Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Call It Junk Or "Chazarai": Quirky Collectibles Sell In Antique Malls

Making A Living Selling Quirky "Chazarai" In An Antique Mall

Selling quirky "chazarai" is how many antique dealers make their "bread and butter" while they are waiting for the big ticket items to move.
What is Chazarai?
What on earth is chazarai you ask? Well let me try to help you understand this Yiddish word. Derived from the Hebrew word khazer "pig" , chazarai is literally 'piggery' or understood more commonly as junk, garbage, junk food. But like other words translated from one language to another... the meaning may not be as harsh as the actual interpretation. For example "chazarai' is often used in the same way as another Yiddish word, "tchotchke" which refers to trinkets or knick knacks.

Running Out of Room For Chazarai (STUFF).

My dad would always be cleaning out his garage and he would be heard saying, I am running out of room for all this 'chazarai". We might say we are running out of room for all our "stuff". His mother, my grandmother, liked to collect everyone's "chazarai" and give these hand me downs a new life.

Collinsville Antiques Company Has Plenty of Colorful Dealers

In a big Antique Mall such as The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT you will find high end antiques as well as a real variety of sellers who all seem to have their own style and collecting interests. While some dealers like to stick to a particular theme or time period, others are generalists who dabble in this and that and do very well with a little bit of everything.

Meet Lance: The King Of Knick Knacks

Lance, a seasoned seller at The Collinsville Antiques Company seems to have a knack for knick knacks. Don't get me wrong he does indeed have some very important treasures in his super sized antique booth, but odds and ends appears to be his forte. Lance is by far what I would call the King of 'chazarai'. And he does quite well selling his menagerie of both peculiar as well as charming "collectibles".

I Love Booths You Can Poke Around In

I always have a good time poking around in cluttered booths. Even though one could make the case that for many dealers they seem to buy anything and everything to re-sell. There is indeed an overall theme going on in their displays. Many dealers simply specialize in "STUFF" which is offbeat, funky, quirky. They are the mavens of 'chazarai'!

Chazarai (Yiddish, חזירײַ khazerai 'filth' or, perhaps more literally, 'piggery', from חזיר khazer 'pig' from Hebrew חַזִיר "chazeer", pig) – junk, garbage, junk food.

The Cute Quirky Photos Are Courtesy of http://www.etsy.com/shop/RetroRevival

The Wierd Quirky Chalkware "Tchotchke" is From Lance's Collection At The Collinsville Antiques Company Of New Hartford CT

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of Iantiqueonline.com an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro café.To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at dianne@cdiannezweig.comVisit my website, CDianneZweig.comDianne is a member of:The American Society of Journalists and AuthorsThe Authors Guild, Inc.


  1. What fun! I never heard that term before, but I'm going to use it from now on!!

    Susan and Bentley

  2. Something in me loves the "so ugly, it's cute!" stuff. Although I don't display it in my house, I have that fondness for it. Before my youngest son was married, he would put some of it in his apartment...I loved feeding his quirky side. When I had a booth space, one of my friend's there and I had a running contest to see who could find the most bizarre item. I reigned as winner for a while with an oil lamp encrusted with old jewelry, cracker-jack prizes, and beads. What fun!!

  3. love learning these new terms! my favorite items to gather :)

  4. Aren't those roosters Holt Howard? In any case, I have to admit that I love them! PS....never have heard that term before. Live and learn!