Monday, November 1, 2010

My Favorite ANTIQUE Mall--Sleepy POET in Charlotte, NC--Part 1

I took a trip up to Charlotte , North Carolina last week to my very favorite antique mall/hunting grounds...the Sleepy Poet Antique mall. I went by myself, I did not have my 9 year old associate with me, as he had school. This mall is so big, that it is really too much for him to handle,
which means it is perfect for me.
I got on the road, I had a 1 1/2 hour drive, nice scenery , listening to sappy country love songs with no complaints from anyone .
 The colors on the trees have already been turning here, as you can see, as this is heading UP, towards the mountains if I went another 3 hours North. Can't do that, need to be back in time to pick up my son from school. But, I do have a stop that I make everytime on the way up here...
 Hardees...for a unhealthy, but delicious sausage and egg biscuit to go. 
I make it a tad bit less un-healthy by removing one of the biscuit pieces, squeezing out some of the sausage grease on a napkin, and then re-assembling it like this...
Have to have something extra, as I already had breakfast earlier...but this will help tide me over some hunger for the 3 to 3 1/2 hours I walk through this mall.
And I am fast, the average shopper could be in here the entire day and come back the next day to finish . Back on the road, not far now.
 Now I find Woodlawn exit off of 1-77 and I will be there in no time at all.
We are here...that is you and me. This mall is HUGE , 55.000 Square feet ! I have always liked this mall since I discovered it about 5 years ago. The owners are nice, the staff is very helpful and fun , the mall is clean and well -lit ...and treasures can be found daily.
Let's go in...
I am lucky that after a few trips here, I can find my way around very easily...but if you are new to this mall...expect to get lost in it. Eventually you will find your way to the the front again.
You can get popcorn up front , to snack on while you shop too. My husband comes here with me when he can, and he loves the popcorn.
I think he comes with me mainly to eat free popcorn.

I am also lucky that since I sell antique artwork, or try to , I am a professional shopper..meaning I am not distracted by everything and anything that I see...which is hard for most people when they come here. I am looking for antique and vintage paintings and prints, old original picture frames, and occasionally something else may catch my eye.  Like this...
A gorgeous brass antique doorknocker, BUT...way too high at 95.00 for me to consider for resale. So, pass...
I love this vintage dog portrait, but it has a bow  in the frame , and it is too high for resale to sell without the frame. This would be perfect though, for a person buying for themselves.
I did buy this small Marine 1940's painting, oil on board , nice hobbyist painting,  very good price, will list this soon on eBay. Scored.
I check out vintage trophies to sell, but they are usually a bit too high, running between 65.00-165.00 usually. Make sure if you ever want to resale these, DO NOT polish them, before you sell them . It diminishes the value of them if you do. Collectors like the patina with age, and if they want to polish them, they will themselves. Learned that lesson the hard way.
I looked up , as you have to look everywhere in this place..and saw this interesting kitschy deco statue of some sort on a high shelf. I took it down and considered it, flipped it over...looked again...
Decided against it, for resale , as the guy grabbing the woman's hair , the top of his feather headdress has been broken and re-glued on. If it was not, I would have bought it. Broken and re -glued , do not sell as much online pass on this too.
Like it though.
Wanted to show what I do NOT sell, and what I would not suggest anyone buy...if they can help it. That is a NEW repro decorator painting like this one. There are too may actual antique paintings out there to spend your big bucks on one of these instead. I do know that some people buy them for their businesses, etc. I also know that many people do not know the difference between a new repro painting or a even a giclee' ( a print that is painted over to mimic look of a painting ) and an actual original oil painting. I wish I could take each of you shopping and teach you the difference. I will try to do a entry explaining that soon.
The painting to the far left of the large repro is a small antique oil.
Here is one of those late 1800's-before 1915 pyrographic frames, that were made by burning  ( pyro-fire )the wood with special tools to make designs such as flowers, people's faces, decorations in the wood. I believe this one was 65.00, too high for resale.
 I liked this antique screened painting on linen , they made these with a process that is similar to silk screening prints, but did it with paint, on tapestry type material. They are usually large, and not as valuable as an actual original oil painting. She had this one for almost 400.+, so I passed.
Here is a Italian Florentine ( gold painted wood ), that I looked at with my beautiful oldest daughter a few weeks ago up here. I was very fortunate she had the time to come with me, she is very busy as a new attorney , and she has just bought a new house. She likes the Italian Florentine furniture and mirrors, but this was almost 600.00+...too much for either of us to get. I am giving her some Florentine tables that I already have though at home.
Daughter scored with mom here.
Two paintings, oil on canvas, I considered. Price was right, but they just didn't float my boat enough. the one to the right is a study of an Old Master's style painting. May reconsider them if I see them again up here.
Lovely antique picture frame, but these are harder to sell with the oval ( instead of square  or rectangular ) inserts for art. People will buy these to make mirrors out of though. 
One of my favorite sayings, but priced about 35.00, too much for me personally , I'm very thrifty when it comes to buying myself something.
Almost bought myself this vintage love poetry book, but it was 6.00 , and like I said ,if I find old books for usually 4.00 or less, I get them. I forgot about this book after I set it down, I probably would have gotten it if I had carried it with me. I had car keys, camera,  a magnifying glass, cell phone...reader glasses...I was loaded down in there.
Too much.
I did buy this small French vintage cityscape. It was a canvas, under wrapping , but it was vintage. Good price.
I passed on this antique watercolor of a cottage and gardens, I love these, BUT...too much foxing ( brown splotches ) in paper for resale. I think it was about 45.00. Again, not a bad price for the average buyer for themselves. Circa early 1900's.
Close up  of foxing . These can be removed only from a professional restorer, and it is pricey to do so. Caused by high humidity and or water damage.
I enjoy finding stacks of paintings like this...unfortunately...none worked out for resale. Price was good, quality and condition were not so good.
Very old oil portrait, but these do not usually sell well for me. The man is not handsome enough, very staid. Plus it was 1200.00. 
Passed fast.
I have seen this painting up here for over a month, beautiful gilt frame, but it is about 400.00 , so too much for resale.
One of my favorite booths here, but it is usually a jumbled crazy mess. So I have to get myself in full huntress mode to delve in here.
Then I plunged in. 
Looked about VERY carefully, and then spotted this little painting behind all this jumble of chairs. Can you see it ? I had to go to the booth behind here, and reach through the chairs and grab it off the wall from the side.
Beautiful, very well done vintage seascape, in good condition. Signed lower left, will take it out of this ugly plain , newer frame and list it.

