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Adventures In Antiquing

antique glassThis past weekend I spent a day antiquing through the state of New Hampshire. In total, I hit about fourteen shops which sounds like a lot but it really wasn’t. I went up and down route 4 which is known as Antique Alley. It should also be known as Bring Your Pocketbook, because boy can this stuff get pricey.

I pretty much wanted to take the entire room of glass you see above and shove it into the back of my car. A rainbow of glass, this room made me happy from the moment I saw it. I heart old glass.

Matter of fact, you can check out how I used an amazing score on Delphite glass plates I found at an antiques shop in this recipe. There is something about old glass that is so delicate and charming. So very different than the stuff that is manufactured today.

antique silverwareYou know how I’ve been going on and on about trying to find flatware for A Beautiful Bite? Mission accomplished. This basket of antique silverware was a buck a piece. I loaded up on all kinds of fun vintage pieces that I can’t wait to photograph. I knew I’d find some flatware someday.

antique crocksI also found a lot of things I wanted but had no business buying. See these crocks? I would totally collect them if I could afford them and if I had the room.

antique luggageAnd how cool is this stack of luggage? I’d love to show these off in the library. That is, if I had a library. Which of course I do not.

deer headsThese would look awesome in my imaginary library too. It would at least keep the kids away from my expensive books. If I owned any. I do not.

antique ball jarsSo, what did I buy? A half dozen of these antique Ball canning jars. Do you have any at home? Did you know that you can figure out the date they were made by the design of the Ball logo? The ones I found are from 1933-1960. So very cool.

antique pyrexAnd of course I found some Pyrex. One dealer was having a 40% off their inventory sale. So, I got a yellow Gooseberry Cinderella set for $19 and a large yellow fridgie for $9 which is pretty awesome because it completes my fridgie collection in that series. I can’t believe I just typed those words. I must be nuts.

glass henI don’t collect hens, but I guess a lot of people do. I just liked this one because it’s blue and only $5. Sold!

photo-575Of course there’s always one that got away. I hemmed and hawed over this set. It was only $18 after the dealer’s 40% off discount. New and still in the original packaging, this thing sang a sweet song to my antique loving soul.

BUT it’s a tea and sandwich set. I know it says “snack set” but sets like these from this era were for sandwiches and a beverage. There are two problems with that. #1 I don’t drink tea. #2 Who eats a sandwich while drinking tea? Weird.

So darn sweet, but so totally impractical. It still sits on the shelf waiting for that tea drinking sandwich loving person that’s out there somewhere.

Such a fun day. I just love the thrill of the antique hunt. Do you? If you are an antiques lover, what is your favorite thing to find at an antiques shop? Any amazing antique malls or centers that you love to visit? Let’s talk antiques!


  1. Oh, be still my heart! I too heart old glass. And Ball jars. More specifically, Blue Ball jars. And I’ve loved that dating chart since I found it a couple years ago. So neat to know how old my jars are & to think about how many people might have owned them! Unfortunately, I am all out of room on my shelves for jars. So now I only buy the really unique ones I happen across.

    • Yes! That’s the problem with collecting. We run out of room! I’d love to collect those old crocks, but they are huge. Even my Pyrex takes up too much space. Maybe we should all collect glass hens. 😉

  2. I truly love antiques. A long time ago I walked in a Goodwill Store in a small town. There on the counter at the check out was a 3 piece candelabrum set. A middle piece that held 4 candles and a single on each side. They had cherubs on each corner and marble bases. Crystal teardrops hanging down all the way around it. I inquired about the price. I ended up getting all of it for $15.00 and I was thrilled. I think it had just been donated. The guy selling it did not care one way or the other. I priced similar items they were around $350.00. Later on I walked into another thrift shop and found the same design that was an ash tray. It was on a pedestal with crystal teardrops and a marble base. One tear drop was missing. I had previously seen some loose teardrops that were identical at another antique store. I made my purchase and bought a teardrop at the other store. I bought these in 1995. I still have them and they are my favorite things. The ash tray I put sparkle sand in and a big candle. It looks like a candle holder instead of an ashtray. I also found a wooden dough bowl on 3 legs that I put an artificial plant in that is pretty and on the 3 legs i put a couple of books.

    • I love how you repurposed the ash tray. Wonderful! And what a bargain you got. I wish there was a way to share pictures in the comment section. I’d love to see it. It sounds lovely!

  3. I love antiques. I used to spend as much time as I could wandering through antique malls and my husband is such a good sport when it comes to stopping into an Antique store when we come across one. And then we moved to Norway, their antiques are so expensive and not very plentiful. I have managed to find a few special things at second hand stores. I finally got my fix last weekend when my husband let me have the weekend off (we have 3 young children) and I found a cheap flight to Paris. I got to wander through the flea markets of Paris and drool. I didn’t bring much home, but just getting to see all of the amazing antiques and treasures was so much fun. Thanks for this post, your rainbow glass picture made me miss antique stores in the US. So glad you were able to get some great new treasures.

    • It’s wonderful when your other half plays along even if not truly interested. That’s a sign of a good relationship! And you live in Norway? That must be spectacular. Especially being able to jaunt off to Paris. I’m green with envy! I’ve never been to Paris but would love to. Do you blog?

  4. You totally scored Melanie! I love the blue hen too BUT I don’t collect. I understand your photography props search and I am happy for you that you found the flatware you wanted. “I have completed my fridgie collection,” really?? I think you need a Pyrex intervention!!! LoL! I have been antiquing a few times, not an avid searcher / collector, but you do stumble across some interesting things and wax nostalgic when you see something that reminds you of your childhood, Grandma’s house or something historic. All of these things can be quite enjoyable. Thanks for the memories!

