Snag » Collective Finds All Found. All Vintage. Wed, 05 Oct 2016 21:18:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 To the Rescue Fri, 08 Mar 2013 14:42:29 +0000 So, have you ever been in a situation where you just can’t leave something behind because you know what might become of it if you do? This was just the situation Angela and I ran into last fall at a flea market when we spotted these…

This picture was taken at the flea market.

This picture was taken at the flea market.

We both may have let out a big gasp when we saw them. Two early 1900s printing adding machines. What was to become of these if we left them behind? Well, all we could image is someone taking all the wonderful round keys off of them to sell for jewlery parts. How horrible. With the price tag of $7.00 each we knew we had to buy them. Did we need or have a place for them? No, but they would be in one piece. They are crazy heavy so it was very lucky for us that the lady we bought them from offered to let us push them out to the van on a cart.

Printing Adding Machines

Printing Adding Machines

Angela took the orange one home.


The Victor came home with me.

So if anyone needs an early 1900s adding machine we know where you can find one…or two.

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Snag Christmas Party: Part II Tue, 05 Feb 2013 14:00:56 +0000 Tammy and Austin can walk into any flea market or tag sale and know what I’d be drawn to. We’ve been thrifting together for so long that I think we could almost split up into three different locations and find many of the things we would each buy. Therefore I’m not surprised that everything unwrapped at our Snag Christmas party was something I loved.

Dominion Curlers

Tammy knew I wanted curlers, but I had just referenced curlers in a very vague manner. What she found was this unused set of aqua blue curlers still in the box! It’s so adorable I can leave it sitting out in our bathroom. So stinking cute. Check that off my wish list!


This teapot has such an interesting shape and glaze. It matches a dish I bought who knows how many years ago. Austin noticed the dish on my living room dresser one day and remembered he had just purchased a teapot with the same design. They’re now reunited.

Small Microscope

Tammy also found a small microscope, and I think almost our favorite part is the typography on the box. I’ll have to display them both!

The Fir Tree

The Fir Tree by Sanna Annukka.

Austin also read my mind and got me The Fir Tree illustrated by Sanna Annukka. I literally had this on my Amazon wish list unbeknownst to him. We’re both mildly obsessed.

The Fir Tree Illustrations

Illustrations from

While this isn’t technically vintage, the illustrations inside draw heavily on vintage style. Just for fun I’ve started a pinboard for Sanna Annukka, so check it out here.

Gnomes and Card

And finally what Snag Christmas wouldn’t be complete without gnomes from Tammy. She also found this vintage card at a local flea market. Isn’t it darling? And that’s not something I say too often. I’m going to be looking for some square frames so I can display this because even my little guy was oohing and aahing. Thanks Snag team!

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Snag Christmas Party: Part I Mon, 04 Feb 2013 16:17:12 +0000 The Snag Team had our Christmas party the last weekend in January. Austin hosted the party since his home was still a vintage holiday wonderland. Today I’m sharing the fun gifts I received.

First up are these thermoses to add to my growing collection. I’d say I have 20 plus of these metal thermoses. The fun blue is Thermos brand and the plaid red is by Aladdin.

I’m always on the hunt for a fun vintage thermos and I received two.

Austin knew I had an old motor to some Tinker Toys and found me an old container full of them. Now to figure out how my old motor runs.

I love the graphics on the container.

Straight off my New Years finds list, Angela somehow found me a vintage Christmas color wheel. She has some wonderful connections! If only I could keep my aluminum tree up year round.

1950s-1960s Color Wheel

Ferry Color Wheel

Knowing I love old books, Angela found me The Rainbow Dictionary that was first published in 1947. This book is not dated and I was unable to find this cover online. I’m guessing it is an early addition. The images inside are bright and wonderfully illustrated by Joseph Low.

The Rainbow Dictionary by Wendell W. Wright

I love the splattered blue paint on the sides of the pages.

This book is going to be so fun to read to my boys.

I also received this 1970s Makit & Bakit train sun-catchers craft set from Austin. My son was so excited when he saw it. I may have some after shots this to post soon. Here is my previous post about Makit & Bakit.

Makit & Bakit

A big thank you to Angela and Austin. I also received a few other gifts like a Christmas wreath with an elf and lots of candy. Angela and Austin will be sharing their gifts in their upcoming posts. I hope they were as excited about their gifts as I am with mine. Now I need to start hunting for their gifts for next year.


