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Treasure Hunting Report: Ottawa Antique Show

Hubby and I went to the Ottawa Antique Show Friday.  I always go the first night, because it gives me some time to think a purchase over and return over the weekend.  Little things (like a McCoy planter) I have bought on the spot, but the year we bought three Lotte lamps, I asked that the seller hold them overnight and I returned the next morning to buy them.  I just needed to sleep on it (in hindsight, why?).  This time, we accidentally arrived really early, about 4:30pm, and there was already a line!  Ottawa is a city of treasure hunting early birds.  By 5:00pm the line had snaked around and was blocking the door.  You can actually see me, with Hubby lurking behind, in one of Kim’s photos (below).  I don’t know why I look so grumpy: I had a full tummy (Hubby insisted we eat a ridiculously early dinner in case we were at the show until late), empty bladder and was at an antique show! 

Photo from Desire to Inspire

The show was great!  We spotted some familiar vendors, but new booths as well.  There were some fabulous pieces for sale.  I favored so many of Kim’s picks that by the end Hubby would spot a pick of hers, hide her tag, ask if I liked it, then celebrate if I didn’t love it.  As in, “a-ha! It was a Kim’s pick!”.  It was triumphant for him.  Whatever keeps him entertained, I guess!

I was on a mission: silhouettes, McCoy pottery, Pyrex, Iittala . . . I’m trying to build and grow existing collections so they have a WOW factor, instead of investing in random little items here and there.  Although I also seriously considered a very small pair of silhouettes, I only purchased two small items (I’ll tell you what I bought in a minute).

I loved these little silhouettes, but they just didn’t suit the rest of my collection.

There were many beautiful items to ogle, especially for folks without such a narrow focus as mine.

I have wanted a Lea Stein fox pin forever, but I’m not a huge fan of red.
Found out Hubby doesn’t like Russel Wright dinnerware – which I had thought about starting to collect!

These 1970s teak tables would provide amazing storage in a living room . . .  like our living room!

So tempting . . .

Even with all this temptation I stuck to our money-saving goal, but did come home with one sweet treat that was a total surprise: antique Fort William post cards that round out my existing set, which we hung in the stairwell in floating frames.  The bridge on one is the same bridge Hubby and I were almost swept under last time we took out our very small sailboat, on a trip to our hometown.  The Lake Superior slips were closed for renovations, so we took the boat on a river and had a terrible time that ended up with us paddling, ditching the boat, hiking back through rough brush, shimmying around a chain link fence (dangling over a cliff), emerging covered in burrs and then waiting a lifetime in the setting sun for someone to help us tow the boat back.  I HAD to get that postcard!

This one was actually mailed!  I wish the seller hadn’t written the price on the postcard.  I have no functioning erasers.

Did any local readers hit the Ottawa Antique Show this weekend?  Even though my purchases were small, I’m so happy with what I found and I’ll be back next time – you never know what treasures will be there, just waiting to come home to the townhouse!  Kim’s so lucky: she got to snap photos before the show opened (most of mine have people’s bums in them as they hunched over to investigate items, or were snapped in a hurry before someone’s bum entered the shot).  See her photos on Desire to Inspire and Closet Rivalry.



  1. Kelly @ A Swell Place to Dwell
    April 8, 2013 / 2:38 pm

    Why doesn't he like Russel Wright? I LOVE it, and have a few sets. In fact, I have that exact jug you showed but in teal…it's one of my faves. I love the Russel Wright tea pots

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 8, 2013 / 4:54 pm

      He hated the colour of these pieces, and says he doesn't like the style. I have a feeling the colour of these is too earthy for him. Maybe he'll be convinced if we see some in teal or grey. In any case, I am SUPER jealous that you have a few sets and the jug I pictured in teal. Seriously jealous 🙂

