Auction Fever & Bedside Table Read

dreamstimefree_102201“Collecting is like eating peanuts, you just can’t stop.” – Unknown

Collecting really is like eating peanuts (or chocolate) once you start you can’t stop. In the mood for auctions, antiques and chocolate? I know I am!

I hope you guys are having your fill of chocolate today, spending time with friends & family or catching up on some much needed sleep (z’s). I must tell you I was a little upset when my local Shoppers Drug Mart was sold out of the large bags of Mini Eggs yesterday -I will have to get them off the dollar “holiday is over” rack next week hahaha.

Well my dad and I are checking out an auction in Smith Falls, Ontario tomorrow. Just one thing I love about holiday Easter Monday – time with family and going on little day trips.

See you right here tomorrow evening (@ for the full scoop on my April 21st speciality antiques and collectibles adventures.

Care to go to an auction tomorrow too? Visit Auction Fever to find an upcoming exciting auction or sale near you. Before you venture out it is always good to brush up on your “what is this item worth” skills. To make sure I don’t get gypped, I like to read and check out the many colour photos in the handy…

Antique Trader Antiques & Collectibles Price

Guide 2014 – By Eric Bradley

You can likely find it at your local Chapters bookstore. Better yet just buy the latest Antique Trader Antiques & Collectibles












The Best Places to Buy Antiques and Collectibles

dreamstimefree_32187“I collect these objects to learn from them. In some moment these things are going to teach me something. For me, this is like a library. These are my books.”
– Jose Bedia in ARTNews, Summer 2000

It took me quite some time to wiggle my way around the antique scene and try and find out where best to buy antiques and collectibles. I am sure you have some of your own favourite spots – just like I do. There are many different avenues but these are the avenues I choose:

Antique Stores (dealers’ shops)

Antique stores generally have a little something special for everyone.

Despite increased online sales, you will continue to find antique shops popping up in your local town. They do not always have a large online presence so sometimes you really have to walk around or rely on word of mouth to find these stores. One of my #1 past-times is grabbing a coffee and treasure hunting through stores in Centretown, Ottawa. When I am feeling the travel bug I go out of town to Almonte , Merrickville, Arnprior and Alfred.

Sometimes I use Google Map and search specific streets or towns that I think may have some hidden gems. My next walk will be to visit A Fine Thing Antiques and Donohue and Bousquet. I haven’t been to these two downtown Ottawa area places in a while.

Specialist Dealers’ Shops

I have seen some of these speciality shops in my neighbourhood. These shops have speciality items or areas of focus such as Fine Art, Jewellery and Militaria. They may seem like they will have higher price tags however this is not always the case as they have more of the same inventory to shed.

Since they have a specialization these dealers will usually have more knowledge about an item and it’s worth. A great example of a specialty shop would be Military Antiques Toronto who is linked to Army Outfitters and has established a reputation for authentic, high quality military collectibles.

Jumbo Sales

I have reaped the benefits from going to indoor and outdoor sales run by churches, charity organizations and community groups. There is always such an array of items. You can’t beat the thrill of digging at these sales. Community (neighbourhood) garage & yard sales are also an excellent way to find everything and anything in one place.

A BIG bonus is you save gas money and get a bit of exercise when checking on these sales. Make sure you read your local newspaper, bulletin boards or online neighbourhood portal to keep updated on sales and events. For the Ottawa area Used Ottawa, Kijiji and Craigslist are my go to places.

Flea Markets

There is nothing like a weekend Saturday and/or Sunday flea market. Why are they great? Tons of vendors are under one roof. Sometimes these vendors are outdoors as well. These events can differ from jumbo sales and they tend to be re-occurring and may contain both new and used items.

As a wee one I enjoyed rounding up the family and heading out to the Larose Flea Market just across the river in Masson-Angers, Gatineau. Flea markets are fantastic because there is a whole lot to look at and some friendly faces. Plus you can bring your doggy (usually) too.

Festivals and Fairs 

It is always good to know what is coming to town. I find there is always a diverse array of items at festivals and fairs for sale. The City of Ottawa Spotlight calendar  has a good listing of festivals and fairs.

Estate Sales & Auctions

I am an estate sale and auction addict. In my post Estate Sales, Auctions and Content Sales Mania earlier this week I shared all my estate sale and auction go to resources. I will never forget this one-liner I heard at an estate sale held in a dilapidated barn. The old man was so sweet and after I asked him about a few things he said, “I am the oldest antique in here.”

Consignment & Thrift Shops

There is a chance you may find an amazing piece but generally these places sell lower-end antiques and collectables. Items are donated and usually vetted first by antique dealers. At the end of the day – you never know. I have heard about a few people finding mega finds these stores.

A few places I recommend are St Vincent De Paul Store (1273 Wellington St. W) and The Church of St. John the Evangelist Community Shop (275 Elgin Street). The Salvation Army Thrift Store and Value Village also have a wide variety of items.

