web analytics

Bring me more junk!


Britain would be a fabulous country to be rich in. I mean, rich is good everywhere, but here your coin will buy things that look like Harry Potter picked them up at Voldemort’s dad’s yard sale. For the same cost as pricey but ordinary new furniture, you can snag antiques that be a-blowin’ of the mind.

Well. Not that rich, me.

But even better, maybe, is the ancient household stuff you can get for not very much in junk shops and boot sales. There is SO MUCH old crap here, it’s simply not at a premium.

I particularly love ancient tools: turned wood screwdrivers, rosewood planes, ivory rulers scribed in ink, cut glass graduated cylinders. Geek pr0n.

I bought this old nutcracker in a junk shop over the weekend, partly to thank the nice old dear who let me use her telephone — and mostly because I thought it was fucking crackerjack. She had dozens of them. I paid a pound and a half for this one; about two bucks.

It’s iron with a dark, velvety, chocolate brown patina. Heavy. Smooth. There’s an ornamental floral motif hand-gouged in the top with a scribe, and the same tool has been used to cut dozens of cuneiform flecks in the inner surfaces. To improve the grip, one assumes.

Pure sex, this thing.

I can’t help thinking I’m not the only callow Yank who gets weak in the knees over these old hand tools. I bet Old Limey Gadgets would be an excellent idea for an eBay store.

And then I realize I’d have to let go whenever somebody bought one. So, that’s a deal breaker, right there.


Comment from iamfelix
Time: March 4, 2009, 10:06 pm

Nope, you’re def NOT the only one. “Let go” … yeah, me too on that one, also. 🙂

Comment from Dawn
Time: March 4, 2009, 10:59 pm

I know what you mean. I buy old things and try to figure out their stories. I love any kind of colored glass.
I was written out of the will, but my dad drove a Model T that is still in probate. Maybe I should have played nice!

Comment from bad cat robot
Time: March 4, 2009, 11:35 pm

I can resist everything but an old book. Dusty trash and treasure shops in Maine can have amazing stuff. Found an old vellum-covered copy of Torquato Tasso’s “Jerusalem Delivered” printed sometime in the early 1700’s, and it was less than 5 bucks because the front board had come off. An ancient Victorian bookawundas, stiff with engravings, 75 cents. Looked like hell on the outside. Since I took a bookbinding class, I knew how to rescue it. My favorite is a book of poetry, with a padded and embossed leather binding and thick, creamy paper with gold edging. I think that is Victorian too.

Comment from Jill
Time: March 5, 2009, 12:50 am

I’m a member of the Me Too club…>>sigh<<

Comment from armybrat
Time: March 5, 2009, 7:55 am

You and my husband should get to know one another. Man would have boxes of stuff everywhere if I let him. Thankfully, every time we move, I’m the one that unpacks while he works. A large amount of stuff just never makes it out of the boxes anymore. I think he’s catching on to me though….

Comment from Princess Bernie
Time: March 5, 2009, 12:42 pm

Wonderful find. I love me some old stuff, too.

Bought a whole box of cool old stuff from a friend for $50 included was an old man’s razor still in the brass box it came in with the razor blades and other stuff. With a hand-written note inside that said “Belonged to Uncle Joe who served in WWI.” I have an old Civil War Era photograph in a worn out carrying case like a lady would have carried with her while her beloved was gone – only about 2 x 2 1/2 inches, the hinges have worn off, but the photo is still intact. Can barely read the name and information on the back of the photo.

I’m a sucker for old coins. I have some late 1890’s pennies that I love to look at, especially. Wonder what you could have bought with it and who held those pennies in their pockets back then…

Comment from scubafreak
Time: March 5, 2009, 2:37 pm

Stoatie. What is the supply of Alladin Kerosene lanterns is like there? I might have to make an arrangement with you.

Comment from JuliaM
Time: March 5, 2009, 3:25 pm

“I can resist everything but an old book. “

Mmmm, just the smell of old books… 😉

Comment from TheBigBlueBug
Time: March 5, 2009, 4:02 pm

If you happen upon a Norris A6 smoothing plane in a boot somewhere, send it to RI and I will give you mad money.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 5, 2009, 9:39 pm

Good lord! The Big Blue Bug! It is indeed an honor, Sir.

A Norris A6 smoothing plane, eh? That would be one of these?

Comment from armybrat
Time: March 5, 2009, 9:45 pm

Did I tell you the story about how my folks were visiting mama’s home town about 15 years ago and mama decided to go “antiquing.” She walked into a shop and came across a piece she knew very well. It was her grandpa’s shaving mug with his name stenciled on and all. My daddy uses it every day now.

Comment from TheBigBlueBug
Time: March 6, 2009, 11:33 am

Oh Yesssss! Precious Norris A6.

Alas, everybody knows what they are worth so the
odds of finding one at boot sale prices is rather
small. I did hold one once, it was love at first fondle
but I didn’t have the $800.00.

And, the honor is all mine.

Write a comment

(as if I cared)

(yeah. I'm going to write)

(oooo! you have a website?)

Beware: more than one link in a comment is apt to earn you a trip to the spam filter, where you will remain -- cold, frightened and alone -- until I remember to clean the trap. But, hey, without Akismet, we'd be up to our asses in...well, ass porn, mostly.

<< carry me back to ol' virginny