Weekend Finds: Electric Logs, and Scavenger Hunts

Great finds have been few and far between this season, but this past weekend I hit a large fundraiser sale and several thrift stores and finally found a decent haul. Nothing too fantastic, mind you, but fun finds all the same. Perhaps the most fun of them all is this 1970s Arvin electric fireplace.


This thrift store find is pure kitsch, but it’s pretty well designed and it looks as though it was never used. I can’t wait to fire up that electric log, complete with rotating foil brushes to simulate flames and audible crackling. I also scored some pretty decent lampage.


The cork lamp, complete with shade, was an astonishing $4.99 find at the same thrift store as the fireplace. I can’t imagine it was there long before I found it. The tree lamp was a garage sale find and will definitely need new paint. I’m thinking all black, but considering painting the cones contrasting colors. Thoughts?


There was no shortage of serving ware this weekend and I was happy to nab some super stylish barware for next to nothing. The ice tongs were an interesting find in their own right. They were new in the box and I only briefly opened the box before I snapped them up. It wasn’t until later that I realized they were some sort of United Airlines gift.


Just what was “The Executive” you ask? From 1953 to 1970 United Airlines offered “The Executive,” a men-only business flight service featuring alcohol, cigars and other complementary gifts. I’m sure the headline in 1953 read, “Misogyny Takes Flight.”

IMG_5286Back on the ground these wood (and wood-like) trimmed serving pieces add some Danish flair to the table. Surprisingly, not a single piece is actually Danish. The flatware is from Japan, the cheese tray is from England, the cheese knives are from Italy and the bowl is from the good old USA.


I can resist vintage chrome appliances. I just can’t. They’re like jewelry for your countertop. Of particular note is the Sunbeam Thinline Touch N’ Toast in the middle. This thin profile toaster toasts two pieces of bread in a row to save space on your counter. You’ll notice it has no lever. It is actually a variant of the very popular and very enduring T20 lineage of automatic toasters. A simple press of the button on the front and the bread lowers itself and toasts to perfection.


The funny thing about a punch set is that you never need one, but when you do need one, you really need it. Like any fancy thing that you use once a year, you want your punch set to be special and I thought this amber blown glass set fit the bill. Sadly one of the 12 cups had a chip so we’re down to only 11. Someone will have to settle for a red party cup.


It just wouldn’t be a complete weekend if I didn’t buy a camera or two. I’ve said this before. It’s not a joke anymore. It’s a really real thing that happens. Even if I barricaded myself indoors for a weekend, somehow vintage cameras would find me. And I’m glad they do. The graphics on this Kodak Instamatic box are more impressive than the camera itself. The box camera is nearly pristine with a patent date of 1924.


I thought this collection of things just felt gentlemanly. Leather, wool, horn and chrome. The vintage leather bag is a dopp kit. Although I’ve always called these shaving kits, dopp kits are simply toiletry bags for men. The name dopp is derived from Charles Doppelt, a leather craftsman who created the bag in 1919. They became widely popular during WWII when the kits were issued to soldiers. This particular bag is likely made by Buxton leather goods, who currently owns the trademark for DOPP. The tartan stadium blanket comes complete with a padded case that doubles as a seat. Wherever you’re going that you need a shaving bag and a wool blanket, you’ll probably also need a flashlight. Probably a massive one like this Eveready Captain that holds four “D” cell batteries. It clearly doubles as a weapon.


Every now and then I find myself picking up something that I would normally walk right past. These wooden alphabet blocks are a good example.

IMG_5295I did walk by them a couple times before finally picking them up and looking at them. If it hadn’t been for the block with a zeppelin, I probably wouldn’t have bought them at all.


Judging from the illustrations, I’d guess these blocks were from the 1910s or 1920s.


One of these things is not like the other. Hint: it’s “slide.” Unless slide is a nursery rhyme character I’m not familiar with?

IMG_5294I saved the best for last. The find I am most excited about was actually comprised of three individual finds.


The fundraiser sale I went to was spread out between a two story building and a large outdoor tent. In the basement of the building I found the cone shaped fixture you see to the right. I immediately knew what it was because I have the same Lightolier fixture in my house. But I figured the rest of it was long gone and went on my way. Later on in the tent, however, I spied the enormous glass shade and, sure enough, a few tables away were the smaller rings you see on the left. I managed to track the whole thing down! The odds of that happening are pretty slim and if  I hadn’t done it, I can almost guarantee you nobody else would have made the connection between these parts. The only thing missing is a small glass lens that fits in the brass ring seen in the lower left corner. But that’s not such a big deal. In total, I spent $4, but the way it looks put together is priceless.


It’s just a space-age explosion of sparkling gold. This is actually the one I already had. I found it several years ago in a box labeled “dining room light” at an estate sale and it’s one of my favorites. I particularly like that it has no bad angles. Whether you see it from below or above, there’s something amazing to look at.


Situations like this constantly remind me to keep digging and look carefully at sales. You never know what you’ll come up with when you put all the pieces back together.

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    Posted June 8, 2014 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    I absolutely adore that punch bowl set! I just love the simple style. I love amber glass wear in general. I have to mention, if you ever want to sell it, I’d be VERY interested. :)

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