Randolph Street Flea Market: Valentine’s Day Style


The Randolph Street Flea Market kicked off its winter season this weekend indoors at Plumber’s Hall with a Valentine’s Day themed market. I attended with my friend and fellow vintage blogger, Maranda of Persnickety Vintage, on Saturday morning to shop and take photos. We enjoyed seeing the way the vendors interpreted the Valentine’s Day theme, of course there was an abundance of heart-shaped objects, old valentine cards and jewelry. On the more sassy side there were vintage pinups, feather-decked lingerie and artistic nude sculptures.

Randolph Street always has well curated and merchandised booths and is one of the most photogenic flea markets I’ve ever been to– that’s why I had to break my coverage of the market into two blog posts. On Tuesday I’ll post photos of the outfits Maranda and I wore and my finds at the market. I’ve tried to include vendor information below the photos but unfortunately didn’t get everyone’s business cards. Let me know who I’ve missed!
One of my favorite booths is Linda’s of Morning Glory Collectibles. She has a great eye and amazing prices! The photo above is from her booth as are the following 3.
I should have snagged some vintage bobby pins from her, not only are the graphics amazing I’ve found the quality to be much better than modern pins (they don’t warp!).
February seems to be the best time to get a vintage coat for a low price– there was a vast selection at the market including the two we found in Linda’s booth– the color of the green velvet cloak coat was amazing (only $38!) and the plaid coat on the right had a removable mini cloak and reminded us of Sherlock Holmes (it was $56).
I was amused by the 1920s Valentine above that contains a thermometer, it reads: “My fever now is running high. And slowly by degrees I’ll die. If you don’t give me some small sign. That you will be my Valentine”. It rests on a floral bustier or corset from the 1950s.
Heart-shaped biscuit cutters and jello molds.
The pose of the little ’50s girl on the left was sweet and Maranda and I liked the cosmetics poster that proclaimed “Pale cheeks don’t thrill hearts!!!”. If anyone looked like the woman in the poster, however, I doubt they would have to worry about wearing blush.
I adore vintage pinups so enjoyed these sassy lady figurines from the 1920s. I’m not sure what the dishes below would have been used for, perhaps oysters or cigarettes? They seem too pretty to be ashtrays.
My fabulous 1940s screen siren alter ego would wear this satin dressing gown and feather bedjacket while draped across a chaise lounge eating bon bons. Definitely the epitome of glamour.
High end Midcentury Modern pieces always make an appearance at the market, at this booth I was coveting the Paul McCobb wine bottle holder above and the clear lucite horse below (forgot to check the designer for it).
We found my sartorial twin at Mr. Modern’s booth– pink dress, white fur and a floral hat. The next 3 photos are also from Mr. Modern’s booth.
A sweet spring straw hat that would be perfect for Easter.
There were vintage wedding cake toppers galore, I had a brief flashback to The Vintage Bazaar’s Wedding Market!
At another booth I came across fabulous 1940s and ’50s costume rings, including a massive one in my favorite color. It went well with the Modernist amber ring I was wearing that day.
A stuffed dog with “W” on his ears, I think he must have been a school mascot?
It’s not a Midwestern flea market without taxidermy!
There were gorgeous hats everywhere in the booth shared by Estate Chicago and Tangerine Vintage. It was hard to pick a favorite but I was drawn to the feathered hat below and the blueberry bedecked hat 2 photos down.
At the Midwest Toaster Authority booth there were super shiny chrome toasters galore and they were all in working condition! The booth owner fixes and restores vintage toasters.
Maranda wanted to buy this piece of advertising in the form of a piece of toast.
Mmm shiny. Looking at the toasters I regretted passing up the chance to buy a chrome toaster, waffle maker and beehive-style blender at an estate sale last year. They were in working condition but at the time I couldn’t justify the purchase due to the lack of counter space in my kitchen.
Maranda’s big purchase of the day, a 1965 catalog from Montgomery Wards department store! Sadly Wards is now defunct but its legacy lives on in this rad catalog.
Look at those hats! I’d wear the pink turban or the over the top aqua feathered creation.
Midcentury Modern wooden monkeys hanging out in the same booth where Maranda got the catalog. Walter, the booth owner, doesn’t have a website but he does sell at the Broadway Antique Mall here in Chicago.
Maranda loved this 1940s dress– we liked the pink & blue color combination and lace applique detailing on the sleeves.
I’m not religious but am drawn to Catholic imagery. The velvet pillow is awesome in a gothic meets kitsch way.
Everything in this booth (Pavilion Antiques) called to me, it had an eclectic aesthetic that mixed folk art, Deco, Midcentury Modern and Native American pieces. Above is a grouping of min totem poles, I just noticed that the one on the far right appears to have a kitty cat as its base.
A grouping of Midcentury panther planters and figures.
One of the most curious items in the booth was this group of 1920s apothecary style capsule bottles. Apparently they were used in the 1920s in wholesale stores to hold herbs, medicine or even beauty products.
A pair of Art Deco bronze ladies.
Gold dancing shoes, I wish these were my size.
A tempting display of Bakelite bangles nesting in a vintage Backgammon game that also has Bakelite pieces and dice.
Last item from that booth– a blown glass bird. It looks familiar, anyone out there know the designer?
I’m a fan of vintage children’s books and illustrations so was instantly attracted to the framed pieces above and below at Mrs. Nora Room 102’s booth. This was her first flea market but you wouldn’t know it from the polished pieces in her booth.
Large statement necklaces were everywhere at the market, the Egyptian Revival necklace above would definitely be the center of any outfit.
I predict serpents and snakes will be a big trend this spring, I’ve seen several versions of snake bracelets but have never seen a cobra one!
A pile of sweet 1960s and 1970s Valentines.
I didn’t know Paloma Picasso made perfume, I was drawn to the shape of the bottle.
Melissa of Pure Vintage Chicago always tempts me with her decadent display of jewelry. Both Maranda and I loved the sparkly necklace above.
A simple yet sweet pineapple charm bracelet in Melissa’s booth.
Lucite and metal cat necklace from Melissa’s booth on the left and an Atomic snack container from another booth on the right. I really wanted the stacked canister but already hit my budget for the day.
The graphics on the freestanding poster is stellar and the lamp looks like a Mad Scientist experiment (in a good way).
The Industrial Modern style also always makes an appearance at the market, I was drawn to the massive arrow sign above and the vignette below.

A view of the bustling market as seen from a balcony.

Stay tuned for Part 2 to see photos of Maranda & I’s outfits and my haul from the market.

Comments 0

  1. Oh, I would have been in heaven! Thanks for sharing, I would have bought that thermometer, it is a hoot! My parents had a toaster, from their wedding, that worked until just a few years ago, and they have been married over 65 years. China is NOT making items of such quality and style. Wonderful show, will be tuning in for the next installation.

  2. Oh, I would have been in heaven! Thanks for sharing, I would have bought that thermometer, it is a hoot! My parents had a toaster, from their wedding, that worked until just a few years ago, and they have been married over 65 years. China is NOT making items of such quality and style. Wonderful show, will be tuning in for the next installation.

  3. i love that valentine with the thermometer! i need to go out and see if i can find some vintage valentines at the local malls before they get put up for the year.

    my grandma has a set of those monkeys hanging on her fruit basket! i've always loved them.

    what an amazing market. i would really have to watch my wallet if i was there, i could drop some serious cash!

Leave a Reply