This past weekend, sister 3 and I made a date to hit some neighborhood garage sales, but first we went out to an antiques dealer who sells out of his two garages. We had seen some of his stuff on Craigslist and wanted the opportunity to shop the rest of his antiques and collectibles. He had so much! He said that he had to build the extra garage just to house it all. I love the idea of his life – going to auctions and flea markets all the time and actually making a living off it. Something for me to aspire to.
Now, I should preface the rest of this by saying that I have been searching high and low for the perfect lantern. I knew I wanted it to be old, but other than that I figured I would know the perfect lantern when I saw it. All of the ones I saw at antique stores and flea markets had really high price tags. Since I didn’t know quite what the perfect lantern was, I wasn’t comfortable parting with $50-$75, though since this purchase was for my personal use I was prepared to spend a little more than if I were scouting it for my booth.
And there, in the second garage of the antiques dealer, it was. The. Perfect. Lantern. Bright blue and only $25. The antiques dealer says it has been sitting there a while because people assumed it had been painted but he had done research and it was actually the original color. From Shapleigh Hardware in St. Louis, Mo.
I did a little research out of curiosity on Shapleigh Hardware Company and found that it was originally opened in 1843 and known as Rodger, Shapleigh and Company. It went through many ownership and name changes in the coming years and eventually settled on Shapleigh Hardware Company (what is says on my lantern) in 1918. It continued to operate under this name until it closed in the 1960s. I still need to do a little more research on my particular lantern to find out the date it was made and real worth, but I would say having a lantern that is at least 55 years old in my possession is pretty cool. I can’t wait to put more time into the research.
In addition to the antique find, I also found this awesome bacon press for $5 at a garage sale. My bacon-themed kitchen keeps getting better and better!