Monday, 25 February 2013

How Much Is Too Much.....That Is The Question !

No pretty pictures and no pretty finds....
It was a rainy and miserable Saturday so I stayed in my pyjamas for much of the day watching Series 1 of Downton Abbey....... I am officially addicted and 'need' to know what happens next.
Most of the world already knows what happens but us Australians who seem to be the last country in the world to see this series haven't a clue ! 
So with coffee, a comfy spot on the sofa and my cat purring happily next to me, I watched with baited breathe every episode.

Outside my cosy little world, outside the heavens had opened and allowed my lazy day to happen.  

So my Saturday afternoon Antiquing session didn't happen.....

Today (Sunday) was much better and we actually saw the sunshine so we made the most of it and off we went in search of some precious family time together.
Kids arguing in the back seat as to who was squashing the next one a little more than they should, did nothing to soothe my soul (kids !! lol)
We lunched on fish and chips by the waters edge and then I punished my arguing crew in the backseat with a mandatory trip to an antique store that we had passed.

Yes I say punish, because they have seen more then their fair share of antique stores in their short lives and they have not come to love the art of antiquing as I had hoped. Instead they complain about dusty 'old stuff' and have no interest at all in 100 year old dishes and doilies or toys just the same as what I played with when I was a child.........imagine !

So a trip to an antique store seemed just the way to settle their arguments. Each argument resulted in another 5 minutes that I could spend in the antique store (hahahaha.......revenge is sweet !)

After bribing them with iceblocks which bought me another 10 minutes browsing time, one by one they came into the store to hopefully get me out of the store ! 
It didn't work of course :-)

The antique store had been a store that I had longed to visit for a very long time. It is not close to home and quite out of the way so when I saw my opportunity I grabbed it with both hands.

My heart skipped a beat when I pulled up outside in the car and saw the bric-a-brac and furniture lined up outside the entrance.
The first thing that I clapped eyes on was a beautiful sea grass wicker butlers tray on wheels in amazing condition. It needed a coat of paint of course but all of the wicker was intact which is important. I turned the price tag over. It was $120 and very much overpriced for what it was.
I immediately knew that I would find nothing to buy in this store.

I browsed around for 20 minutes searching or something amazing that I could not live without.  There were piles upon piles of lace doilies, old quilts and wall to wall shelving full of china plates and teacups.
Seriously, this place was packed out to the brim !
It wasn't the cleanest place I had ever been in. Everything was covered in a thick coat of dust and not accessible. There is nothing worse then an antique store that you can't properly look at.  It is one thing to love searching through the treasure but quite the other to be able to reach it all.

Firstly I spotted a beautiful old plate glass cabinet with a doll inside it. The doll was obviously old but not very pretty. I was more interested in the cabinet and when I asked a price I was told that it was almost $400 and it had to be sold with the doll included because they had always been together.  The cabinet was small and had cracks and glass broken, it was lovely but not at that price.

I moved on into the next room deciding to try my luck in the sewing section.  Everything was stuffed into another glass counter. There was so much stuff in it, that I couldn't actually see what was in there.  
Old rusty tins that were really pretty and generally sold for the $15 mark were priced at $35 each !   I am more than prepared to pay for something that is good quality and reasonable and I have been around antiques long enough to know what a fair price is.  
These prices were simply overpriced.

and then I spotted it !!!!!!
It was leather bound, spine all coming undone, but I knew what it was !

I carefully uncovered my new found treasure.......

It was exactly what I thought it was, a turn of the century photo album with beautiful flowery pages. I have one already that I have shown you before.
The illustrations were lovely but this album had clearly been the victim of floods that we had in my town a few years ago now. It's pages were muddy and heavily stained and I knew that it was borderline to far gone to enjoy.
I honesty expected it to be $10 at the most and I was being really generous at that price. 
I called the owner of the store over and asked her the price.
                                          $75 !!!

It was then that I thought to myself, 'How Much Is Too Much ?'

This whole store was packed to the enth degree with dust covered treasures that looked like they hadn't been touched in a lifetime.
Obviously others before me had discovered the same thing. 
This store was so overpriced that nobody was likely to spend much money in there at all !

I had all but given up at this point and was walking towards the door when I saw a plastic bag with old broken strands of pearls in it. I immediately thought of my friend Doni from Faith, Grace and Crafts. I thought that I would buy them for her.
Truly, this bag was almost falling apart and the pearls were shedding their coating.....and they weren't real.  I thought a couple of dollars was more then fair.  $10 came the reply !
This store owner could not be serious !

I thanked her for letting me browse around her store and said my goodbyes.
Normally antiquing sees me leave a store with a bunch of goodies tucked under my arm but today......nothing.

It is such a shame when sellers overprice their wares to the point that you have to wonder whether they want to sell anything at all.
I had longed to shop in this store but it is highly unlikely that I would ever recommend it to others or return there myself.
There are so many antique and vintage items out there in the world, some good some not so good.  Regardless of what the item is I guess it is only worth what somebody is prepared to pay. I guess we all just have to rely on a fair price.

In my case, my shopping basket was empty and I will bet my bottom dollar that those things that I was interested in will still be there in another years time.  Frustrating really but also a lesson to us all to not overprice our items resulting in no sale at all.

Next weekend I will shop at my regular places where I know I will find reasonable prices and not an inch of dust covering everything.


  1. That truly is a crying would think they would want to stay in CAN THEY??

    As for Downton Abbey oh boy, welcome to the club. I have seen all the episodes 4 times now (addict much?) and you will lov elovce love - just be VERY careful about spoilers = will ruin it for you.

    Avert your eyes!!!

  2. Go on - name and shame!! lol. I especially love the cupboard that can't be separated from its doll!! Funny.

  3. It's good to know a fair price. Smart. I found a darling Beatrix Potter Ribby at my usual antique market for a wonderful price. I came home and googled it and was SO happy I paid so little compared to its worth. That is my only story of successful antique buying! Ha ha!

    Don't you love Downton Abbey? I must buy season 2. I can't get it on Netflix and now that I've watched them all, I want to dip in again. Yesterday I had a Lark Rise to Candleford marathon in front of the fire. Bliss!

  4. My children face craft stores the way yours do antique stores so I can emphasize with your feelings. lol.

    As for the Downton Abby, my daughters and I just finished the last episode of season 3 and now must wait very impatiently for the next season, but it will definitely be worth the wait.

  5. I totally agree, some 'antiques' are best left there for someone else! I have an upper price in mind when I see anything, and work hard with myself to stick to it, EBay included. I wold rather wait and find something lowly for next to nothing at my favourite charity shops, and then you are not lining someone else's pocket but rather helping a worthy. Glad you are enjoying Downton, and hope you are quoting the Dowager Violet too!