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Tammy’s Tie Magic Mon, 05 Nov 2012 15:22:08 +0000 One fine morning when there were few tag sales, we decided to hit almost every Salvation Army and Goodwill in the metro. At one particular Salvation Army, Austin was looking at coats while I perused the very top shelves above clothing that are easily accessible due to my towering stature. Suddenly, Tammy came barreling up to the front of the store with a cart, several boxes, and a crazed look in her eyes. “Come quick, to the back! Vintage ties!” Naturally, Austin and I dropped everything into our communal cart and ran with her. She had hit upon a treasure trove of vintage ties!

Vintage Tie Treasure Trove

Can you believe the variety we found? From the 1950s to 1970s, from wool to silk, this astonishing collection has a tie for almost every occasion. My husband just wore the bottom right tie to a wedding that paired well with my 1960s double-knit dress. As we were standing there in disbelief at Tammy’s discovery, more carts were brought out and more ties in their boxes were unearthed. At around $1.50 for a box with two to three ties inside, we didn’t hesitate to throw them all into our cart. Check out some of these fun boxes.

Vintage Tie Boxes

The detail in the logos are amazing and are still relevant today. Apparently lions were in.

Marshall Field Box

When we returned home with our clutch of ties, we set to work picking ties out schoolyard style. Austin grabbed up this box with extremely fancy tissue paper. But even more remarkable were the labels on the ties.

Vintage Tie Labels

There are a few things to look for when you do find boxes upon boxes of ties:

  1. Check to see if there are any visible stains. Usually these are food stains and are pretty set by the time you find them forty years later.
  2. Look for fading. Often times the front of the ties will be a different color than the back. If this doesn’t bother you, then by all means throw it in your cart.
  3. Find signs of wear. Small holes, frayed fabric on the edges and loose seams are often small details, and if you’re in a rush they can go unnoticed.
  4. Examine the box and/or label. You can usually tell the general age of a piece from these two things alone. Labels and boxes from before the 1970s were extremely detailed and well thought out.
  5. Feel the material. After feeling up a few dozens of vintage garments, you’ll be able to tell a quality material of the past versus a flimsy material of today.

Do you have a favorite tie of the bunch? Do you meticulously take pictures of tie labels? Don’t worry, there’s no judging here.

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Weekend Finds Wed, 24 Oct 2012 14:23:05 +0000 Another weekend, another van-full of treasures for the Snag team. In typical fashion, the three of us headed out on the town very early Saturday morning with only one sale on our list—a tag sale. We love tag and estate sales for two reasons: volume and variety. When it comes to finding a range of interesting things, there’s no better place than an entire estate. You never know what you’ll find and that’s why we take them so seriously. In an attempt to be a little higher than normal on the sign-up sheet for entering the sale, we headed out at 6 AM for a sale that began at 8 AM. Worth it. Granted our numbers still began at 50, but it got us in during the “first wave” and allowed us to snag some great finds before they were gone or the room became too crowded to see them.

Angela struck out at the tag sale, but her fortunes came later in the day. Tammy found a darling bisque figurine perfume bottle from Germany. We haven’t researched it too much, but it probably dates from the turn of the last century to the 1920s. She also got her hands on a great framed print. The print is a chalk drawing of an outdoor scene. Its pewter-gold color carved frame is indicative of its 1920s origin. A great deal at just $15 for the pair.

Surprise! Pop the top and this little figurine reveals herself as a bottle.

1920s framed print

I, of course, scored the lion’s share at the sale. I had spied a lady head vase and a vintage mohair throw blanket in the front window before the sale. At number 53, I in no way expected them to be left by the time I got inside, but I left instructions for Angela or Tammy to grab them as they passed if they were still left. To my surprise I was able to grab the vase and Angela snagged the throw for me, it all went off like a well-planned bank heist—she didn’t even look back as she passed the blanket to me. As I swept toward the back I grabbed a Kodak Autographic bellows camera, an unusual Frankoma vase and a pair of Blenko glass candle holders.

Blenko candle holders, $6; Green Frankoma vase, $15; Lady head vase, $30; Scottish mohair throw, $8

The lady head was a good find. Although most head vases are collectible, my favorites (and the favorites of most collectors) are the matte-finished demure ladies such as this. She does have a small nick in the paint in her hair and her pearl earrings are missing (though they can easily be replaced) but both are outweighed by her delicate hand. Head vases with separate hands like this are more sought after because they are less common and break easily. But as lovely as she is, my favorite find of the day lay in wait for me in the back room… 

Bang and Olufsen Beomaster 3000-2 tuner/amplifier, Beogram 3000 turntable and Beovox speakers

A Bang and Olufsen stereo system! Ok, that probably doesn’t mean much to most of our readers, but for me it’s a find I’ve been in search of for awhile. B&O is a Danish manufacturer of high-end audio equipment. Their electronics from the 1960s through the 1980s were award-winning for design and quality, with gorgeous brushed aluminum and real rosewood veneered cabinetry. It’s a joy just to look at, I can’t wait to hear it. It’s a bit of a gamble though. I’ve no idea if it works and I already know the speakers need re-foaming to work properly. This could be a bust, but I don’t come across them too often (or ever) so I though I’d take the leap. I’ll let you know how things turn out.

