Saturday, August 8, 2009

Getting Ready for Fall Vintage Clothing Show

It's been a while but with winning the audit lottery there hasn't been a whole lot of time. It's still going on but looks like they're about ready to submit a proposal. That makes it sound like it's something I get to approve. No, no, my friend. What I get to do is to appeal it. We'll see what numbers they've come up with. At any rate the (first ever) Fall Toronto Vintage Clothing Show is coming quickly, September 19th, just over a month away and there's lots of prep to do. We've pick up a few choice vintage treats in the last few weeks but very little in the clothing department.

Another item is this JVC television: the Videotron. Very cool indeed.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Laundry Bench

I was volunteered to clean out our basement today and found something I'd totally forgotten about. We picked up this bench in Kentucky, probably near Corbin, and it was described as a laundry bench. The tub of wet stuff sat on one end, mangle would be clamped down in the center, with the clothes passed through into the dry tub at the other end. Well that was the story anyway.

It's now living, during the summers anyway, as a garden bench.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


A 1940s, we think, fitted tweed jacket. No label. Picked up this (holiday) weekend just in time for the CAFTCAD show this coming Saturday.

Friday, May 15, 2009


This coming Sunday May 17th we'll be bringing the traditional whack of cottage-y stuff including the large elm bark basket pictured. And also in elm bark, apparently I have a fondness for this stuff, there's a large picture frame and a number of traditional canoes. Not the put in the water canoes, the hang on the wall souvenir of Muskoka/Kawarthas canoe. And speaking of canoes, do try to visit Peterborough's Canoe Museum if you can.

Also mark your calendar for the CAFTCAD movie wardrobe sale May 23rd. We'll be selling there as well.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Looooocy, you got some 'splainin' to do.

We just picked this up yesterday and for some reason this 1950s-'60s lounge suit/ jammies reminds me of something I picture Lucy wearing around the apartment. We'll probably be bringing it to the next CAFTCAD Show on May 23rd.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sculptura Phone

Today's catch o' the day from a morning of yard sales. This is the 1970s era Sculptura from Western Electric, sometimes called the donut phone, and we'll have it at tomorrow's Sunday Antique Market priced to sell.

We also found a few other things for tomorrow as well as a couple of handy kitchen tools to keep.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Catch o' the Day

Yes, it's true I am a slut for shoes, so today's 2nd hand store find is a pair of desert boots by Tricker's of Jermyn Street. Beautifully bench made and a great fit with the only caveat being that the crepe soles don't go well wet with tile floors. I nearly went tits up at the library. The tiles were dry, the soles were wet.

Found the shoes after this morning's audition for the Don Cherry bio pic and before a birthday lunch with Rosemary at Not Just Dim Sum. (Which rhymes with yum), on Finch at Yonge. Pretty funny since we live a five minute walk from Chinatown.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

1920s Deerskin Condoms

They're guaranteed five years, but since they're probably from the 1920s, '30s...

The art deco package design is striking, plus more graphic sexual allusions than you can, uh...shake a stick at: from the negative space to the really long horns. Are they deer or gazelle? Ah, who cares?

From the collection of packaging & design.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Biggest Diamond Ring Ever!

Found this today at the Sunday Antique Market...and it's a gem. For the CSI challenged, it's 3" top to bottom. It's probably from a store display but I just couldn't resist my pre April Fools Day joke-ette.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Hudson's Bay Company Blanket Coat

Now that spring is here, it's time to buy that winter coat at a reduced price. We picked this up in Arizona a few years ago (it gets cold in the desert) and have decided that it's time for it to have a new home. In other words, it used to fit me, now it doesn't.

Very unusual, this blanket coat, in that the stripes are vertical; the factory made coats are all horizontal. Double breasted, fabric covered buttons, and peaked pocket flaps. So, this was either a test production or custom made from an HBC point blanket.

Size is about 38-40. Dates from the 1950s-'60s, I believe.

Vintage Burberrys Trench

There's so much information on the origins of Burberry on the net that it doesn't bear repeating here. Very simply put, Burberry invented the trench coat.

