my other pennsylvania antique purchases

by | May 10, 2021 | Antiques, Favorite Finds | 41 comments

Before I get into today’s post, I wanted to share that my next original art sale will be this Wednesday, May 12, 2021, at 10:00 am CST.  The paintings will be sold in my online shop HERE.  I’ll be sharing a preview post of the paintings that will be in the sale along with the prices tomorrow.

I can’t believe I still haven’t shared all of my antique finds from my day out shopping with my mom when we visited Pennsylvania!  I took pictures a couple of weeks ago and they’ve just been hanging out, waiting to be shared.

I went out to antique stores with a pretty specific list of things I was looking for.  I also needed to be very mindful of space in the van and the fact that I don’t sell antiques currently, so I didn’t need to load up on a bunch of stuff for a spring market!  This was just shopping for my house and I needed to know how I was going to use each item I purchased and where it would be kept or displayed.  Even with those limitations, I still came home with a pretty nice haul!  I hadn’t been to an antique store since last summer and I was really looking forward to it!

antique finds from Pennsylvania | miss mustard seed

One of the things on my list was art books.  They can often be found at reasonable prices in antique stores and I did find a couple!  One was a huge book on Renoir for only $15…

collection of art books | miss mustard seed

Another thing on my list was a mortar and pestle for using to grind pigments for paint.  I haven’t done very much of that, yet, but I do look forward to playing around with it in the future.  I ended up finding an amazing antique pharmacist’s mortar & pestle for $35!  I had to reach it on a precarious shelf, but I managed.

collection of art books | miss mustard seed

It is a perfect size and cleaned up nicely with a good scrub.

antique mortar and pestle | miss mustard seed

antique mortal and pestle | miss mustard seed

I also bought a little tea tin that’s a great size and shape for storing art supplies – pencils, pens, brushes, pastels, etc.  I really liked the graphics and it was just a few dollars.

antique white rose tea box | miss mustard seed

Let me say that I don’t need any more dip pens.  I have a pretty nice collection of them, but I just couldn’t resist this pretty Sterling silver dip pen.  I think it was $40, which is a good price for an antique silver pen.

antique sterling silver dip pen | miss mustard seed

My mom pointed out this art history book…

vintage history of art book | miss mustard seed

It has been very well used and loved and, even though it’s in black and white, I thought it would be an interesting read.  I’m guessing it was a college textbook.

vintage history of art book | miss mustard seed

I really dislike black and white art books, since color is such an integral part of a work of art, but it was all of the handwritten notes in this book that sold me on it.

vintage history of art book | miss mustard seed

Someone was very studious and there are notes throughout the entire book.

I picked up a little blue & white box of chalk for $3.00…

vintage kroma white chalk box | miss mustard seed

A stack of receipt pads (I like to use these as notepads)…

vintage receipt pads | miss mustard seed

A set of Civil War-era wood and pewter flatware for $35…

civil war flatware | miss mustard seed

civil war flatware | miss mustard seed

A few small baskets, including this little basket that’s the perfect size to keep sunglasses by the front door…

small basket | miss mustard seed

small vintage basket | miss mustard seed

…and the most beautiful antique French pastry cutter…

french bone and wood pastry cutter | miss mustard seed

The cutter is actually made from bone!  Isn’t that so cool?  I can’t even imagine the time it took to carve out those little ruffles…

french bone and wood pastry cutter | miss mustard seed

french bone and wood pastry cutter | miss mustard seed

I also picked up a couple of rulers to use in the studio, a wooden T-square, a nail file with a bakelite handle, some metal and wood knitting needles, a few small pieces of ironstone (bowls, small plates, and soap dishes), and a white-on-white 100-year-old twin quilt, which was a bargain at $50.

vintage wood triangle ruler | miss mustard seed

The best part about the excursion was spending time with my mom.  We always have a great time scouring antique shops together.  She hardly ever buys anything, but she enjoys looking with me and always points out things she thinks I’d like.

