Very Delightful Things

The best vintage, one of a kind, and exclusive finds

I Wasn’t Born with a Silver Spoon in my Mouth…

I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth, but luckily I found one today. Old warehouses are one of my favorite places to find hidden gems. They’re usually dusty, bleak and unassuming—those are the best kind. While searching for items for the shop, I came across this treasure in a chest—a silverware chest that is. This was the only item in it. I immediately grasped it, ran my fingers across it’s minimally rough exterior…I knew it was something special. It’s aged surface, speckled with slight indentations of varying sizes and naturally occurring patina, spoke to me in a way that I couldn’t describe.  I wondered what it’s story was, if it had a story. I took a closer look. I discovered the word GOMBAULT hammered into the surface of the handle along with the letter G topped off with a crown. There was also another word, so microscopic that I couldn’t decipher it, hammered into the bowl of the spoon. Naturally, I had to do a little research.

According to ASCS, (the Association of Small Collector’s of Antique Silver), Gombault was founded in 1826 and was one of the oldest French silverplate companies.  This foundry was a pioneer in the silverplating process and even created it’s own “Gombault metal (a base metal for silver plating, i.e, a kind of nickel silver), which is a nickel-copper alloy with small additions of zinc, iron and tin.” The inscription “Gombault” was used until 1931. The company produced many successful products and often partnered with the Desclercs company, another French silversmith foundry. In many instances, these two companies were often mentioned as one body, the Maison-Desclercs company. Sadly this marriage lasted until 1866 when the company folded and merged with the Veuve Charles Halphen company.

What an interesting history and an amazing find. This particular piece is believed to be dated circa 1870-1931. Unfortunately, I still can’t interpret the word inscribed into the bowl of the spoon. I wish I could tell you more about it… about where it’s been, about who held it, and how it made it’s way into a dusty, bleak and unassuming old warehouse. Maybe some stories are better left untold. I’d like to think of it as a mystery in a box. And that my friends is a very delightful thing.

Watch out for this, and other very delightful things coming soon to my ebaystore.

Polka Dots and Playful Frocks: OOTD

People often ask me how I find such fabulous pieces. Thrifting and fashion are my passion and I can spot a quality piece a mile away. I don’t know what it is, but I can quickly scan and grab a well constructed garment in less time than it took Muhammad Ali to deliver a knock out punch! On one of my excursions I spotted this vintage, 1980s, Mary Ann Restivo polka dot dress. How did I know it was from the 80s? The shoulder pads were a dead giveaway and, typically, many 80s pieces, such as this one, were made in Hong Kong.

It’s short sleeved and made of 100% silk. Some of the features are an overlapping bodice and ruching at the waist. It also zips and buttons up at the back with the sweetest little knotted blue buttons you will ever lay eyes on. Other accents include blue piping at the neckline and at the sleeves.  A full skirt and a modest length, (it reaches my ankles), give it an awesome twirl factor. To top it off,  the dime-sized blue polkadots make it a playful addition to my wardrobe.  This, my friends, is my OOTD! A frock this gorgeous is always photoshoot worthy. Special thanks to Scott Hampton Shoots for an amazing collaboration.

This beauty isn’t for sale, it’s one for my treasury. Don’t worry, though. There are other vintage items on my Etsy shop, of course.

The Gentleman Caller and the Mysterious Black Tie Affair

“Every respectable young lady needs a suitable gentleman caller,” she whispered demurely as she slid his calling card into the narrow pocket of her purse. At least this is the way I imagined the conversation must have went when I came across this exquisite vintage Walborg purse complete with the original coin purse, beveled mirror, and vintage calling card to boot—what makes this purse especially unique.The calling card is from a gentleman named Saul L. Singer, attorney and counselor at law. The address is 15 Dekoven Court, N.Y. 11230. Phone number (212) Ulster 9-1054. This is currently the home of the Blue Porch Bed and Breakfast located in Midwood, Brooklyn, N.Y. Whoever the gentleman was and whoever’s purse this belonged to must have had an amazing story.

Now… back to the purse. If you haven’t seen a Walborg purse before, then be prepared to be truly amazed. Quality, craftsmanship, and sophistication are the true hallmarks of this brand.

The company was founded by Hilde Walborg Weinberg in New York in the late 1940s. She designed all of her handbags and purses and used the best materials and manufacturing processes available at the time. Her purses became extremely popular in the 1950s  and eventually she opened a showroom on Madison Avenue in NYC in 1954. The original Walborg designs were made in Italy, France and Belgium. Later designs were manufactured over seas. Unfortunately there is no information available on the company after the early 1960s. This is why Walborg is truly a desirable and coveted handbag and a true find for any vintage enthusiast. Sadly I parted with this one, but you can purchase it here in my etsystore.

3 Tips for Selecting Vintage Clothing

1. Quality/Detail:  Those who have an eye for vintage pay attention to quality and fine details. Any savvy vintage shopper understands that quality and detail go hand in hand. When selecting vintage clothing, make sure that you inspect the quality of the piece. You may want to avoid delicate materials unless you are using them for display purposes. Some indicators of quality vintage pieces include bound buttonholes, piped seems, hand sewing, and silk linings. Some questions you may want to consider: Are the zippers in working order? Is the lining of the garment still intact? Does the garment possess any lingering odors? Many vintage pieces are unlabeled, so consider it a plus if you find a garment with the designer’s label still intact. Usually the highest quality vintage pieces are preserved with the utmost care.