You can also browse Apartment613 and Couch Assassin on the regular to make sure you don’t miss out on any antique shows, sales or events.

In a later post I am going to share some of the best places to purchase antiques from online. I am also excited to report on antique tourist spots real soon. I was born in Mississauga, Ontario so the Sunday Antique Market in Toronto is one spot that will make the list.

Good luck finding a piece as unique and expressive as you are.

Estate Sales, Auctions and Content Sales Mania

Antique ClockYou are driving down a street and see a vivid neon estate sale sign – you follow the arrow, continue to follow it and arrive [usually ten minutes later] to a house that is so busy you cannot find parking. This is the story of my life and something that has happened to me time and time again.

I must admit I am a little ill prepared in moments and don’t check for upcoming estate sales in advance. Partially because my Saturday morning ritual is somewhat jammed with garage sales and partly because I have not found any regular “go to” resources that advertise them (Estate Sales & Auctions) in an easy to read or “one stop shop” calendar view.

Over the years I have added these websites below to “my favorites” they outline some regular estate sale and auction events in the Ottawa, Ontario area. I thought I would save you some search time…

For Ontario wide auctions I look here: The Auction Fever or Auctions Ontario. I hope my list helps you out one weekend soon. Enjoy the events just don’t get there first…and steal all the good stuff.

“Whoever said that money can’t buy happiness, simply didn’t know where to go shopping”
Bo Derek


Furniture styles over the years Part 1

2Hey Readers,

It’s almost the weekend and that means you’re getting closer to wandering through a sale or showroom just to find that wicked piece of furniture.

I appreciate the craftsmanship of older furniture, I just do. It is long lasting, solid and there is something so natural about it.

While buying brand new can be somewhat fulfilling, I much prefer searching through a pile of someone else’s junk and giving something a new life in my home. Since my home is petit I often buy stuff for other peoples bigger homes.

By purchasing old works of art you are likely not just getting a better deal but you are recycling, thus being eco-friendly which solidifies why this is the delightful way to go.

Over the years furniture has changed just like our fashions have changed. Next time you go furniture hunting try to classify the furniture you see – its rather fun.

Even if you don’t see these antique styles of furniture everyday it is still empowering to know the progression of furniture over the years. Here are some furniture design characteristics and elements (in keyword format) from the earlier years.

Jacobean Style 1603-1688: Straight lines, ornate carvings, darker wood finishes, arcades (succession of arches), pilasters (flat columns decorating furniture), medieval look, English style, classy shapes and solid construction.

Early American Style 1640-1700: England influences, very basic design, functional, large in size, made of local woods and have minor decorative aspects.

William & Mary Style 1689-1725: Oriental influences, heavy, trumpet legs (end ball piece), prominent carvings, caned chair seats and strong Dutch characteristics.

Colonial Style 1700-1780: Conservative and encompasses different period furniture styles such as Jacobean, Early American, Queen Anne and Chippendale.

Queen Anne Style 1702-1755: Elegant, tall looks, simple curved lines, cabriole leg, delicate, refined, sophisticated, walnut wood and bat wing shaped drawer pulls.

Georgian Style 1714-1770: Pediment at the top, ornate carvings, gilding, claw feet, cabriole legs, mahogany wood and a luxurious/royal feel.

Pennsylvania Dutch Style 1720-1830: American style, decorative hand painted motifs, distinct, German influences and large in size.

Chippendale Style 1750-1790 (not to be confused with the touring male dance group): Straight or classic curved lines, cabriole leg, ornate natural images, (example birds), distinct knobs and mahogany wood.

Federal Style 1780-1820: Circular top, geometric shapes, square tapered legs, very ornate, elegant, maple wood and cherry wood.

American Empire Style 1800-1840: Decorative, visual, elaborate, heavy fabrics, luxury, gold filigree and mahogany wood. *Some linkages to Federal Style.

Shaker Style 1820-1860: Simplistic, functional, clean lines, woven chair seats and no carvings or moldings.

Victorian Style 1837-1910: Heavily carved pieces, dark finishes, gothic style and loads of embellishments.

Edwardian Style 1901-1910: Smaller, mahogany wood, relaxed and an eclectic mix of styles.

Art Nouveau Style 1880-1910: Dynamic, asymmetric shapes, patterns or motifs of natural forms like trees, curvy waves, leaves and branches.

Part 2 will capture some more recent furniture styles including  Art Deco, Scandinavian Contemporary Style and Mid Century Modernism. While Part 3 of this series will be all about architects & designers that made a name for themselves and classified their own furniture styles.

Part 4 and 5 will dive deeper into the furniture styles and the history behind each time period. I will be sure to include images where possible.

Come back soon for more on popular furniture styles and what make each of them unique.

*Please note the time periods (dates) noted above are represented as accurately as possible. They do not only indicate when specific ruler (of a set period) passed away but may be dated long after to incorporate when the furniture style was prevalent until.   


Tip of the Week: The Upper Canadian Antique Showcase


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