Mergers & Acquisitions or... Estate Auctions & Antique Shops

I have chosen to call this page Mergers & Acquisitions because it is a blending of the old with the new, and it so aptly describes just what I have been doing this past year and a few others, too.

Something that happened in 1999 is that I became absolutely addicted to attending estate auctions and browsing antique shops. This curiosity first started when my brother and sister-in-law would drag me on their jaunts to antique shops whenever they come to town. I never especially liked things that were old, but what I do like is the brilliant cut crystal that my brother collects. Lets' face it—I like crystal. Most crystal is so sparkly and there are so many different patterns from which to choose.

In 2000, I attended my first-ever estate auction when my Aunt Mary Jane passed away. This one auction hooked me for good on attending auctions. An important lesson I learned is that you can buy some fine quality furnishings at a fraction of what you would pay in an antique shop. 

My son Derek thinks that I have lost my mind—and he may well be right. He insists that he will never use anything a dead person owned, but as time goes on, we will see.

This is one of a pair of crystal hurricane lamps that I acquired from Spenceola Antiques in Forest Hill, MD. The prisms hanging from the top are approximately 8" long. Although I must admit that I paid a handsome sum for these lamps, none of the other lamps measured up to them and these weren't as expensive as the others in the store. I considered this a treat as I bought them on my 50th birthday, which was a major event, and they are now adorning the top of the buffet.
Crystal Hurricane Lamp

Murano Bowl

This is a Murano bowl that I picked up at Foley's Antiques in White Marsh, MD. The bowl starts out as clear glass on the bottom, turning to white, and back to clear again with a lot of gold splashed in. I liked the unique shape of this bowl, and I hope to stumble across another like it in the future.

This is a collection of old and new crystal candy dishes. The pineapple-shaped and the Hershey-shaped dishes were given to me by friends. The square-shaped footed dish I bought at Chase Antiques, and the tall dish in the background is one that I bought at an estate auction.

Candy Dishes

More crystal—a condiment bowl with its top acquired at a recent auction. Next to the bowl is another crystal top that is missing a bottom. When you bid on a lot, there are usually some stray pieces which is the case with this top. If you should find a crystal bowl that could use a top, please send it my way. All donations are much appreciated.

To the back of the bowl is one of a pair of Heissey candlestick holders. I bought this pair ten years ago at Bentley's Antiques in Timonium. Heissey is now very collectible.

Server in the foyer with collection of lighthouses and lamp

Wine Decanters

These are two wine decanters that I just acquired at—you guessed it—another auction. There was a total of 6 pieces of fine-cut crystal in this particular lot and the bidding was rather furious, so I wound up paying $50 for the lot. One of the things I will be looking for in my travels is a stopper that fits and looks more like the decanter sitting on the left.

To the left of the decanters is a salt and pepper shaker that I bought at one of the local antique shops here.

The buffet with nothing but crystal. Above the buffet hangs a mirror which I also bought at an estate auction. I brought it home, cleaned it up a bit and added some goldleaf to brighten it up, and it goes very nicely with the buffet.
Buffet
These are two glass paperweights I acquired at an earlier auction. You can see that the one is shaped like a pear and the other is shaped like an apple. They were too pretty to pass up and they are very light in weight. 

Dining room table and chairs

Teapot and Rose Candlestick Holders
Here is a teapot and two rose candlestick holders that I bought in two different antique stores in Lancaster, PA. I love the delicate shades used on these pieces, and they fit very nicely with my decor. I am now scouting around for some teacups that would blend nicely with the teapot.

This next picture is of an Italian soup tureen which I also bought at the above auction. This tureen is in perfect shape. Whomever owned it took very good care of their things. After browsing tias.com (one of my favorite Websites), it seems that I was very fortunate to get the ladle with the tureen.

Also pictured is one of the teacups and saucers that I bought at my aunt's estate auction along with the Aladdin teapot. Behind the teapot is a plate trimmed in gold which originally belonged to my mother's grandmother, so it is very old indeed. You can also see one of the other doilies that was bought at the same auction as the tureen.


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