Monday, March 3, 2014

thrift store spoils, ch. 18: a missed opportunity, Pyrex, and Lillian Vernon

If you'd like to skip my story of the suh-weet mid-century modern item that I found but was unable to buy, feel free to skip down to my photos. But if you can relate to the thrift store agony of defeat, and if your misery needs a little company, please read my sad tale.

On Monday, I walked into my favorite GW about an hour after it opened for business. And right there in the front of the store, amongst several lousy, cheap occasional tables, was a mid-century beauty: a Gunlocke end table. (Confession: I didn't know for sure the brand upon first glance, but I could tell that it was vintage and very, very cool.) 

But, alas, kneeling beside it was a young lady. She was with what turned out to be her grandmother (not that I learned this by eavesdropping or anything), and they were discussing whether the table would work in a particular space in her little place. But they obviously had no idea that the table was such a great find; they were only considering its size and cost. 

The girl took the tag taped to the table (as you know, this is the thrifter's way of saying "saved") and moved on to look at cheap chairs. That's when I moved in to check out the table. The top was scratched a bit, which would be no big deal to fix, but the rest of it was in great shape. I turned it over, and that's when I learned that it was, in fact, a Gunlocke. GW had marked it at $20, but a 25% discount would be applied. 

Fifteen stinkin' bucks for that beauty. 

I wandered over to housewares and searched the table up on my phone to learn more about it, still hovering at a distance. (Okay. I was spying.) There was always a chance that the girl and her grandmother would change their minds about it and put the tag back, right? But, no. They bought the thing.

So then I had a dilemma. Should I follow the two of them to the parking lot and offer $25 for the piece? Should I at least stop them and educate them about what they hadso that they'd cherish the vintage Gunlocke in their care?

In the end, I did nothing. I was a chicken. Honestly, I kind of feared freaking them out more than anything. (Who wants to be followed to out to the parking lot?)

So by just a few minutes that morning, I missed out on a beautiful, vintage piece. I don't have a photo of the piece, and I can't find one online that I'm allowed to copy and post, but here's a link to one for sell on Etsy.

And here are the finds that I do have in my possession

I found two Russel Wright by Steubenville plates to go with my collection of these plates. (Okay. So I now have three of them in my collection. It's a modest start.) But I love the chartreuse. (The granite is cool, too.) I do have two piecesnot plates, but a casserole dish and a sugar bowlavailable on Etsy. I believe this set was manufactured from 1939 until 1959.

Neither of these Pyrex mixing bowls has chips, but the finish on each is a little worn. I'm not concerned, though. That just makes me more likely to use them! The green is a 402 (a piece from the Verde set, I believe), and the blue is unmarked.

More Pyrex. The 12-inch plate is the Terra pattern, which lots of folks don't like. One reason for this, I believe, is that the finish is flat. I mentioned in a post a while back that when I first came across other Terra pieces in a thrift store, I thought they were DWD. 

The shallow bowl is Pyrex dinnerware. I have a few pieces from this pattern, Ebony. And this size bowl is good for sour cream, salsa, whatever.

And my last Pyrex find is this round casserole. It's Woodland, 472. The lid is scratched up quite a bit and chipped on one handlebut the price was right$2.96. And I like this pattern. (I know this may put me in the minority.)

I love this sweet Lillian Vernon mug from 1983. And, yes, I placed an order or two from Lillian Vernon back in the day. This mug has a timeless reminder ("Call your mom") written across a pretty obsolete itemthe land line phone with a cord that you could stretch around a corner and into another room, begging for privacy. 

I tell my kids that I remember in the 1980s having to call Mama and Daddy collect and person-to-person from my dorm room just to get in touch with them. These days, I pretty much only text with my college student kids.

This bright Christmas mug is marked Waechtersbach/W. Germany. I love the simple image of the Christmas tree. I'll probably list this on Etsy shop next fall.

And lastly, I found more Tupperware canisters. This isn't my favorite color, but both were in good shape. And they're so stinkin' handy-dandy in my pantry.

Thanks to Sir Thrift-a-Lot, Magpie Monday and Thrifter/Maker/Fixer/Farm for letting me link up!


  1. As for the table, let's just hope that the girl and her grandmother knew what they were getting for a super cheap price. We can dream, can't we? Linda@Wetcreek Blog

  2. Oh I am feeling your table story. :( we've all been there at one time or another. What a shame! At least you found some goodies to help with the missed table.

  3. Like the Woodland pattern too, especially the dark brown!

  4. here's the deal you didn't get the table because something bigger/better is coming your way--hold on it will be AWESOME!!