Posted by: Small House Under a Big Sky Homestead | November 5, 2012

My Weekend Finds – A Vintage Tole Tray

This past weekend I went “picking” at several autumn bazaars in my community.

First I went to the Casco Church Autumn Bazaar and then into nearby Allegan to the 44th Annual Allegan “Bazaar’s Around the Block.” I went looking for treasures for the new shop, “Made in Allegan.” The thing about bazaars is that prices are usually so reasonable; it’s almost a give-way. (Shh, don’t tell anyone!) Other bazaar perks included home-baked pies and baked goods, a tea room, raffles and produce. Yum!

Banner proclaims this is the weekend of the bazaars!

A whole lotta shopping going’ on!

My best buy is this great 1940’s era vintage American hand-painted tole tray with  delicate and colorful  flowers.

Tole is half of the French term Tole peinte du lac, meaning pai.  

I am keeping this find since the mid-green paint color of this tray makes it perfect for my home that is decorated in autumn colors. The open cut-work design along the trays perimeter makes it quite a collectible and tells me that this is kitchen serving tray. The octagon tray style is referred to as “coffin tray” and the large size trays, like this one are called “butlers.”

My 16” X 20” tray was a bargain at $20.00 as they are listed on Ebay from $76.00 to $135.00. Now I just have to figure out how to hang it! Guess I’ll ask Betsy Speert’s at as she has a collection of trays hung on her wall.

Or, I might place this on the top of the oak Empire dresser that I plan to put in my dining room once its transformation is complete.

My other treasures include; a graniteware tea-pot, a tin water pitcher, a china pot with a bluebird and quince flowers painted on it, a red/orange Fenton art glass thumbprint compote, a wooden mini 4-drawer spice holder, a three-legged china salt dish with hand-painted roses on it and all the rest will go to the shop to be sold. The wooden coat rack and crate items will be painted in chalk paint and then join the rest of the finds for sale. A good haul.

Just a reminder, if you are in the neighbor of Allegan, MI., I’ll hope you will join me for the opening of the new shop, Friday, Nov. 9, 10:00 a.m 5pm.

Small House / Big Sky Donna


  1. Great find! Love a good buy!

    • Thanks Piper. I sure appreciate your comment and your following the small house under a big sky. I hope this 62-year-old grandmother can offer you something of interest to read. I am certainly fascinated with the life you are living! Ah, to be young and energetic again!

      Small House / Big Sky Donna

  2. Love the green and yes a great find! Good for you! peg

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