lucca antique purchases

by | Oct 30, 2019 | a slice of life, All Things Home, Antiques, Travel | 33 comments

I already shared about the brown leather oxford shoes that I bought from an antique dealer at the Lucca fleamarket, but I wanted to show you the other things I bought as well as shoe the shoes up close.  I am not really a shoe person per se, but I have always been attracted to wingtips.  I think it is the old soul in me.

When I initially spotted the shoes, I thought they looked like my size, but I wasn’t sure.  I slipped them on and they fit almost perfectly.  They are 39 1/2 and I usually wear a 39 in European shoes.  They are just a little bit too big, so I can either wear them with tights or put a rubber heel pad in the back.  They weren’t so big though, that they were slipping off as I walked.

The gentleman who sold them to me told me they were made by a very good Italian brand – Umberto Romagnoli.  They are beautiful leather and very well-made shoes and I was happy that they were made in Italy.  I had already bought an antique American pen in Paris and I didn’t want to buy a pair of vintage American shoes in Lucca!

I also bought a pair of garden snips from the early 1900s…

I love the mechanism that expands when they open and that little piece of twine that holds the wooden handles closed.

And my favorite antique find was a silver desk set.  I was hoping to find a silver and glass inkwell, but I wasn’t planning on finding a complete set.  Dana is the one who actually spotted it and pointed it out to me.  It was pretty early in the day and I was nervous about jumping on the first thing I saw.  The inkwell was perfect, though…

It was when I saw the set that I actually remembered I’ve been looking for a silver blotter as well.  I just didn’t think about looking for one in Italy.  This blotter was exactly what I’ve been looking for.

It has just enough detail for my taste.

The set also included a dip pen, a silver and ivory letter opener, and a handle for a wax seal.

And everything was in beautiful condition as if it has been living in its case since it was made.

I am familiar with the markings on Sterling silver but didn’t recognize the VM 800 mark.  Sterling silver is marked 925 because it’s 925 parts silver and 75 parts alloy.  Much of the silver made in Italy and Germany is 800 part Silver and 200 parts alloy.  So, this is still silver, not silver plate, but it’s not as high quality at Sterling silver.  At €85, it was a great deal for such a nice set.

Can you believe those three things are the only antiques I bought in Lucca?  I just didn’t find anything else that was exactly what I was looking for and I didn’t want to buy things just for the sake of buying them.  I found, what I thought, was the perfect antique tabletop easel, but the woman who owned it would not sell it.  She was even a little huffy when I asked if it was for sale.  So, I walked away disappointed and didn’t find an antique tabletop easel on this trip.

I did some shopping for a couple of people who won Dana’s Inspired Tourist giveaway.  One of the winners wanted sewing notions, so we picked out a pair of 1800 scissors and a thimble…

And the other winner likes a wide variety of things, so I picked out a blue and white compote for her and Dana found a tea towel monogrammed with her initials…

As I was taking pictures of the pedestal and the tea towel, I love how the light fell on this setting in front of the window.  I am definitely going to paint this scene when I’m back at the easel again.

Believe it or not, I spent the bulk of my money in Lucca on new things.  I’ll show you those in another post.

PS – My giveaway for the Cozy White Cottage book and $100 Target gift card is open until Friday.  You can enter to win HERE if you haven’t already!


  1. Teddee Grace

    Love both the shoes and the desk set! You showed admirable restraint!

  2. beverlee lyons

    I am getting your notifications now. I thought I was already subscribed, but I guess not. Even if I don’t win, I am thankful that you offered this opportunity, so I can have these notifications.

    • Nancy

      You have an amazing eye. I would love to see things the way you do. Such a gift!

  3. Susan

    I have been a follower of your blog for years and it is one of my favorites!

  4. Kathy

    Those leather laces! And the blue & white compote!!! To die for.
    Love your posts and the stories of your adventures.

  5. Joyce C

    Love the shoes and their quality craftsmanship!! How old were they?? I’m thoroughly enjoying your trip 💗

  6. Marsha

    Enjoying your Paris posts so much! Glad you are on the way to healing.

  7. Michele M.

    Marian – seriously this is one of the prettiest posts of all. I love how you captured your treasures so perfectly. You are a true artist and one of the best photographers. That desk set is amazing – and those shoes? It is kizmit!

