I’ve talked about this before but antique and flea markets are a fantastic source for super cheap vintage treasures. It sounds counterintuitive — dealers should know when their wares have value. That’s their job.
But things always fall through the cracks. I picked up this 1960s-era novelty Key Watch in a $2 bin at the St. Lawrence Antique Market. It’s a wee pocket watch attached top a leather sheath that’s meant to hold a car key. As you can see from the radiation burns on the dial, it was heavily lumed so you you could read the time whilst driving in the dark.
I also got these two Dawn dolls at the St. Lawrence Market. It was the end of the day and the vendor was basically selling off everything for a dollar so she could pack up and go home. Dawn dolls were like mini Barbies and my sisters and I had a small collection when we were kids. I’ve been looking for one for decades in my weird compulsion to get the dolls I either had or wanted when I was a youth. And then I finally found two in one day.
And finally here’s a De Passille Sylvestre pin from the Vintage Clothing Show and Sale a few weekends ago. We went on the second day and everything seemed over-priced or picked over. The show was closing up. My friend Becky was paying for a leopard fur coat and I was absent-mindedly poking through a basket of $5 jewels when I found this abstract beauty.
Yes dealers have usually researched their goods, but they often pick up items that are beyond their ken when acquiring inventory. For example, a vintage clothing seller might buy out a whole estate. She is looking for garments but might find that random accessories come kit and caboodle with the clothes. It may not be worth the effort to research the various brooches and baubles, so she just puts them out in a jumble for quick sale.
Her loss. My gain.