If you’ve been reading Pigtown*Design for any length of time at all, you know that one of my favourite things to do is to “poke around”. This means funny little junk shops, architectural salvage joints, thrift shops, one-off shops in out-of-the-way neighbourhoods, charity shops and church jumble sales. I also think that secondhand and thrift shops are a great way to be green.
I heed the call of my “inner junque whisperer®” as my friend Maison 21 calls it, and often the little voice in my head steers me in the right direction. The other day, I stopped in the thrift shop of the hospital around the corner and came away with a cache of beautiful linen napkins, placemats and tablecloths, all with beautiful handwork, and hardly a piece over $1.00.
Today, at lunch, I thought I’d swing by a little church-run thrift shop where I’ve unearthed some treasures in the past. The elderly women who run it all come from fine families, and they frequently get their friends to donate to the shop. It’s open at the most random times, something like “On alternate Tuesdays and the second Saturday of the month, when there’s an R in the month, but not months ending in “er”.”
So, as I was sifting through the basket of lovely silk scarves, what should I happen to find, not one but TWO Hermès scarves! Brand new, with labels on them. Someone had thrown them into this basket without a thought. Of course, I immediately started pawing through the basket to see if there were any additional scarves, but I felt terribly lucky to find two.
Once I stopped hyperventilating, I slid over to the lovely woman at the desk and asked how much scarves were. “Anything you find in the basket is $2.00” she answered. The funniest thing is that I immediately recognized the pattern on one of the scarves, as I wrote about it here. It’s Les Clés, one of Hermès’ most well-known patterns.
Once I paid, and got into the car, I instantly called my pal Christopher, with whom I had spent a few hours with at the Hermès store in Virginia a few weeks ago. By the time I got back to the office, he’d sent me the link to see if the scarf way authentic – and it was. The second scarf I found is a gorgeous red and orange scarf entitled “Real Escuela Andaluza Del Arte Ecuestre”, a stunning equestrian scarf with lots of horses, riders and ribbons and bows. There is a great link on Ebay by Geoff Clark, telling how to authenticate an Hermès scarf, because there are so many fakes. I have two other scarves, one was a gift from my brother and sister-in-law for being in their wedding, and the other I picked up on my first solo trip to Paris. I treasure them both and now will treasure these two as well.I’ve said it before, and I will say it again… I am a very lucky gal, for any number of reasons! But finding two Hermès scarves for a total of $4.00 helps me realize it!