Good gracious , this entry is way too long already. Will do Part 2 of this tomorrow or the next day. Be sure to check back, more good finds I want to show you. Oh, here is the website for the mall:

take care,


  1. gina, i've driven past sleepy poet a few times but they were times i just couldn't stop. and even though i don't live too far away, i knew i would need ALL day like you said about us non-professionals! anyway, i'm glad to see something about what there is in there. i must go! i'm glad you scored a couple of things. looking forward to part 2.

  2. Hi gina...Enjoyed the trip to the antique mall, and your tips on buying art work. I'm always on the search for "old Florida" type of works. They are my weakness, but I, too, won't spend much. I look forward to part 2, and seeing what else you may have purchased.

  3. Gina, I love these tours of antique shopping malls and appreciate the comments about what is of resale value, and why you did and did not select certain items. Very informative.

  4. That would be so much fun to visit in person. There is nothing like that down here. Antique Malls are a thing of the past for some reason.

    That little seascape is a beauty. I like that old masters style lady portrait too.

    Look forward to seeing the next installment of your little excursion.

    Thanks for letting us come along.


  5. It may have been long, but I followed to the end, and loved it!! Lovely little seascape. I bought one from a local charity shop last month for £3!!!! It was £5 but they said that it had been in the shop too long and I could have it for £3!!!!!Love that kind of thing.

  6. Gina, I enjoyed this visit to the antique mall very much, and liked getting your insights on what is what. Thanks.

  7. You have amazing places to hunt for antiques. Thanks for letting me come along.

  8. Hi Gina...what a lovely beautiful things here today....great shops !! ...we don't have such a great shops in Holland.......thanks for Ria.....

  9. What a wonderful trip you shared with us, Gina, and so interesting to learn about buying and selling along the way. I also learnt that Americans call hamburger buns...biscuits! And hamburger patties...sausage! How proud you must be of your "new attorney" daughter and congratulations to them on the purchase of their new home - how very exciting. I look forward to installment no 2

  10. Gina,
    You have one of my very favorite blogs. I love your detailed description and all the pictures. You have a knack for educating and entertaining at the same time.

    Whether taking walks, touring vacation destinations, visiting your garden, or shopping for your business, it's always so much fun. Please continue sharing.


  11. Hi Gina - I have popped by this morning on the off-chance that you'd managed to post the second installment of your trip to Sleepy Poet Mall. I'll be back for that, but meantime, what a lovely surprise to find your gorgeous new blog header instead, with your delightful heart gate taking centre stage in the montage :) I love the way you're regularly changing & adding to your headers. It makes things so interesting and varied & keeps us coming back for more! (((BIG HUG)))

  12. Gina, I would have had a ball going to this with you!! I wish I had a store like that here!! I love that you aren't afraid of going alone. We have a little vintage shop here and I went to it a couple weeks ago by myself. I like going alone because I feel freer to take my time and really pick. It's nice to be alone with someone I love (meaning myself:)). Afterall, someone once said that we can't love anyone or anything until we loves ourselves. Thanks for sharing your fun.

  13. I am very interested in learning all I can from you about you do McCoy pottery or old oil cans? My dad has some and I've always been curious about them.


I love comments , please leave one if you like. I try to respond to comments,but if I'm running behind, please know that I read each one before they are published. Thanks much, Gina