04 October 2013

Treasure Hunting | Gadsden's Antique Market

Gadsden's Antique Market is held twice a year in Milton. It's like Christie's (which we were torrentially rained out of this year) but much more compact. "Petite," you might call it. (I wouldn't, but you might. If you want to be all "like that.")

Despite its size, there are still tons of pretty amazing-slash-interesting finds (yet ANOTHER coffin [the first was at Christie], which I didn't take a photo of but should have, proves that you really can find anything and everything you would ever want or need at an antique market.)

I was on the hunt for the perfect milk glass chicken-shaped butter dish but so far, no luck. Along the way, however, I was tempted by a few other fab finds...

I was MOST tempted by a cow skull in virtually perfect condition. The vendor offered to negotiate the price to $50, which was a steal. I wasn't sure how Daryn would feel about a real cow head in our house. He still hasn't fully embraced the idea of antlers so a full face might have been a tough sell. I'm sorry now I didn't go for it, but live and learn!

Old photographs are a mixture of inspiring and sad for me. How do photos wind up at market, where no one knows them and strangers sift through them? Are there no loved ones remaining to care for those images?

At the same time, old snapshots can be really inspiring for writers. Making a connection with a real person -- a real face -- while being free to invent a life for that person is a creative goldmine.

What can I say? It's a 5-gallon glass pig jug. Daryn suggested we could fill it with pink lemonade, which I couldn't deny would be awesome. Though I'd rather have it filled with dollah bills, yo.

These vintage glasses were in great condition and would look perfect perched on top of a pile of antique books.

Yertl is an indoor/outdoor planter who hails from sunny Arizona. I loved his sculptural quality and his mottled colouring. If I didn't own three outdoor planters already (that are sitting empty because I have an unfortunately black thumb), Yertl would be living with me right now.

Aside from the coffin, which obviously took the creepy cake, Evil Elf was my freakiest find. Seriously, how terrifying is he?? More than your standard lawn ornament, this little guy is clearly a Guard Gnome, designed to ward off undesirables of every stripe (any kind of visitor, for example; also luck, joy and happiness.)

This gorgeous pair of lamps were created by a Quebec artisan in the '60's whose inspiration was the new frontiers of the space age. I was deeply tempted: they were perfectly round, and my photo doesn't do their colour justice. With squat white shades they would be have perfect for our two alcoves in the media room, and at 50% off the asking price (which originally was a steal at $175/pair), they were awfully hard to resist.

Apparently I'm a bit of a Christmas hoarder (you've seen our "Christmas corner" in the basement, right?) so I'm drawn to antique decorations like a moth to flame.

I love finding baubles I already own, at market, since our boxes and boxes of ornaments include a number of antiques from my grandparent's childhoods. My emotional response is always to pick up one or two to add to our collection, but given that we'll be paring DOWN our collection when we pull everything out for the holidays, I left them behind this time around. There'll be enough time to back-fill everything we give away at the upcoming spring shows!

So despite the fact that I didn't bring anything home with me, it was a very successful trip overall. And next time I'm presented with an opportunity to bring a whole cow head home for fifty bucks, I'm taking it!