Saturday, March 2, 2013

Vintage Aquarium Bubbler

Over the years, I have started, obsessed over, treasured, and sometimes tossed many collections.  When I was a kid, unicorns.  OMG I had 800 I swear.  Later it was angels, then elephant planters, serve-u hostess sets, vintage tablecloths, vintage fiesta...... you get the picture.  Now that I'm older and I have limited space and limited tolerance for dusting, I'm more selective.

Years ago, I saw an article in a magazine about vintage aquarium ornaments and it stuck in my mind.  However, until recently I haven't actually purchased any.

Not that I haven't seen any, but if I'm going to buy it, it needs to be cheap, it needs to be exactly the right style and age, and it needs to be in great condition.   But boy are these aquarium ornaments rare.  Especially the mermaid ones.  Of course they are a gazillion dollars, usually even on ebay, when you can find them.  For example, here's one on Etsy right now:

No way I'm paying that. I'm not saying it's not worth it, but I'm too cheap.  So the only one I ever bought was a really cute little castle I found in Wiggins, MS (of all places) for $3.

But on a random Friday when I was off work, junkin' around in Bay St. Louis, waiting to meet Dale after she picked up her kids so we could get coffee, I found this one. It was great.  It was made in Japan.  It was in good condition.  It was BEACHY! And BONUS - it was a BUBBLER!

 (you know - you put it in the aquarium and put a tube in it and bubbles come from it).

BUT.  It was expensive.  WAY more than I am willing to pay for stuff like this.  I thought about it, left the store, mulled it over, looked up comparables on ebay, fretted, and finally went back.  Talked the lady down about $15, and ended up getting it for $48 I think.  I LOVE HER.  My Mom ended up giving me the $ back as part of my birthday present, so SCORE!

So now I have a collection of TWO.  Which for me, right now, is just the right number.

P.S. This was Fiona's pick - #6.  


Anna said...

Nice new collectible. :)

mlaiuppa said...

Now you need the proper display worthy of them.

See if you can find yourself a vintage tank. Either an old glass "battery" tank with the Greek Key pattern stamped around the rim or a Metaflex with chrome corners. You might score on Craigslist or an estate sale. You might have to reseal the chrome one but aquarium sealant is cheap and easy.

Then get a pump and some hose and connectors. I have two running off one pump. You don't even need fish. Just some gravel and fake silk plants. Or you can go whole hog and plant the tank with real plants and have an indoor garden.

But admit it. The fun of these is watching them bubble.

Martha Butler said...

Omg. I was googling how to make these work and I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the words Bay St. Louis!!! The lady you bought this from is in my shop!!! You probably bought this from me @ the French Potager! I just bought one from her for our new shop fish tank. I'm looking for a water tube now. Next time you're in town, stop in! She's got some more cool ones and I'll definitely make you a deal. You led me right to my answer. Thanks!!! ~Martha Whitney

Spickens said...

Oh how cool!!!!!! I will definitely stop in soon! Boy it's a small world, isn't it?????