Kuba Cloth, Coptic Cross and a Razza Ram

Usually shopping lists for weekend errands look like this:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Anti-perspirant
  • Dog food
  • New hair dryer

But what if this was a Saturday shopping list:

  • Kuba cloth
  • Ethiopian coptic cross
  • Vintage Luke Razza ram pendant

Isn’t that a more interesting list? That was my list yesterday as I headed to Chicago’s Randolph Street Market. Usually I am not a “wee! buy all the thingssssss!” type blogger. Today’s post is more an example and a lesson about how it pays to know what you’re buying and what it’s worth at any point in time. Prices can rise when a vintage or imported item becomes more popular. If you’ve done your homework and you know something is a good value and you’ll love living with it, consider not passing it by. Especially if it’s a collectible that holds some value that you can re-sell later.

So, why these things? Two years ago I photographed a kuba cloth at Randolph Street Market that’s still stuck in my mind today. Most things I see, they’re forgotten the next second. You know when you feel so strongly you should get something? Just get it. I posted about that lost kuba cloth previously. Here it is:

Kuba Cloth

Nice, huh? Two years ago this was $75-85. Today they had kuba cloth which was very different, which I also loved, but it cost much more now and I didn’t bite. Here’s a bit of it – it was very long, repeating this pattern:

Kuba Cloth

I also didn’t get this because this pattern is really too strong to display in my home. It would likely stay folded up in a collection. Which is sad. These things should be seen and enjoyed and actually used. The mud cloth from a few years ago had a pattern that would have looked fantastic displayed in our house.

I did pick up a mud cloth with a pattern I really like. Here’s a glimpse of the pattern:

Mud Cloth

It might wind up as a throw over a futon in our basement, which is becoming a “man cave” media room with black, beige, metallic paints, and different patterns from around the world. There’s a chair that needs recovering and this would look fantastic on it, but I’m not sure I’ll have the heart to cut in to this.

The Ethiopian coptic crosses were a long shot. They’ve been on my want list for awhile. There’s a certain place where I want to set two. There are vendors at Randolph Street Market selling many global goods, so you never know what you’ll see. If you haven’t seen these Ethiopian coptic crosses before, they are these silver beauties here:

Fenton and Fenton Ethiopian Coptic Crosses

I believe that image was from Fenton and Fenton in Australia.

You can certainly find these coptic crosses online, but it’s always more fun to find something in person. Also I would think a well-made cross could hold value. I’d rather have that than yet another pair of sandals.

What’s a Razza ram? You ask? It’s this:

Razza Ram via Life In Travel blog

Photographed on Hanh of Life in Travel. The Ram is the sign of Aries and I’m an Aries, so this is why I like it. I wouldn’t blame you if you think it’s ugly. It’s not a gorgeous object. But styled up on Hanh, I see the potential. She has a knack for putting strong things together. See:

Razza Ram on Hanh of Life in Travel Blog

There was a Razza ram at Randolph Street Market a few years ago. That’s why I thought there’d be a chance one was there today. It was black and silver which I like even more than the beige and gold:

Razza Ram Seen at Randolph Street Market

But, I did not get and did not FORGET.

I spotted one beige and gold Razza ram this weekend. It was $325. The tag you see up above is tagged on the Razza ram’s chain. $125 two years ago. Still a bite but it is vintage and collectible and re-salable. You see them on eBay and Etsy selling for these prices.

My DIY stenciled market tote bag went along (and its DIY tassel which fell off and I nearly lost) and here’s what tumbled out of it at the end of the day:

Randolph Street Market Finds

It’s like my own little global goods cornucopia – things from the Congo, Bangladesh, Morocco, Indonesia, and good ol’ salvaged tin ceiling tiles from the USA. You’ll be seeing more of some of these … a few DIY and “half-DIY” projects coming up …


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