    Thank you for the all the beautiful eye candy. I’ll consider this “candy” my Halloween treats this year. I too am trying to take better care of my self these days. How I am not opening the big bags of Resee cup pumpkins candy is taking strength I didn’t know I had, haha.

  8. Karen

    Your photo in the light by the window ‘draws a person in’. I am an artist and as you know, a photo that draws you in… Is what it is all about. Kudos to your talent. I fell in love with your blotter. Great purchases. Thank you for sharing your ‘finds’ & ideas.

  9. Jo

    The garden. Shears and the desk set are things I would be drawn to! I’d enjoy the book if I’m the lucky soul !

  10. Linda D.

    I am grinning from ear to ear. I found this when I went on an internet search for Lucca Antiques – I attended a long ago November fair that smelled of roasting chestnuts and wood smoke. One of the best days of my life. I was traveling alone and thus has a chance to take my time, talk with vendors (well, gesture broadly with my broken tourist Italian) and come home with a few treasured mementos and memories of an oil painting that wouldn’t fit in my luggage. I ADORE your shoes, and am only placated since I take a 37.5 and they would have been too big for me. The silver desk set makes my fingers itch to touch it – owning it would likely be beyond my means. Ah, the shears! I love old tools, and inherited some of my grandfathers, but nothing so delicate as these! Pure joy just to live vicariously. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Marlene Stephenson

    I hope not to offend you but, my grandmother always wore those kind of shoes and i loved seeing them again. Your writing set was so pretty, great find.

  12. Mary

    What gorgeous finds! I love wingtips too, and I have no idea why. So…I am intrigued by the ink blotter. I have been doing some artwork with a dip pen, but I am unfamiliar with a blotter. When you are back at it with both arms fully functioning—please give us a little lesson on how it is used. I googled it, but still am unsure as to how it functions.

    • Nancy

      You have an amazing eye. I would love to see things the way you do. Such a gift!

  13. Nancy

    I love to go antiquing and/ or thrifting. I really liked both the pen set and the shoes. It would be a dream to spend the day thrifting with you as you are so knowledgeable.

  14. Rebecca DeGroodt

    That photo of the table in front of the window is as beautiful as any I’ve ever seen in any book or magazine. I want to paint it too. I know a while back you did a whole series on photography and I will go back and look at those posts — but sometime, since it’s been a while, could you do a post featuring some of your favorite recent photos and what camera and settings you used? Thanks so much for sharing your lovely writing and photography.

  15. Susan

    I don’t make comments often but today, I can’t resist!
    Those two lucky ladies!
    The shoes!
    The photography! Every day I read and enjoy the work you share. You inspire me to dream bigger!

  16. Shelley

    Wow, that antique pedestal compote is stunning and what luck to find a linen with the lucky winner’s initials. It’s a bucket list to go to Lucca for me!!!


  17. Cheri Dietzman

    That last photo will make an amazing painting!

  18. Sue

    Oh….the Villeroy & Boch compote…LUV….my mom has the complete set of that pattern that she bought in Luxembourg when she lived in Madrid 34 yrs. ago…..My mom knows me well so said I’ll inherit it….

  19. Donna

    Your “eye” is excellent! Wonderful purchases!!
    I do enjoy your postings so much.

  20. mary m

    Don’t you wish your lovely things could talk and tell you their story and how they got there?
    Now they are yours for your stories to come in the future…………….M.

  21. Louise

    Love all your goodies. Thanks for sharing your adventures.

  22. Janis

    I love the compote!
    Your blog is a pleasure to read, one I check faithfullly. I envy your creativity!

  23. Beth

    I have been to flea markets in Italy and Paris. They are the best.
    Just subscribed. I hope to win the book!

  24. Donna

    I love, love the desk set! What a marvelous find❤️

  25. Hannah

    Your shoes are lovely, I have a pair that are similar and I love them, although mine don’t have leather ties like yours! I also love your beautiful silver desk set and that still-life at the end of the post—definitely paint that!

  26. MaryLisa Noyes

    You found some great treasures and I love how you photographed them.

  27. Karen

    I love the little details in things. You do too!

  28. Judy

    That last photo reminds me of the one of “The Girl in the Pearl Earring”, the light by the window. Love your posts, Marian.

  29. Mah

    Love the shoes! My history teacher wore shoes like that! That was 50 years ago.


Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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