Good Picking at Goodwill

Last week I was having coffee with a friend in another city and after our date decided to head over to the nearby Savers thrift store. I only go there once or twice a year so I was super excited to see what I would find. (Last time I was there I bought a 1963 British version of Monopoly for $2.99. It sold for $34.99.)

Well, this visit was a bust. I looked at art, games, china, home decor, blankets, jewelry, glassware, purses, scarves, toys. (I’m not buying clothes and books right now.) I looked and looked and looked, and in the end only bought a small remnant of fabric for a grand total of 99 cents.

fabric

Made by Trans-Pacific Textiles, Hawaii

I left the huge store sorely disappointed. Some picking days are like this.

On the other hand, my small local Goodwill has not disappointed lately and has been flush with good stuff for weeks! A few days ago, I bought this Italian micro-mosaic picture frame. I had sold a similar frame last year and didn’t need to do any in-store research…I knew it was a good find!

mosaic-frame1

Micro-mosaic glass work has been around for centuries but became popular in the 1800-1900s. The best pieces use impossibly tiny bits of glass like the ones of this brooch. The brooch (with 18 karat gold trim) is priced at $1600. But some pieces command even higher prices. (I dream of finding one of these amazing pieces!)

mosaics6

At home I looked on WorthPoint for sold prices for similar frames and discovered that they ranged all over the place, so I started looking at those currently for sale on Etsy and eBay, focusing on those of similar size, quality and age. The navy one is $70 (not as nice as mine) and the pretty red one is listed at $125. The green one features similar flowers and leaves, but it’s listed as an antique and priced at $295.

In the end I decided to price mine at $74.99 and it sold within 48 hours. (My cost: $3.99) You better believe I’m going to keep my eye out for more of these beauties!

I also ended up buying more sets of bread and butter plates. I wasn’t going to buy more plates for a while but these really appealed to me and are so usable and practical. The ones on the left are 70s “Orangeade” stoneware plates by International China, Japan. The ones on the right are “California Poppy” stoneware plates by Mikasa, Japan.

plates

I’m tempted to keep the six Mikasa poppy plates!

And I bought this ashtray because it was so fabulously ridiculous and kitschy. I mean look at it! It was made during the ceramics craze of the ’70s and ’80s when women in the U.S. flocked to ceramic studios to hand glaze pieces of greenware. The inscription on the back reads: To Bill, Genie ’82.

deer-ashtray

I’ve left the tag on it as I may exchange it. Haven’t decided. Such a fun piece but not much profit.

So even though it’s yard sale season, I’ll keep popping into my Goodwill several times a week.

How about you?  Any good finds?

 

 

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