Jan 7, 2011

I'm a Winner! (or, "Getting My Esteem from eBay")

I love eBay - it makes me feel so...smart.  And powerful.  And successful.  And downright lucky!

Over the holidays, I found myself casually scoping out the vintage Fiestaware on eBay.  But let me back up and start at the beginning.

My great-grandmother had a modest collection of Fiesta dinnerware plates, bowls, coffee cups and saucers, teapot, and even juice tumblers.  I loved using the dinner plates and bowls as a kid, until my mom discovered the value of what we were subjecting to daily abuse and packed them up.  When we bought our first home, she gave me the best gift ever:  the carefully stowed away Fiesta dishes.    We went to an auction with some friends of ours and they bought a primitive oak hutch; when it didn't fit the spot they had in mind, we bought it from them.  I think it's the perfect backdrop for my Fiesta collection, so I've squeezed it into every home we've had since.
And the best part is, there's a third shelf I can fill up as the collection grows!

Pre-internet (yes, young'uns - there was life before the internet) I scoured estate sales and antique stores and added a few pieces here and there to my collection.    With the internet and eBay, pieces became easier to find, so I added several pieces including a trio of these nifty utensils:
How cool are these?
plus a second teapot, a water pitcher and a couple small Harlequin pitchers.  But no coffee pots. HOW could it be that a die-hard coffee drinker and Fiesta collector has no coffee pots? It was definitely an oversight that needed correcting.

Don't they look fabulous with my teapots?
And sure enough, two coffee pots - one in cobalt blue and one in pale yellow - hit my radar screen. I am an old-school bidder, waiting until the last minute to enter a manual bid and hope the other bidders aren't watching. And it worked - I won both of them!  Yay me.

I was on a roll.  I spotted two vintage platters and three nappy serving bowls, and let's just say I paid more for shipping than for the items - in fact, I paid less for all five items than one new serving piece would have set me back.  They were truly a steal.  Say it again, A. STEAL.  Now please repeat it to Mr. Official so he will believe me.  Double yay me.

Some of us watch bowl games, others buy bowls...
And then I came upon a red #5 mixing bowl. Be still my heart.  Did I mention my Fiesta mixing bowl collection?  No?  Let me tell you, I love my bowls.  I know you're not supposed to have favorite pieces (or is that rule only for not having a favorite child?)  but these might be my favorites - just don't tell the others.  The bulk of the bowls came to me (via eBay) a few years ago. I have ivory, green, turquoise, cobalt and yellow bowls, but nary a radioactive red 'un.   These bowls can go for a king's ransom, but I snagged this one for a very reasonable price on a slow bidding night, too.  Triple yay.

See it?  It looks like it was made to fit here, right?
I assured myself (and Mr. Official) that was probably the end of this foray into eBay.  After all, vintage Fiestaware on eBay is like the cross-town bus - miss one, it's okay - another will be along in a few minutes.   But I spoke too soon.  Since then I spotted (and uhh, won for a song) some neat-o stacking refrigerator bowls.  And there are a few other interesting pieces that caught my eye.  Oh my, I really should just walk away (but I probably won't just yet.)

As a semi-serious Fiesta collector (I do describe myself as a dilettante, remember), it's dangerously easy to covet nearly everything I see.  (You were already thinking that, weren't you?)  Fortunately, I have a short attention span, so after this burst of avid watching, bidding, and self-affirmation via my new acquisitions, I'll undoubtedly get sidetracked by something else.  But this latest round of Fiesta-stalking on eBay caused me to take an inventory of what I have, so I don't wind up with accidental duplicates. Unless it's just too good of a deal to pass up.

Happy collecting,

P.S. To my fellow Fiesta fanatic friends: check your calendars and maybe set aside a few days the third week of June. I hear the Homer Laughlin factory has an annual tent sale around that time, and if you're up for a road trip to Newell, WV  it's a mere 10 hours according to Google...