Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Imperial Glass for. . .Target??

I'm a huge Target fan. HUGE.  I love that they pioneered the marriage of sophisticated design and low-cost utilitarianism. It's scary how much of my clothing comes from that place. They're the only store that carries my favorite flavor of Luna bar. Even the lighting is better than other stores - have you noticed? It's always sunny in Target.

I once hiked four blocks in knee-deep snow to visit Target just because I needed a fix of their cheery red-and-white decor after days of being homebound by a blizzard. And I'm not afraid to admit it.

I've been reading for a couple months about a  new partnership betwen Target and Neiman Marcus to jointly offer a line of holiday giftware by high-end design houses. It seemed kind of weird: Does the typical Neiman's customer have that much in common with Tarjay shoppers?  I guess so!

The line has finally arrived at my local store -- I spotted it the other day. My particular Target chose to awkwardly display the line in the middle of the toddler clothing section (??), crammed on makeshift cardboard display units with their backs turned to the aisles. Way to promote, Glendale Target. 

Mixed in with the kiddie tee-shirts and onesies, I spotted all manner of designer goodness. A Tory Burch lunch kit; a Carolina Herrera cosmetic bag set; Rodarte Christmas ornaments!  My intial favorites were the DVF jewelry box and the Marc Jacobs metallic clutches.

And then I spotted it:  The Altuzarra barware collection. The gold-toned cocktail shaker and the heavy rocks glasses were right up my alley. They were glam; they were gilded; they were vintage inspired. They were....familiar?

I instantly realized that they look remarkably like vintage Imperial Glass. Some of you may remember my post on vintage gold Imperial Glass from way back in May. The "Shoji" pattern - with its geometric trellis design - is probably the most well-known of the gilded Imperial barware from that era, but the "Sekai Ichi" pattern is also very well known and highly collectable.
Here's a picture of a Sekai Ichi ice bucket from the website:

And here's a set of Altuzarra glasses from Target:

Uncanny, isn't it? :)   
At first, I was thrilled at the thought of purchasing a set of four Sekai Ichi-esque rocks glasses, since the originals are rather rare and quite pricey. I quickly noticed, though, that while the glasses are nowhere near the price of Imperial Glass originals, they are still quite pricey for Target glassware at $49.99 a set. I couldn't justify the purchase so close to the holidays. I also began to feel a bit conflicted. I freely admit that I've owned more than a few vintage knock-offs in my time, usually due to affordability issues. In this case, though, the collection is specifically supposed to consist of original designs by today's top designers, and these seem to be a bit more than just "inpsired by" the Imperial originals.  And yet...they're gorgeous, heavy, and high quality, so I'm kind of glad they exist. 
And so it goes. If these should happen to go on clearance after Christmas, I can't promise I won't pick up a set. Or maybe a shaker, which would look fabulous alongside some original Imperial Shoji, Sekai Ichi, or other gilded barware of the era.
How about you?  Do you think these look too much like the Imperial designs to be considered "designer originals?"  What is your stance on vintage knock-offs? 
PS: Peruse the whole [fabulous] Target + Neiman Marcus Collection here!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Day of Silence

Joining many fellow bloggers in a day of blogging silence in support of the victims and survivors of Sandy Hook.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Thrift Report: It's Beginning to Feel A Lot Like Christmas!

Happy Monday, all!  Are you ready for the holidays? I'm NOT!  I've been engaging in a classic case of last-minute panic shopping allll weekend. The Tatter and Fray shop has been positively hopping for the last few weeks, and I've barely had a moment to spare!

Never fear, in a town with a thrift shop on every corner means that I can always manage to squeeze in a thrifting stop in between trips to the mall, World Market, TJ Maxx, Target, the mall.... I've assembled some of my more eclectic finds of late for your viewing pleasure today.

This children's chair is not really the type of thing I typically stock in the shop, but I just couldn't resist it. The colors are so vibrant and folk-arty and it had just the absolute PERFECT amount of scuffing and vintage character. I'm pretty sure I had one of these in yellow as a really little kid.

This cheery yellow and white enamelware kettle also caught my eye. It's in almost pristine condition and I love the 70s/80s vibe. It was made in Japan by Kamenstein and is dated 1979. 

I've loved these cobalt blue deco creamers by Hazel Atlas for-ev-er, but I hardly ever find them. I was pretty excited to spot this one sitting on a shelf at Goodwill. 

This little piece was one of those purchases that inspired the thrift store employees to exchange glances and treat me like I might be a little "off."  I maintain, though, that it would be a perfect little art piece for a neo-trad room. I love the octagonal shape, the olive green velvet matting, and the decorative gold loop at the top.

I was so excited about this next find that I can hardly talk about it.

