Thrifting Finds over Break

Over our holiday break, my husband and I had a big thrifting day- being out for hours hitting various thrifts across the city.  I love these days.  Not only do we almost always find something interesting, useful, or unique (or all three!), we enjoy the time together.

Of course my hope is always to find vintage toys or American Girl dolls and items, but when thrifting, you have to leave yourself open to the unexpected…

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Art Nouveau Sash Brooch, 1890s-1910s?

I found this pin (I thought) at a Goodwill near my house that I frequent regularly.  I always glance in the jewelry cases purely for fun- as a teacher I use thrift stores to keep up with trendy items I don’t want to purchase at new prices.  I have an interest in brooches and I really want them to make a comeback, so I’ve been eyeing their selection.  This one caught my eye for the quality of the workmanship, the oak motif and the size.

Once purchased I had to research it more; I could tell it wasn’t a normal brooch.  Not only was it very large, but the pin itself was very thick- far too thick to pierce most clothing items without damaging them.  My first thought was a coat/cloak pin, but I couldn’t find anything similar.  Finally a Google image search started turning up sash pins-sturdy, large decorative pins placed on sashes at the waist or breast during late Victorian times.  Mine doesn’t have a makers mark but the parameters all fit this type of pin, including the basic C clasp and Art Nouveau style.  It’s not everyday I come home with a genuine antique!

Thrifting to me is often playing a game of ‘what doesn’t belong here?’.  Unusual items and high-quality workmanship become easy to spot with some practice.  Leave yourself open to seeing new things and you never know what you will find!

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