to be struck against the ridged part of the strike. There are many varieties, all popular with collectors; I snap them up whenever I find them. This one is listed here in my Etsy shop.

I'll also be adding this group of French oak and brass small pitchers which were used for cider, wine or ale. As charming as can be - mais oui! - they are French!!

Coming this week to my Etsy shop
So as we say in French - Au Revoir! Abientot! - marilyn

Monday, May 29, 2017

Americana for Memorial Day

It only seems fitting to post a little Americana for Memorial Day. So here's the question...which came first: the turtle or the flag? He he...pardon my silliness, there's just something about folk art and Americana that make me a little giddy.

So for today - three things - yes, a turtle, yes, flags and, just for fun, an fun painted circus wagon, because what could be more American than a circus?? A few finds from my Etsy shop, SophisticatedFlorida.

A folk art painted turtle listed here in my Etsy shop
Vintage folk art turtle child's pull toy in yellow & red old paint with a make do repair to his leg, a fabulously fun and folky piece with great surface and patina, the paint is as good as it gets. I do love a make do repair - it's a reminder that things were precious and worthy of fixing.

5 vintage 48 star flags in a stand, listed here
5 vintage 48 star flags in a metal display stand. A great little vintage piece of Americana and rarely found! Four of the flags still have the original string tying them closed, unused vintage memorabilia. This piece dates to between 1912 and 1959. Arizona became a state in 1912 making it the 48th state; Alaska and Hawaii became numbers 49 and 50 in 1959, so this piece was made in the period between those statehoods.What a fun display for patriotic holidays!


fun and folky handmade circus wagon, found here
What a fun piece this is! Brightly painted wagon that brings to mind a circus or carnival - just add lion! Old paint in green, red and yellow, whimsical and fun. Use it for toys, magazines, plants - so many possibilities!

And perhaps that's exactly the thing that sums up America - full of possibilities. Land of the free, home of the brave, with liberty and justice for all. Peace - marilyn

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Pennsylvania road trip Find of the Week

I got my start antiquing at Pennsylvania flea markets. Perhaps it's only natural that folk art is dear to my heart. I purchased my first folk art piece - an old painted bird house with directional arrow - at the Renningers Extravaganza in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, and I'm always happy to go back.

My Etsy shop is filling up with finds from that trip and it's really hard to pick a favorite, but because one is so special, and has its origins in Pennsylvania, it's my choice for Find of the Week. I say "it" but there are three of them heading to the Etsy shop - the pig, the rooster and the combed bird (in the middle). I posted them to Instagram (you are following me there, right?) and folks immediately bought them up - a testament to how terrific they are!


Depression era Mennonite watercolors on ledger paper, circa 1930, found in Lancaster County. Naive, joyful and charming, they are quintessential folk art, a delightful self expression.

Until next week...I won't be going as far as Pennsylvania but there are road trips in my immediate future! - marilyn

Saturday, April 22, 2017

this week's favorite - always happy to find one!

I might be running behind again - seems like that's happening a lot. But the truth is also that the pickings have been slim and uninspiring - nice things a plenty but that WOW factor has been elusive. But lady luck was smiling on me today - almost hard to choose just one find. In the end, a classic won.

I remember Moravian stars from my hippie days - boho chic, with a little mystery and exotic thrown in. Their history dates long before that, with the origin in the 1830s, an illuminated decoration used around Christmas. They evolved over time to be used as decorative objects - you can see them today in home decor stores. I'm always happy to score a vintage one, and today's was a large catch!

vintage tin and glass huge moravian star, coming soon to my Etsy shop
Rusty tin, paneled glass, with an interior spot for a candle, it's the largest one I've ever had at 17" top to bottom and 13" across. Timely and vintage, all in one.

I've been photographing like mad all the wonderful things I found today. And next week I'll be on the road, heading up to Pennsylvania, hoping to find some great folk art and primitives. I'll be posting to Instagram from the road - you can follow along at www.instagram.com/sophisticatedvintageflorida. Happy hunting! - marilyn

Saturday, April 15, 2017

April finds - we're feeling French!

There's talk of Spring everywhere. The birds are singing like mad in the morning, proving the old saying "the early bird gets the worm" all too true. And so why not post a bird cage for Spring?

fun vintage French birdcage, listed in my Etsy shop

Straight from the brocantes of France (via a terrific French seller I met recently) this vintage wood and wire birdcage is just perfect with its green & turquoise chippy old paint. Handmade, it's as good as it gets, painted in green over blue paint, with a porcelain bath, removable turquoise blue feeder and an attached interior feeder that rotates out. Excellent design, the bottom flap lifts (to slide a tin liner in and out for cleaning; the liner is no longer there), the door is hinged and there are two wires shaped as handles for carrying at the top. 

An authentic piece of French life, it says Spring all over and that is why, at this beautiful time of the year, it's our Find of the Week.

Get outside and enjoy these glorious days (in vintage style!), and as always, 
happy treasure hunting! - marilyn