  2. Anonymous
    April 8, 2013 / 5:05 pm

    Hey Tanya! So funny – I just came form Kim`s site and noticed you there in her pic! It`s extra funny becase I was there on Friday night also, but unfortuantley I did not run into either of you. Too bad! I bought a fabulous vintage cameo and pearl necklace… but nothing else though I was tempted by a few things. Glad you found those lovely postcards. Michele – Ottawa alternagrrl.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 8, 2013 / 5:41 pm

      You were there Friday too? It's a shame we couldn't meet!! I guess we were both intensely focused on the goods, right? Someone probably could have slapped a "kick me" sign on my back and I wouldn't have noticed, lol. A cameo?? I am envious. I bought a cameo a few show's ago and love it but they are all so different. I would love a huge collection of them. I found myself lingering over a few and Hubs had to pull me away. I'm so happy you found a couple of beautiful pieces of jewellery 🙂

  3. Vintage Market Place
    April 8, 2013 / 6:50 pm

    WOW looks like a lot to go thru and decide on.I haven't been to a flea or antiques show in ages.I think my home is pretty much set and if I go to any I would have to rearrange or rid something that is a favorite already. So best I just live through others shopping and I stay put at home ;)Amy

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 8, 2013 / 7:08 pm

      Yes, I hear you: space is always an issue. A show like this would be fabulous for someone who has moved and wants a few pieces. There was a great selection of storage pieces I would have loved if I had more space. Lovely end tables and cabinets, pretty occasional chairs. I also enjoy a little window shopping, and vicarious shopping, when I can! Kim, from Desire to Inspire, took home some gorgeous jewellery, featured on her blog, for a little more vicarious shopping! If funds were unlimited, I'd CLEAR space for a jadeite collection, lol.

  4. Lets just build a house!
    April 9, 2013 / 2:36 am

    i love your photos. especially those old crates. i love me some old crates!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 9, 2013 / 5:04 am

      Awww, thanks! The benefit was the lighting was great! Which was also good for really good for anyone inspecting a piece. Oh gosh – the crates! I think I gently touched each one. I really wish I had a place/project for them.

  5. Anonymous
    April 9, 2013 / 1:33 pm

    I was there bright and early Saturday morning and thought I'd died and gone to heaven!! So much to look at, I saw some pieces that I remember my Nanny and great Grandmother having. I bought and old recipe box and water ladel and a very old toy rifle. I have cathedral ceilings in my living room and have a 4ft wagon wheel handing on it, my great grandmothers wash board and 2 horse yolks, so the toy gun really fits, it looks great!! My girl friend and I enjoyed ourselves so much, we were there for 4 hrs.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 9, 2013 / 5:19 pm

      Oh wow, you found such great things! I love the antique objects you have in your living room. Can I say I am jealous of the cathedral ceilings? So nice to hear you and your girlfriend had such a great time!!

  6. Lil
    April 9, 2013 / 2:19 pm

    I WANT that bright yellow chair!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 9, 2013 / 5:20 pm

      The dealer found it in a mechanic's garage, then stripped the paint built up on it and found the original yellow, so he then painted it yellow. Lots of restoration work!

  7. kim.
    April 9, 2013 / 9:38 pm

    Fab pics & picks! Too bad we didn't get to meet (but I did manage to inadvertently snap your photo in the lineup! – and how stoked was I to realize my pics would be free of bums and other body parts). Hilarious that your hubby wanted to see if you liked my picks. 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 10, 2013 / 4:24 am

      Thanks Kim! Your photos are so beautiful, I'm sure they would have been gorgeous even with bums. I looked but didn't spot you. Then again, I had stars in my eyes from all the Jadeite. Your picks were so spot-on and curated perfectly, there were few I didn't love (hence the triumph Hubby felt when there was one).

  8. Anonymous
    April 10, 2013 / 6:06 pm

    Hilarious – I was there Friday too! I tried to keep an eye out for familiar faces, but I guess I was also too intent on seeking great finds like Tanya…. There is slways next year 🙂 Ottawa alternagrrl / Michele

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 11, 2013 / 3:22 am

      Maybe we should all wear a yellow rose?

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