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Dear Readers

I am very excited to be starting a new adventure by creating this blog and sharing my stories of where my travels have taken me and what gems I have found. I travel across the Southeast in search of unique finds: well crafted antiques, elegant pieces of art, and high quality vintage designer clothing and accessories. I look for antique, high-end vintage, and consignment stores, always noting the ones worthy of going to again. I have been told that I have expensive taste. However, as a young person in my 20’s, I am always in search of excellent quality pieces worthy of high price tags at a bargain. The key is finding a dealer or shop owner that doesn’t know what they have and jumping on the deal!

In this blog I will be posting as much as possible on the places I go, the stores I find, and the wonderful pieces I snap up!

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Greetings All,

I wanted to tell you all about one of the most lovely antique malls I like to visit anytime I am passing through the Charleston area, the name is Terrace Oaks Antiques. I went in this mall originally looking for the perfect item for my new parents-in-law as a thank you for all that they did for me and my husband during our wedding festivities. If you have ever been to Charleston I am sure they you have passed by several antiques stores when walking down King Street. The antique stores you see on King have gorgeous things, but the prices are outrageous. All it takes to find beautiful quality at reasonable prices in the Charleston area is to drive out to West Ashley.

Terrace Oaks is a large place with many rooms and tons of different dealers. One can find old books, beautiful antique silver, great vintage and antique oil and water paintings, and more. An important thing to note, is that you can find a lot of items that are truly southern antiques.  Often times large antique stores have many vendors who shop all over the world to fill their booths and one doesn’t feel any local flair, but here, you get the sense that many of the vendors start their search at the local level to find items that were truly used in homes in the low country.

The ladies who run it are extremely kind, knowledgeable, and very helpful at helping you find the perfect item. Recently I visited looking for a wedding gift for some great friends. I knew I wanted antique sterling silver within a specific price range. When I told them my price point both of the ladies began to walk the store peeking in booths trying to help me find the perfect item. We ended up finding a pretty sterling silver ice scoop, to be used when serving cocktails while entertaining and these friends of ours do have wonderful parties. Sorry no picture for this because it is already wrapped!

Terrace Oaks has wonderful items and the quality as mentioned above is lovely. I now have both my in-laws and my parents dropping by there  anytime they are in the Charleston area. One of my absolute favorites in South Carolina!

I’ll post again soon!!!

Dear Readers,

Today I would like to tell you about one of the most amazing vintage stores I have ever been in, AGORA. This store is located in downtown Athens, GA. When passing by, one might see retro furniture, 60’s hats and scarves, and prairie dresses outside the entrance. The true unbelievable gems can be found inside. This store operates like an Antique Mall with different vendors renting out booths. My friend Mary, wold love it because in the back there is one large booth that is stocked with tons of vintage vinyl. It would take hours to look through all of those amazing records. Throughout the place, one might come across old musical instruments, retro lamps, old books, vintage tables, chairs, etc. but the most amazing goodies that truly interest me are the designer duds and accessories found in and around the front counter.

The owner has several different loyal consigners who bring in beautiful quality items that they simply aren’t using anymore. These pieces could be anything from an Hermes clutch bag to Christian Dior shoes. Two of my favorite vintage finds in Georgia have come from this store. The first being a lovely pair of vintage CHANEL earrings.

 

These earrings are clip-ons, which is good because they are relatively heavy. They are stamped with the CHANEL logo on the back to prove they are authentic. I bought these earrings for less then $200 and the girl at the front was able to work with me on the price. They are perfect for dressing up a simply black suit or dress for work!

After my first trip to Agora, I knew that if I ever wanted to buy a vintage CHANEL bag, this was the place to get one. The prices on all of their designer vintage are reasonable, they take layaway on larger items (about 20% down and then 6 months to pay the rest off), and the quality and selection of bags is always excellent. The owner is very knowledgeable and helpful in answering any questions regarding her wares. Agora has a Facebook page and the owner always posts new pictures. If there is a pic that pops and you love the item you see, you should call immediately, because her bags do not stay on the shelves for very long, especially this time of year when students at UGA are back in school. No worries though, she gets wonderful bags in quite often. My weakness is for vintage CHANEL however, she also often has, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Gucci, and more!!! After careful consideration, I bought my first vintage black CHANEL flap bag from her. It is in the pic below!

The owner told me some interesting things about CHANEL. CHANEL does not take in bags to authenticate them. They do however, always take in authentic bags in order to clean them. So therefore, if you were to take in a fake, they would reject it for cleaning.

Agora also told me that when storing a CHANEL bag with a chain, it is crucial to wrap the bag in something that will protect it from getting indentions in the leather. My bag is always wrapped in bubble wrap and then placed in its box to prevent pits in the delicate lambskin leather!

~I’l write again soon!!!

Greetings All,

I thought that I would start out by sharing with you all one of my most wonderful finds yet. I was in Birmingham at the end of Spring of this year and I decided to do a bit of antiquing. After doing some research online I found Hanna Antiques Mall. This place was absolutely wonderful. It is was full of lovely odds and ends. There are about 120 dealers and thousands of square feet. One can find great interior design elements as well as fabulous pieces of art. As I was meandering around this giant place, I came across a booth that was full of interesting old tins, needlepoint pillows, wooden crates, and vintage china. This little booth was absolutely filled to the brim with great things to look at. As I was standing there in awe of so many little items I would love to leave with, I noticed two little silhouette pictures nestled on a shelf tucked in with English china and old books. I thought to myself, ‘they can’t possibly be…maybe they can be…oh my gosh they are!!!!’ And what I was referring to them being were two little original hand-cut Carew Rice silhouettes, both created in 1943.

      

These little pieces stand about three inches tall each . The silhouettes are cut out from black paper and are then tacked down to a white backing. What one needs to know about these works is that Carew Rice (1899-1971), is one of the most famous silhouette artists to have worked in the US. Poet, Carl Sandburg was once to have said that Carew Rice was “America’s Greatest Silhouettist.” His work can be found at auctions and galleries ranging in price a great deal. I have seen listings for pairs such as these ranging from $250-$500. The dealer had each one marked at less the fifty dollars! What was even wilder was that there was a half off sale on the entire booth!!! So needless to say, I walked away with these two beautiful original silhouettes for under $50. They hang in my home now in a place of honor as one of my most prized pieces of beloved southern art.

Note: I have been asked how one might tell if a silhouette is an original cut-out vs. a print. In the art world we refer to a type of lighting known as raking light. This is basically a method of taking a piece of art and holding it sideways as to see surface texture and quality or type of media. When debating the authenticity of cut-out work, one should hold the piece at an angle as to get the full effect of raking light. If you look at the work at this angle you may see a difference in the texture of the black paper vs. the white backing, perhaps even a difference in depth of the two colors. The black paper will naturally be slightly raised if it is a true cut-out. When dealing with old silhouettes often times, one can also look for areas that have perhaps come loose from their glue providing areas slightly lifted from the backing.

I will post again soon!!!