Weekend Finds: Lamps, Frames and Everything I Don’t Need

It seems as though our eternal winter is beginning to lift here in Iowa and the garage sales are starting to pop up. Saturday I headed out at 7 a.m. to the one lone garage sale on my list. I was optimistic though, because it was a church sale and they’re among the best for, well, old people stuff. I wasn’t disappointed. Right off the bat I saw this:

IMG_4772This lovely 1960s Basic Witz walnut buffet was only $20. Sold! How had nobody else seen this fantastic bargain right out in plain sight? It turns out the answer to that question was pretty simple. As I was loading this into my car, the sunlight hit the surface and I realized that someone had “refinished” this piece. From the looks of things, they decided to try their hand at using an old toothbrush or perhaps a filthy broom to apply the polyurethane. Sigh. I don’t need another project. I’d sell it as-is and just get rid of it if I wasn’t terrified that someone would slather it with milk paint and write “dream” or “laugh” on it in a scripted typeface. So, need it or not, it looks like I’ve got a project.

It's hard to see in the photo, but gravel roads are smoother

It’s hard to see in the photo, but I’ve seen smoother gravel roads than this nightmare

Fortunately my other finds were pretty solid. That’s actually a great word to describe these 1940s white marble lamps.

IMG_4775They aren’t necessarily my personal style, but the time to buy solid marble lamps is when you find them for $2.50. I do think they’re pretty refined and would look great in a sophisticated space. With the right shade, these would look very posh, maybe even a little Hollywood glam. I’m particularly fond, however, of the mid-century drip glaze lamp that was also only $2.50.

IMG_4773The colors are unusual and I love them. I’m not wild about the base, but I’ve got enough lamp parts that I could change that to something more modern if I feel like it. All of these lamps came with mis-matched 1980s shades that I was happy to donate back to the sale. Hopefully they were perfect for someone else’s lamps.

IMG_4778All of the unmarked smalls at the sale were only 50 cents and I nabbed this gold detailed candy dish. It’s very Georges Briard looking, but it isn’t marked. I also found a little wooden bull and a tiled dish.

IMG_4779It’s amazing how just going to one good sale can really get you revved up. Unfortunately there were no other sales on my list and it was still an hour before the thrift stores opened. So, I decided to check out a tag sale that I had decided to skip because it was mostly antiques. If nothing else, at least the thrift shops would be open when I was done. As it turns out, it was not a bad call.

IMG_4781My first find was this adjustable dress form. I can’t quite figure out how old it is, but based on the construction it’s probably pre-WWII, perhaps even older than that. It has a great look to it and it may find a new life displaying vintage clothes.


I’m such a sucker for antique picture frames. Some of my favorites happen to be small oval walnut frames like this. These date to about the 1860s-1880s and I like the masculine touch they add to a room.  I have some old illustration plates from antique encyclopedias that are just waiting for frames like this. I also discovered this Victorian fellow in the back room:

IMG_4792If I had been chewing gum, it would have fallen on the ground when I saw the $12 price tag on this. Aside from a couple chipped corners that will be easily repaired, this is in phenomenally great condition considering it’s probably 120 years old. In true Victorian fashion it’s very ornamented, but the fact that it’s not all painted gold keeps it from feeling too garish.

So lamps, picture frames and a project piece—everything I love and continually tell myself to absolutely buy no more of.  But there’s still one more find left and I needed it even less.

IMG_4802This beautiful, and enormous, RCA New Vista console stereo. Tammy actually found this and forwarded the ad to me. It is really something to behold. The cabinet alone is just such an amazing piece of furniture.


The curved front is a really nice touch but the legs really make the piece. They’re really very similar to the legs of the Adrian Pearsall chair I picked up last week.

IMG_4806It’s just dripping with style. Oh, those dials! And note the cyan/purple numbering on the AM/FM bands on the tuner. The digital age is great, but there’s just something about the allure of all those shiny switches and knobs that the glassiest of smartphones just can’t replicate. The record changer needs repair, but I think this beauty is definitely worth the effort. Tammy, many thanks for sending me after this.

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  1. Laura WIlkens
    Posted April 1, 2014 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Music love + Pearsall style legs = stereo lust.

  2. Posted April 2, 2014 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    LOL at the idea of milk paint insipid verbs. Sadly, I could just see it. Love those marble lamps too! Hopefully the start of a lively season.

  3. Posted December 12, 2020 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

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