They used to be run by a local charity or church and were places of wonderous treasures, but times have changed.
We now have the giant ' charity chain stores' in the form of Lifeline and St Vinnies. Now I am not begrudging the great organisational effort of these charities in becoming the largest op shops in Oz, but I lament that treasures are no longer to be found. Anything remotely antique or vintage is whisked off and sold to dealers. We have a Lifeline in our local town Gin Gin and occasionally a little treasure slip through.
The last time I went into the big smoke I made a list of op shops to visit in Bundaberg. The big two had basically nothing. The Red Cross yielded an old book. The Guide Dog shop had nothing much.
The last one I visited, the Brolga shop run for the benefit of local aboriginal people is what an op shop should be. What is donated to the shop stays in the shop.I scored 2 silver plated filigree bonbon dishes, a patterned aluminium container, a peach anodised aluminium lid, an old tin and they gave me some old broken costume jewelry.
These are from the bonbon dishes with some of the bits from the costume jewelery.
The silver plating was not in good condition so a dunk in the patina improved the colour no end.
They kind remind me of an Edwardian high tea. All starched white linen, bone china and elegant Edwardian ladies in soft pale lace.
The only piece I have made in ages, but have managed this . . . .