Vintage St. Patrick’s Day Cuties

Looking at vintage St. Patrick’s Day figurines from Lefton and Napco make me smile. I especially like the Napco St. Patrick Angel complete with her rhinestone studded clover and dress!  I am also seeing some gorgeous vintage clover china dinnerware that would be nice to add to a St. Patrick’s Day tablescape. With St. Patrick’s Day next week, I am sure more and more vintage “Irish” cuties will be appearing!! Hope you are all having a great day!!


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Is it Collectible, Vintage or an Antique?

Collectibles tend to be items that are highly sought and are valuable because they also tend to be rare or there are limited quantities of them on the market. Not all collectibles however have to be “old” or made many years ago to be “collectible” take for example the Webkinz plush toys that were very recently introduced and they are extremely collectible (the Webkinz Cheeky Dog is on eBay for nearly $1,000) as are the Zhu Zhu Pet Hamsters that were a top 2009 Christmas toy (the rare ones are still selling on eBay for over $300!) and then you have vintage collectibles like the Holt Howard Pixies and Pixieware from the 1950s to Lefton’s Toodles and the Lefton Bluebirds that were made 50-60 years ago and are commanding prices of $100 upwards of thousands of dollars for the very rare items.

Antiques are items deemed by the government, sometime in and around the early 1930s, having an age of at least 100 years. So, if your collectible is 100 years old or older it is actually an Antique. Remember though that it technically must be 100 years old or older to be classified as an Antique…..I see a lot of items on the market described as antique when actually it is not antique but “vintage” and something needs to be at least 20 years old or older to be properly classified as Vintage.

Another collectible arena is items that were Made in Occupied Japan or Made in Japan. Items stamped or marked “Made in Japan” were typically made prior to the First World War and after the Second World War as Japan was much like China and Taiwan are today; countries where items can be cheaply manufactured and mass produced. The term “Made in Occupied Japan” refers to the period in history right after the Second World War when the United States, Australia, British India, United Kingdom and New Zealand were involved in re-building Japan and were a main presence. In 1951 a peace treaty was signed that was enforced in the spring of 1952 when Japan became an independent state again. Items produced in Japan during this short time frame are stamped/marked “Made In Occupied Japan” and considered more desirable and valuable by many collectors.

I hope this information is helpful and I wish you all much fun in your treasure hunting, junking, flea marketing, antiquing, and thrifting!!


Collecting Vintage Measuring Spoon Holders

Don’t you just love those colorful figural decorative items from the 1940s-1960s? You know, the post WW II mostly Made in Japan collectibles that decorate our homes today just like they did back in the day? There is a whole collecting genre of vintage measuring spoons and holders.  I don’t know why this surprised me as there are pretty much collectors for everything you can think of so measuring spoon holders isn’t that strange at all. Vintage measuring spoon holders are delightfully whimsical and extremely functional still today. You can find vintage measuring spoon holders in various forms of lady head vases, chefs and cooks, flower pots, chickens, roosters and hens, fruits, clowns, bears, owls, frogs, you name it. You can place these functional collectibles on your kitchen counters and stoves and even hang them on your walls. You will find vintage measuring soon holders primarily made from chalkware, ceramic, and plastic. Most are very colorful and highly glazed. You can pick these up at garage sales, thrift shops, flea markets, eBay, and antiques & collectibles stores from $15-$75. Vintage measuring spoon holders are cute, charming, colorful, and functional so why not add one or more to your kitchen!!


The History of “Made in Japan” Collectibles 1945-1952

Vintage 1950s Poodle Dog Salt and Pepper Shakers - Kitschy Cute and Made in Japan
Vintage 1950s Poodle Dog Salt and Pepper Shakers – Kitschy Cute and Made in Japan

The allure of “Made in Japan” collectibles has captivated collectors and enthusiasts for decades. This fascination can be traced back to the 1940s, a tumultuous time in Japan’s history when the nation was under US occupation following World War II. From 1945 until 1952, the United States Customs Bureau mandated that all Japanese-produced items bear one of four distinct labels: “Japan,” “Made in Japan,” “Occupied Japan,” or “Made in Occupied Japan.”

These labels often appeared as red or silver foil stickers, such as the one found on the charming Genie Kids Salt and Pepper Shakers, while some manufacturers opted for an accompanying stamp. This pivotal period, known as ‘The Occupied Japanese Era,’ marked the beginning of a cultural phenomenon that would span generations and forever change the world of collectibles.

Post-WWII, in 1946 the Japanese government implemented an astounding strategy for economic recovery – The PPS System (Priority Production System). Through maximizing its natural resources of coal and steel production to meet global demands, Japan was able to reinvigorate their economy & exports.

Further success came when they were rewarded with additional export opportunities during the Korean War 1950-1953; by this point it became clear that Japan had achieved a significant milestone as evidenced via record high export numbers!

During the 1950s-1960s, Japan experienced a period of prolific production and export. From whimsical toys to practical electronics, Occupied Japan was synonymous with affordable quality goods that ranged from ceramic trinkets to novelty items. While these once commonplace products are now coveted by Antiques & Collectibles enthusiasts around the world, at the time they were simply considered standard fare.