By Irene Donnelly
I went to Maine last week for Vacation. Ellen, always ready to pounce on opportunity, gave me some spending money and a quest to find all things milkglass, mason jar and cans. In other words: vessels for the shop.
We speculated that Maine would have mountains of killer finds. I can't speak for Ellen but I imagined Maine as this rural, out of touch place for cheap desirable antiques. A place where I would be able to find warehouses full of Americana that no one found valuable except me. In reality the vintage landscape was comparable to Baltimore and my quest did not exceed my pillaging expectations. However, I did learn some valuable lessons.
Frist, the Flee Market is king for treasures and deals. Check out the ridiculous items my partner in haggling and life found.
Secondly, if Flee Markets are going to be my main source for finding vessels in the future, I had better work on my negotiating skills. It was rough having to go through a financial debate every time I was ready to buy. The process made me feel iky inside and I didn't get my usual "I found a something really sweet!" high. It made me miss my thrifting days in Baltimore. It made me think…"price labels… what a convenient innovation." I will never take seeing something I like with a price on it for granted again and kudos to me if it happens to be half price day at the Value Village.
Then again, some sellers I encountered were just easier to make a deal with than others. For example I got all of these early 19th century medicine and elixir vials for a steal. Great for a grouped arrangement!
I also found this half gallon Blue Masson Jar for $5. That was a real deal considering, the quart sized go for about $12 and don't have the pretty glass lid.
Back to nightmare haggling. This woman owned a junk shop on rt. 1 in Maine. I think it was call All in the Family or Family Antiques but who cares. She claimed she owned an antique store but her display could have used improvement and imagination. The words of Carol Caggian0, "perceived value" are currently flashing above my head. Again, it was a junk shop where everything I picked up was not quite right and over $12. Oh my! Way over of my self imposed budget of $4, per vessel.
I did however manage to score these two unmarked cheese boxes. Haggling ensued and two days later the night sky displayed a magnificent blue moon. Strange coincidence.
Finally, it has recently become my mission to convert all the rustic Americana folks out there from Masson Jar to Cans. I mean, just look at the awesome graphic quality's in the labels. Imagine all the fun we could have displaying complimentary flowers in them. The humor!