This Burberrys' trench is a Ladies, size small - medium and about twenty years old but in great shape; just one of the 200 odd items we'll be bringing tomorrow to the Sunday Antique Market. And it's priced to sell.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Crocodile Club Bag

This week at the Sunday Antique Market, I'll also have this vintage crocodile club bag. Although it's in great condition I wouldn't recommend it for daily use. For more info on club bags have a look at our other site

Friday, March 13, 2009

Victorian Smoking Cap

As you've probably surmised, I have a thing for hats (and shoes and the list goes on...). This week at the Sunday Antique Market, I'll have this wonderful Victorian smoking cap: silk lined, embroidered velvet with a silk tassel. It's in good condition but there is some loss to the plush of the velvet. It's a (dare I say it? Why not?) a hair small on me which would probably make it a size 7. They're becoming very hard to find in wearable shape.

Smoking caps and jackets were, of course, used to prevent the stench of tobacco smoke from migrating to one's clothing and hair. Very sensible indeed.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ceiling Fixture

Everything still aches after doing the Vintage Clothing Show, but I'm slowly, very slowly, starting to recover. One of the things that aided in this recovery was finding this great 1920s-'30s ceiling fixture. Cast iron, patinated, decorated and apparently rewired within the last ten years. I'm sure that there's a name for this particular style but have no idea what: almost like a transitional deco, but not really. The kind of fixture one would see in middle, middle class homes in the parlour, perhaps. Picturing dad in his chair, with pipe and paper, junior on the floor playing with his trains. The radio's on with Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy bantering and Mom, Mom's in the kitchen doorway wiping a dish gazing at the happy family.

It's movie moment. A Life magazine ad.

I'll have it for sale this Sunday at the Sunday Antique Market.

And the week is still young yet, who knows what else will turn up.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Reworked paisley

This short cape appears to date from the 1920s-'30 and was made from a much older paisley.

And it came with a matching bag. The bag's zipper was made by Waldes, an American company in Queen's, NY. Zipper dating info was gleaned from the Fedora Lounge Blog

This is one of the pieces that we sold at the Vintage Clothing Show.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lilli Ann Suit

One of the great finds we're bringing to this Saturday's Vintage Clothing Show is this classic Lilli Ann suit; circa 1950s fitted wool with rhinestone detailing and with a Lincoln Road, Miami Beach vendor's label.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Vintage Smoking Jacket

Also for tomorrow at the Sunday Antique Market, this beautiful grey wool smoking jacket with shawl collar and red accented piping. Size 44 approx.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Boot Trees

I'm just putting stuff together to bring to this week's Sunday Antique Market and one of the items (actually three pairs ) will be these antique boot trees. We often have shoe trees as well as tall boot trees but these shorter one are increasingly difficult to find. Meant for Wellingtons or paddock boots they often end up just being used as pieces of sculpture or retrofitted by interior decorators as book ends or lamp bases.


If you own shoes and care about them, trees of some sort are a must: they absorb perspiration and help keep your boots in the best condition.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Find o' the Day

Find o' the day: it's a sterling silver boutonnière. For those gentlemen not satisfied with merely popping a flower through the buttonhole, there is an alternative. Water goes in the well, stem goes in the well, hook goes through the button hole. Wear in front on the lapel or behind the lapel so that just the flower pokes through and shows in front. We've had a few of these before in different configurations but never one quite like this. Very nice indeed.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Bally Crocodile Shoes

We'll have these wonderful Bally men's shoes for sale tomorrow at the Sunday Antique Market. They're marked "genuine Caiman" model Dino III. Sadly, they're a little edge rubbed, which could be hidden with a generous application of polish, but we've left them just as we found them. The size is 7½. Priced to sell.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Manly Underwear

From the genuinevintage collection of period packaging.

Stanfield's became famous for supplying warm and comfortable longjohns to the gold miners during the Yukon gold rush of 1898.

This box dates from about 1939 and show strong manly graphics. Two handsome lads, wrestling in their underwear in a manly way. Love the shadows.

Stanfield's, a Canadian icon.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Jane Russell Tie

While cleaning out the old tie vaults, I came across this gem; I forgot that I had it tucked away.

An homage to Jane Russell? I suppose that it's the kind of thing once found in joke or novelty shops and worn to smokers or stags.

Res ipsa loquitor

Screen printed on rayon, with fiberglass flocking on an applied high relief flexible rubber form.

Not for sale, back into the vaults it goes.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ladies Kangol Hats

In addition to the men's hats, we also picked up a bag-o-kangols ladies hat.

From wikipedia: In the 1960s, designers Mary Quant and Pierre Cardin worked with the company, whose products graced the heads of the rich and famous, including the Beatles and Arnold Palmer, and later Princess Diana.

