Thursday, August 24, 2017

CoBloWriMo Day 24: Unexpected Source

I've come across a lot of really cool stuff in my search for bits and bobs useful in reenacting.  I've got a small collection of vintage or antique lace, some really nice leather gloves, and even some antique jewelry.  A lot of people find neat things at estate sales and junk shops, but I find that I rarely turn up a really good find at those kinds of places.  "Antique shops" have gotten really trendy in my area and are often crammed full of chalk painted mid century furniture and fake milk glass.  Not really my thing.

But, just like the internet is my favorite springboard for research, it's also my favorite place to shop.  And I've had really good luck over the years on eBay!  There are some really good shops, but you can hit the jackpot with random sellers, too.

Georgian brooch, meant for hair work.

With Rich's hair in it; hairwork by Lucy Cadwallader

When looking for lace and such, I have really good luck with the terms "bonnet veil" and "black chantilly."  The first one will also turn up little crochet or fringed hats for horses (it's a thing!), and black chantilly will often also bring up listings for scandalous undies, but with not too much sifting I've come up with some really good items as you can see!
Antique lace shawl

Yet another mid 19th century lace shawl
The photos of this shawl were a joke; it was a blurry cell phone picture that looked like it had been taken by a drunken chihuahua in the dark; you couldn't even tell it was a shawl.  It was some ridiculously low price, though, so I figured even if it was trashed I could cut it up for some motifs.  When it arrived, though, there was no way I was going to get scissors anywhere near it!

Priced low because of holes...which I easily mended!

Mid-19th century style; I was happy to pass this along to Ginger of Scene in the Past!
Antique veil
Ebay isn't just for collectibles and textiles, of course.  I've scored some really BIG things there, too.  As in all cases, you need to train yourself and be an informed consumer, of course.  

Genuine Hundred Oaks Elan Sidesaddle
There are lots of sidesaddles on eBay.  Some of them are antiques.  Some are imports from overseas...and not the kind from a forgotten duke's stables in England.  In this instance in particular, there are some really crappy and even dangerous "sidesaddle shaped objects" that under no circumstances ought to be put on a horse.  But sometimes, you get lucky.

My pride and joy, the pinnacle of all my eBay exploits!

THIS gorgeous lady was maybe my luckiest find ever on eBay.  It is a 20th century sidesaddle in the style of Champion & Wilton, but isn't hallmarked as such.  It's likely that a private saddler made it for a client in the same style, and let me tell you, folks.  There are a few big names in sidesaddles and C&W is one of them.  C&Ws are highly coveted.  C&Ws are also very expensive.  This one?  Less than half of what I would reasonably expect to pay for a name-brand saddle.  And COMFY.  SO comfy.  I kept it on that kitchen stool for weeks and sat on it whenever I had a chance.  This was truly a once in a lifetime type deal...I bought it sight unseen, from a listing with few pictures and minimal description.  It could have been a total dud.  But just get lucky.  Really lucky!

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