I know more markets are opening up again.  I believe Gold Rush Days, the biggest event in my area, is going to be on again this year and I am already looking forward to it! Have you been out antiquing, yet?

41 Comments

  1. Kathie B

    I really love reading about your antiquing finds and seeing what’s appealing to you and how you use it. I love the dipping pen and the mortar and pestle. My favourite finds lately are a vintage ironstone platter for $3, a small Edwardian oak wall cabinet for $20, 2 beautiful tapestries in oval gold frames for $9 each and three wool ladies hats from the 1920’s for $1 each. I love the idea of saving these previous things and making my home beautiful in the process. I’m addicted to the thrill of those special finds.

    Reply
    • Jeanette Fellhauer

      Marian, I have the same art history book from my college days in the 1960’s. I was an art major and my book has notes all the way through, too. Through all the years and all the moves throughout the country I’ve held on to that book.

      Reply
  2. Babs

    As an art minor, I spent many hours with my Jansen History of Art textbook in the mid to late 60’s. It was hideously expensive in its day…I think it was $15 when most text books were in the $3-5 range. Somewhere along the way I had gotten rid of my book and was telling my daughter that I was sorry I was without it. She purchased one for me as a surprise which I still have and love. Just looking at the cover brings back so many pleasant memories.

    Reply
    • sarajane

      Heh, I used the same Jansen Art History book in my college Art History classes in the ’80’s. It was updated with some color plates. Still have it.. might just have to go dig it out.

      Reply
      • Margaret

        My husband and I each had the Jansen textbook in the Sixties as did one of our daughters many years later.

        Reply
    • Stacy Saman

      I was just going to say that – first year art school university, that book is a bible. And crazy expensive. When I bought mine it was $35, I think, which was a TON. Now I expect it’s over a hundred. I still have it, somewhere….

      Reply
  3. Monica from Littlestown

    I love the dip pen! Where on earth do you find such treasures?

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      I found most of these items at Bedford Street Antiques in Carlisle.

      Reply
      • Monica Duelley

        I’ve never been there, but will put it on my list! Thanks and have a great week!

        Reply
      • Jan Watt

        I have been there several times! Love the owners.

        Reply
  4. Mary

    How did you know the flatware was pre civil war? What dates it for you, or was it just labeled that way?

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      It’s based on the style of it and my experience buying Civil War-era flatware. I’m actually doing a whole post about it next week. The wood-handled flatware is in the same style but is likely newer than mid-1800s. The bone flatware you see in the basket in the first shot is definitely mid-1800s.

      Reply
  5. Kim

    Here in Canada we have been in society-crushing hard lockdowns for so long, we wonder if we will ever be able to shop again, let alone for antiques. My grown kids and I were just lamenting the thrift store closures yesterday. Stores have only been open for 2 weeks since the middle of December, and were closed most of last year. We can only buy food, drugs, alcohol, and cannabis in person. We can’t even buy socks, underwear, or pencils! No garage sales either. No signs of reprieve coming anytime soon. It is so different in the USA!

    So, instead of shopping, I am working on becoming a seller. I’m busy setting up my Etsy shop full of wonderful treasures that I want to pass on to someone else.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      I have a few dear friends in Canada and I have been following their strict lockdowns. We were in lockdown for about three months and that was a lot! I feel like I’m just now starting to get back to a normal routine after the craziness of having the kids home, not being able to go anywhere, etc. I am so sorry you’re still in the thick of that and it’s been going on for so long. I know retailers must be struggling as well. I just sent a painting off to Canada, so that makes me happy knowing they are getting a painting when they can’t even buy underwear or pencils!

