Thursday, April 5, 2012

Fortunate Finds: a Music Box, some Costume Jewelry, and More

I had some fun while I was out thrifting last week.  Guess what?  I went with my dad!  My dad lives a plane ride away from me so I don't get to see him very often. When we get together we thrift as it's one of our favorite pastimes. 

Dear readers, you may remember me writing about the huge influence my dad has had upon my creative life and how I probably owe any innate creative talent that I have to him.  Well, he's done it again -- he is simply Mr. Incredible when it comes to thrifting, especially for costume jewelry at local thrift shops like Goodwill.

Let me show you a few of the things he has found over the past couple of months.  First, this fabulous vintage Sankyo music box keychain:

vintage damascene sankyo music box keychain, Fur Elise, Serendipity Handmade blog
Vintage Sankyo music box keychain.  It plays Fur Elise.

This keychain was made by Sankyo, a Japanese company that is known for its music boxes and music box components.

The illustration on the cover is an example of damascene, or a decorative process where non-precious metal is decorated with 18-24K gold in geometric or scenic patterns.  You can see the design process in action here.

I believe that the metal on the keychain is bronze, probably because it's a keychain.  It's also seen a little wear and tear, as it appears a tiny bit of the bronze has worn away, but I haven't tried to clean it yet to find out for certain.

The design itself is an Arabesque desert oasis scene with palm trees and pyramids in the background.   I will have to do some research to find out when this was made.

Just to show you what is made in Spain, here is a pair of non-vintage damascene (in Spanish, damasqinado de oro) cuff links made in Toledo that a friend gave my husband:

damascene cuff links, damasquinado de oro cuff links, serendipity handamde

Back to vintage finds, my dad also found this signed Roman Company tennis bracelet and a very vintage Kramer rhinestone brooch.  No dates. It's hard to say when the Roman was made, but my best un-researched guess about the Kramer is that it dates from around the 1960s:

Roman tennis bracelet, vintage Kramer rhinestone brooch, Serendipity Handmade blog
A couple of the rhinestones are missing on the brooch, but it's still very pretty

Next is one of my favorite pieces.  It is a perfect vintage signed Hollycraft multicolored rhinestone brooch, and my best un-researched guess is that it dates from the 1950s or 1960s:

Vintage Hollycraft goldtone multicolored rhinestone brooch, 1950s or 1960s, Serendipity Handmade blog

I can't believe what some people unknowingly donate to thrift stores!

My dad seems still loves costume jewelry but has suddenly become very interested in vintage dinnerware now, especially Mikasa and Noritake.  I'm trying to get him to look out for mid-century Metlox and Vernonware -- I love the stuff.

As of late I've been very good at restraining myself because I simply do not visit thrift stores and estate sales very often (you know I'm all about destashing some of my current collections).  But I picked up a couple of vintage magazines that will be fun for Madison Avenue Monday:

Ladies Home Journal, March 1954 and Woman's Day, October 1941, Serendipity Handmade blog

And I couldn't leave this embroidery pattern behind (yes, I know I don't need any more patterns, but it is a "C" for Collette!):

Simplicity 4040C, Embroidery Transfer, Serendipity Handmade blog

What do you think of our finds?


  1. How fun to get to spend time with your dad. Cherish them. I lost my dad to cancer 20 years ago. He was only 69. Blessings, Debbie

    1. I really do cherish my time with him...I wish I could see him more often. I'm so sorry that you lost your father so early. I hope that you have many precious memories of him.

  2. Your dad is older and wiser, so he knows what the good stuff is all about. Great finds.

    1. He will be tickled to read your comment when he reads this post! It's true, he is wiser than me, and he's a great dad. He's also got a fabulous eye for vintage!

  3. Oh my WORD! GREAT finds! Wow! I love all the jewels!

  4. Gorgeous jewelry--great finds. Have a great Easter--thanks for linkin gup to Share the Love Wednesday!

  5. Hi Collette, I love spending time with my dad too, although he doesn't share my interest in vintage finds, we do share a love of gardens and flowers. Your dad's finds are fantastic. I love the little multi-coloured brroch best. Thanks for joining in with FTOF (and for your lovely message. will write back soon.). Em xxxx

  6. I love all your finds! You are so lucky to get to go thrifting with your dad!

  7. Great shopping! Glad you had fun with your Dad too!

    I has an idea for a blog post for you. It's very selfish but I want to know what you mean by "signed" jewelry pieces. I generally look at the jewelry at thrifts and just buy what I like if the price is right for me.

    I have no clue if I have purchased anything of "real" value. Perhaps you can educate us?

    1. Great question -- I'd love to Becky! It may take me a little while to write but I promise to do an educational post soon. I'm glad that you asked!

  8. Hi Collette,

    I just inherited a Sankyo music box key chain that is identical to the one shown on this page. Did you ever learn more about when yours was made or anything else?



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