Common etiquette to keep in mind while antique shopping

Whenever I am out and about at an antique mall or flea market, there are some basic rules of etiquette that I follow.

Here are a few of them:

Put items back where you found them.  You picked up an item with the intention to buy it, and along the way you decided not to.  That’s more than fine—make sure to put it back where you found it.  Antique malls and flea markets have booths for dealers to stock with their items—this way the dealer gets their items back.

If you happen to bring a drink in with you, see if it is ok to bring it in with the people that run the shop.  I have run across several shops that don’t allow food or drinks in the front door.

Make sure that you follow the golden rule of antique shopping—buy what you like when you see it.  If you let it go, it might not be there when you come back for it.

And remember to watch where you walk and keep an eye on your large bags or purses that you bring with you.  There is one rule that I have seen stores enforce quite a bit—you broke it, you bought it.

This is a small handful of the common etiquette that you will run across while antique shopping.  What have you run across?

Wow, Homer Laughlin made that?

The Homer Laughlin China Company of Newall, West Virginia opened for business in 1871.

From then to now, they have produced dinnerware (and even kitchenware), and many of the lines are still popular to this day.  Examples of these lines are Fiesta, Virginia Rose, Harlequin, Rhythm, Nautilus, Swing, Riviera and even Century.

Most of the dinnerware is marked by Homer Laughlin, so identifying a manufacturer is not a problem.  Some of it features the name of the pattern as well, which helps out a lot.  The HLC trademark is usually followed by a number series, the first two digits will indicate the year.  So, if you do run across a Homer Laughlin piece that doesn’t have the name of the pattern on it, you can most likely narrow it down with the year mark.

I’m partial to the restaurantware that Homer Laughlin made (a piece of it can be seen in the first two pictures).  I have always thought that the piece was made for extra ware and tare, so I don’t have to be so delicate with it.

What kind of finds do you have in your collection?