We'll have them available, priced very, very reasonably, this Sunday at the Sunday Antique Market.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Victorian/Edwardian Vest

The interest in vests or waistcoasts seems to come and go. Well, it's back again. Golden Globe Award nominee Simon Baker stars as Patrick Jane in The Mentalist and he wears vests.

We just shipped two period vests to Texas but have a few left; have a look at: our online shop.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Top to Bottom Estate Sale Purchases

And since today's a Holiday, there's an antique show at the Bayview Mall. Didn't buy anything, didn't take any pix, but did have a delish brunch.

However after that, we were invited to preview a couple of Estate Sales. And by preview I mean only a few people had been through to cherry pick these two estates, both in fine neighborhoods, before they're thrown open to the public for a contents' sale. The houses have both been sold and have to be cleared.

We didn't get very much there but there was some vintage clothing we did buy. The vintage I'm talking about is recent vintage, non-designer, but fun and sale-able. A great stack-o-hats which will be sold cheaply, pictured above, and another stack-o-ladies-hats.

I also scored some wearable-for-me clothing, mostly '70s but in great condition.
The best, for me, (and it is always about me, me, me) was a pair of 10 or 20 year old Church's monk strap shoes, never worn. As Rachel Ray would say: Dee-Lish.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Birch Bark Frame

Today's find: a sweet little birch bark frame with dyed porcupine quill decoration and sweetgrass borders. We're not sure where this is from but they traditionally are made by the Chippewas , an Anishinaabe (Ojibwa) First Nation in Southern Ontario and upper New York State and were often sold in tourist areas, cottage country and the Niagara Falls area.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Collecting Vintage Shoes

Vintage Shoes: Collecting and Wearing Twentieth-Century Designer Footwear

Just read it and it's great.

Vogue Magazine

A busy week getting ready for the upcoming Toronto Vintage Clothing & Textile Show and getting ready for tomorrow's Sunday Antique Market. This Sunday I'm doing a Paper/Ephemera Day, no hard goods, just paper: magazines, posters, brochures and who knows what else is in these boxes I haven't seen in a while.

That's the intriguing thing about storage: you never what you have, or if you do, you never know where it is, or, you never know what you'll find. Hello, Prince of Serendip!

Anyway a couple of vintage fashion related items for tomorrow.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Borsalino Homburg

The Homburg style hat began as jaunty Austrian casual sporting headwear, the kind of thing one wore, oh, let's say, with a shooting outfit, and made its way to England with the jaunty Prince Berty.

By the middle of the 20th century, sporty no more; now much more formal and what many men might wear with an overcoat covering black tie.

Lately it's been showing up in collections in a greater range of colour and back to its roots as a sporty hat.

This superb example is from the preeminent Italian house of Borsalino and features expensive options: grosgrain brim edging as well as the little elastic & button thingy which on windy days allows for looping to a coat button to keep your hat attached in case of a sudden gust attack.

Nothing so unseemly as having to chase your expensive hat down the street and then having to stand helplessly by, wearing only a shocked and saddened expression, as you witness its demise under the wheels of a bus.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The girdle designed for the youthful figure

It's kind of sad, really, that when you've been invited to preview an estate sale, all you come away with is a girdle box; not even the girdle, just the box. This is 1950s Playtex Check-Mate girdle box: "This is the girdle designed for the youthful figure." That's what the box says.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Vintage Tartan Smoking Jacket

A very nice tartan smoking jacket with large grain, ribbed silk shawl collar and cuffs and a double frog closure. Remnants of the interior label state: Heather Brae/ Authentic/Worsted Tartans/ from imported Botany Wool.

Size is about a 40 - 42. In superb condition.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Vintage Leather Jacket

And we're back. It's been a while, almost a year. And the focus (if there was one) has changed.

Aside from random musings, and as the late George Carlin would call them "Brain Droppings", I'm attempting to feature what we've bought or what we're bringing for this coming Sunday at the Sunday Antique Market at St Lawrence Market.

Today, a vintage leather jacket. Pre-distressed on your behalf. And boy is it distressed. But a great look and a small size, probably a 34 men's, but most likely would look best on a woman.

Sheepskin lined and with a mouton collar, this jacket was probably made in the thirties, by Univer...? From the remnants of the label inside it looks like "University Leathers".
Perhaps Universal?

As I said it's in pretty rough shape, but what a great look.