Treasure hunting with others in tow can be fun, but you probably shouldn't go with people who are looking for the same things you are - that could get ugly. My hunting partner is often my husband and he goes with his own mental "list". I do have him trained to spot feedsacks and buttons though. If he wanders ahead, he comes back frequently to alert me about booths of interest ahead. And I keep an eye out for things of interest to him. Like the Chinese enamel dishes he collects. For our trip last weekend the interest was old dominoes.
It started with an entire box of them for $3 at an outdoor flea market located in the park adjacent to the indoor flea market. Then he found two full sets in their original long boxes, including one with colored dots. I know what you're thinking—what's so special about dominoes? Just look at how cool the designs on the backs are! Could that be the Greek goddess Artemis surrounded by a border of little flowers? Scroll designs are always pretty and the dominoes in the mixed box have scrolls on the fronts and the backs. The ones in the long box have Empire State Buildings on theirs.
Dominoes are sometimes called "bones" because the earliest ones were made from animal bone. The most sought-after and rare are made from ivory inlaid with ebony—since 1989 it's illegal to produce dominoes (or anything else) from real ivory. You can also find them in vegetable ivory (from the Tagua nut), bakelite (1907-1950s), wood, plastic, or even thick cardboard. Dominoes are generally either white with black dots or dark with white dots. The colored sets, with one color per suit, make it easier to find matches—just connect the colors. Here's a little history and more information about dominoes if you're interested.
This sudden interest in dominoes doesn't come as a complete surprise. It really started two years ago with the purchase of this domino-covered box at a New Hope, PA antique store. Isn't it cool? I've seen boxes covered with seashells before, and ones with matchsticks, but never one with dominoes. Because of their small size, the artist (this is definitely handmade) was able to fit a lot onto the box. And the stacked dominoes to create a handle—so clever!
So, when we get tired of playing with our dominoes there are a few boxes around here that would look great covered with them :)