Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Best Thing I EVER Found in a Thrift Store...

You may have found something similar...that treasure you recognize when everyone else is going for the ten year-old flower arrangements from Hobby Lobby.

You first notice the form, then maybe the patina, and as you get a little closer, something catches your eye that tells you this is the real deal...

That's how it was for me. I was at one of my favorite little thrift stores on a Monday night when everyone there was going for the "anything on a hanger/half-price" deal. 

As I walked past the 1970s toasters and mis-matched coffee cups, I spied a beautifully shaped lamp amid all the slightly tacky ceramic "Southwest" style lamps from 1983.

An elegant form always catches my eye. Then I noticed the patina and I thought...MMMMMMETAL. 

As I picked it up, the cobalt blue enamel emblem caught my eye...and I thought...TROPHY.  Only then did I see the engraved loveliness below the pretty blue emblem:  "1931 SEVENTH FLIGHT WINNER"

And I thought...."This thing could be sterling silver...!!!"
There was no way to look at the base, as the trophy had been made into a lamp with a base attached. I stuck it in my buggy, did a quick once-over and found some ancient silver plate salt shakers - most likely from the same donor.

Trying ever so hard to appear nonchalant, I made my way to the register, followed by a hasty exit with my treasures hidden inside the official store bag - a flimsy off-brand kitchen garbage bag.  

My trophy lamp cost $3.93 and the salt and pepper shakers cost .87c - I felt like I had robbed the bank. For a split second, I had actually considered offering more...but I chickened out. 

Once home, I grabbed a wrench and went to work unscrewing the nut that held the lamp wiring to the wooden base, and saw this:


My next step was to Google the name. And of course, being the sports maniac I am, I had no idea what a "seventh flight winner" might be; sky diving? 

Here's what I found:


Two trophies, one exactly like my lamp, sold at auction for $517.50 in 2006. (silver was cheaper then) Of course, they were shiny, and didn't have the character (aka dings) mine does. And they were not lamps. And it was 7 years ago. 

Still, I think this may be the most valuable thing I have found in recent years at a thrift store. And I'll be listing it in my Etsy store...for more than $3.93.  Any idea what a fair price might be? It's weighted, so it would have to be destroyed to weigh the silver. Do you think the decorative charm of it might be more valuable than the weight of the silver? Any tips from knowledgeable bloggers are welcome!

Word for the Day:

Proverbs 2:1-5 - The Value of Wisdom

My son, if you receive my words
    and treasure up my commandments with you,
making your ear attentive to wisdom
    and inclining your heart to understanding;
yes, if you call out for insight
    and raise your voice for understanding,
if you seek it like silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasures,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
    and find the knowledge of God.

Possibly Linking With


Sunday Show-off Link Party
Sunday Showcase Party

Masterpiece Monday
Make it Pretty Monday
Mod Mix Monday

Vintage Inspiration Tuesday
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
The Scoop
The Scoop
Inspire Me Tuesday
Inspiration Exchange Linky Party

Wow Us Wednesday
Blissfully White Wednesday
What’s it Wednesday
Cottage Style Party
What We Accomplished Wednesday

Thursday Open House Party
Time Travel Thursday
Treasure Hunt Thursday
Share Your Cup Thursday

Feathered Nest Friday
Frugal Friday
Fabulously Creative Friday
Rustic Restorations Weekend
What’s Shakin’ Link Party

Saturday Nite Special
Get Schooled Saturday


Donna Wilkes said...

Did you hear that noise? It was me screaming "Buy it, buy it!" I love old trophies and this one is definitely a winner. Don't have a clue how to price it because I would keep it.

Christy James said...

You just never know what treasure you're going uncover at a thrift store! That's really cool! XO

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

Amazing find! Yes...I would say that would be the best ever for me, too! Are you leaving it a lamp or taking it apart? It must have felt like one of those "Start the car!" moments, huh? Thanks so much for sharing at The Scoop!...hugs...Debbie

Angie @ Knick of Time said...

What an awesome find, Revi!!! I'm always hoping to find a really old trophy someday, but no luck yet. I have found a few the were mid-century that were charming, but nothing silver.

My best find at a thrift store was a gold pocket watch from around 1905 that I paid $3.50 for. I had no idea it was gold when I bought it! I sold it for several hundred dollars!

Unknown said...

