Junkin Finds and…a Question???

Before I show you my junkin finds from the last four weeks, I have a question for all of you.  What do you think makes something an “antique”?  Does it have to be at least 50 years old?  100 years old?  How about “vintage”?

Since I recently opened my own booth at an antiques mall, I have had to ponder this question seriously.  The mall where I do business isn’t too strict about this, in fact, they openly allow more “recent” items, as long as it is of good quality and is still somewhat vintage.  But I do want my booth to be nice, and not have a yard-sale, flea-market feel to it.  So I try to be careful what I buy to put in it, and that often has me asking, “how old is this item, and is it old enough to be in the antiques mall?”

Case in point:

Take a look at this FABULOUS mid-century ice bucket I recently found at a Salvation Army thrift store.  1-it’s the largest ice bucket I’ve ever seen, and 2-it’s Georges Briard.  I don’t know very much about Briard, and I really need to learn more, but I do know that

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since I got into collecting Pyrex and joined several Pyrex and thrifting groups on Flickr, I’ve “met” a lot of people online who collect and go nuts over Georges Briard finds like this one.  (I posed it next to my daughter’s pink elephant glass – if you’d like to learn all about pink elephant barware of the mid-century, read this article.)

This ice bucket is about 50 years old, so is it an antique?  Weigh in under the comments section, I’d love to know your opinions!

This next item is even older, and it was cause for one of those, “Honey, turn around! Go back! Go back!”, moments, when we drove past a Friday morning yard sale recently. A gorgeous olde metal bread box with lovely graphics:


I also found some great little furniture pieces in the last few weeks at yard sales and the flea market.  One yard sale was partly in an old horse barn – I was digging through piles of boxes and furniture in horse stalls, and honestly felt like I was on an episode of American Pickers!  It was so much fun!  At that sale I got these two piano benches:


The one above is going to get new upholstery and possibly black paint.  The one below is already undergoing a white-paint makeover, and will probably be the coffee table on our future screened porch. Lidded piano benches make GREAT porch tables, because you can keep magazines inside where the music would have been stored!


The little table below, came from a flea market, and has already been made-over in a lovely blue chippy paint finish using milk paint and natural wax.  To see it finished, take a look here.  The wire basket and chargers are thrift store finds.

The little sewing box needs a minor repair and refinishing, and it came with these wonderful old spools, with thread still on them! The pillow was $1 at a thrift store and will be a future project here on WCIJ (making something for my camper!)


The patriotic glasses were a great antiques store find just in time for Independence Day.  I used them in my Independence Day Tablescape which you can take a quick look at here.

A few more thrift store finds:  some shell bowls I’ll use in a future tablescape, a white milk glass planter I’ll be using very soon in a Friday DIY project post, (I’ll show you how to fix up ink pens that no one will walk off with!) and a vase.  Now this vase…I almost walked right on by, then I thought, “Well, it’s black, that could be cute for Halloween.” I picked it up and looked at the bottom, and it was McCoy!  My first McCoy find ever, how happy I was!



One last thing, then we’re done!  I got this coffee table for free, since someone asked my hubby to haul it away for her.  He brought it home so I could practice my furniture painting on it.  Here is the before & after:

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You can read the full story on the coffee table makeover here, including a PINK Kool Aid mishap!

Whew, that was a lot!  Thanks for hanging in there with me. Don’t forget to weigh inwhat makes an antique, an “antique”?  What makes something “vintage”?  Is anyone aware of official laws?  Does anyone sell on any websites that have official rules?  Please share with all of us in the Comments. 

Thanks for joining me, and don’t forget, you can stay updated with WCIJ articles by subscribing for free email updates, Liking the Facebook page, Following on Bloglovin.  Take care y’all – Dawn

Sharing with: Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home, Sir Thrift a Lot, Coastal Charm, A Stroll Thru Life, Savvy Southern Style, Share Your Cup Thursday, Pink Saturday.

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23 thoughts on “Junkin Finds and…a Question???

  1. I’m no expert for sure, but I always heard antiques are 75-100 years old. Vintage is over 20-25 years old?? Anyway I think your finds are amazing and if they don’t look junky and fit into the look of your booth, go for it! Love the ice bucket and someone will swoon over it for sure.

  2. I always thought the unofficial rule was anything over 50 years was an antique. But now that I’ll be celebrating my 66th birthday tomorrow I’d rather NOT use that parameter!!! Thanks for sharing your finds. I’m just starting to tablescape and will be heading for our “Antique Circle” tomorrow to start collecting things for future tables. I hope I can find something like those shell bowls and chargers! Could you please explain why “McCoy” is such a find? Thanks, and have a good day with all your new finds.

  3. Hello!

    What lovely “junk” you have collected! I just LOVE that metal breadbox…it reminds me of when i was a little girl. I would love to do my whole kitchen with the type of vintage stuff we had when I was growing up!

    Have a great week!


  4. You seem to gravitate toward the same items I do. I have picked up a sewing cabinet like yours, a lidded piano bench like yours, an upholstered bench like yours and I’m fascinated by the bread box. Takes ya right back to the day, doesn’t it. As for antiques…I always thought it was 100 years but I’m not really sure.

  5. I have been here for a while, and I needed to stop and comment before I clicked another link. I love this blog! *We* call it junkin’ here too so you had me at Hello. I love nothing more than the thrill of the hunt to find stuff like this. I have often wondered if I should try a booth myself. I’m mulling it. I love your eye for things and would be drawn to the same stuff. Wonderful!