2. Condition: Collectors of vintage clothing understand the connection between condition and wearability.  If you fall into this category, you want to make sure that the garment is made of sturdy materials that haven’t deteriorated with time, especially if you plan on wearing the garment regularly. The strength and integrity of a garment are important because, if items are in good repair, you can keep the cost of mending to a minimum. Check the seems for loose stitching and make sure that there are no holes, rips, or stains (such as perspiration marks).

3. Sizing: When purchasing vintage clothing, please understand that fit is important. If you are buying the item in person, it is best to try it on for size. Comfort is key and you want to make sure that you are not forcing the item to fit. Make sure that you have enough “wiggle room” to comfortably move around in. If you are purchasing from an online retailer, look at the measurements listed and compare them with items in your closet. Remember that you can’t always depend on the sizing listed on the vintage garment because vintage sizing is often vastly different form modern sizing.

Enjoy the journey as you develop your own sense of  style and the skill it takes to select quality vintage  garments. Always remember that Very Delightful Things promises to bring you the very best in quality, condition, and sizing.

Vintage Mattel Wind Up Toy Truck

Here’s a great vintage item I have in my collection that’s not for sale. It’s a Vintage Mattel Wind Up Toy Truck, circa 1972. This poor thing has seen much better days and is barely in any kind of working order. The body is made of real wood and is screwed to a plastic base. The windshield was simply a blue sticker affixed to the front. You can wind him up by the little dial on his head, but the little wheels won’t spin strong enough to move him anywhere. Poor thing! If you hold him upside down, like a baby hedgehog, his little wheels with sputter a little and make a feeble attempt to rotate.

I believe he was a part of a set because he has a little hook on his read bumper, presumably to attach other little tykes to himself. He’s the last one now, none of his little buddies made it along the 40-year-trip.

The Way We Wore…

Tennyson, one of history’s most prolific Victorian poets, knew what he meant when he said, “Tis better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all.” I lost something yesterday that was truly dear to my heart (no, I’m not talking about the love of my life). This 1980s Charles Glueck of New York Victorian Inspired Blouse was one of the many items that made my vintage collection especially unique.

Bathed in a monochromatic pattern of cream, light grey, and white stripes, and finished with pearl shank buttons, this vintage puff-sleeved beauty disappeared into the hands of another lover when it was sold on my Etsy shop.

So long romantic appeal! So long Victorian elegance! To you, I bid adieu!

Vintage McCall’s Dutch Apple Pie 4×5 Recipe Card

Is anyone baking this holiday season? Nothing beats the smell of fresh, oven-baked apple pie this time of year. I was going to bake another apple pie and look what I found hidden among my recipes. It’s a vintage McCall’s dutch apple pie recipe card. Do you remember these? They were the 4×5 cards that you ordered over the telephone from the TV ads. (Am I telling my age? Well, not really. This was my mother-in-law’s.)

This card is circa 1973. It held up fairly well for 40 years, with some yellowing of the card and the corners taking a small amount of abuse and creasing. Pretty impressive to be almost middle-aged!

I remember these recipe cards coming as a set of related recipes, wrapped in shrink-wrap plastic. I loved the smell of the paper and plastic! There was even a plastic storage box you could order to arrange them in neatly. There were so many households ordering these, all before the days of Amazon, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Ikea, and probably even the Fingerhut and Spiegel catalogs. Shopping was so different then…

This beauty isn’t for sale, it’s one for my treasury. Don’t worry, though. There are other vintage items on my Etsy shop, of course.

I Sell on Etsy

I Made My First Sale on Etsy Today

How exciting! My first day as an Etsy shop owner and I made my first sale. It was a vintage leather measuring tape.

Here’s the description I listed it with:

Whether you’re a DIY fix-it person or a collector, this vintage measuring tape will be sure to give you hours of function and pleasure. The case is constructed of an ochre-colored pebbled leather cover (slightly richer-colored than the picture shows) and the crank is made of brass. The pull handle of the tape measure is also made of brass for easy pulling. The words “Best Leather Case” are lightly debossed on the leather surrounding the crank.

This item has both function and aesthetic appeal. Decorate a book shelf with this statement piece, use it as a conversation starter, or use it on a DIY project.

Now I have to ship it out. I’ll celebrate with a glass of sparkling apple cider, then I’ll ship it out. Cheers to the first happy customer!

What Story Would an Object Tell if it Could Speak?

As a child I loved to read stories, and loved to hear them. I still do, and often wonder what stories objects could tell if given the opportunity to speak.

While perusing my inventory, I stumbled upon these gold Salvatore Ferragamo open-toe pumps. My imagination began to soar and I visualized myself doing what the first wearer must have been doing and where she had been in these shoes. They say that “you’ll never understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” I surely wasn’t going to walk a mile, so I did the next best thing—I danced in them. She must have been a debutante, because I felt like I was at my first cotillion ball.

All eyes were on me and I was the object of every young gentleman’s desire and the envy of every junior debutante. I curtsied, as I was formally presented, only to realize that the tingling sensation that I was experiencing was not a feeling of pleasure…it was extreme pain. I immediately took off the shoes and realized that I was squeezing my size 7s into a size 5 1/2. Go figure! A girl can dream can’t she? Purchase these Salvatore Ferragamo shoes here for your collection or your fancy at etsy.com/shop/verydelightfulthings.

How do these Ferragamos speak to you? Share your thoughts.

-Have a very delightful day!