Weekend Finds: Odds, Ends and Bearded Gentlemen

This weekend the whole Snag team managed to get out in force together and it finally began to feel like garage sale season was in full swing. Although I didn’t find anything amazing, I did get lots of fun small things that I really love. These handsome gentlemen, some of my favorite finds from Friday, set the tone for the whole weekend.


I’m no doll collector, but I couldn’t resist this trio. On the left is, of course, Barbie’s long-time Mattel-issued beau Ken. I’m not exactly how old he is, but from what I can find online he’s likely from 1961-64. On the right are two of Hasbro’s G.I. Joe action figures. Although both are stamped “1964” on their posteriors, a little research revealed that their flocked hair and beards weren’t introduced until 1970. I love the contrast between them. The realistically scaled features of G.I. Joe make you realize just how terrifying a life-size Ken would be—his eyes are a larger than Joe’s mouth. My favorite by far is the homemade leisure suit clad ginger G.I. Joe.


Because G.I. Joe seems like the outdoorsy type, this pair of vintage thermoses seemed like an appropriate thrift-store find to follow him up. I not only love their graphic exteriors, but also the fact that someone had two of them. Sure, it could have been for two people but, as a coffee drinker myself, two gallons of joe seems like a reasonable amount to take to work each day.


Saturday morning I opted out of normal garage sales to wait in line for an estate sale. I found a few interesting things including this lamp. Table lamp?  Lamp table?  Table-lamp twofer. Whatever you call it, it’s a tapered walnut beauty.

IMG_5062And what would look better on that table than a beautiful vintage enameled copper bowl from Greece? Not much. I love the pattern and colors of this bowl. I haven’t been able to find out much about it, but I do know I love it.

IMG_5042Speaking of great patterns, I also found this set of Libbey “hostess glassware” with a silver leaf motif in their original box. The glasses match the set I already have, but now I kind of wish I had amazing boxes like this one to store all of them when I’m not entertaining—which is pretty much always.

IMG_5058What better find for the person who doesn’t entertain much than really nice headphones? Actually, I’m more of a crank-up-the-loudspeakers type of person, but I couldn’t resist the shiny allure of these vintage Pioneer headphones.


Pioneer introduced these stereo headphones in the late 1970s, utilizing a new high-tech innovation—piezoelectric technology. The phones use a thin high-polymer membrane coupled to electrodes to produce sound. Apparently they require a lot of power to drive them properly (some suggest connecting them directly to an amplifier’s speaker terminals for best result) and the technology never really caught on. While I’m excited to try them out, I was mostly drawn to the gorgeous industrial design. Brushed stainless steel, black metal mesh, cloth-wrapped cord—the design would still stand out on store shelves if they were sold today.

IMG_5056On the more traditional side of things, I found some classy accoutrements. These quail prove that white porcelain and birds are a perfect pairing and, I think, kind of masculine paired with this vintage Italian leather dresser  gold-trimmed box. It’s the perfect place to keep driving gloves, ascots, or whatever it is that rich fancy gentlemen need to stash away. In my care it will probably just end up holding spare shirt buttons, collar stays and old receipts.

IMG_5045My final find was this thoroughly creepy baby portrait.

IMG_5051I’ve been collecting these portraits for awhile and I never fail to be impressed by their blend of creepiness and beauty. Dating from the 1880s, these portraits are actually tintype photographs that have been retouched with paint. Utilizing the still new medium of photography, these were intended as a less expensive form of the conventional hand painted portrait. The mix of media creates surreal, eerily beautiful effects. I’m pretty far behind on the reframing and restoration of my collection, but someday soon I hope to have my hand-picked ancestors grouped on the wall.

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