Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

September 25, 2017

Treasure Hunting Report: My Recent Vintage Scores

Vintage Krenit Bowls

It feels like I haven't done a Treasure Hunting Report in ages!

My treasure hunting really slowed down this year because I've been increasingly picky about what I buy - plus the deals have been few and far between - so I haven't shared treasure hunting reports like I used to in years prior.  But as I was cleaning over the weekend, I realized that I have scored a few gems so I wanted to share.  (I can't be the only person who lovingly admires my treasures while I dust...?) 

Here are the vintage finds that made the cut and found their way into the lakehouse recently.

First up: I enjoyed a major win at the Salvation Army auction - which is something I rarely muster up the motivation to do, because you need to sit through the ENTIRE thing to pay and it can take hours and hours.  This time the bidding went crazy high (I'm talking $500+) on some items, so it was an intensely entertaining evening, plus my Mom came with me which makes everything way more fun!  We could not believe the bizarre things that elicited a bidding war. 

Anyway, you're probably thinking, "get to the goods - what did you BUY?" 

Okay - but first I need to share a back story, so you realize why I was so excited about this particular auction and why I was willing to let my butt go numb on a grubby chair for hours on a beautiful summer evening.  Ten years ago I found an ice cube shaped Iittala crystal votive candle holder at a yard sale for a buck.  Hubby and I had just moved 1500km and were living in a strange city so we loved to yard sale with friends on the weekend to explore.  Plus we were all broke and looking for deals!  I've treasured this little candle holder ever since because it always reminds me of our life in Kingston.  I'd always wished I had a pair, but I could never find one online because I had no idea what it was called or when it was produced.  I even asked around at the local Finnish boutiques, to no avail.  So imagine my surprise when I spot one in the Sally Anne auction case, in a lot with other Iittala.  After a decade of searching! 

Iittala Ice Cube Votive Candle
Iittala Cube Candle Holder

The lot was a real hodgepodge: the ice cube votive holder I wanted (which is simply referred to as the Ice Cube and was produced in the 1980s), three Ultima Thule shot glasses, a pair of two ring Festivo candle holders, another Ultima Thule candle holder and an Ultima Thule plate - which was, sadly, chipped.  I ended up winning the bid for only $41 CAD - the Festivo candle holders alone are worth $60-100!  Plus my Mom had an uneven set of Ultima Thule shot glasses so I happily gave her the trio (although I wish they'd been a more practical size, like the Highball Glass or the Old Fashioned glass).  But I suspect this is the universe telling me I need to go to my Mom's place more often and drink liquor.

;) 

I planned to sell the Ultima Thule candle holder but it's so pretty that I might just keep it.

Ultima Thule Candle Holder
Ultima Thule Candle Holder
Vintage Turquoise Vignette

Iittala is my weakness.  All told, that's a lot of $$$ worth of Finnish crystal - but I would have paid that just for the pair to my mystery cube.  I'm so happy!

Plus my Festivo collection grew that tiny bit more... I often get asked where to buy those gleaming crystal candle holders but most of my collection was gifted to me and the rest I have bought through the classifieds or thrifted.  You can find them on Etsy, Chairish - this is a GREAT deal on a massive 6-ring pair that would make a gorgeous statement - or eBay.  Local Finnish boutiques sell them but I think Bed Bath & Beyond does too.

Iittala Festivo Collection
Iittala Festivo Collection
Iittala Festivo Collection
Iittala Festivo Grouping

I just love adding to this collection, it's just a thrill when I can scoop up another one (or two).  Is it greedy to hope that one day I can find a pair for my Iittala bird?  He gets lonely, I'm sure... I'm obsessed with this dusty blue one but this dreamy white one is a favorite too.  They're SO expensive though, I can't even imagine what a Sally Anne auction on one of those would be like.  Madness, pure madness.

Iittala Bird

Anyway, that's my most recent score.  But there have been a few other lucky breaks.

Way back on my birthday in June, my Mom and I went for a little day trip to celebrate because I feel like my birthday is as much a special day for her as it is for me.  So we went to Grand Marais, a little Minnesotan town nearby, for lunch and some shopping and we hit up my favorite antique shops, thrifts, and flea markets.  At the flea market, I scored another Krenit bowl (here's the same one - I think - on Etsy) for a cool $7.  A bit more than the $2 I paid for my bigger one, but still a ridiculously good price.  It's funny because I had JUST said to Hubby, maybe two days earlier, that I wished I had a pair because sometimes we have so much fruit the one bowl isn't enough.  Plus I think by now you've realized I like pairs of things... 

