Why 'My Mink Betty'?

Why 'My Mink Betty'?
I'm not your common, everyday twenty-something year old and when I graduated from High School I got an equally uncommon gift. My parents found for me a beautiful 1940's mink stole at a garage sale. It had belonged to the woman's Great Aunt Betty who had married late in life to a man with money and had only allowed him to buy her this one luxury. The unusually styled stole has the name, Betty L. Jones, embroidered in the satin lining so that's what I call her. They never had children of their own and the mink was passed to Aunt Betty's niece and on to her daughter. Until it got to me, no one since Aunt Betty had worn it. Now Betty the mink and I go to the theater together on special occasions and I hope that someday I can take her to the Symphony or the Ballet. Although Betty hadn't been worn or loved for many years she was waiting for someone to love her again as are most other things I look for when thrifting.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

B is for Baby Planter

I'm joining ABC Wednesday today.

Last winter, beginning around Thanksgiving, my mother and I started researching and looking for green depression glassware to grow her collection (she hadn't gotten anything new since 1995). In her search to find out more about a particular piece she owns she stumbled upon The Thriftshop Romantic blog and, in doing so, discovered the Thrifting Blogoverse.

Along the way, she discovered the joys of baby planters, specifically what Jenn (@ Thriftshop Romantic) calls "lambie whammies"; basically any planter with a lamb on it. My mother then hoped and longed for a lamb planter of her very own and, as you should well know, once you've seen something online, it shows up wherever you're looking.
I soon found this cute little lamb at our local Goodwill and we brought her home.

Little did we know that the lamb would spawn our obsession with looking for baby planters. Since we found the lamb in February we have acquired 9 baby planters. One that we just found, and haven't photographed, is a pink bassinet from Napco with a music box attached to it.

Every time we go to Goodwill or to any estate or garage sales, the first things I look for are Pyrex and Baby planters. I often find more planters than we buy because we're too cheap for most Goodwill prices and we have limited space so we hold out for the cutest ones.

Like this one!

This planter is the cutest I have ever seen. I almost missed it. I was about to leave Goodwill when I spotted it on the top shelf in the back. It is the most expensive planter we own at a whopping $5.99.

In trying to date our planters we found that the stylized R on the bottom of this sailboat stands for Rubens Originals.

Rubens Originals is particularly famous for head vases, but they manufactured many other kinds of planters. Planters were available for all occasions and could be bought at your local florist's shop.

Baby planters were especially popular and were widely produced by many companies (NAPCO, RELPO, INARCO, etc) and marked on the bottom with stickers or stamps. Some were sold in ceramic shops so that people could paint their own. You can tell commercially-painted planters from ceramic shop planters by looking at the base. Even if the planter has no maker's mark, if the bottom is unglazed it was likely commercially produced. If the bottom is glazed (with small unglazed sections from a tripod), it was probably painted at the ceramic shop.

In the 1980s cute and funny planters went out of fashion in favor of glass, baskets, etc. Baby planters can still be had today but they don't have the colors, the charm, or the stylings of vintage planters.
I have one that is not a baby planter per se but still gets to live with the cute ones. All I know about it is that it says Made In Japan on the bottom and is darn cute. If you have any information on this Wood Sprite, please let me know!

And I noticed this on the bottom of our lamb planter when I took them outside to photograph them for you all.

This indicates that, contrary to what my mother believed (based on the intensity of the pink) it IS old and is a Rubens Original. Our collection is supposed to end up in the bathroom eventually. Now all we need is a shelf to put them on...

I'm linking this to:


  1. I was worried that you were planting babies! Imagine my relief to find out what baby planter really meant!

  2. It's beautiful and I am also an avid fan of Goodwill. I don't know if I haven't seen one like this before but I will try to look at it this time, I like it! I maybe starting to collect baby planters hehe. happy Wednesday!
    ABC Wednesdsay~B

  3. We always learn so much on ABC Wednedays - great to have you aboard!

    ABC Team

  4. What an interesting find.

    Thank you for participating in ABC Wednesday; please come back regularly. - ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  5. That is so sweet! I have one that my mom made for me. My dad saved it, so I would have it when I was older. Love it!

  6. You have a terrific collection. I have a few and have sold quite a few. 5.99 is a good price. Its in such good shape and becoming very rare.

  7. I've never heard of these - quite charming, to be sure. You have a great collection!

  8. What a fun thing to collect...and you have a great collection already...thanks for sharing...p

  9. Thanks so much for visiting and for your sweet comment. It is so nice to see a yourng girl so into thrifting!! My own two daughters(18 and 11) are also big fans. The younger one likes vintage items in particular and has me on the lookout for her very own vintage locker basket!

    I love your vintage planters especially the lamb. Your post was very informative. Thanks so much for the info.

    :) Michelle

  10. Very sweet post..I adore all your baby vases! :) Thanks so much for linking up to my linky party..I always love seeing what everyone has...and your treasures are too sweet!
    Hope you have a great "rest of the week"! ;)

  11. What a unique collection. And thanks for the history on the pieces as well, so interesting to read. Thanks for sharing it today!

  12. Your baby planters are so sweet. I just have one... a little lamb.
    Have you found the Two crazy Crafters blog yet? She also collects planters and wall pockets. http://twocrazycrafters.blogspot.com/

  13. Oh! What a precious collection! I am loving the sailboat planter, but all of them are adorable. This is such a fun collection, and I'm so glad you linked this post to Favorite Things Sat. (I loved the story about your blog name). laurie

  14. What a fabulous and oh-so-precious collection, Betty. Thanks for sharing your sweetness with Roses of Inspiration. I am so thankful for you and your lovely posts.



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