How To: Date Your World Globe

Hello! It has been so long since I’ve posted, but I’m back and ready to share my vintage inspiration.

Enter my globes. They sit on top of my hutch, cropped here so you can’t see the disaster that is our dining room. Please don’t mention that my silver candlestick holders need to be polished.

Hutch_CloseupI’ve always wanted to date them and had dreams of figuring out a way to share an easy way to do just that by using outdated country names and I always got overwhelmed. But never fear, someone has done it already with far more accuracy, attention to detail and humor. Enter xkcd.

Map Guide

Image from

Quick! Run to your hutches and grab your globes! Hat tip to my husband who has been reading xkcd for ages while I think most of it is yawn-inducing and goes way over my head.

For my three globes, two worked really well with this method.

1940s Globe

This globe was one of the first vintage things I ever purchased for $5 at a flea market. Mainly the colors got me, also this little detail on the top sealed the deal:


And no, there’s usually not a copyright date anywhere on a vast majority of the gloves I’ve seen. Here’s what this globe has:


I had no trouble dating it to 1941–1945 by using the chart above. Success!

1950s Globe

This globe was my grandpa’s and I love the pop of black. It is pretty sun-bleached and the base needs to be polished but I still love it. The worst problem I had here was determining what country controlled the Sinai Peninsula. Perhaps this globe wasn’t detailed enough, but I did get the probable date narrowed down between 1949–1952.

1970s Globe

Just from the colors and the base I had already guessed this was a late 1970s model, and could get close to 1976–1981. This was more of a geographic globe, so the level of detail wasn’t enough to be even more accurate.

What do you think? Are you going to date all your globes? Let us know what you find out!

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Weekend Finds: Invasion of the Pod Sofas

In case you’re wondering what I’ve been up to—aside from roving around in search of vintage greatness—I’ve been attempting to organize the vintage greatness I’ve already got. I’ve got a new larger storage area and I’ve finally installed some shelving to help wrangle the chairs that seem to be multiplying like rabbits.

When there's nowhere left to go, go up!

When there’s nowhere left to go, go up!

But even all of this work has not stopped me from dragging more in and last week featured some particularly fortuitous dragging. It all started with spotting an ad for this:


I always love finding Broyhill Brasilia, even if it does need a little work. It came from the estate of a centenarian who, I was told, wore suits up until the day he died and always drove a Cadillac—he owned 38 of them over the course of his driving years. A man after my own heart.


That would have been a great enough find for any week, but then I spotted two of these:


That’s right, two. Who could say no to these pods? And the best part is the shells are lightweight—you can pick the entire couch up with one arm. Still riding this high, a mid-week trip to the thrift store yielded this:


An Adrian Pearsall dining table! What. Is. Happening? At this point I was feeling like some sort of wizard, conjuring great mid-century pieces with mystical powers that even I couldn’t fully grasp. Though I was excited about the table, I couldn’t stop myself from wondering if it had been donated with chairs and, if so, could they be out there at a different store? That thought ate away at me until the next night when I literally visited EVERY THRIFT STORE IN THE METRO after work in a two hour span. That level of insanity did not yield the matching chairs, but I did find these cute sectional pieces:


This time I didn’t get carried away with the notion that the rest of the sofa could be out there somewhere. I’m content with these. But I still decided to do a little research online to learn more about the Pearsall chairs. As I did, I managed to find a set of four and another table for sale locally. Boom. Instant gratification. Granted I had to pay about 20 times what I paid for the first table to get this set and from previous experience that pretty much guarantees that I’ll find four more chairs for free very soon. I’m ok with that.


Don’t worry, that terrible fabric is going away (and with it the petrified foam dust that keeps pouring out of the extremely open weave fabric). Of course, on my way to pick these up, I happened to stop at a garage sale a block away. And, of course, I bought the two biggest, heaviest, most ridiculous things at the sale.


These definitely qualify as my most questionable purchases of the weekend, but I think they’ve got kind of a luxe look. And because each one weighs more than a Cadillac, the price per pound was very, very reasonable. But if I needed to rebound from this decision, a trip to the thrift store later that day had just what I needed.


More Broyhill Brasilia! Plus it was half price furniture day—these set me back a whopping $3.99 for the pair. I will have to do a total restoration on them to match the rest of the chairs in a set I’m slowly building. Although I may have lost track of how many of these I actually have. I’m hoping this makes 12, but I may be up to 14. Obviously I have more organizing to do in my storage. I might need a few more shelves…

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One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Pearsall Chair

First my apologies for our lackadaisical posting. Things are busy and we hope to be back to fairly regular posts—some day. But today’s find is good enough to make up for that. Hopefully.