WOW - what a find!!!
My best finds were a rare dish - paid 20.00 - valued at 250.00
And a water color of Paris - purchased for 25.99 - and from what I can see - valued at anywhere between 3000.00 and 5000.00
You just never know what's hidden in those thrift shops!

Bonnie said...

Sterling silver is my hobby. I would say that you have an amazing find! To find a comparison value, I always check e-bay. There are, of course, two values on this piece. The first is the sterling weight with the weighted parts removed. That is likely to be lower than the price for the artistic value. The main concern is condition. Have they altered the piece in any way to create the lamp? Have they drilled holes? Are there any dents or dings? All of these things will bring the value down consierably. I do not think that you can hurt the value by polishing it. Most people want their silver shiny and polish it anyway once they purchase it. I hope you keep it and enjoy!

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Wow, this is a fabulous find. Love it. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

Wendy said...

Awesome find! I'd keep it. And I'd not even polish it - love that patina!

Trisha said...

Wow! What a find Revi, so happy for you. You asked how to shock corn, the easiest way is to leave some stalks standing in two rows, don't cut them, we left enough to make four corners for the size of fodder shock we wanted, we bent them over and laced them inside one another making a crisscrossed arch, that is the way old timers used to do it, we then stacked the cut stalks around the arch and tied with grass strings, as it dries we will tighten the string. We used two grass strings, the kind for baling hay. Blessings, Trisha

Anne said...

Holy smokes you did get a great find! Wow love this trophy lamp!

Unknown said...

Great find!!!

Daniela @Frugal Aint Cheap said...

cha-ching $$$ :)

Rosemary@villabarnes said...

Loving it just the way it is. But then, you probably knew I would say that. Great find.

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Wow, Revi! What a fabulous piece. My greatest find was a gold bracelet for $10.00 which I had appraised years later for $2500. Thanks for sharing this wonderful trophy at the Open House party.

AnnMarie aka Vintage Junkie aka NaNa said...

Oh, what a find! I love the lamp as is...it is quite unique. I know the feeling of finding something unbelievably wonderful and acting all nonchalant about it till you get outside and scream for joy!! Visiting from What's It Wednesday and following you!!

Unknown said...

What a lovely lamp and a great find.

Unknown said...

I believe you hit the thrift store jackpot!! The gang over at My Personal Accent think your post about the Thrift Store Lamp is terrific. We would like to invite you to party with us starting at 5:00 Thursday nights at our new Blog Strut Peacock Style Link Party to share your creative ideas. Come on over!! http://wp.me/P2Vf55-1K

farmhouse-story said...

that's a fab find,revi:) are you sure you want to let it go?

must love junk said...

Whoa-don't know what it's worth, but gotta be a lot! Fab find! :)

Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson said...

Fabulous find Revi. I'm thinking it's worth a lot. I love the engraving on it and would hate to see it melted down. Old trophies are very collectible right now. I think you should have it appraised if possible. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

Deb @ Lavender Garden Cottage said...

Excellent find! I love old trophies!

It is probably worth more as the trophy (even with the damage) or as a lamp than for the silver. I once had some broken weighted silver candlesticks that I pried apart for the silver. Once the weights were out the silver didn't weigh much. Still, silver was high at the time and I made over $100 on it. If I had that trophy lamp, I would keep it!

RPK Interiors said...

This piece appears to be a trophy from a golf tournament. To make playing fun for all of the participants, the organizers of these tournaments separate players into "Flights" based on their handicaps. That way, the very best players are placed in the "Championship Flight". As the players' handicaps got higher, they were placed in higher numbered flights. So whoever won this trophy probably had a high handicap, with no chance of winning the entire tournament, but at least they won for their flight..which was comprised of other players with the same handicap. Make sense? If you could figure out where the trophy was won, you may be able to contact the country club to find out "Who" won the Seventh Flight in their Invitation Tournament in 1931. And knowing that our country was in a severe depression in 1931, I would think this was won by someone of extreme privilege. And if that is the case, who else played in that tournament? Sam Snead or Byron Nelson or Ben Hogan? I'm just saying...you have some rich history with this piece!
I hope this helps.

Tina@WhatWeKeep said...

I adore that lamp...what a special find. Let's see you top this one in 2014! Yes, you have been challenged!

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

What a fabulous find, Revi! And sterling silver! My best find was a 1930's South Seas watercolor from a listed artist...you never know...