Following the sale, we freestyled for a bit, hitting several garage sales and a thrift store. Following the high of a tag sale, we never expect to be impressed by much. Luckily for us, the rest of the morning shook out well. We found some really great treasures.

Pair of Drexel chairs, $70; Nightstand, $18; Matador oil painting, $10

Murano glass lamp, $5

Treasures that include this amazing 1960s living room. This cool little nightstand with rattan insets in the doors was a basement find at an estate sale earlier in the morning, but the greatest finds came later. As we were wrapping up our morning we found ourselves slowly driving by several sales without stopping. Finally we sailed past one last sale when Angela exclaimed “Did you see that lamp?” Already in the process of parking the car, I added, “Ummm, amazing giant Matador painting?” Angela scored this amazing blown Murano glass lamp for a mere $5. I’ve seen tons of Murano glass dishes, but this is the first lamp I’ve ever come across. The flecks of metallic gold in the glass are truly beautiful. By this point I had already shelled out $10 for the massive impasto Matador painting. Too cool for words. We ended our morning at a thrift store where Angela happened onto these lovely Drexel side chairs. Expensive and well made, these chairs are in excellent shape and will look super cute in her living room.

But wait, there’s more. Angela found a couple nice things to wear during the course of the day. The first is a polyester floral dress from the 1970s. A dingy collar came out like new after a hefty stain-lifting regimen and two hour soak in oxy clean. At the thrift store she came across this slightly patriotic yet fully awesome vintage silk dress.

Last but not least are these vintage tins. At the same sale where Angela found the green dress, I pulled these Band-Aid tins out of a box of junk. I immediately became nostalgic for my childhood when bandages still came in tin cans and everyone kept them to hold rogue nails, tacks and even marbles. I decided to buy them as more attractive and slightly cheeky holders for my bandages in the medicine cabinet. The good news is, they look cool in my bathroom. The bad news is most modern bandages are too long to fit in the vintage tins. It may be worth buying shorter bandages. Conversely, I didn’t feel like I needed a purpose to buy the spice tin. It’s already sitting atop my fridge.

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If you guessed B… Fri, 21 Sep 2012 14:00:46 +0000 Angela's Finds

$20 total. Spent more on gas!

Was it the afghan or the children’s themed tin that gave it all away? Because I need more of any of them. Apparently everything I found needed to be colorful and made out of tin. Seeing all of my finds together does make me wonder how it will all look inside my house. A few things are already in place, everything is cleaned, and there’s a load of fabrics waiting near the washer. Let’s start with my favorite finds of them all!

Southwestern Tin   

The Pennsylvania Dutch toleware is my absolute favorite. There are several idioms around the tin including, “People are wonderful nice” and “Apple Pie Order.” Plus I couldn’t pass up the illustrations. Everyone is so happy and quintessentially 1950s. The inside condition is a little rusty, but that’s ok; I bought it to store my son’s occupational hats and cowboy boots. At $0.25 who could pass it up?

The thermos lunchbox I passed at first glance. I was waiting for Austin to finish up at a sale and kept looking out of the van door longingly at it. I could hear my husband saying, “It’s cool…but what are you going to do with it?” In fact that’s pretty much what he said and he’s right. What AM I going to do with it? But there’s a soft spot in my heart for all things moon related. My little guy when he was very young would pretend he was going out the door and when I asked him where he was going, he’d say “To the moon.” All the illustrations in the 1960s are so futuristic and hopeful. Tammy nudged me into the purchase when she said I’d probably never see one like this in a long time.

I have a project planned for the linen napkins in the back of the main photo straight out of the Design*Sponge at Home book. Which, by the way, I can’t believe someone was selling at a garage sale. Sold. I’m thinking the crazy floral fabric in the front might turn in to pillow cushions for my bedroom. Overall I was bummed there wasn’t any furniture. Some things could use a facelift around here. But I spent less than $20 on everything and had great company so it was all worth it!

Christmas Tin   Tea towel.

If there’s anything you’d like to know more about or don’t see a description of, let us know in the comments and we’ll gladly elaborate!


