Saturday, November 19, 2011

Quarterly Report: Thrift Shop Finds

Seems to me as if I haven't submitted a summary of my Salvation Army Boutique finds lately, liberally admixed with cats, and with few words (unless a Jane Austen quote or two should occur to me).  So let's get down to brass tacks. 

First up:  the mock Tiffany cat night light, here examined by Marsh-wiggle

Pindar takes a look

A Scottish water-colour, showing the village of Pittenweem.  The little green vase (Royal Winton Grimwades) is new too.  The picture makes me think of the song:

Oh, Pittenweem, Pittenweem,
She's every fisher laddie's dream.
She guts the herrin' doon by the quay,
And saves her kisses just for me.

I have them in my study on the Chinese chest I found last summer at the Salvation Army.

Now I must confess to you a slightly embarrassing problem.  Because the Salvation Army Boutique is so rich in treasures, new ones coming in every day, and I've been haunting the place for over a year now, my crystalline antiquities have...accumulated.  In fact, my dining table was becoming so cluttered that Paul started intoning warningly that he would get Dr. Zazio (the psychologist on the reality show Hoarders) after me!  Here's an unsparing view of my table.  But aren't the blue Bohemian decanter and glasses delicious?  How could I ever resist them? 

Note Catullus sitting amongst the bibelots. The cats often walk delicately around, over, and through the objects, and never break a one!  That's not to say things haven't been broken (there was the time Marshy and Tully took a belly flop onto five Venetian glass goblets of Paul's and did a Full Strike...and Tully has deliberately thrown my watch in the trash and buried my glasses in the litterbox), but not one thing has ever been smashed on my table. Yet. 

"To the Great House accordingly they went, to sit the full half hour in the old-fashioned square parlour, with a small carpet and shining floor, to which the present daughters of the house were gradually giving the proper air of confusion by a grand piano forte and a harp, flower-stands and little tables placed in every direction. Oh! could the originals of the portraits against the wainscot, could the gentlemen in brown velvet and the ladies in blue satin have seen what was going on, have been conscious of such an overthrow of all order and neatness! The portraits themselves seemed to be staring in astonishment." - Jane Austen, Persuasion

Just as the old rabbi painting, which used to belong to Peter's grandmother, gazes down at my treasure table!

Speaking of which...well, actually, I've only shown you half the table. Here's the other half. The red (or Quadling) half. Aren't the red decanter and glasses pretty, too? The whole set was only $15!  My other favorite new treasure on the Red half is this wonderful red lamp, Victoria china from Czechoslovakia.

About the clutter problem:  We addressed it by acquiring three pieces of furniture and filling them up with the excess bibelots. 

"Mrs. Grant, having by this time run through the usual resources of ladies residing in the country without a family of children—having more than filled her favourite sitting–room with pretty furniture, and made a choice collection of plants and poultry—was very much in want of some variety at home" - Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

Here is the first piece, an antique wooden desk:

It holds many things (she said darkly), but even more of anti-clutter breakthrough was this mahogany glass-fronted chest:

It made a huge difference to the Hoard on the table!  Why, you can even see the table's surface now: 

An improvement, do admit!

You can see my little animal collection more clearly (if you should care to). The Japanese Zebra perhaps my favorite, but I love the little white running weasel from Carcassonne too.  But perhaps my favorite piece of furniture ever acquired at the Salvation Army is this amazing antique Chinese hand painted red chest.  It cost $75 and I've seen similar pieces online for ten times as much.  (It holds a lot, too.)

Here it is from the side:

"How fearfully will you examine the furniture of your apartment! And what will you discern? Not tables, toilettes, wardrobes, or drawers, but on one side perhaps the remains of a broken lute, on the other a ponderous chest which no efforts can open..."  - Henry Tilney in Northanger Abbey.

Now, here are some more pretty things, and cats, from around the house.

Tully and Marshy try to look fierce.  The blue Chinese cushion is Salvation Army ($2)

A pretty dish from Italy.

Red and blue Czech crystal earrings ($4)

"Having now said enough to make his poverty clear, and to do away the necessity of buying a pair of ear-rings for each of his sisters" - John Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility

The lady shows what she thinks about being asked to wear a Halloween hat.

"I am to be Count Cassel, and am to come in first with a blue dress and a pink satin cloak, and afterwards am to have another fine fancy suit, by way of a shooting–dress. I do not know how I shall like it.” - Mr. Rushworth in Mansfield Park

A black Chinese shawl

"Fanny, William must not forget my shawl if he goes to the East Indies; and I shall give him a commission for anything else that is worth having. I wish he may go to the East Indies, that I may have my shawl. I think I will have two shawls, Fanny.” - Lady Bertram in Mansfield Park

Three pretty dishes (I love blue and white). Left, Derby Lily; right, Tettau from Bavaria; and French "Amitie" from Quimperle.

The English Wedgewood egg cups ($5) are new

"Serle understands boiling an egg better than any body. I would not recommend an egg boiled by any body else -- but you need not be afraid -- they are very small, you see -- one of our small eggs will not hurt you." - Mr. Woodhouse, Mansfield Park

My little vintage pins - enamel animals, sparkly cats

"You see what a collection I have,” said she; “more by half than I ever use or think of. I do not offer them as new. I offer nothing but an old necklace." - Mary Crawford in Mansfield Park

A jewel of a cat


Roz Cawley said...

Dear Lady - your home is FULL of fabulosity! I am particularly in admiration of your blue glass collection and the Rabbi painting (because I absolutely adore portraits and yours seems absolutely brimming with character. Please post more about the Rabbi?)
The beautiful black and white shawl is also delicious - and the oriental cabinet - well, one of the the most hawk-eyed, accomplished finds I have ever seen - well discovered, my friend! Glad to see you have your priorities right, though, with the final accolade going to your most beautiful jewel :-)

Thoroughly enjoyable post, Diana!

Kay said...

Dear Diana -- Part of the joy of your collection is the collections themselves, but a large part of it lies in your talent for arranging and displaying them all. You are an artiste!

By the way, that is not clutter on your table -- that is a Tablescape.

Barbara said...

Diana, You have such a wonderful eye! One day I shall fly over on my magic carpet and peer through your window at this Aladdin's Cave treasure trove all so beautifully unarranged. You may have to rent a neighbouring apartment to live in. Barbara

LizF said...

For some reason I have only just discovered your blog but rest assured that I will be a frequent visitor from now on!
I love your collections and would happily give a home to everything - including the beautiful felines although I'm not sure what my three would think about that!
Marshwiggle is utterly gorgeous - is there some Maine Coon in his lineage?

lyn said...

I agree with everyone else Diana, that's not clutter, it's art. Such beautiful arrangements. The cats are so gorgeous & you're right, Pindar is very like my Lucky. The Chinese cabinet is wonderful, I envy people who can find gems among the dross at charity shops, I'm not a good browser except in bookshops.

Laurel Ann (Austenprose) said...

Diana - you are the Queen of great finds at the Salvation Army! Bravo on the Chinese chest, which I covet with a passion! Well done!