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The Pasadena Antique Center and Annex

At the beginning of the new year I had the pleasure of visiting the Pasadena Antique Center in California for the very first time.  A few of my friends had mentioned that this establishment would be a place that would entice me with their selection of antiques, but little did I know that I would love it so much.

As much as I try to keep my antiquing to a minimum while I'm on vacation, I'm always up for visiting places I've never been to before because one never knows what vendors will have in their booths.  Believe me when I tell you that there are many more antique stores in Southern California that need to be explored in the future, and there is the Long Beach Flea Market which I need to return to.  It will all happen in good time.

This collage shows you a sampling of what I encountered as I made my rounds at the Pasadena Antique Center.  There is so much wonderful antique pottery by Bauer and several other pottery works that I hadn't even heard of before.  A few vendors made me feel like I had walked into an antique store on the east coast because of their Pennsylvania Dutch quilts, Shaker furniture and other handmade ironworks that are very much a part of the furnishings one finds in my area.

The Pasadena Antique Center and its annex consist of 40,000 sq. ft. of showrooms in which over 130 vendors display their antiques and collectibles. From period furniture and Murano glass, to copper molds and vintage silverware, it's a mall that requires at least one to two hours of scouring shelves, tables, cubbies, display cases and floors for those collectibles that many of us like.  More than likely you will encounter the owner's beautiful and friendly dog, Sir Walter Raleigh (above).  This retriever guards the thousands of antiques in the store and is always up for some pets from well-wishers.  We had to coax him with a small snack to pose for the photograph on the day that I was visiting.  He's so adorable!

One of the first things to catch my eyes were these old copper molds from France.  I looked and examined them, and then I asked what they wanted for each.  Considering that the vendor was not willing to break up the set of molds to sell by the piece, the lot was not super expensive, and yet, I walked away from them because it would have opened up a whole new collection for me to begin.  Maybe someday, but not now.  Don't they look like they came from the Downton Abbey kitchen?

Here is a bundt-style copper mold and some smaller molds behind a glass cabinet.  The price tag shows you what some of these highly collectible pieces go for.  Considering their age, this is not too bad.

This large antique jar with tin lid reminded me so much of the jars that Martha made famous while taping her shows at the Westport television studios.  When the Martha by Mail catalog was in production, they sold a version of this style of jar to customers.  I cherish the ones I have, and if I had had room for more, I would have purchased this beautiful piece of glass.  If you own the Martha by Mail set, this jar was about the size of the large, four gallon piece.

A substantial dinnerware service of 19th century French porcelain by Sarreguemines comes with 25 dinner plates, 16 rim soup bowls, 2 oval platters (large and small), 1 compote dish, 1 vegetable bowl, l large round serving bowl, 3 large round serving plates/chargers and 2 round footed dishes.  At $2,250 for the set, the vendor is willing to negotiate.  This white porcelain is exquisitely shaped and handpainted with a flower motif.  The pieces are gilded for that extra touch of elegance.

One of the things that I love and appreciate at this antique center is the way each vendor displays their wares.  They create a 'living picture' with their merchandise, and the ones that include furniture, do it with such self-confidence.  Things may be crammed here and there, but everything makes sense.  Wing chairs, papier-mache bamboo trays, oriental rugs, silver tea services all have their place at the Pasadena Antique Center.

While antiquing it is very important to give every display a thorough look because things may be hidden beneath a shelf or tucked into a cabinet.  Some cabinets will have a single piece of something highly sought after, so it's up to you to find it and ask to be helped should you wish to purchase it.

As you already know, I love good earthenware bowls from a bygone era. Imagine my chancing to find a set of 5 matching yellowware bowls in near perfect condition?  They were pretty hefty and absolutely beautiful.  My friend Janet loves to collect those ceramic 'Pure Butter' display stands from England, and at $395 for the one pictured above, these are for the discerning collector wanting only the best in their kitchens. 

I left my heart with this beautiful French earthenware batter bowl.  As much as I would have liked purchasing it, there was no room for it to carry on the plane with me, and I didn't want to chance it with shipping.  If it's there the next time I visit, I will have to find a way to bring it back with me to Pennsylvania.

This large train set makes a great display.  Its handmade wooden detailing makes each of these box cars and passenger cars unique pieces.

There was depression glass, and then there was depression glass!!  Cabinets filled to the brim with pink, blue, vaseline, green, yellow and turquoise depression glass made me want to start collecting this antique glass.  The nice thing about depression glass, in my mind, is that it can be paired with so many things when setting a table.  I was lucky enough to find an old egg beater bowl by McKee to add to my jadeite collection.  I like its practical shape and size.   

Venetian glass is thin, delicate, beautifully designed and a true collector's item.  These fine pieces here include wineglasses, champagne glasses and fruit bowls with saucers.  The lightly-colored stemware has a pale green hue with azure accents around the bases and stems.  If you like Murano glass, these  collectible pieces can grace any finely-appointed table setting.  Expect to pay between $150-$250 a piece.

This is what I mean about the abundance of silverware.  A single shelf in the annex section of the Pasadena Antique Center had dozens of serving pieces.  I fell in love with a teapot that was in relatively good condition. There is so much to sift through, though, so it's wise to have a clear picture of what suits your tastes.  As I was turning a corner I noticed a box filled with mismatched Bakelite flatware.  Not wasting a moment I quickly began to go through it, and found some French celluloid dinner knives (I'll show these in a future post).  

This vendor made me feel like I was back in Pennsylvania.  From hooked rugs, Pennsylvania Dutch quilts, Shaker ladder-back chairs, tables, side tables, and cast iron weathervanes, this small space was such a pleasure to go through. The large wooden batter bowl and stack of Shaker boxes caught my eye.  Both were colored black and were clearly used a lot.  Lovely!

Isn't that early 19th century New England walnut side table perfect?  I love its simplicity and its delicate proportions.  The 19th century wooden keepsake box (bottom) was sitting in front of the Shaker boxes and that wooden bowl I mentioned.  

Do you know what this stand was used as?  It's an 18th century (yes, that old!) handmade, candle holder stand.  It was priced at $1650.  That brass instrument was another wonderful item from a bygone era.

The top photo in this collage shows that enormous bowl that was probably used in a Pennsylvania kitchen sometime in the early part of the 19th century. Considering its age, it is in relatively good condition.  The brass implement with wooden handle sitting on that ladder back chair is a bed warmer.  It is probably 18th century English, but I'm not 100% certain.

The Pasadena Antique Center and Annex
480 S. Fair Oaks Avenue
Pasadena, California
(626) 449-7706  

I hope you enjoyed taking this little tour of the Pasadena Antique Center with me, and I highly recommend that you pay a visit to this great business in the near future.  It's a fun place to go antiquing for an afternoon either with a group of friends or simply on your own.  If you're like me then you probably like to antique shop by yourself, so that you can have uninterrupted time to look, assess and purchase what you like.  

As someone who has been antiquing for years now, I can safely say that this antique center located in the heart of Pasadena is one of my favorites.  I've made it a personal objective to visit here whenever I happen to be in Los Angeles in the future.  

I want to thank the owners and Sir Walter Raleigh for making my stroll through this fine establishment a pleasant experience.  I'll see you soon!   

Happy Antiquing!



  1. Oh wow! The copper molds are amazing in particular.

    1. Phil,

      I know, the copper molds were some of the first items I saw when I walked into the antique center. Aren't they awesome?

  2. Maravilha! Se eu estivesse junto seria compulsivo. Amo tudo isso. Tudo lindo!
    Rosana Leite/ Brasilia/Brazil


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