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If you guessed A… Thu, 20 Sep 2012 14:00:25 +0000

Grand Total of $11

If you picked photo A as my finds, you guessed correctly. Thanks to all of our blog readers who submitted guesses. Thanks also to Angela for taking my pictures for this post. Friday’s sales were as amazing as Angela and Austin have explained. It was a day trip I would do again. The first town we stopped at was the jackpot, with adorable old folks having sales all over town.

Many of my finds that day were for my family. They usually give me a “look for this” list of what to find for them and I love the hunt. I found two antique atomizer perfume bottles for my grandma. They set me back $0.75 for the set. I found two whiteware pitchers with embossed designs for my sister. The pitchers were priced at $2 each.

A few of the finds were actually pulled out of “free” boxes. One was an amazing skill ball games board.  It is made of metal. I’m a little upset I didn’t dig in the free box a little deeper to see if the four original colored wood balls were in there also. At a different sale I pulled two old glass Christmas ornaments out, and three ceramic mushroom tiles. I am guessing the tiles are from the 1970s and made in a ceramics class. I am so happy to have a set of three—thanks to Austin, who pulled the third one out of a different box and handed it off to me. These may find a home on one of my kitchen walls.


My favorite find of the day was a $0.25 advent calendar from the 1960s. I love the Santa, woodland animals, children and all the glitter. It is in wonderful condition. My plans are to frame it and put it out for Christmas. The grand total for everything in my photo was $11. I can hardly wait to see what we find this weekend.


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If you guessed C… Wed, 19 Sep 2012 18:05:34 +0000 Those who thrift with me often have been known to affectionately (and sometimes not so affectionately) say “stay in front of him.” With good reason: I leave little vintage goodness in my wake. It’s pretty easy to tell which pile was mine by volume alone.

But, I earned it. I rode in the backseat for the trip and by default I was in charge of packing everything carefully in towels and tissue paper while we sped off to the next sale—wasting no time to stop and pack. I was happy to do it, except for a very brief period when Tammy commandeered the wheel, tossing me about like a rag doll in a van that was quickly filling with glass. Alas, not one vase, lamp or Christmas ornament met it’s end during my flails.

So what did I find? In short, everything. All of my key items are here. Lamps: check. Picture frames: check. Pottery: check. Green ceramic horse: check. It was a wide spectrum of purchases ranging from antique portraits to art deco devices to the usual mid-century fare. It was particularly fun because there was next to no debating about anything. The only items I even momentarily questioned were two 1960s wool coats. I almost put them back until I opened the grey herringbone Pendleton coat, revealing an illustrated fox hunt scene printed on the bottom of the lining and eliciting a “you are leaving with that coat” look from Angela. I made it so.

Austin's snag pile

A decent haul for under $100

Despite a surprising lack of furniture at all of the sales, there were interesting smalls to be had everywhere, including an obscene amount of woodenware. I picked up a couple pieces of vintage wooden fauna for my collection as well as a pair of Danish rosewood candleholders and a very 1960s carved wood bust from the Philippines. Pottery and ceramics were also plentiful. Among the many pieces I found was this tall Hackbarth vase. I like it’s interesting decoration and earthy colors, but I love that it screams “put spatulas in me!” I’ve already put it to work in the kitchen. I also grabbed some fun luggage. The plaid fellow is a lunch kit including the red plastic sandwich box, but missing its matching plaid thermos—fortunately I keep extras on hand. The smaller suitcase features a very cool 1960s floral print.


I amassed a lot of lampage on this trip including three table lamps, a floor lamp with a table, an amber glass swag lamp, an art deco ceiling fixture and a 1950s wall sconce. Unfortunately no salvageable shades, but then at an average of $1.50 each, you wouldn’t expect much. If you looked closely at the overall picture, I know what you’re thinking: “mauve lamps?!” No, I’m not trying to bring mauve back. Mauve doesn’t deserve to come back. There’s more to these lamps than meets the eye, namely the original golden striped glaze under a chintzy coat of paint. Paint strips (and sometimes just scrubs) off of glazed ceramics easily, so it won’t take much to take them back to their original glory. I’ll keep you posted on how they turn out. Plus two dollars seemed a small price to pay to save them from almost certain doom—let’s just they were not living in a particularly safe environment.


