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Every Sunday morning of my young life, I awoke to the sound of a spoon tap-tap-tapping pancake batter onto a hot griddle. Even though it was the weekend, I flew out of bed to find my favorite comfort food in the world, aka my Mom’s hot, homemade buttermilk pancakes, just hitting the table.
When my parents split up and I was allowed to rummage through the kitchen and pick some things out for my impending adulthood, Mom was surprised that I wanted that white & turquoise Pyrex bowl with the little Amish people on the side that those pancakes had been made in, virtually all my life. She said she didn’t know how she’d make pancakes without it but she knew I loved it and so, it became mine. That bowl represented home to me. And, I have made those same pancakes in that same bowl all these years.
Pyrex is a brand of low-thermal explosion glass developed for bakeware by Corning, Inc. in 1915. All original glass was clear but in the late 30’s and 40’s they developed an opaque tempered soda-lime glass for bowls and stove-top flame ware. Designers Penny Sparke and Betty Baugh contributed greatly to the design of the line.
In the past couple, Pyrex bowls and casserole dishes have found new enthusiasts through the audience of the Amazon series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, who’s lead character seems to have a never-ending supply of the pink Amish pattern in which she delivers bribery briskets. The pink, in addition to polka dots, stripes, “atomic” and various black patterns are the most desirable today. Complete nesting bowl sets or lidded dishes in “mint” condition can go for hundreds of dollars.
In the Spring edition of Show Daily Magazine, a complete guide to the Roundtop area Spring Antique Show, the number three most sought-after antique was the old drawers of an antique printing press. They’re carefully crafted to hold different sized printer block letters so when hung on a wall, give the appearance of tiny shelves that collectors use to show off their even tinier collectibles. They range in size and are priced anywhere from $35-90 with the average price being in the high $60’s.
If you checked any of the “Trends for 2019” lists at the beginning of the year, you may have seen that “Mid Century everything is OUT”. Of course, they said that about succulents too and they’re still everywhere you look. Here in the real world, these predictions couldn’t be further from the truth.
Design is like anything else and it ebbs and flows in waves and trends and while the people who make those lists (I really want to get on that Pantone Color of the Year Committee!) might wish that vintage-anything would go out of style so that they can sell us their innovative NEW designs instead, it simply isn’t true. For whatever reason, Millennials like clean lines. And, until they start inheriting things that aren’t comprised of clean lines, like Victorian, Nouveau or Deco-era antiques, they’re going to buy what they like. Therefore, I, for one, believe the mid-century craze is with us for a while.
Important Sidebar: do me ONE favor. Don’t use the term “mid-century” for things that are new but mid-century-esque. Reserve that descriptor for modern American or Scandinavian-made design that was created between the 50’s and late 60’s. I don’t care what you call your newly made knockoffs with bowling or hairpin legs, just please don’t call them Mid-Century!
Now, I know this one might come as a surprise but mark my words, OLD TELEPHONES ARE EVERYTHING! How do I know? On our last flea market trip to L.A., there were entire booths of nothing but old phones. Wall mount, rotary dial, push button and literally every color under the sun. They were flying off the shelves to the point that a couple in a Long Beach antique store bought the antique store’s phone. Right off the wall!
Now, New Mexico can be anywhere from 2-10 years behind trend. I can attest to that because I have a store-full of all of the above (and more!) and while people here love strolling down memory lane, the majority haven’t quite figured out how to incorporate current vintage trends into their décor (this is the reason I sell Design books). I get a lot of “Wow…if this store were in San Francisco or Austin…” comments. Ya. I get it. We took a big risk by trying to show people how they can depart from cookie-cutter design and effectively blend the old with the new to create a really cozy and welcoming home. But, we did so because we believe it will pay off. Having said that, I am NOT currently stocking any vintage phones because I know it will be a while before that particular trend hits our scene.