    • Pyrex is a nice addiction. It doesn’t cost much and I can actually use it. No justification needed there, lol. And I do love strolling through history while antiquing. I don’t usually buy much, but I have a lot of fun doing it.

  5. I love to go to the places that don’t call themselves “antiques”…those are the places I can afford. I’ve had to curtail my shopping a little, however, bc I am out of room big time. Oy.

    • I hear ya about being out of room. I also agree with loving the places that don’t call themselves antique stores. I much prefer the second hand and thrift stores. Much more affordable!

  6. Not to make you wish you had it, but those little snack sets are perfect for little girls and their parties or just friend lunches. I have a set of 8 that I found at a yardsale (hooray!) and we use them all the time when we are being ‘fancy’.

    • I’m already totally regretting it. I knew I would. Maybe I’ll see them again someday! Lucky you that you found a set at a yard sale!

  7. I read about snack sets here in blogland – they are very popular in the south for wedding and baby showers – apparently they are passed through the generations. A new idea for the snack set is to use the cup for a dip, which sounds like a good idea to me.

    I’ve been through New Hampshire and stopped at so many shops, it took us forever to get out of the state… love this post!

    • Jennifer B. says:

      I was going to comment on how I’ve seen these used. I think Melanie was caught up thinking of serving hot tea in those cups (which, as others have mentioned, does work at a tea party!). I’ve been places where these are used for punch and placed on the plate with cake — absolutely perfect for showers! It is so useful when you have to balance everything on your lap!

    • Why didn’t I think of that? I was so set on the tea and sandwich thing. I just couldn’t see around that image. Bah!!!!

  8. tea and sandwiches are weird? Mel! LOL! Have you never been to a high tea at any of the fancy hotels? I bet your girls would LOVE it! All fancy and such 🙂

    You should’ve stopped by!

  9. Antique Alley is a blast. I live in the next town over, and it’s always fun to go poking around in some of the shops.

  10. I always loved Pyrex and thought it should be treasured and on a recent visit to pintrest I seen a picture of a collection and it hit me to start my own collection. I live in michigan and no garage sales in the winter but I been hitting the salvation army and Goodwill. I found my first Homestead set today and paid $4.23 for it it was marked down from $7.99. It’s the blue and baige set 403, 402, 401. I have also got 4 other pieces last month. So there it is I started a hobby. I also scored a vision deep dish with its cover for 7.99 and its in almost new condition.

    • You’ve been bitten by the Pyrex bug. They bite hard, don’t they? Congrats on your good finds. Isn’t it thrilling to spot them?

  11. Oh Melanie, every time I am out looking for things to add to my collections and see a bunch of Pyrex, I think of you. I would have had a hard time not buying a bunch of that glassware. My big expenditures are vintage advertising cans for the kitchen and white hobnail glass. I have a bunch of other smaller collections but lack of space and my kids’ inability to stay away from “my” stuff, make it hard to collect much more than that.

    I used to have that exact tea and sandwich set. I think it didn’t make our last move. Oh well, maybe another set will find it’s way to me!

    • Vintage advertising cans? How cool is that? I bet that would be a pretty collection! My Pyrex is in a cabinet due to too many little hands in this house. I could never collect anything truly fragile. I fear it wouldn’t last very long with four kids under one roof!

  12. Before any one comments, it was a typo to put it’s instead of its. Don’t send the grammar police after me 😉

    • My readers aren’t that fussy. If they were, they wouldn’t read my typo filled blog. 🙂 You are in good company.

  13. OK, so now it split up any and one. I give up. And yes, Melanie, I think I may have just lost my mind!

  14. In the South we do use the snack sets all the time, moreso in the past. I thought sandwiches were tea food. ??? The little sets can be used for showers if a person has enough or can borrow enough. I had a set that I allowed my children to use on special occasions, even when they were tiny children. They were so happy and so careful.

    I collect A&W Root Beer mugs. When I could find them for a quarter, I got quite a few. Now that they are $10, I never buy them.

    My best finds are often at junk stores. I showed up on day when boxes were outdoors. The guy said I could look through the stuff since he had not had time to unpack. I went there all the time and the guys who owned it were troubled men who never got things right in their life…problems. I pulled a grimy dish with two handles, cut glass, about six inches across. As I held it with two fingers and asked the price, one guy said, “A quarter.” I swalled hard as I fumbled for a coin. I washed it in plain water and then vinegar and found it was worth $25.


    Glass serving pieces are a favorite find.

    I like antique malls, three stories if possible. Fifth Ave Antiques in Birmingham is a favorite.

    Finding lamps I love sets my heart to beating faster. Ideally, the lamp I want is in bad shape and I can buy it and afford to restore it later.

    • Wow! You certainly got a deal! A quarter? You can’t buy much with that anymore!! And yes, I wasn’t thinking clearly about that snack set. My brain just couldn’t see it. It was precious. Next time!

  15. Patricia N. says:

    My mother used to can in those old ball jars that used the rubber bands. I inherited all of them, but got rid of most of them because their safety for canning is iffy, although we never got sick when Mom used them.
    I have the same blue hen that you have, but mine is a clear deep blue. A few years ago one of the kids dropped it going for a piece of candy and a little piece of her tail broke off, but she’s still beautiful.
    I would have gone crazy in there. How could you resist all of that beautiful glass?
    I love the tea and sandwich set. I have been to tea parties for bridal showers at real tea houses and they use these kinds of sets. I also love tea with sandwiches. Imagine a cup of proper tea and cucumber sandwiches.

  16. Oh my! The crockery would have been so hard to pass up. Love the stuff!

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