On the antiquarian side of the spectrum, I picked up this Kodak 3A camera. Beneath some scratches and a thick layer of filth, lies a very cool camera from the 1930s. Unlike any of the accordion cameras in my collection, I was very happy to find it. It cleaned up incredibly well and I’m going to show you exactly how to do it yourself in a post next week. Also old (and also exceptionally filthy) was this knife-switch fuse panel from the turn of the last century. I’m not usually an “industrial chic” kind of person, but this thing exudes cool—in a deadly sort of way. The heavy copper is in great shape with perfect patina and it’s mounted to a solid black slate tile. It spent it’s life in a rickety barn with sunlight pouring through the walls, but for $10, it has a safe, dry home with me.


But my favorite antique items, and easily my favorite items of the whole day, were a pair of late 1800s portraits of children. I found them early in the day for only $2.50 each! I did a double take at the price before clutching them tightly against my chest, lest anyone else lay eyes on them (even though we were the only people at the sale and both Tammy and Angela are intensely creeped out by antique portraits).

I love antique photography and portraiture, but I rarely come across any this old, much less of children, much less for five dollars. These portraits are photographs printed on tin and then hand-painted. Photography at the time didn’t yield a particularly clear or bright image, but combining photography with painting provided an affordable option to having an oil portrait painted by an artist. The detailing in the portrait as well as the matting and frames is just amazingly beautiful. The frames need some work, so I may actually opt to reframe these portraits in other frames of the same era from my collection. I can’t wait to get them up on the wall, even if they do creep out my house guests.

So that’s my haul. Tune in tomorrow as we reveal the identity of the owner of the next pile…

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Highway Hiatus Part I Tue, 18 Sep 2012 18:54:24 +0000 This past Friday the three of us went out on a great adventure. The towns along a highway an hour and a half north of us were all having garage sales. Word on the thrifting street was that all of the sales were vintage. Count us in.

We left at 5:30 a.m. and returned home at 6:00 p.m. Our insider tip was correct: every sale was VINTAGE! What we ended up with was a van chock-full of finds ready to be cleaned, sorted and placed in our homes.

Many of you have been reading this blog since it started and probably have a feel for what we each collect, so we thought it would be fun to quiz you. Once we returned home we unloaded the van into three piles. One for each of us. Can you guess who’s pile belongs to Angela, Austin and Tammy?

Leave your guesses in the comments below! Tomorrow we’ll start in on individual finds, so keep checking in on us.

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Garage Sale Madness Fri, 31 Aug 2012 17:53:58 +0000 It’s amazing what three people can score in such a short time. Granted, not every sale was a winner—none of us want to collect DVDs or nightgowns. At least for the time being. I’ll admit, this was earlier in the summer and we’ve been saving this post because our finds are just too amazing to not discuss. So, on to our snags.

(Left to right) Wire basket, wood lamp, 1960’s Smith Corona typewriter, beaker stand, Iowa State 1950 yearbook.

This is the first typewriter Angela has ever owned after wanting one for a few months. Emphasis on the word “first.” The collection has grown substantially since then. We went to a garage sale and were “early birders.” You know, those people who wait outside the sale, coffee and breakfast pizza in hand, ready to race to the garage as soon as movement is sighted. There were other people there, but this typewriter managed to go unnoticed, wedged deep under a folding table and completely enclosed in the case. That adorable case. Let’s see some closeups.

Detail: Wooden Lamp   Detail: Smith Corona Typewriter.

Detail: Beaker Stand   Detail: Yearbook

I would have bought the typewriter case alone. Can you believe it was only $5? Austin’s wood lamp almost looks as amazing in this picture as in real life. Not a blemish on it. The antique beaker stand needs some serious cleaning, but once that’s polished up (read: future process post) it will be good as new. Think that’s all we found? Nope. The finds continue.

(Top left, clockwise) Frankoma four leaf clover dish, The Scarlet Letter ©1898, kaleidoscope, measuring tape, three vintage cookbooks, current indicator.

Turns out Tammy has a penchant for vintage tools. The measuring tape and current indicator were found at a garage sale proudly advertised as “GUY SALE.” You never know what you’re going to find…

Guy sale. Enough said.   Detail: Current indicator

And check out these cookbooks. Each one has numerous illustrations all in late-1960’s glory. My favorite has to be Festive Seafood Cookery. When asked if I collected vintage cookbooks I used to say, “Nah, not for me.” But now I’m uncertain.

Detail: Festive Seafood Cookery   Detail: Simple Oriental Cookery

Detail: Simple Oriental Cookery   Detail: Festive Seafood Cookery

That lobster illustration almost makes me want to eat a lobster. From what I can find, these were all published in 1969 by The Peter Pauper Press, Inc. All are printed with just three colors, but look so vibrant and full of color. And…there are more of them. Time to get hunting.

So what do you think of our snags? Which is your favorite?

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