Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Springtime Inside The Beltline In Olde Raleigh

One of the benefits of working where I do is the ability to go for a walk in the surrounding neighborhood. On a nice spring day recently, I decided to snap some pictures.
Walking down quiet, leafy streets it would be easy to assume that this neighborhood was a commuter town; lived in by tony commuters who jump on the morning train for their daily hour ride. Nope. You could walk downtown in ten minutes from this neighborhood in Raleigh.
Raleigh is kind of a 'Government and Gown' town and thus may not have wealthy neighborhoods comparable to Myers Park in Charlotte, for example. -But, as you can see, we're not that shabby either...
Members only... A certain fraternal organization with a colorful, legendary history has a wonderful, field stone meeting place near my office. No shadowy conspiracies hatched there. No good ol' boy puppet masters ruling over the town while conducting Byzantine rituals in costume. Nope.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Trailer Trad Time Travel: 1930s Junk Pickin' Road Trip

You ever wonder what it would it be like to go back in time? What if you could take what you know now and somehow game the past to get rich? Everyone has daydreamed about this. Maybe you'd read the baseball stats book and go to a game at Ebbitts Field or Forbes Field. Place friendly bets with well-heeled bookies and disappear into the present with wealth untold. I'd choose to take an old Mercury pickup on a huge picking haul through New England during the 1930s.

See that big, carved rooster? If it was auctioned today at Southebys or if it was shown at The Pier Show, it probably would be at least $10,000 or more. The decoys would probably be at least $1,000 each. These things were considered old curiousities, even back then. They are, undoubtably, from the 19th Century.
This carved figure (possibly a cigar store indian or is it a ship's masthead?) is an interesting example of this. If I could go picking throughout New England in the 1930s and 40s, I'd come back through the time-travel portal with a truckload of junk like what's in these photos from the Library of Congress' Ven Vechten Collection. Remember, back then, people didn't want anything that looked like folk art or country antiques. They wanted streamlined, MidCentury modern design and this was often considered junk to be dumped into the trash like a worn-out 'This End Up' bunkbed. Similarly, Colonial homes and barns were wrecks to be torn down. Victorian homes were no better. They would be like 1970s split-levels today, but appreciated even less.
I presume that this is another carved, cigar store indian of excellent quality. An example like this would surely bring in excess of $10,000 today. -More like $20,000 and up I expect.

This statue of Nathan Hale wouldn't have been considered junk, obviously. I just thought that it was a good example of ivy-covered, New England goodness.
Can you imagine getting the brass, instruments and other nautical goodies off of this wreck, just laying the harbor? Back then, it wasn't even worth moving, much less bringing back to its former glory.
This tombstone is gorgeous. I don't know if it was appreciated for the amazing art it was or not at the time. It probably was loved a great deal then, as it would be now.

This railing is an example of architectural antiques that, as recently as thirty years ago, weren't really appreciated at all. I remember living in Federal Hill in Baltimore years ago when sculptural ironwork like this sat unappreciated, it seemed. Today, an item like this would cause major players in the antiques world to salivate.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

New Fishing Finds Fresh from The Dock!

I love coming across some fresh, old junk and I came across some decent fishing collectibles in a garage this past weekend. Not worldbeaters, not by a long shot. Just some decent stuff that occupied a gentleman's tackleboxes since the 1940s.
Normally, you have be on the scene EARLY in the morning if you want to beat the duck decoy/fishing lure collectors to the punch. These guys often are often avid hunters and fishermen and are totally into being the early bird, up before the break of dawn to get their prize.

The estate had some nice 'guy' stuff like nice fly rods in their original cases and old engineering levels in their original oak boxes. Unfortunately, that stuff was all north of a 'benjamin', so I let all that stuff be. I am a bottom feeder so I gobbled up the cheap stuff.
Notice the Wisconsin Fishing Laws, 1944 booklet. That's actually pretty good, although it has some 'foxing' (mold spotting). I've sold collectible lures at auction for over $100 each and, unfortunately, there were none of these in this lot. Any good wooden lure or bobber is worth having as is a spoon in its original box with papers. -Believe it or not, those white bobbers are probably worth what I paid for both boxes.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Pats!

Yeah, this was on a Soccer Mom Suburu commercial. -What of it?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

This Is Not A Contest

This is not a contest. It's just that I have a few British magazines that I'm looking to get rid of. Since they are back issues, they really have no value. None at all. Who will help me out?

One of these is a very famous British sporting magazine with its (in)famous calendar still in its plastic. I wrote about it recently. Maybe this will jog your memory.
The second is a special issue of a famous British Indie rock magazine. The issue is amazing if you're a fan of British Indie from the past 25 years. The issue contains great articles on The Smiths, The Stone Roses, Oasis along with many others like Echo & The Bunnymen, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Super Furry Animals and many others. -Really great reading.

The last mag is a special commemorative issue featuring the best of beautiful, wooden BRITISH SEA POWER (the group by that name is, of course, in the Indie rock mag that I discussed previously). Still in its plastic wrapper, it's a super read for the skipper or wannabee skipper.

So, if you want this Anglophile stash, email me at and the nonwinner will take these off my hands. I'll gladly pick up the tab knowing that they are going to a good home. Friends of Trailer Trad are nonelligible nonwinners. This rule is not due to any sense of fairness. It's just that friends of Trailer Trad can't read. -Not well, anyway.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Few More Cold Weather Finds Before Springtime

Sometimes it seems like one finds good vintage duds at the wrong time, especially winter weather gear. I think that this is because when people choose to donate their clothes to thrift stores. There is a big rush to get donations in before the December 31 deadline for tax deductions for charitable giving. Throw in a few weeks for picking through the stuff, pricing it and getting it out on the floor. All of the sudden, it's almost springtime down here in Raleigh. On a warm day recently, as I was placing my woolen finds on the Junior League thrift shop counter, the volunteer said "expecting cold weather, eh?" "Ya gotta grab it when you see it," I said as I hauled away my score. The point is, for most of this stuff, they don't make it like they used to and snag it when you see it.

How long has it been since you've seen a true Fair Isle sweater, handknit and made in Scotland? The colors are outstanding and it is really comfortable.
I came across a number of pairs of these mittens and they are pretty nice. They date from around WWII and were made in Sweden. The color, feel and even the smell of the leather is like they were just made yesterday. Would make great cycling or shooting gloves.

These ties are not brand new finds to my collection but I did find this old oak publications rack (it would be a 'magazine rack' if it was found in a house) from a library. -Makes a perfect tie display piece, I must say. These are all 70's/Early 80's  wide ties in silk or wool Challis.
This little shoulder bag is the Swiss Army Knife of bags. Use it as a shell bag when hunting. It has many D-rings for clipping to a bike or other vehicle to hold tools or emergency supplies. Or just use it as a proper water-resistant, tough-as-nails shaving kit.