Pick It Up!

This piece of advice will be your best friend when out hunting the second-hand shops.  I have found more great buys this way than I can remember.  You not only find things, you learn and advance your education at the same time.  Let’s test your savvy.

Would you fight your way across a crowded booth to pick up and take a closer look at these items?  (I am mainly looking at the front three.  If I saw a booth like this I’d climb over a lot to get to it!)


Well, At first glance I see a bay rearing stallion, palomino family Arabian stallion and black pinto western horse.  Yawn!

Alert – If you do enter a crowded booth, or any booth for that matter, be careful when picking items up or carrying a purse or fanny pack.  I have found too many legless horses on the floor of my booth over the years.

Second look after picking them up?


Yeah, baby!  Blue ribbon sticker and nightlight!  Some blue ribbon stickers are on the common side, but they always add value.  Nightlights are quite scarce and always command a good premium, especially intact with cord and switch, and the model is in good condition.  Do be sure to check condition on lamp and nightlight models as the heat from the light bulb can damage paint and plastic.  The woodgrain lamps are especially vulnerable to bubbling paint.  If you have such a model check the cords and connections before using and swap the original bulb for something that does not emit as much heat.

Let’s try again.  In a locked case in the back of a mall with nobody to ask to open the case, no a/c and 100 degrees out.  Do you spend the time and effort to search for a salesperson?


To add a degree of difficulty, what if the sign in front of them read “Breyers $10 each” and there was lots of empty space on the shelf indicating that other items nearby had already sold.

Let’s see what we find.


Ding, ding, ding!  White poodle with cape AND perfume bottles!  Big woot!  Breyer created a type of special run for catalogs in the late 1960’s.  They packaged Proud Arabs with hair grooming items, Western Ponies with desk accessories and poodles with sewing kits among other things.  The perfume sets evidently did not sell well and are exceedingly rare, especially with perfume bottles included.

Besides seeing things you would normally miss, picking stuff up will teach you things.  Next exhibit – plate as seen in antique mall with dealer price tag.


So whaddaya think?

Metlox did rooster plates, and dealers know their stuff, right?

If you try to search for Metlox on your cell phone the photo resolution on the rooster plates, if you find one, generally wont give you quite enough detail for good identification.  Differences between manufacturers can be subtle, and the difference in value can be significant.


Nope, evidently dealers can’t read.  Hagen Renaker did make plates, bowls and mugs among other non-figural items.  Some are on the common side, but many are quite rare, so learning painting styles and colors as well as using your hands can find amazing things.

I do have one word of warning when heeding this advice, remember where you are.  I was on a home tour and spied a set of Gladys Brown Edwards bookends on the mantle of one of the homes.  I picked it up out of habit to look for the label on the bottom, much to the horror of the friends I was with.

Contest results – I had several correct entries and the answer is – the Chang-An Dynasty stablemate from Breyerfest 2008.  He is mostly in the middle of the picture, slightly to the right.  Marla is the winner, Congratulations!  I will contact you about your prize.



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3 responses to “Pick It Up!

  1. Sande Schneider

    Hi Tina,
    Congratulations on your finding the poodle complete with perfume bottles!

    I now own Nancy Young’s former archives of research materials and thus I am in position to offer a correction to the dating of your poodle and accessories. They date to 1957 (not the late 1960s) and were available from both Spiegel’s and Montgomery Ward’s Christmas catalogs that year. Their original prices were $2.94 and $2.98, respectively.

    Sears also sold poodles with capes in 1957 but their’s sold with a sewing kit instead of the bottles of perfume. Those were cheaper though, with an original price of $2.84 each or two for $5.19. .

    • Thanks for the correction, I did mean late 1950s, and did not double-check my dates. Hopefully later in my blog life I can go into all these fun items. I love these old ‘extra’ items and there was a much wider variety than is commonly known.
      Perhaps I can convince you to start sharing some archive items, perhaps as guest-blogger or some other arrangement (nudge, nudge, wink, wink…).

  2. Shana

    Interesting post, I appreciate the tips!

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