Since we moved last autumn, I have been really looking forward to visiting all the local antique stores that are now just a short drive away. With the weather being cold and rainy on the weekend, it was the perfect time to go for a Sunday drive to check them out. Ready with my camera, tape measure and Bakelite testing kit, we set off to St. Jacobs, Ontario.
First stop: Market Road Antiques
One thing I love about this location, it is extremely clean and everything is neatly organized by vendor. Everything is easy to see as you browse from kiosk to kiosk and definitely a real gem of an antique shop to visit. In the past, I have found a couple items here but more enjoy it for the window shopping of vintage treasures. Be ready to pay more for these treasures as the sellers did all the dirty work sourcing them and know what they have on their hands.
When we first arrived, I immediately spotted this adorable 1950s Lefton Miss Dainty set. I know a bunch of gals who collect Lefton ceramics from this era as they are so cute and extremely addicting. Shortly thereafter, we came across more Lefton pieces that included the Enesco Teddy Bear collection and Thumbelina Honey Bun Girl.
Being a huge Disney fan, I was immediately drawn to these amazing movie posters and vintage Disney memorabilia. I haven’t yet started collecting these types of items as I know that it would quickly lead to massive hoarding with little space to display them in our home.
Of course, there was no shortage of vintage Pyrex dishes to swoon over. Sadly they are so pricey, especially the highly coveted Pink Gooseberry collection. If you ever lucky enough to find these at second hand thrift shops for cheap, don’t pass them up!
There was little vintage clothing this time around but there was a nice selection of vintage furs to choose from. The vintage sleepwear of the 1950-1960s was so feminine and classic.
Now these vintage cat eye rhinestone sunglasses are a real statement piece! They would have been perfect for the Viva Pool Party festivities. Sadly there was no selection of vintage wicker handbags, this was the only one I saw the whole trip. I always enjoy seeing all the lovely embroidered handkerchiefs, often handcrafted by the talented homemakers of the 1950s.
Finishing up our visit at Market Roads Antiques, we saw some stunning antique furniture in pristine condition. This French Provincial Settee was simply breathtaking, I didn’t even want to touch it. One thing you learn quickly in vintage shops, always look up! That is where this unique mid century lamp was hiding.
Second Stop: St. Jacobs Antique Market
This antique shop is where you’ll find a more eclectic mix of antiques and collectibles. The kiosks are smaller in size but loaded floor to ceiling with treasures waiting to be found. The prices tend to be on the more affordable side but you have to do more work to find them.
If you are ever looking for inexpensive way to decorate your home with a vintage theme, I highly recommend framing old magazine covers and advertising from the 1930-1950’s. They make incredible conversation pieces and relatively cheap to find in most antique stores. Large signage is another great way to spruce up the garage or basement family room.
One thing I have a real weakness for is antique rose print china. Someday I hope to own such a delightful collection to put on display in a glass china cabinet. If you are lucky enough to have one of these in your family, please treasure it dearly.
It is hard to believe that drapes from the mid century era have lasted for decades but when you feel barkcloth in person, you will quickly understand why. Often the motifs will feature a tropical style or atomic prints. They are wonderful piece to incorporate with a modern style as well, that is what I am intending to do in our new living room.
Sometimes there are rare pieces that remind of every day life from another era, like their modes of transportation. They did not have strollers that folded up, had cup holders along with every gadget like we see today. Infant carriers were simple. They were often made out of wicker with a metal frame on wheels. The vintage bicycles are simply spectacular and they have made a huge comeback these days in the vintage style cruisers.
Vintage plastics are incredibly sought after today, especially all items made from Bakelite. This is one thing I specifically go hunting for every time I visit an antique shop. Although I have never found any for $1-5, I have picked up some great bangles to add to my collection. Unfortunately this trip only yielded a few carved bakelite pins and the adorable little mint radio.
Last Stop: Southworks Antiques
This was our first time visiting Southworks Antiques in Cambridge, Ontario so I wasn’t too sure what to expect from their selection. Located in an old building, the kiosks are staggered throughout and filled with a very interesting mix of antiques. Apparently they will be moving into a new location early this summer so all vendors were offering booth wide discounts. It was quite busy when we arrived, so we made our way through much quicker than the previous two stops.
Normally it is easy to find tons of vintage hats and gloves in these markets, but unfortunately this venture was not so plentiful. I did find some gloves but opted to pass on them as they aren’t something I get to wear often. Sometimes it’s harder to leave items behind but you really have to rationalize if it’s worth purchasing.
Although I was searching for vintage chalkware fish for our bathroom decor, these guys were a little too 60’s.
Regrettably, there wasn’t much that caught our eye this time. I found that many kiosk were quite underwhelming, possibly as they were preparing to downsize until they relocated. Many items were very rustic, more a shabby chic look. Although we came home empty handed from our day of adventure, I never regret the time spent browsing antique shops. It is also quite fun seeing what other people pick out as their treasures. Thrifting is such an eclectic mix of styles recycled for future generations to appreciate for years to come.