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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What's a poor girl to do?

Is it possible to have great mid-century pieces if you're on a tight budget? You bet!  Anyone who wants a beautifully appointed MCM home can have one with some dedicated, persistent shopping.  I'm a retired teacher, so I can't afford 1st Dibs prices, but I've found wonderful vintage furniture by shopping eBay, craigslist, thrift stores, and Goodwill.

I had searched for a 1955 Drexel Profile dining room set for a long time, but the best price I could find online was $3500 for the table and six chairs.  I was scouring CL one day, and a very nondescript listing caught my eye.  All it said was "Elegant dining room furniture."  There wasn't even a photo, but my gut instinct told me to check it out.  I called the owner and asked her what she had.  She told me that she and her husband had bought the set at a thrift store when they were newlyweds back in the 1970s, but she didn't know anything more about it.  I asked if it had any markings or labels on the bottom of the table, and she said she'd crawl under there and see.  When she came back to the phone, she said, "It says something about Profile...and Drexel."  I thought my heart was going to pound out of my chest.  I said, "And you only want $500 for it?  You're sure?"  To my amazement, she said, "Oh, that's plenty...and I forgot to put in the ad that a china cabinet goes with it."  I was at her door in an hour, money in hand.

Another find was a metal wall sculpture that came up on craigslist.  I had seen the same one online for $3200, but I got it for $65 from a man in Oklahoma City who had it hanging on the wall in his commercial metal shop, along with several signed C. Jere' pieces.  The one I bought wasn't signed, but it's a great piece nonetheless.

Here are several of my favorite "cheap" finds on craigslist or affordable vintage shops:

Drexel Profile table/chairs and china cabinet found on craigslist for $500
instead of $3500 online for only the table and chairs

One of my most recent purchases...just what I'd been looking for
 and only $725 from Atomica Modern in Dallas, TX

Cool find from Room Service Vintage in Austin, TX...
for only $169

Possible C. Jere' for $65...but authentic or not,
a much better price than $3200 for an identical one
on Center44 web site

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