Sunday, April 24, 2011

Antiques and Weiners

(image taken from Years After)

(image taken from Style Hive)

Yesterday at the antiques fair, I did not discover the proper coasters I so desperately sought; for now, the temporary solution is a collection of kitschy but cute coasters, free from my parent's liquor cabinet accessories and treasures. I was, however, able to find some shopping glee in the form of vintage lucite bangles; an elderly woman and her equally wizened husband had quite the array on display and somehow I managed to select only two, an asymmetric clear bangle and a black and cream Grecian-inspired cuff. Proper photographic documentation of my purchases will be made upon my return home north from the Land of Pleasant Living.

(image taken from Jitter Buzz)

The antiques fairs always feature, in addition to costume and fine jewelry, copious amounts of household wares. Were I not taking the train to and from this weekend, I would probably have indulged in some more Pyrex for my kitchen; the above set of primary color mixing bowls is what started the entire craze for my mother, and subsequently my sister and myself. One vendor yesterday had small cherry red Pyrex fruit bowls, which would be darling for serving snacks or just displayed on a coffee or end table.

(image taken from Etsy)

Speaking of cherry red, almost every antiques fair I attend, one vendor will have the iconic bakelite cherry necklace on display, almost without fail for a price that I cannot currently fathom spending on plastic goods. An older lady who frequents the antiques circuit in this general area features in her booth almost exclusively bakelite jewelry pieces, both vintage and a few more contemporary. Bakelite is still popular as a material in France, and many of the designs are retro-inspired, while some are rather fresh and different. Many of her pieces are brooches of beasts along the hierarchy of the proverbial food chain, cold- and warm-blooded both, wild cats, snakes, elephants, birds, and the like.

(image taken from Apartment Therapy)

One booth had a display of various vintage photograph cameras, in various states of disarray; many of them were heavy, and I had no idea whether they still functioned, but looked archaic and almost statue-like. I wanted to pick one up for the filmmaker, knowing his interests in technical tool obsolescence, but was not sure if I would be able to carry all these additional items on the train, being limited by my personal strength and my own two hands.

(image taken from Kaboodle)

(image taken from Allee Willis)

The antique arena is notorious for attracting exceptionally bizarre characters, strange people with a fanatical obsession with bygone eras, with aesthetics and lifestyles now obsolete or quaint, with gleaning and compiling and hoarding trinkets and objects. I love attending these events and soaking in the eccentricities, fully cognizant of my not passive participation to the community and general antique ambiance. Certain faces become familiar, if you frequent the events, and one of my mother and I's favorite characters is Weiner Dog Man.

When I was in high school, we had our first encounter with Weiner Dog Man, who was overly gregarious and charming and interested in his collection of plaster and real Dachshunds. Though my mother and I joked about him on and off for the next years, I had nearly forgotten about him, until yesterday, when greeted at one of the booths by an older man, ancient thick 1970s glasses, untamed and untethered gray hair, a tee shirt emblazoned with "I Heart My Weiner" proudly draped across his chest. He quickly proceeded to talk up and embellish the quality of his wares, which ranged from an endearing collection of five card draw poker cocktail glasses to hackneyed kitchen items baring the face of Porky the Pig.

In addition to glassware, some cigarette ashtrays, he had a prominent framed work of vintage gravel art, in the shape of a large poodle. My mother was quick to enlighten me: apparently, riding on the swift coattails of the paint-by-number craze, gravel art was all the rage, people giddy to cover large swatches of a planned canvas with glue, scatter glittered rocks or beads across it, and promptly shake them off. I desperately wish I had had my trusted camera with me to accurately capture the image of this deranged purple and silver poodle, prancing across a black backdrop, however, the above image gives a vague notion of this probably mostly now forgotten past time and craft aesthetic.

I spied a collection of four Tom Collins glasses that tickled my fancy, spring pastel colors of blue and green and yellow, featuring old time lady and gentleman vintage bathing suits. He talked up those glasses, jocularly noting they would be a great addition to the bar of my sorority house. Turning to my mother, "And you, you must surely be a graduate student, you could certainly use those poker glasses at the graduate house." We had to giggle, mostly between ourselves, and give him some kudos for the effort. I bought the glasses a few moments later, will somehow manage to pack them gently in my weekend luggage, and cannot wait for mint to be in season; mojitos in the warm months are a welcome refreshment.

1 comment:

  1. Your new glasses sound darling! I desperately want a thrifting adventure but am also trying to limit the new items coming into my house before I move.