Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Flea market finds for Gloria and TRM

Souvenir spoon photo, appreciation to this site.
With thanks for Curtis's spoon to this collector.
Hands on, picking up, rubbing the worn and polished surfaces with a thumb, testing the weight by balance, for Gloria selecting her vintage silverware was part visual, part tactile.  It was possible, perhaps likely, that over the years some customers' integrity had stepped outside to inhale the salt air while they pocketed an irresistible spoon.  There had been those of higher standards who asked if they might purchase one of the antiques.  In that case, an agreeable deal could usually be struck.  If a piece was too treasured, it was never shared.  Why put temptation where it doesn't need to go.

More on pen nibs here.
The Reading Man fell under the spell of vintage office products.  It was a small booth, really just one table, with some antique cabinets to hold fountain pens and similar oddments.  There were rolling date stamps, of which he chose two that bridged different years, advertising pencils, six-inch rulers for businesses extinct and very far away and he needed five of those, all from building supply companies.  Then came the box of pen nibs.  The drawer-like red container, faded and displaying the enterprise's founder in a not-too-discreet oval, rattled with its cargo of pristine silvery nibs.  Mr. Apotienne shook the box next to his ear before he opened it, his expression starting out alert, anticipatory, then becoming almost dreamy.  It must have been one of the unspoken ties between them, a sort of amateur psychometry, as both used their senses to read a portion, maybe more, of the stories their desired objects told.  Each was quiet and satisfied with what they'd found, did not press on to see more booths, establish contact with more histories.  Later they would speak, as neither had done before, of the way they were soon overwhelmed in the presence of, as Mr. Apotienne called it, old stuff.


Erin in Morro Bay said...

As if reading, scones, tea and the occasional 1940's Hawaiian shirt weren't enough - now a love for the vintage, the well worn and well loved objects of days gone by. These people are indeed of my tribe. I must admit to absconding with the occasional cappuccino spoon (never vintage silver ones, or even modern silver ones - always rather inexpensive stainless), and I do realize that the huge tips I leave in this case probably do not absolve me.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Erin - For the stainless, I think you're covered. Gloria knows precisely who has run away with the spoon(s) and, should they appear again, they will have use of the stainless. Problem solved. They are not only our tribe, they are us, residing, it seems, within. The business about reading the history of the objects had me by the throat until I wrote it out for them. xo

susan t. landry said...

i spent hours yesterday scouring the vendor stalls of a huge antique outlet in an old mill near here. i wanted to find just the right birthday gift for a friend.
i swear the time spent just looking, touching, remembering is pure therapy for restless souls like myself. i found something: a pitcher in the same earthenware pattern her mother used to have. i think she'll like it--at the very least, she'll know that i care. now i'm off to buy the ingredients for a dark, dark and moist ginger cake that i'm taking to her birthday gathering...i think you and Gloria and TRM would enjoy a slice!

Marylinn Kelly said...

Susan - Absolutely, pure therapy and pure joy. How fine that you found a piece with such a tie to the past for your friend. I could rhapsodize endlessly about thrift shops, estate sales, auctions (in North Caroline), swap meets, junk stores (and better) I have known. I am fortunate that the objects don't exactly speak to me as they do to our friends from The Cove, though ghost towns did. My sister swore she worked in a shop with haunted furniture, "haints" as they call them in Virginia. We will be there for the cake, a slice o' heaven. xo