Looking For The Flowerpot
We headed out hoping that I could find a cheap Chinese flowerpot for the flower. I love hitting the malls for flowerpots, as you can often find those Chinatown hospitality gifts from the 1950s. So off we went.
The first mall had a lot of stuff put out by a decorator dealer. I use the term decorator dealer since the booth is always set up like an interior decorators showcase. Such booths usually leave me cold as they feature highly finished, newly made secondhand furnishings. But they do often have flowerpots of some quality. This one did not have any flowerpots, but they did have a table lot of sterling silver candlesticks and nut dishes. They were clearly wedding gifts from the late 1950s or early 60s, but priced at $10 to $15 per bowl and pair of sticks, they came home. At that price, the candlesticks can sit on a windowsill with a hurricane globe and look awesome for the holidays.
Okay, a couple of booths later we hit a kitchen collectible dealer. Again, another likely source of flowerpots. A quick look revealed nothing, but our youngest daughter, Mary, who loves cooking tools, found a real treasure--a mounted ice grinder from the 1960s in the shape of a rocket complete with rocket fins. Very cool and perfect for her growing kitchen collection.
Our next stop was a general dealers booth, a bit of a crapshoot, but you never know. No flowerpots, but eldest daughter Jane found a vintage camera for her collection. Cameras are fun to collect because they have both great design elements and tell the changing story of photo technology. So the vintage camera came home.
Okay, our last hope was a gardening designer decorator booth with its share of ubiquitous rusty newly made garden animals. Positioned in the front window of the co-op, and you would think a flowerpot would have to be there. No such luck. But my wife Kim found a lovely blown glass decanter. A good period piece, and for $15 bucks, it had to come home.
In the midst of this, our youngest daughter found a vintage toy for her best friend for Christmas. Okay, for $5, the price was right.
So, I arrived at the checkout. The pile of treasures ended up in two shopping bags. I was out about $90. And guess what, not a single flowerpot. Maybe better luck next week.
Peter Seibert, a native Pennsylvanian, grew up in the antiques business and remains closely tied to auction houses, collectors, and dealers. Professionally, he has served as a museum director and public historian in Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Virginia, and Wyoming. He holds a Master of Arts in American Studies from Penn State and has authored two books and numerous articles on decorative arts, interior design, and history.
Peter Seibert, a native Pennsylvanian, grew up in the antiques business and remains closely tied to auction houses, collectors, and dealers. Professionally, he has served as museum director and public historian in Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Virginia. He holds an M.A. in American Studies from Penn State and has authored two books and numerous articles on decorative arts, interior design, and history.