Mother’s Day at The Mercantile

Would mama like that antique chair?

Or would she like that vase?
Would mommy like that chest of drawers?

Oh gosh, she’d like this place!
Would mom prefer a vintage dress?

Or would she like that watch?
Yes, oh yes, it’s Mother’s Day 

Here at The Mercantile!
You’ll find chairs and rings and chests of drawers

Great gifts for mothers, all.
But don’t forget that what she wants 

Is just a bit of you.
She’ll love that vintage vase or watch

But mostly she’ll love you!

Carol Fenn 5-2018


The Garden Sanctuary

Due to the nature of my business, I get invited into a lot of Tucson yards. Often, in those yards, I’ll come across a small garden sanctuary. It can be very small, with just a single statue, or it can be more elaborate with a Madonna, other statuary, running water, plants, flowers, etc.  

No matter their size these sanctuaries always warm my heart. The shrine might be honoring a lost pet, a fellow human, religious devotion or Mother Nature.   

If you want to construct a sanctuary the Midtown Mercantile Mall is a good place to start. We have thousands of items to choose from and some of those items just might fit perfectly into your very own garden sanctuary.   

Come on in to The Mercantile. We’d love to help you get your sanctuary started.

Carol Fenn 5-2018

Royal Wedding Countdown!

Ah, a royal wedding. We’ve got one coming up very soon. So it’s time to start thinking about what you’re going to collect from this one. Maybe a Harry and Meghan tea cup? Or a tea towel? Or perhaps a fine, gorgeously blue, porcelain plate?

From Queen Victoria to Harry and Meghan

For well over a hundred years there have been souvenirs from these British weddings. Coins, stamps, jewelry, dolls, fine china, etc.

We have lots of British tea cups in the mall. Some Royal, some not!

Enjoy these photos of weddings and antique and vintage collectibles. And come on in to The Mercantile. It’ll be fun to search throughout the mall and see if you can find a royal item!

Carol Fenn 4-2018

April Mash-Up – The Battle of the Sexes!

The battle of the sexes is as old as time. He wanted the cave at the top of the mountain so he could see off in the distance. She wanted the cave next to the babbling brook because it was peaceful and they had close proximity to water.  

Now we have “she sheds” versus “man caves.” Light versus dark. Flowers versus leather. Garden pots versus cigars and humidors. 

Men – vintage cigars

Women – cats

There are no set rules as to what men and women collect. Beautiful ethereal American Art pottery? Most of the collectors I’ve know have surprisingly been men. Zippo lighters? Yes, it’s men who collect these. Vintage robots and space toys, men.  

Dolls vs. robots

Corkscrews vs. buttons

Men collect corkscrews. Women collect buttons. He drinks. She sews? Men collect vintage gas station memorabilia. Women collect cats, real and ceramic. He drives. She likes cuddly company.

Oh yeah, this is a mans collection

Yes, women love quilts, flowery sheets and vintage kitchen items. But they also love American primitives, farmhouse antiques and inspirational signs.  

A lucky man could sleep here too!

Women love weddings. Men, not so much.

Women love these inspirational signs and kitchen primitives

Men love their Zippos

There are no hard and fast rules as to who collects what. Many women collect automobilia and military items and I’ve know lots of men who collect Barbie dolls! But no matter what he or she collects it’s all for fun.  

American Art Pottery – surprisingly, usually collected by men.

Our mash-up this month celebrates the battle of the sexes. She shed vs. Man cave. The female artist, the dark warm leather of a man’s study, the female collector, the male collector. Come on in to The Mercantile this Thursday through Sunday, April 5-9 and join in on the battle! Opening at 10 AM.  

Carol Fenn 4-2018

Happy Easter From the Victorian Easter Chicks!

Move over Easter Bunny! You’re not the only game in town. During Victorian times Easter Chicks were very popular all over the world as these Victorian postcards attest to. These cards are highly collectible. Usually very pretty. Sometimes cute, sometimes funny, always charming.

We are closed on Easter Sunday so that our employees and all of our wonderful customers can enjoy their day with family and friends. Happy Easter from The Mercantile. And Happy Easter from the Easter Chicks!

Carol Fenn 3-2018

On Collecting – 4 and 20 Pie Birds

Pie birds are small ceramic kitchen tools used to vent steam when baking pies. After a dish is lined with pastry, the funnel is placed into the center, the filling is added, and the top crust is molded around the figurine. While baking, the hollow center of the pie bird allows steam to escape the filling and prevents juices from overflowing.