That's right, my's a gimongous brass peacock floor statue!  It measures 28" tall. Couldn't you just die? Thank goodness the base is hollow so it's light enough to ship; when I first spotted it, I was afraid it would weigh 80 lbs or something. I'm going to list it in the shop soon - quite frankly, my postage-stamp living room is too petite for statuary - but for the moment I'm enjoying staring at it in all its glamazon glory.

Not quite as exciting as Mr. Peacock but still fun was this periwinkle blue vase. I totally thought it was a piece of American art pottery until I spotted the old "made in Japan" inscription on the bottom. I love the loopy handles and the ringed neck.

And finally...I mentioned the finds in this post were on the eclectic side, right?  Okay then...BEHOLD:

I spotted this book at GW and bought it for my brother as a Christmas gift...because who WOULDN'T want to display a 300 lb 1970s NFL player doing needlework on their coffee table??  

What I love most about it is that it's completely unironic; it seems that Mr. Grier really wanted men to do needlepoint in the most heartfelt way.

I quickly realized that this book typically sells for $50 - $120, so I decided I'm keeping it and listing it in the shop. My brother doesn't need it that badly. :)  (Sorry, Andrew.)

I hope you all manage to fit in a little fun, a little merriment, and yes, a little thrifting in this last, hectic week before Christmas!  Here's one more shot of 70s goodness to carry us out:

Linking up here!


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Thrift Report: December Fun

I had so much fun thrifting this week! Lately, I've been super focused on buying things for the shop that I know will sell easily, in preparation for the busy holiday gift-shopping season. Although I always enjoy thrifting and I love everything I buy, sometimes I feel like I'm buying the same things over and over. This week, though, I found some really unusual, interesting stuff.

I spotted this piece on a "just arrived" cart at Goodwill for a few dollars. I thought it was dried flowers at first, and I picked it up because I thought the base was pretty. It was so perfect, though, I figured it was a new piece.
To my surprise, I quickly realized the "dried flowers" were metal, intricately gilded, jeweled, and enameled. The sticker on the bottom of the urn read "Jane Hutcheson for Gorham" and it was clearly vintage. I took a risk and purchased it

When I got home and researched the piece, I discovered that designer Jane Hutcheson designed this line of life-like enameled flowers for Gorham's "Fleurs des Si├Ęcles" giftware line in the 70s and 80s, and that the pieces are highly collectable today and quite valuable. Score!  In case you're interested, here's a lovely article on Jane Hutcheson's work.

I've admired these simple, cork-topped decanters in other shops for ages, so I was excited to find these. The corks need replacement - one is missing, and the other two are both crumbling and moldly - but I should be able to pick up some new ones at Michaels for a couple of dollars. The awesome typography makes me happy.

This pair of elegant brass flamingos was an antique store find; they were a great price, and they're really huge.

This vintage painting on canvas is so pretty in person -- and surprisingly elegant. The colors are very muted, the frame is gleaming brass and about an inch deep, and it includes the original certificate of authenticity, dated 1979. Best of all, it's compact - about the size of a piece of printer paper - which makes it perfect for a gallery wall, or easy to display just about anywhere. I love it. 

As regular readers know, I have a strict "no dinnerware" policy when buying for my shop - "strict" meaning I try really hard but violate it often. :)  Dinnerware doesn't sell that well for me, and it's really hard to pack and ship, so I try to steer clear. When I came across a bunch of Ken Edwards pieces at Goodwill this week, though, I had to take them home. They're so beautiful; they're really scarce in this area; and most of all, they were 49 cents each.

I just couldn't bear to let them end up chipped, broken, or tossed into a GW Outlet sale bin. I pretty much had no choice  but to bring them home, right? RIGHT?  (Sigh...)

And because I couldn't possibly go a whole week without finding some bookends, here's this week's set:

They're so chic, but in horrible condition. Each one is missing an ear, and they plaster is very chipped (as you can see.) Still, for a couple of dollars, I couldn't leave them behind. I plan to keep this set for myself, and "rehab" them with a nice coat of glossy spray enamel. Maybe ivory, or deep orange, or solid black. Any opinions?

Lastly, I was beside myself to find this set of mid-century Swedish candlesticks!  This is another item I've drooled over online, and almost purchased for myself more than once. It's hard to tell with the currently heavy coat of tarnish, but these are solid brass, and will be spending some quality time with a polishing cloth very soon. I will probably sell them - I'm trying to be more disciplined about not keeping every other thing I buy for the shop - but I may shed a tear or two when I do.

Thanks for checking out my finds this week. I'm wishing all of you a fabulous week of thrifting, and I can't wait to check out what you find!

Linking up here:

The Nifty Thrifty at A Living Space

Thrift Share Monday at Apron Thrift Girl

Junkin' Joe at The Cottage Market

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