      Take care of yourself! 💙

      Reply
    • Rose

      Aptly put! “Society-crushing hard lockdowns”. I’m sorry it’s been so extreme for you in your part of the country. It does seem to vary based on which province you live in. Here in Saskatchewan, all our stores are open, as are restaurants. There are limitations as to how many people can be in a restaurant or shop, (for the most part) at one time and we still have to wear masks in public places. Also, we can only gather with others outside our own household if we’re outdoors (thankfully, it’s now warm enough to enjoy outdoor visits). To say we’re weary of all the restrictions, would be a huge understatement. I feel for you, since it sounds like the restrictions there are positively oppressive. It’s so interesting to get a glimpse of what normal life looks like as we live our lives vicariously through our American friends and family. 😊

      Reply
      • Donna Skeen

        I have that edition of Janson too, with my maiden name written inside. I’ve held on to it for over 50 years. I wonder who owned your copy in the past. Some of my favorite antique finds are old books that take me to another time like a travel guide from 1900s and a French cookbook from the same era.

        Reply
  6. Cindy

    H.W. Janson History of Art was the first textbook I used in my art studies in college. I wish I had been able to keep my copy but I needed to sell it to buy other needed books and supplies. Glad you found a copy.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      I figured it was a college textbook! I’m glad to hear that a couple of you really enjoyed the book. It makes me look forward to diving into it even more.

      Reply
  7. Cynthia

    I have the Second Addition of H.W. History of Art, and I bought it for one my art history courses in college.
    In the fall of 1980 it was $50, a lot of money back then. I have a Fine Arts degree with a minor in Art History, and kept all my art books. They stayed at my parents while my husband was in the military. As you know we have weight limits. 🙂 I had to purchase all my art books at a wonderful local book store that had the sweetest cat. I don’t remember why the college book store didn’t carry our art books. I remember when the large artist books like your Renoir were in the book stores. I did manage to purchase Monet, but then we were transferred to Turkey…. no books stores. Great find that I’m sure you are enjoying. 🙂

    Reply
  8. Lisa

    I,too have a copy of Jansen’s History of Art from my college days in the 70’s, and the pictures are in color!

    Reply
  9. Elizabeth

    Here is another person that still has her copy of Jensen. I ended up majoring in art and art history and continued with a M. A. Jenson was a visiting professor in my last year of graduate school.

    Reply
    • Nancy L Johnson

      I wonder how many people you have caused to visit their bookcases to see which Janson they own. Mine is the 1969 edition. Black and white.

      Reply
      • Marian Parsons

        I actually checked mine. It’s a 10th edition, 1966, and it does have more color plates in it than I initially thought, but it is largely black and white.

        Reply
      • Karen Assseraf

        I see the beautiful flatware you have acquired and I two have some pieces of aged flatware. I would like to know how to clean the forks tines and knife blades. Do you use these utensils or just display them?

        Thank you for your response.

        Reply
  10. Bea

    Two recent finds for me are a large yellowware bowl in great shape for $5.95. I also found a vintage wood folding stool for $6. I removed the tattered seat, sanded and stained the frame and made a new seat from blue and off white ticking. Those items will go to my spaces at the shop. Too bad I don’t live close to PA because I’d love to shop for antiques there.

    Reply
  11. mary m

    My parents had the same nest of trays that you have in natural wood. Theirs dated from the 1950’s and were well used. Theirs were painted black.

    Reply
  12. Pam Black-Colton

    Oh my gosh! Now I feel really old. I use a version of the Janson Art History book in the first art history class I took in college!

    Reply
  13. Kathy L

    what treasures, I would love to see more of that quilt and the basket it is in

    Reply
  14. DBLori

    I have that History of Art book. I don’t remember where I got it, but I’m guessing I bought it for one of my college classes. Almost 40 years ago. gulp!

    Reply
  15. Betsy

    Marion could you explain how you clean the flatware you purchased? I was in a shop in Lancaster, Pa that had similar pieces. A stall keeper in the next both told me not to buy the pieces because they were pitted and showed signs of rust. He said it wasn’t safe to eat off of it. I want to go back and see if it’s still there. Can you give me some guidance? Thanks so much.

