Thrifting Update: 8.15.11

This weekend was full of thrifting firsts for us.  Usually, we wake up and trudge to early-morning estate sales all on our own, but this weekend we spied a sale we thought our friends Josh and Sarah would love, so we invited them to come along!  The sale was in an eastern suburb of Seattle, so far out in the country that a bobcat ran across the road in front of our cars!  Mr. Butter and I left early to put our names on the list; in fact, we set our alarm clocks for 4:45am so that we would be first on the list.

For those of you who don’t go to estate sales, they’re a bit more intense than an afternoon trip to the Goodwill, but Mr. Butter and I like going to a few every now-and-then.  Most sales these days are run by local estate sale companies who post their weekly sales on sites like  A few hours before the estate sale starts, people who really want to be first in line when the doors open create a list.  Usually these people are dealers or collectors and if you go to estate sales often enough, you’ll see the same people in line each weekend.  Well, Mr. Butter and I–try as we might–had never been first in line before.  And we spied a few things in the photos that we had to have for our own collections and for the shop as well!

And as it turned out, we were first in line for this sale!  And what was so exciting that we got up before 5am?  Well, the estate sale was full of Swedish ceramics and glass, two of our favorite things.  Our friends went on a dala horse spree and snagged anything that even looked like a red horse and we made a beeline to a few rather sweet items.

That’s right.  Three Lisa Larson figurines all in one place!  She’s one of our favorite ceramicists, especially for her modernist “Zoo Line.”  Her designs have a certain whimsy about them, don’t they?  We’ll be keeping Mr. Fox in our permanent collection, but the other two figurines should be in the shop shortly.

I know, I know, I said that the house was full of Swedish ceramics.  Well, these pieces originate a little farther south, in Italy to be exact.  We were over-the-moon to find a Bitossi figurine “in the wild” since they’re so rare.  Even scarcer is the pair of white Bitossi lamps we picked up.  Although they come with their original shade, we think they’d look amazing with a saturated red lampshade, don’t you?  We’ll be selling the lamps shortly, so let us know if you’re interested.

I think we may have set our friends up for disappointment though.  This type of sale comes once a year, if that!  Hopefully they’ll join us on the ratty sales as well and not be too disappointed with chippy pyrex and orange tupperware!

Linked to Flea Market Finds and Thrift Share Monday


  1. Reply
    Iris Vank August 15, 2011

    I love your treasures. I saw a Lisa Larson cat on a fleamarket in Stockholm, but they wanted nearly 200 euros for it… You’ve snapped them up cheaper I hope?

    • Reply
      alison August 15, 2011

      We definitely got a good deal on these! 🙂

  2. Reply
    Sarah August 15, 2011

    I certainly don’t need any more Dala horses after this sale. (Note I didn’t say I don’t *want* any more Dalas…)
    This was an amazing estate sale, and you guys scored big time! J and I are so thrilled for you. We’re looking forward to future sales–as much as they may pale in comparison. 😉

  3. Reply
    A La Modern August 15, 2011

    Amazing stuff – good for you that you scored a lot of it! I’ve only come across one estate sale in all of our travels that had a Scandinavian focus, and this sale was very sparsely attended with cheap prices (out in the boonies also). I’m so kicking myself now because the house was filled with stuff and I passed on so many things. At the time, we’d just started selling and weren’t as knowledgable and just picked up a few things.

  4. Reply
    sraikh August 15, 2011

    Awesome finds.

    I see the same people all the time. I generally try to be in the first wave of people let in. Like the first 10 or so 🙂

  5. Reply
    Brad August 15, 2011

    What a score! These are the types of finds that fuel me to keep going, and going, and going…. might I say an addiction?! Good to see that the finds are still out there.

  6. Reply
    nick@collecting feathers August 16, 2011

    I am drooling over your Italian ceramics. I still don’t get the Estate Sale process. Are they marked with prices? And why aren’t there auctions? Here in Australia we only have auctions where you usually have to bid against the dealers.

    • Reply
      alison August 16, 2011

      @Collecting Feathers: Yes, everything is marked with prices. It’s like a giant garage sale, except the entire contents of the house are for sale. There are definitely estate auctions, but for every estate auction there are 10 estate sales!

      @Brad: Us too! This sale was one of our favorites!

  7. Reply
    Tom August 21, 2011

    Hey neighbors, I LOVE the fox! Wow, nice find.

  8. Reply
    Vintage Scapes August 28, 2011

    I can’t believe you found all of these in one week! Amazing!! Still crossing my fingers for anything gustavsberg…

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