My passion, after my family of course, is Treasure Hunting. The simple beauty of things from by-gone eras have always spoken to me. Whether these treasures are found at a flea market, fine antique store, estate sale, thrift shop, or in the family attic, surprises abound.
As an interior designer, I believe it is vital to balance your decor by including found and family treasures. Surrounding yourself with things you love should always be the goal, from there you will find your true style.
As I shop, I may have a client in mind or I may want to resell at our french flea market or in my shop. I am lucky to have several outlets for my treasures including my own home! I plan to share my searching, hunting, travels, and treasures with you and encourage you to enjoy adding your treasures to your home.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Star of the Hollywood Flea Market

One of the things about treasure hunting which I love is learning about items from the past. Items I have never seen before and whose time have come and gone. We call these pieces "daunting decor" items. We may not know the original function but their design is still greatly appreciated. When I came upon this scene at the Hollywood flea market I was intrigued. 
I learned these two pieces came from the collection of a 94 year old dealer in Michigan. The vendor was generous with both time and information, sharing the design/workings of the front piece, a very nice victorian cast iron water heater and next, the purpose/function of that interesting copper piece standing behind.
Any guesses? Hum... well if you guessed a barber's towel warmer you are correct! From the turn of the last century this piece would have stood proudly in a barber shop. It's purpose was to steam towels and even sterilize instruments. Although from a bygone era, the style and form still have appeal.
The copper has a beautiful warm patina.
The base banding features a beautiful pierced star motif and the makers plate reads Kingory Mfg Co. out of Buffalo, New York. There is a date on the top box of 1901.
The top towel box still holds it's original ceramic liner. 
These artistic utilitarian pieces were an important part of a barbers business from the late 1800's until approximately the 1930's when they were replaced by electric versions. Shortly thereafter many of these copper beauties were donated to the WWII war effort leaving very few examples remaining today.
After walking about the flea market, continuing my treasure hunting, I just could not stop thinking about the barber's towel warmer. You know what that means... it came home with me. Since there is a resurgence of old-time barber shops here is California I may know just the right customer for this amazing piece.
Here are a few of the other treasures from Hollywood. The antique cigar forms in the back are from Holland circa 1920's. The Italian leather pipe holder and English humidor tin are great items for a Father's Day vignette at the shop. The silver egg cups for an Easter display and I am hoping that some of the antique terra cotta seed pots I have at the shop will fit into the silver double handled bowl holders to add to our spring garden decor- could be fun. Also, the cast iron woodpecker toothpick/match holder and the cute little dish from a restaurant in Cannes just because. All in all, it was a wonderfully fun day at the flea in the big city.
Happy Hunting!


  1. Hi Jen- I never would have guessed towel warmer! Great find-I didn't know Hollywood had a flea market. Wish we lived closer-we could peruse together. All the best to you and Rick. We're planning to get to France again this about you guys?
    Take care-Sarah

  2. I figured it was a warmer of some sort - just never thought about a towel warmer. Looks like another wonderful loot haul!

  3. Do you still have your antique towel steamer? I just found myself, the same style as yours! I was hoping you could help me out with placing a value on it. Thank you, Nate

    1. Hi Nate,
      I am happy to say I sold it immediately & shipped it off to Chicago. I think I sold it for $450 plus shipping. Although that was 4 years ago, these pieces have held their value. If yours has all the parts, including glass water tube in front & ceramic insert, then my guess would be approx $500. Hope that helps.


Thank you for leaving a comment. I love to hear from fellow bloggers. Let me know what you think about my treasures or share a treasure of your own. Happy hunting!