    About the question: I think that officially something is call antique when it hits the hundred year mark and vintage when it hits the 50 year mark. Up to that, I think it’s just cool old stuff. LOL

    However, even though we “call” them antique malls, I think there is an implied understanding that really they are just places full of really cool old stuff which might be vintage or antique or just plain cool.

    Glad to have discovered this bloglovin’ thing. I like it. Plus, I am meeting new bloggers which is wonderful. I was getting stuck in a rut.

  6. Great finds. This is the first time I have read your blog. I would agree with what others have said. 50 vintage, 100 true antique. Though I have seen mugs from the 90’s in my local antique mall, that might be pushing it a bit.

  7. I’m with you on the puzzlement over what is and isn’t antique. I have been told by other dealers that anything over 100 years old is antique. But, like you, I have booths in three antique malls and the things in those malls are certainly not all that old!

    My rule of thumb for my booths is: if I would like it in my eclectic/vintage/antique/retro home, then others will like it too. So perhaps it’s a Fire-King coffee cup from the 60’s, or a lucite candleholder from the 70’s or pattern glass from 1890 or awesome kitchenware from the 30’s. If it is in good condition (or I can make it so), if it’s highly decorative and unique, it will probably find a home in one of my booths and I have not yet had a complaint from anyone.

    I share your concern about “too flea-market.” It could be easy to cross that line but I think there is an instinct in those of us who deal in antique and vintage items that recognizes “cool.” Right now I’m venturing into vintage clothing. What’s vintage in this stuff? I guess I’ll find out, but I’m trending towards unique, made in USA (and definitely not made in China unless it’s tailor-made) or perhaps Korea or Japan or India, if it looks like good quality–and it’s cool 🙂 I have yet to take any of the clothes to my booth so it’s an adventure waiting to happen, I can’t wait to see if I’m guessing right about what people will want to buy.

  8. Great finds! I wouldn’t have passed up any of these. I never worry about whether or not it is an antique. If I love it, and it’s a great price, I buy it. You obviously have great taste and vision, so I’m sure whatever you put into your booth will look good and sell. laurie

  9. Yup, I am with the majority here – I always heard that antiques were 100+ & vintage 20+, but really, people just do what they want nowadays, so whatever.

    Your post made me Google (which led me to this here link on an eBay forum, which is interesting on the topic – http://community.ebay.com/t5/Antiques/Antique-vs-Vintage-Definition-and-differences/td-p/883115) & honestly, I list anything 20+ as vintage because… that is what people are used to searching when they are looking for it on eBay. I am selling barrettes from the 1980s. Searching by the brand name leaving out vintage would give you 10,000’s, including vintage, you get 100’s. Some of these people think life began at eBay. Like, really, people are constantly repeatedly defining the “correct term” for vintage? People “hijacked” this term long before 1995. Get over yourselves. Sorry for the rant on your blog.

    I have no use for an ice bucket (don’t use ice), but the look of it is fabulous & the tin too! I’d love to hear/see updates on your booth as you go along. I live vicariously through everybody online. Good luck with everything.

  10. Hello! I just love your finds from this week. I feel like its been a bit to long since I have found a good find. I am also being more picky about what I bring home so I don’t end up on an episode of horders.

    The Joyful Thrifter

  11. Being of the age that some would call elderly, I fall into the vintage AND antique category. But all silliness aside, I have no idea what entails an object of resale value to have either label. I would say, vintage is 30 to 50 years and anything above that is either classic [pertaining to autos mostly] or antique.

    That bread box?!!! I have my mother’s…her’s is just like this one only a green lid.

  12. I had always heard 20-50 for vintage and anything over 50 is an antique.

    I wish I came across such nice things! My local thrift stores aren’t what they used to be. I hardly ever find things as wonderful as your items anymore. And forget the flea market. They are so overpriced, particularly for any kind of furniture. 🙁


  13. Happy Pink Saturday, Dawn. Welcome, and I am so glad you joined us. I hope you will participate often.

    Great finds! I believe 100+ for true antiques and 25+ for vintage. I wouldn’t worry too much about the terminology. I enjoy visiting antique malls that include antique, vintage and collectible. You never know what someone might have on their hunt list.

  14. Ooops…may I slip back in here and say about the BREAD BOX?! What a find!! does not matter if it’s old, Vintage, super Vintage or Antique- Lady it is a KEEPER! WOW~

  15. Dawn,
    Thanks for sharing all your neat treasures at my Nifty Thrifty Tuesday party. You will be featured at my party on Monday. Please feel free to grab my starfish featured button for your blog.


  16. I’ve always gone by 125 years is antique and 25 years is vintage, but I looked it up and it looks like 100 years is generally accepted as the standard for antiqes. Vintage seems to be at least 20~25 years.

  17. Hi Dawn, it’s funny what we all think categorizes an antique. I’ve heard 50 years or older. But in my book if it looks old and is darn cute I don’t care! lol! I know that some of the young gals like thinks from the 70’s and 80’s. I love old bread tins. What a great find. the sewing box is so darn cute and your table redo looks just like the kitchen table I redid for our basement kitchen. Great finds gal! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  18. Dawn, my mental definition is anything my age–very early baby boomer–is vintage. Things slightly older are antique. The real reason I had to comment, though, is because I own a very large flour sifter that is the exact same pattern as your recent breadbox find! How cool is that? Mine was from a local thrift shop and under $2 if my memory is correct. I enjoyed seeing the box and all your other recent finds.

  19. Hi, Dawn, my friend Michele of Adventures in Thrifting suggested I visit you, and I’m glad I did! That bread box is spectacular, but I was also struck by the sewing box, because I have my grandmother’s, but need ideas for refurbishing it. Please feature it again after you’ve fixed yours up? Thanks!

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