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Judy D. Steele: A very ornate and bejeweled vintage perfume bottle

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I presume this little cutie was carried in a young ladies’ hand purse many years ago.

The bejeweled perfume bottle with a glass stopper or dropper inside is still in perfect condition. The gorgeous cobalt blue glass is mint and the brass “bejeweled” casing is mint also.

One of the many items I purchased on a trip to New Mexico — when I bought a small antique shop out (they were wanting to retire). We boxed for three or four days with four people working hard wrapping each item so carefully as I had another 1,100 miles to go.

We prayed we didn’t get anything extraordinary broken or break rare items which could never be replaced. And up till now, I am happy to say that the only thing I have found so far was a fairly normal green coffee cup and it could be replaced very easily online.

I am sure I have mentioned my stories before, but when I do find something in another store and I am miles away from home, it does take a bit of refining and carefully wrapping the purchases to make it back home in one piece. I have been lucky so far.

The dealers who had this were so well versed on what they had that I wish I could have taken a bit more time and really talked to them about each piece I brought home from there.

But needless to say, it was impossible to converse about every single little item we wrapped as there were four of us wrapping and we had a big job to get done in less than a week.

Now we have the beautiful CR Rustics Antique Mall here in North Platte at 108 E. Fifth St. Putting our inventory into our own booth is fairly simple — except for the marking of the items and making sure we point out any slight defects (hopefully, not many).

And if there is something really special about the item, I hope we take the time to tell the story why we think it is so very special.

I know right now I have a beautiful and very old rocker with twisted arms and legs and edging on the back — mahogany I am assuming — and I still wish I knew more about it. But it is probably the oldest item in my booth right now.

And so the story goes, each dealer tries to give the consumer as much information as we possibly can on all of our items we are selling.

But sometimes, we get so busy we kind of slide a bit on the actual descriptions. But we hope the collector or interested parties will ask questions and the owners of the shop will get in touch with the dealers and find out more info if possible.

Referring back to my pretty little two-inch high cobalt blue glass perfume bottle with original glass dauber still intact … and bold or brass covering with emerald green jewels as well as some light blue ones on the front. The very top of the lid has one jewel clear cut (glass) but it certainly is a bedazzling piece to have.

Can you imagine the comments made when a young lady would have taken this out of her evening bag to dab a bit of perfume behind each ear before she was asked for another waltz on the dance floor of some beautiful and awesome ball room? I am sure it would get lots of comments from other young ladies who might have seen it.

As I have discovered through the years, many of our antiques that we find on a buying trip will require a bit more research and confirmation of what is said on each price sticker.

And naturally, it is up to each owner to research and go accordingly what they think their area may warrant as far as values go in a certain market.

Now, with our access to computers and further information and up-to-date pricing/values, it definitely is much easier than it used to be. However, sometimes we find too much information and then we have to question it or research even more on one particular item we have found. That is when it eats up your time in researching and trying to get it to the shop as soon as you possibly can.

There are fun and exciting examples of antiques and collectibles everywhere we go any more. And for me that is an exciting game we are playing. It keeps your attention and makes you want to research more. Or when you find that one item you have never ever seen before in over 50 years of antiquing, and all you want to do is start researching it immediately.

Can you imagine myself going through so many of my books a few years back? Oh my goodness, it took a long time to identify a pattern of a dish or the age of a stoneware crock or the manufacturers’ names, etc.

I am so grateful for having my computer at my fingertips for further research and fairly quickly also.

Compared to many years ago, it is a blessing for sure to have all of this info readily available — all hours of the day or night!

I would like to remind everyone about not having the antique classes right now. The COVID-19 side effects are still presenting problems and I am hoping that by next spring I will have those all sorted out and the headaches will decrease in time.

I certainly miss seeing everyone from classes and I certainly miss the conversations as well as the awesome items you all have brought to my classes through the years.

Amazing items for all to enjoy. I miss my shopping for antiques excursions so my antique classes helped me to get through my “withdrawals” from no antiquing experiences. Please remember that I am hoping and working on getting the classes going again in early spring.

Just a reminder: We might even try to have an occasional get together over coffee or pizza and just talk about your latest finds and what you think you have found in your antiquing trips in the past/ The camaraderie is what I miss the most — no matter where you go, when you see someone interested in antiques and collectibles, you have something in common with that person immediately. It is an awesome feeling, believe me. And I feel so very lucky to have so many friends who love antiques as much as I do.

As I have mentioned many times through the past 40-some years or more, you just never know what you may find just around the corner or at the next antique shop or antique mall or at a yard sale or antique/collectible shows, etc. That is what makes this game of “antiquing” so much fun. Be safe everyone, and hope to see you all soon. Take care of you and get out there and shop when you can. You never know what may be just around the corner.

Judy D. Steele operates booth No. 50 at CR Rustic antique mall. Contact Judy at 308-530-4572 or

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