Vintage Krenit

It's in nice condition with some light scuffs that pop up way more on camera, but no chips or staining - plus it still has a "Made in Denmark" label!  I'm so happy with this birthday score.  If you're pining for one, this Etsy listing seems like a sweet deal, although if you happen to have $500 lying around this turquoise one needs a home, lol.  The new ones are a bit spendy too, but I have loved my Krenit bowl for years and years so even if I had splurged, the cost per use would be so low.  For a similar look, this Project 62 enamel tray is a steal at $10

Krenit Bowl Label

I love that I have two now and the different in shape/height is perfect.  Plus I can always use this one for salad (its intended purpose I believe - I just need the matching salad tongs).  I really enjoy the special memory attached to it as well.  My Mom and I had such a lovely, peaceful day together so I am really glad to having this little memento.

That same day, I also picked up a pair of petite Cathrineholm bowls which I had planned to sell but just keep hanging on to!  I hadn't ever seen a design (in person) that wasn't the classic lotus pattern.  They're too cute and their blue/white and black/white combo is begging for some kind of Halloween treat, no?

Striped Cathrineholm Bowls
Small Striped Cathrineholm Bowls
Striped Cathrineholm Bowls Black, Blue and White

Wandering around an antique mall in town one day, I found a mug that looked awfully familiar.  Hubby's Aunt and Uncle are both talented potters (you might remember these beautiful mugs his Aunt mailed us, on which will forever remain my happiest mail day).

Pottery Mug

For awhile his Uncle made these East Coast island mugs.  We had one already so imagine my surprise to see his very distinctive mug at an antique shop 2000+ km away from where he made and sold them!  Seriously, what ARE the odds that it ended up here, for me to find?  Of course I bought it!  I can't link to them because I'm fairly certain there are none in production anymore but here's a handmade turquoise pottery mug I love on Etsy, in case you're now needing a blue mug after seeing my pair (the struggle is real, I totally understand). 

Pottery Mug
Pottery Mug

These scores stretched out over four months so it's really not a lot, but I'm so happy with these finds because they're each special in their own way.  And looking back, I feel kinda lucky! 

Have you found any sweet treasures?  I'd love to know!  Or tag me on Instagram so I can come snoop - I just really enjoy seeing the neat things people find.     
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18 comments

  1. Hello, love hearing about your vintage scores. Is there any info about your art print with the scooter on the city streets? It sure spoke to me and I love it!
    Thanks
    Gayl

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    1. Thanks Gayl! It's actually an oil painting based on a photo I took in Hungary. You can read all about it and see the original pic in this post: http://www.danslelakehouse.com/2014/11/new-art-diy-float-frame.html?m=1

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  2. Oh those Festivos!!!!! I don't need another candle stick obsession, I already have a forest of mid century wooden holders that holds pride of place at our cabin but they are just lovely.

    Let's talk candles. First, where did you source those tear drop candles? Second, please tell me you light them once in a while. My German father had VERY strong opinions about candles with unlit wicks and as a result, I can't put a new candle in a holder without lighting it for a few seconds.

    The treasures we have acquired over the years tests my memory but recently I have thrown caution to the wind and am now using the vintage linen napkins, crystal and quilts we accumulated over 20+ years.

    One of my hubby's best scores were 100+ silk scarves from the 50s Thru 70s for $50 or so dollars. I culled the numbers over the years and kept the ones I liked most.

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    1. If I remember correctly, you've loved those Festivos for awhile :)

      The tear drop candles are from a local store but I think they sell online too: https://www.finnport.com/comersus/store/comersus_viewItem.asp?idProduct=354

      They come in lots of colors.

      I do light them but then I use them up completely and put in a brand new one - I can't stand half used one there. Is that bad luck? Is that why I have to light them? The German superstition about shoes on tables being bad luck stuck with me, my family always warned me of that (on the Hungarian side, we have some German).

      I love hearing you're using your treasures! People always think I save my good Pyrex but I use almost every last piece (just keeping one or two for "good"). It just makes life more fun to use the good stuff! Growing up, we used the good china everyday and my Mom is so happy we did - even pizza night felt special.

      Wow, that silk scarf collection sounds amazing! I'm just imagining the wild patterns from the 1960s/70s... Do you wear them too? Did you ever see those DIY acrylic frames for silk scarves? A bunch of bloggers made them awhile back and I always thought that idea was so gorgeous.

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    2. My dad's candle wick issue? It was because he like doing the appearance that something special had happened earlier, that maybe the night before someone had dinner by candlelight. He always lit candles during during on Saturday nights and for Sunday lunch. He also hated the concept of keeping somethng "for good". Lighting virgin wicks may have also been his own small act of rebellion :)

      Most of the scarves, sadly, weren't anything too crazy. The former owner was a distant relative and a very conservative, plain woman. I kept the most retro and interesting and pasted the others on to friends over the years.

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    3. Oh, that's too funny! I was thinking there was some kind of superstition involved, lol.

