a vintage suitcase collection.

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time you might know that I tend to insist that I am not a ‘collector’, which frankly is total crap.  The true story is that I am in denial.

I do have one basic rule about collecting though, which is that I never spend a lot of money on my ‘collectibles’.  OK, no, I don’t always stick to the rule either.  But I have been around the block enough times to know that I will grow tired of my collection at some point and by then no one else will really want it either.  It’s highly unlikely that I will ever get any money back out of it.

Case in point, my chintzware collection.  Vintage chintzware saw a resurgence in the 80’s and 90’s.  I loved it at the time and I purchased it whenever I found it.  But over the past several years I’ve moved away from the flowery-ness of it.  So now I’ve sold most of it.

chintz on porch closeup

Even though many of my pieces had been purchased at garage sales, there were a few that I paid top dollar for at shops or online.  I know I didn’t get my money back out of those and that taught me a valuable lesson; collectibles go out of style and lose their value.  Usually right about the same time that you get tired of them, everyone else does too.

Or maybe that’s just me?  What can I say, I am highly influenced by trends.

So when I collect things it’s just because I love them, not because I think they’ll be valuable one day.  Which brings me to my latest collection, vintage suitcases.

vintage luggage

I just added a new one.  I recently stopped into La Garage on my lunch hour and purchased this for $23.50.

vintage suitcase new

I loved the camel color leather trim and handle.  Plus the fact that it’s called the “Travel Joy” doesn’t hurt either!

travel joy

I’ve mentioned La Garage before, it’s a shop just a few blocks away from me (in No St Paul) that buys out estates.  So it’s like an estate sale in a shop.  Their furniture is always priced too high for me to buy it, paint it, and resell it ($269 for a dresser).  But the pieces they have are all in great shape and don’t appear to need repairs or refinishing.  If you like unpainted vintage pieces, La Garage might be a great resource for you.

Although it’s lower than what you might pay in a vintage shop, the $23.50 is a bit on the high end of what I normally pay for a vintage suitcase.  For example, sometimes I get really lucky and find a stash of vintage cases at a garage sale for $2 to $3 each.

mac grove vintage luggage title

In the past several people have asked me where I find all of my vintage suitcases.  In addition to La Garage and garage sales, I’ve also found a few nice ones at occasional sales like this pair that I purchased for $12 each last summer.

lucky vintage luggage

Currently I am stacking all of my vintage cases next to the Welsh cupboard in my dining room.  The stack is growing!

stack of vintage suitcases

So, in case you are keeping track, although I’m not really a collector, besides vintage suitcases I also don’t really collect ironstone …

hutch ironstone

tiny dressers …

q branch wall quote

vintage alarm clocks …

clocks 7

vintage cameras …


blue bird china …

bluebird china 2

oh, and let’s not forget the vintage Christmas ornaments …

ornaments 4

Good grief!  Maybe I need a 12-step program after all.

How about you, do you ‘not really’ collect anything?

21 thoughts on “a vintage suitcase collection.

  1. No you are not a collector. You’re a curator! Because you have public display.
    Your new suitcase gives me warm fuzzier because that was the set my Mom had ( now I’m telling my age)!


  2. Your curations are beautiful! Love the ever-growing stack of thrift store unicorns 😉 I think having something to hunt for is half the fun. Let’s see….I’m with you on the suitcases and will add to that milk glass, brass trays, vintage thermoses, vintage books, wool throws and camp ephemera. I’m sure that’s not even all. I would also qualify for a 12 step from the state of my storage, but I can’t see giving up the treasure.


    1. Nice! I have some of those too, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a ‘collection’ (ha, see, there is that denial again). But really, I only have about 8. I love the way they look stacked up in my pantry.


  3. “Nope, not me”, I shout from behind my own stack of suitcases, metal picnic baskets, cabinet filled with ironstone, wooden beverage boxes, jars, jars and more jars. Denial. What denial ???


  4. Vintage globes in the tan color, Santa mugs from Japan, blue and white happiness pots, and black tole trays – yes, still, I know but I love ’em in my black and white kitchen. Sadly I only have two vintage suitcases thus far and a few pieces pieces of ironstone. But I do swoon at your Welsh dresser full!


    1. Those sound like some very eclectic collections Victoria! I like how you’ve limited your globes to tan only. Do you display the mugs only at Christmas, or year round?


      1. Santa mugs only come out during the Christmas Holidays. The globes are in my husband’s office. The walls are camel colored batten board paneled 2/3 of the way and the remainder is black/tan grasscloth. The ceiling is also covered in the black grasscloth so the globes really pop. I think when you are in my home these collections come off as classic traditional. The only “trendy things” I buy are what I affectionally call “blow backs”. A blow back would be apothecary jars, bell jars, mercury glass things that have been popular in the past and are back again. I prefer old vs reproduction but I use both.


  5. I’ve always known I was a collector since the day I brought rocks home in my red wagon lol. I’ve gone thru several collections. I ‘m a lover of vintage kitchenware but I tried to limit what I bought. I have several yellow stoneware bowls. I have an abundance of granite ware specifically granite teapots and coffee pots. I’ve branched out to ceramic tea pots as well. I also have several cameras. I have a very extensive collection of pre 1900 fruit jars , close to 300. I do spend quite a bit of money on them (my last one was $500) but I’ve put together a good collection as well.


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