    Reply
  16. Pat Swenson

    I have had fun shopping from various Etsy shops purchasing a few antiques along the way like butter molds and small crocks. Now that I have been vaccinated, I have been a little more adventurous and have shopped at a few antique shops. My latest steal was a Dundee Marmalade English advertising pot for $10 in perfect condition!

    Reply
  17. Taffy White-Pritulsky

    Great Finds Marion! I’ve been to that store when my Husband was a student at the War College, my oldest Daughter was born in the old Carlisle hospital…Jansen is the Art students bible! I believe there’s one for young students as well!

    Reply
  18. KATHY B

    Marian, I always love your finds! You seem to get the neatest flatware.Also love the chalk box , receipt pad + the pastry cutter!One of these days I am going to do some shopping in Pennsylvania.My son and his family live in N.J only 10 minutes from PA…So Glad you were able to spend time with your Mom.I met both of you when you spoke at a show in New Hampshire a few years back!! I am an antique dealer from Massachusetts!

    Reply
    • Jan

      Kathy B, where is your antique shop? I’m in MA and go to NH often. Marion, I love that you shop with your Mom and the treasures you found are just beautiful. Especially love the bone pastry wheel and the embroidered napkin it sits on is exquisite. Jan in MA

      Reply
      • KATHY A BRANGWYNNE

        Hi Jan, I have a space in the Sandwich Antique Center in Sandwich , MA on Cape Cod!! I moved to the Cape from the North Shore Area to be closer to some of my grandchildren!! Come on by if you visit Old Cape Cod!

        Reply
  19. monique odman

    My mother who was a wonderful cook, could make a pie without recipes and without measuring the ingredients. She made pies and cakes so fast that I did not learn. A few years ago I asked my sister if she had saved the little pie dough cutter, but we did not find it, hers was a much more recent and not interesting. I loved our mother’s little old wheel, just exactly like the one you bought, old, simply beautiful. She used it to cut long strips of dough to garnish the pie top in a basket weave pattern with scalloped edges of the soft dough.
    I feel very nostalgic now.

    Reply
  20. Elena M.

    When I saw what you want to do with the mortar and pestle, I remembered a movie I saw called “Girl with the Pearl Earring” with Colin Firth as Johannes Vermeer and Scarlett Johansson as the housemaid who supposedly inspired the Dutch painting – she mixes paints for him with beautiful pigments and oils in a mortar – if you haven’t seen it, I bet you would love it, as it does show some insight into what the life of a painter in that era might have been like, and how he composes the subjects in his paintings. I loved it, and have seen it numerous times!!

    Reply
  21. Anne Marie

    Oh my! What fun! We are possibly relocating to PA and are flying out this summer to scout it out. Any suggestions of where we have to visit and good towns to live in? Xo

    Reply
  22. Pat Mays

    I love reading your blog. Learn a lot too. And this is perfect. I went to my favorite not too big not too small antique flea market couple weeks ago! And I fount a wonderful Paris mortar and pestle. Thought of you! For $20, I was in. Sits in my kitchen window.

    Reply
  23. Sherry Sidner

    What fun! I love everything! There’s nothing like a good flea market, garage sale, junkin’ trip. You found some amazing treasures. And so nice you show us how we can use them in our decor. I always love visiting you Marian.
    Blessings, Edie Marie

    Reply
  24. Teresa

    I know you enjoyed being back in PA with family and in your old stomping grounds as they say. When you use to live in PA, I always enjoyed your posts featuring your “finds”. I think my favorite thing you purchased was the antique French pastry cutter. It really is beautiful. I have been to many antique stores and malls in southern/central PA and remember going to Bedford Street in Carlisle several times. One of my favorite places is Antique Marketplace in Lemoyne. We don’t get to PA as much since my late mother in law passed away several years ago. She moved up to PA to be near my sister in law (her daughter) when she started having some health issues.

    Most vintage/antique stores have been open in VA during COVID (under state guidelines) but bigger shows and markets were cancelled. I am hoping there will be some Fall shows coming up since our state has lifted many COVID restrictions now.

    Reply

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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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