Buying thrift shops, flea markets and property gross sales will be overwhelming. With the sheer quantity of stuff, how have you learnt the place to begin? How do you see gems amid all of the … effectively, junk?
As knowledgeable reseller who has been combing by thrift shops for the higher a part of 30 years, I can assist. Should you’re prepared to chop your buying time in half, rating larger bargains and stroll away with brag-worthy finds you’ll be able to flip for money, learn on.
From hard-to-find home goods to resale money-makers, all the things featured in my “Thrift Shop Like a Pro” sequence qualifies as a BOLO (Be On the Look-Out for) merchandise. Whenever you discover it, purchase it!
Featured discover: classic Curtis Jeré sculptures
I hesitated including Curtis Jeré sculptures to this sequence as a result of I hadn’t discovered one within the wild in additional than a 12 months… after which I promptly discovered the piece pictured above. So, hope (and legwork) springs everlasting. These mid-century gems are nonetheless on the market ready to be found in thrift retailers and the dusty attics of property gross sales.
The Curtis Jeré model is a mash-up of two names — Curtis (Kurt) Freiler and Jerry Fels. Artists and brothers-in-law, Freiler and Fels wished to carry gallery-quality artwork to the general public. In 1963, they started working collectively to design solid steel and resin sculptures that may be branded as Curtis Jeré (pronounced with a French aptitude as zhair-AY) and distributed by their new firm, Artisan Home.
Decidedly mid-century in model, the corporate’s work was additionally brutalist — stemming from the French phrase for uncooked, “brut” — a design aesthetic that favored giant, exaggerated varieties and elevated the uncooked supplies used to create artwork. Brutalism started as an architectural movement within the Nineteen Fifties and ultimately influenced different types of design.
Together with the Curtis Jeré model, Artisan House was offered in 1972. Immediately, the corporate reproduces basic Jeré sculptures and new designs. Nonetheless, within the secondhand market, classic items from the late Sixties and ’70s are most in-demand.
Why purchase it?
Like Eames furnishings and Russell Wright dinnerware, Jeré sculptures have develop into icons of mid-century design. Genuine works get observed due to their scale, craftsmanship and design sophistication. And although many house shops now promote imported gadgets impressed by Jeré, including a real piece to your house gives bragging rights (particularly in the event you discover one for pennies on the greenback in a thrift retailer).
Even higher, classic Curtis Jeré sculptures proceed to understand in worth. Over the previous 10 years, I’ve watched resale costs steadily climb as new consumers gobble up the dwindling provide of mid-century stock.
On eBay, this 58-inch wall sculpture entitled “Birds in Flight” lately offered for $1,700, and this tabletop owl sculpture offered for $400. On Etsy, costs for Jeré items are typically even larger. This wall-mounted 54-inch tree sculpture is listed for $1,995, and this brass eagle sculpture will be yours for $1,795.
What to search for
The world of classic Curtis Jeré sculptures is sophisticated for 2 causes. First, the model “Curtis Jeré” is commonly added to on-line public sale listings with the intention to bump up non-Jeré gadgets in search outcomes. This course of is known as “key phrase spamming” and although frowned upon by websites like Etsy and eBay, it’s troublesome to manage. Should you’re researching comparable costs, it’s useful to know that many mid-century-style brass, copper and bronze sculptures are sometimes purposely misattributed to Jeré.
The second complication pertains to the Jeré signature. Genuine signatures are both handwritten in black ink immediately onto the steel or incised into it. Ink signatures are much more widespread and sometimes embrace the copyright image adopted by “C. Jeré” and the 12 months of manufacturing.
As a result of the ink mark is really easy to duplicate, some unscrupulous resellers add it to any steel sculpture that appears vaguely mid-century. Avoiding these items takes a little bit of apply and shut examination of the model, welds and floor end.
Professional tip: Sadly, many Jeré items have fallen sufferer to the spray-painting craze. Should you discover a piece that appears proper, it could be definitely worth the time and hassle to strip the paint (although any ink signature will possible be misplaced within the course of). YouTube gives a number of tutorials on safely removing latex paint from metal.