      Hey, if the scarves are silk that's still amazing - crazy patterns or no. It's so difficult to find nice silk. My grandma had a huge collection but so many of them, even the expensive ones, were synthetics. Would have loved for them to be silk!

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  3. I can't stop staring at your charm bracelet!!! Was that a vintage find too? Swoon!

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    1. Thank you, Kristen! The bracelet is my Mom's from when she was young but it didn't have any charms because they were stolen when her family's home was broken into. I started collecting charms in high school and some are vintage, some are from my paternal grandmother (who also had a charm bracelet), and some are newer. I tried to pick up a charm when I traveled or something special happened. It started to get super heavy so I've slowed down on the charm-buying, lol.

      It's funny because at that same auction there WAS a charm bracelet, with way more charms than mine, and it sold for so little (like $50 or something) and I was tempted to buy it...

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    2. Yours is certainly a treasure! $50 is a great price. I always always look for them when I go to estate sales. Ones of these days... :)

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  4. Love your Festivo collection :) It's simply called Ice Cube and the designer is Mikko Karppanen.
    -Outi

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  5. Excellent photography as always. That last photo of you holding the mug looks so elegant.

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    1. Awww, thanks so much! I had a lot of fun photographing these finds. I like photographing objects so much more than rooms. I can never get rooms right...

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  6. I love those East Coast Island mugs.
    I rarely find much in the way of vintage treasures- I think locale is my problem.
    However, I have come across two sweet finds. One was an Iittala marimekko maribowl in Christmas green- it even had the iittala label still on it. It was early days, thrifting, design and decor, for me and I hadn't read much about mid modern or heard of iittala. I just loved it and somehow recognized it as midcentury vintage collectible. I think I paid $7 for it. I spent some time researching and trying to date it and came across so many beautiful collections- the colours, so wonderful. But I wasn't interested in collecting, I love it singly and use it hold usbs. It's on our media credenza, that houses PlayStation and our Mac that is connected to the tv (we watch Netflix directly from the computer) but also if we use that computer, our monitor is our huge tv ( a little weird but works)
    The other find is odd- vintage although likely only personal value. My parents (now divorced) were given a pressed crystal cookie jar as a wedding present. I grew up with that cookie jar and my mom gave it to me when I moved out. I loved it and in our last (tiny) house didn't have much room for it, so I put it on top of the fridge, deliberately to keep it out the way. One weekend while I was away, my husband tried to open the cabinet door over the fridge and knocked it, smashing, to the floor. When I came home I was pretty upset- I didn't react because it was an accident but still was so disappointed. The lid was intact but the base was destroyed. I hung onto that lid, just not ready to let it go (so weird- it had zero use on its own). 6 months later my daughter asks me why I'm keeping the now useless lid- I told her I just wasn't ready to give it up. And I swear not 2 weeks later, while thrifting I come across the exact same cookie jar, but missing the lid. I couldn't believe it. That never happens to me. Typically, I'm usually of a Murphy's law victim, more likely to hold on to the lid for months only to finally toss it and then find the base.
    The fact that the base of my crystal cookie jar isn't the one my parents had, doesn't matter to me. It's not about that sentimentality for me, it's just the object of my childhood that I love. And I use it store my metal cookie cutters- I don't have cookies to store in there, on the regular, so I use it for that and it works perfectly. (Sorry for the lengthy comment)

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    1. I Googled that Marimekko bowl - preeettttty! What a nice score. Crazy good price on that one too.

      That cookie jar story is amazing! I'm like you, would have held onto the lid for years, finally gave it up and found the base the next day, lol. How incredibly lucky you found the right jar that needed a lid and you HAD the lid. That seriously never happens.

      I love your comments - short or long! And these are the types of stories I especially love reading. Thanks for sharing with me :)

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    2. Wow, I love your candlestick collection-amazing! I, too, love Scandinavian glassware. I was given a set of ittala Niva old-fashioneds as a wedding gift but alas, they are all gone. However, I still have a set of 3 Kosta Boda Rurik candlesticks which I gave to my daughter a few years ago. And, I was lucky to find an ittala Flora art glass salad bowl with 3 smaller bowls at Value Village for $10. All of that style has become mainstream today but was so avant-garde looking in the 1960's and 70's. I also have a soft spot for Figgjo lotte dinnerware. I have a teapot that is 40 years old in that pattern and would be tempted to buy the dishes if I found them at an auction. Thanks for sharing your pix.

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    3. Oooo those are all gorgeous pieces, you have such a nice collection! Too bad about the Niva glasses. Were they just broken from use? That's not even a sad thing then, I love when the good stuff gets used and loved.

      I liked the Figgjo lotte too!! I had a bunch but then we moved here and I had to downsize so I sold it all. I think I have some mugs left. Had to make some difficult decisions, lol.

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