One of my favorite things about spring is the onslaught of fresh finds that make their way out of basements, closets and attics into the fresh air, just as the flowers push their way out of the soil. These things make their way into thrift stores, Craigslist, garage sales and, sometimes, even the curb. I did a double take the moment I drove past this sitting out for citywide trash collection.

IMG_3830Was this a Pearsall wave lounger? On the curb?! After examining its poor condition, lack of any legs and lack of any tags, I decided this was probably a knock-off and too just too much work to justify cramming it into my overflowing storage. And I drove off. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I drove a couple blocks and then turned around, justifying the move with “the plywood alone wouldn’t be cheap” logic. When I returned I searched a little harder for a tag. Lo and behold, hidden under the fabric on the bottom was this:


Woo hoo! But…what happened to the legs? I couldn’t even see where they had been attached. As I was stuffing it into my car a woman pulled into the driveway. I approached and asked if she knew anything about the chair. It turns out she was a caretaker of the man who lived in the house. She said he was actually very sentimental about the chair and had hoped that by putting out on the curb someone would find it and give it a new life. She said it had been a rocking chair, but the legs were long gone having been broken by his kids years ago.

It was good to know that a) someone hadn’t stolen the legs before I found it (it has happened more than once) and b) its restoration will be meaningful in a cosmic sort of a way. Of course it is a little saddening to know it once had legs that looked like this:


The Pearsall wave rocker as it would have originally appeared.

I will not be able to replicate those. But the chair was also available with tapered legs and that’s the route I will take for restoration—once I find a source for walnut tapered legs that don’t cost a small fortune.

And original wave lounge with tapered legs

And original wave lounge with tapered legs.

I’ll probably also forgo the cushy pillow top design of the chair as-is and instead opt for the earlier upholstery style pictured on the orange example above. All in all I’m glad I turned back and got it, even if it will be a ton of work. My justification for turning back was also particularly on point—the plywood is the only part of the chair I’ll be able to salvage.


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Black Beauty and the White Whale

If our infrequent posting has you concerned that perhaps there are no good deals left to find, hopefully this post will give you some reassurance. While our hectic modern lives have slightly hampered our efforts to share all of our adventures, we are still having them. Case in point, this past weekend I decided to take my 1967 Cadillac out for its first drive of the season.


This is not usually the car that I take junking or thrifting, but the weather was nice so I decided to do both. I spent the evening driving around a nearby town whose spring cleanup week was coming up, looking for interesting things set out on the curb. After striking out completely, I decided to try my luck at a thrift store. I arrived at 15 minutes to close and found this lovely little specimen:


A writing desk designed by Paul McCobb for Winchendon Furniture’s Planner Group. In decent condition. For a mere song. Mega score. And, of course, it never fails that I find furniture when I’m not driving a vehicle meant for hauling furniture. But, where there’s a will there’s a way. I wasn’t going to let this one get away.


As if it wouldn’t fit in the back seat. You could park a Prius in this back seat. If nothing else it was totally worth it just to see the look on the employees’ faces as I pulled up to the front doors of Salvation Army to load it.


Usually these are seen in clear maple finish with conical hardware, so at first I assumed both had been altered. Research proved, however, that these ring pulls were original as was the black lacquer finish and were both options in the original line. The finish does, unfortunately need restoration, but that won’t be nearly as terrible of an undertaking as it would have been if this were covered in thick latex paint.


I’ve said this many times before, but the best way to find something is to not look too hard. My expectations for the night were so low I drove a classic car knowing I’d have no way to haul furniture. Fate took that temptation and ran with it—but even fate is no match for a 20-foot land yacht.

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Happy Spring!

It’s a wonderful feeling knowing warmer weather and garage sale season is right around the corner. This past month I did find a few Easter goodies worth sharing. First up is a circa 1930s paper mache bunny candy container. He came from an antique store my family made a quick stop at while taking a mini-spring break vacation.

Paper mache bunny

My other Easter scores were found at a Salvation Army. I was super exited to find these beauties waiting for me in a cart being brought out from the back. The cart had been full of items and when I walked up to it only a few things were left sitting in the bottom. I asked the person stocking the shelves if I could have them out of the cart, He responded with a smile and a “please help yourself, then I won’t have to put them onto the shelves.” I collected them up quickly and thanked him!

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From the cart came a glass bunny candy container nibbling on a carrot. He was priced under $1.00! 
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An amazing pre-WWII lithographed paper mache egg. This had price tag stickers holding it closed so I waited until I was home to remove the stickers carefully so not to damage the old paper image. I was hoping for more paper mache eggs nested inside but instead found the metal egg.

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A surprise metal egg with great graphics was nested inside the paper egg. Not to shabby!


But the best out of bunch, only priced at $1.99, was this large antique glass egg! These victorian era eggs are blown glass and handpainted.  Happy dance!

blown glass egg 3Happy hunting!

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