Monday, July 13, 2009

Thrift Shop Scores - Polish Glass

The cat has been out of the bag for quite awhile. Beyond front porch stalking, Thrift shopping can provide some great modern treasure finds. This past weekend we had a yardsale complete with modern furniture we no longer need. Of course at the end meant a carload of donations to the local thrift stores. I can't just drive by these places either, I always, to the chagrin of Wendy, must go in even with the echo of her common call "We don't need anything else!".

Now I should be upfront, unemployment means lots of free time and no income. The yardsale was an effort to purge some old stuff and to maintain some cash flow. Really I had no place stepping a foot in the Thrift shop door. After donating I decided to roam the floor anyways and found a cool old 50's glass set, perfect for a friend collecting such. Then as I was walking out, this glass vase caught my eye from across the room. At first look, the piece was totally out of any price range (that being $0), so I snapped a picture with my cellphone and went home. There's a sticker on the side as pictured "Design Guild, Made in Poland". The piece is pretty hefty as well. The glass is really thick, and the striations in the glass lead me to believe it was hand blown. I didn't know I liked Polish glass.

Once home I showed Wendy, who approved "why didn't you buy it?" and did some quick searching on the internet to see what I could find about the 'Design Guild' and Polish glass. The search came up empty which got me excited, usually unknown stuff has more value right? She handed me some yardsale cash and sent me back to make an offer. Quick negotiations indicateded that the vase had been on the floor at the thrift shop for 2 months, which means discount apparently. The manager took 50% off the asking price. Within a half hour I had the piece cleaned up and on display near our white Ikea dining set. Speaking of Ikea, they sell a very similar vase:, Ikea does mock-offs sometimes of more famous pieces don't they? Nonetheless this piece is 28" tall and 10" at its widest.

The monetary value of any modern purchase always plays weight in our decision making process of what we should and shouldn't buy. Ikea stuff is easy, it's cheap. A $3 Eames fiberglass armshell chair yardsale grab is a no brainer. More expensive things tend to weigh on my mind, call me frugal. First and foremost, we have to like the piece, if it has good value, that's a bonus. Honestly, I prefer investing in our artwork, I know if I had to sell our collection of modern furnishings, we'd at least break even. I have referred to our Charlie Harper prints in the past as being like hanging savings bonds on the wall to enjoy. For now, I think we'll enjoy my little find. If anyone knows anything about the piece, I'd love to hear about it.


  1. Found a few pieces here -

  2. Wow, thanks for the link. The other Polish ones are full of color.