Monday, June 4, 2012


When shopping for antiques, it’s easy to confuse the search for truth & beauty, with acquisition of the beautiful, rare or exotic.  In fact, the real search is often more about objects that improve our quality of life than the beauty of our surroundings.  As years slip by, it’s impossible not to notice that each time we purchase a new item, it’s of lower quality in materials, craftsmanship and durability than whatever we’re replacing.  When we look back, it’s hard not to be enamored with the quality, function and charm of the objects our parents or grandparents used.
A couple of weeks ago, we decided to spend our Sunday morning at the Capital City Antiques Mall outdoor market.  We strolled from booth to booth, looking at this, touching that, and occasionally buying a trinket or two, when Lyn turned to me and flashed a big smile. “Look what I found”!  I was stunned. We had climbed the mountain, and were  returning with the prize.  She was holding a stamped steel, spring loaded, Scot Towels, under cabinet, paper toweling dispenser.  Embossed proudly with the makers name, and a 1929 patent date, this simplistic, mint condition, engineering marvel, would proudly replace the latest, of a long line of crappy plastic towel dispensers. I felt as if I had climbed into the  way-back machine with Mr. Peabody.  I felt victorious; Defiant. Let’s just see those damn towels escape from this one.  Lyn quickly restored perspective. “I like the color”.  

The masking tape price tag stuck on the bottom read $3.50, but the seller offered it to us for three bucks before we even had a chance to ask.  I was nonchalant as I offered the money.  Takin’ candy from a baby.

Okay, I’m not kidding myself, not everything can improve your life as much as an old paper towel holder, but many old things are extraordinary.  They exude charm, feel comfortable, and are mostly well made. The truth is, that when we find old objects that we can incorporate into our lives, we profit by the effort, often saving money, and always saving increasingly scarce resources. Old things truly are remarkable. Not only can they connect us with the past, they can also keep us out of the malls, and best of all, give us a reason to visit our favorite antiques & collectibles shops.  What more could we ask for,.
So, don’t overlook the charm and utility of using vintage items in your everyday life.  Next time you encounter an old mixing bowl just like the one grandma had, don’t hesitate to pick it up.  Stir things up a bit.

No comments:

Post a Comment