Picking with Reyne – Vol 6 – By Reyne Haines

June 8th, 2010 by

Have you ever misplaced your keys, and you search and search only to come up empty handed, when low and behold, they were in front of you the entire time?

I felt like that yesterday.  Like most, I’m always looking for the next bargain.   I’m always thinking, I should be hitting all the flea markets at 5am, finding out what are the new merchandise days at the thrifts, and scouring the online auction listings at the small houses because stuff slips through the cracks.

Those are the obvious, yet not so obvious places to find great stuff.  I think the hunt for those elusive items is what keeps us so excited about this business. You just never know what you will find, and where.

So yesterday I am out with my friend for lunch when she suggests we head over to this antique mall in town that I had not yet gone to.  I had heard it was nicer than some of the others in town, but it was having trouble filling all the booth space.  When I hear nicer, I immediately think, “overpriced”.

But who am I to turn down a request by a friend to look at antiques?

We walked through the door and immediately there was a display of fine art glass. My kind of stuff, but eek…the price tags were for the year 2050.  Do people really want to sell their wares, or are they just for our viewing pleasure?

There was a great array of fine porcelain and my friend bought a beautiful Victorian rattle for her daughter.

While we were walking around I spotted a modern item in one of the booths that I know is going to haunt me. You know what I mean by haunt…you leave without it, and you think about it, over and over. (Which means I’ll be going back and buying it this weekend)!

I would be perfect for my new book on decorating with antiques.  It’s not antique though.  Which leads me to another pet peeve; antique stores/malls that carry new items.  Why do you do this?  What is it you don’t understand about the word “antique”.  Mind you, vintage is acceptable, but new?

Ok so why am I thinking about this item?  Because it was cool. It was a centerpiece for a large hall table or dining room table. It had a square base with a large round sculpture on top. It was made of wood branches and shaped into a sphere.  Price: $395.00 which means I could possibly get it for $350.00

Secondly, I found the coolest modernism pendant.  A large, round black disk with a single thick silver vertical stripe going up and down the center.   The tag said Miriam Haskell. I don’t think that is who made it, but it was cool. Priced at $200.00

Finally, there was a pair of small white birdcages, probably Victorian era, priced at $45 ea.   I hadn’t talked about my obsession with birdcages just yet, but in my upcoming videos on picking, you’ll see one I recently saw at the Urban Market that caught my attention.  A white two story Victorian era cage, arched top, wooden, with disco balls hanging from the center.  I’m not a big fan of disco, but I have to admit, that would make quite the conversation piece for a room.  I’ve thought about it ever since.

I’m not sure what I would do with those pair I saw at the antique mall either. Perhaps I am thinking about a new collection!

10 Responses to “Picking with Reyne – Vol 6 – By Reyne Haines”

  1. Carolyn COBAYLEY Says:

    I’m with you…never pass up a chance to shop for Antiques or Collectibles or shoes..but that’s a different story altogether.

    Antique Malls are some of our favorite places to “pick”. Where else can you find 20 to 100 or more little shops usually just spilling over with unfound treasures? We travel a lot and go through many malls. We tend to travel the same route many times and re-visit shops year after year. I’m amazed at the number of dealers that don’t turn over their merchandise, or in the very least rearrange it. That’s just good marketing sense.

    As for finding the NEW mixed in with the old, I’m afraid it is a sign of our times. We have spoke with several mall owners/managers about the new items creeping into the antique shops. They were very blunt. “If we didn’t have new mixed with the old, we’d have to close our doors”. The younger generation of shoppers wants a one stop shopping event. Not only are they looking for a collectible or gift, they want a look a like if the old items are too scarce or expensive.

    It is just another reminder that the savvy antique shopper/picker needs to be up on what’s new and what’s been reproduced.

    Thanks for another great episode in “picking” Reyne. You always hit the right note.

  2. Marko Says:

    Thank you for your excellent writings !

    First, I am interested in this issue…..What do you think what is the antiques?
    Is it 50 or 100 years old stuff? Or something else?

    Finland’s law says that the 50-year old goods are antiques.
    It may not be exported out of land, but……hmmm.

    Antique word is often used incorrectly.I have heard and seen, for example…

    Do you have any other similar “word monsters”?


  3. Reyne Haines Says:

    Carolyn – I don’t so much mind if the antique malls put “decorator” things in their mall.
    But they should separate the two.

    I think certain areas are better about not letting that in (like the East Coast) than
    say the south or the Midwest.

    The malls and such I’ve seen in the West Coast carry more Deco and Modernism.
    I find it interesting to see the variety of what turns up in different parts of the country.

    Thanks as always for posting!

  4. Reyne Haines Says:

    Marko – In the US, 100 years or older is antique – other items would be considered vintage, but we see all eras being called antique is seems.

    Rococo Stereo Cabinet – like they made stereos back then!

    I just hate people that call new things that are in the “style” of an era – old.
    You know what I mean – a booth full of new furniture that says “Rococo cabinet,
    Rococo Table, etc” and you know they know every single thing is new.

    Unfortunately, new collectors often have no idea and buy it thinking they found a bargain!

  5. Marko Says:


    Today know how to make furniture that they are new but seem genuine antique. Their manufacture have been used old materials, for example the old board = tuned antique furniture!

    They are made so well that professionals is difficult to distinguish fake and genuine product.

    How to distinguish the new and old product?

    - What kind of joints furniture have been made.
    - What kind of screws are used.
    - Is it used plywood or massive wood.
    - If the ornament, see whether is it done by machine or by hand made.
    - How is the furniture back side is made of.
    - How the chair upholstery fabric is nailing. ( staple or tack )
    - Coatings , whether the used of industrial materials.
    - Whether the product has genuine patina.
    - If you find a manufacturer stamps.
    - What kind of glue is used.
    - What kind of fittings and hinges have been used.
    - See the box base. The old products has been a solid wood base.

    Here are few recognition tips. These issues can only learn when examining items.

    Good luck when you are looking for genuine products.


  6. Reyne Haines Says:


    These are all very good tips! Thank you for posting these!

    You are right, the reproductions get better all the time. There are some amazing
    craftsmen out there and they certainly know how to fool the unknowing!

    We should take images of items we see that are fake, and upload them here
    and discuss the telling signs….


  7. Marko Says:

    Ok Reyne…..

    I’m looking for something to scrap and I’ll show you :-)


  8. Antiques.com Says:

    Shakespeare said … To be or not to be……antiques ??

    1. Real antique Finnish renaissance chair, which is manufactured in the 1600s. It is made of wood nails.

    2. Renaissance chair manufacturer’s signature (DS = Daniel Snikker )

    3. Wood nails, we know that the chair is really old.

    4.Brass screws will tell you that the Art Nouveau coat rack is old .

    5. New and old screws and nails ( one drill pin)…..rusty screw is always better than a shiny screws, when we talk about antiquity.

  9. Marko Says:

    Reyne….and other friends,

    And if you restore your own antique furniture….Do it carefully! Age and life of the product must

    be visible.If you want a new look, so you can pick up the furniture store a new product.

    I had a restoration firm, whose name was “KULUNUT KAUNEUS” = worn beauty .

    Now I’m ” worn beauty ” :-)


  10. Reyne Haines Says:

    Hahah, Marko – Worn Beauty!

    I love it!


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