The earliest pie birds were often plain white earthenware objects used to advertise kitchen product manufacturers, with company names, etc.

Taking inspiration from the popular “Sing a Song of Sixpence” nursery rhyme, which mentions “4 and 20 blackbirds, baked in a pie,” ceramic designers eventually moved away from utilitarian and came up with charming new forms.

While most pie birds are “birds,” they can also be almost anything else, but are still called “pie birds.” Elephants, dogs, people, cats, etc. They’ve all taken their turn as a beloved pie bird.


Pie birds are not only useful, but they also make a great collection. And, as any collector will tell you, the fun is in the variety! Pie birds have been made all over the world for many years so there are a lot of them out there. Come on into The Mercantile. The search will be fun and you just might find a pie bird … or two!

Carol Fenn 3-2018

Make A Fairy Garden For Your Garden Fairy!

Every fairy needs a garden
Of that there is no doubt
But fairies, they’re always busy

Granting wishes and flitting about
Perhaps you’d like to help them

Build a garden where they can stay
Cozy, cute and magical

I hope you’ll find a way
Come in to The Mercantile

And we can help you out
We’ve got the pots

We’ve got the plants

We’ll even show you how.
You’ll walk out of our door

Fairy garden in hand
And when you get home

Just give a little call
Your happy fairy will hear you 

And will know exactly. where. to. land.
– Come to our March Mash-Up!

“Peter Cottontail Hoppin’ Through The Secret Garden”

March 1-4 Thursday – Sunday

We have everything you need to make your very own fairy garden.

Your fairy will thank you!

Carol Fenn 2-2018

Tucson Rodeo Posters!

It’s rodeo time in Tucson!  

In 1925, Frederick Kramer, president of the Arizona Polo Association, created The Tucson Rodeo, known as La Fiesta de los Vaqueros. The event gave visitors a taste of cowboy range work and glamorized Tucson’s Wild West background. It also gave cowboys a chance to win some cash! The first rodeo featured four events—steer wrestling, steer tying, calf roping, and saddle bronc riding. The purse was $6,650. 

The first Tucson Rodeo was held at Kramer Field, now a neighborhood called Catalina Vista, near the U of A. 

Advertising posters are an important part of any event, and Tucson rodeo posters have certainly been an important part of this tradition.  Over the years there have been some spectacular posters inviting folks to come to the rodeo. The tradition continues today. The folks who run the rodeo are still producing some great artwork.  

So, pull on your cowboy boots, dust off your western hat, and get on down to the rodeo, and don’t forget to check out this years poster while you’re there!

Carol Fenn 2-2018

Those 50s and 60s Vintage Valentines!

If you are of a certain age and grew up in the 1950s and 1960s I’m sure you have fond memories of these mid century Valentines! And if you’re not of that certain age I know you’ll love them anyway!

Dogs were always popular

Food related Valentines are always funny

Disney cards were full of character LOL

Mermaids fall in love too!

Back in the day, we went to the five and dime and bought a packet of these sometimes sweet, sometimes funny, always fun, little cards. Then we took them home, spread them out on the kitchen table, and decided which one should go to which kid in our elementary school class. Then on Valentine’s Day, or the day before Valentine’s Day if it was on the weekend, the teacher would set aside some time and we would exchange our Valentines. It was great fun to then go home with your pile of cards and enjoy each and every one.

Thank goodness, many of these vintage Valentines still survive. And we have a LOT of them for sale here at the Mercantile. Come on in. You’ll really enjoying seeing them and they are so much fun to collect! 

Just some of the Valentines we have for sale

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Carol Fenn 2-2018

Mercantile Mash-Up – Victorian Valentines Meet The Wild Wild West 

Get ready to experience our first Mercantile Monthly Mash-Up! “Victorian Valentines meet The Wild Wild West.” Join us Feb. 1-4, Thursday – Saturday 10AM – 6 PM and Sunday 10AM – 5 PM.  

Rare original Victorian Valentines

On the first weekend of every month we’ll have a new mash-up theme. Always fun! Always surprising! Always filled with finely curated items!  Here’s a few preview pics. Enjoy the photos, then come on in and lasso some treasures!  

See you soon at the Mash-Up!

Carol Fenn 1-2018