The Best Websites You've (Probably) Never Heard Of

Our favorite under-the-radar resources for everything from enameled lockets and retro bikes to brass candelabras and designer sunglasses.

1st in Games

Click here for the most fun, amazingly comprehensive—and nostalgia-inducing—stockpile of vintage board games on the Web. The offerings, culled over the past decade by an Arizona-based husband and wife, range from classics like Clue to more obscure titles, including the '70s-era Los Angeles Scene (where players compete to become a union leader, a politician, or a producer) or Challenge the IRS (the goal: avoid paying taxes).
1stingames.com

Blurb

With the same appeal as the hugely popular PhotoStamps—those U.S. Postal Service–authorized stamps that you can customize with your own pics—Blurb is due to be the next big trend in personalization: It allows you to make a linen-bound, professional-quality book for next to nothing. Upload the free software, import your images, play with layouts, and create a bespoke volume; the end result is ready in about a week and looks as sleek as anything you'd pull off a Barnes & Noble shelf. Prices start at just $12.95—and there's no minimum per order.
blurb.com

Circa Lighting

Popular among interior designers but largely unknown to those outside the industry, this Savannah, Georgia–based lighting resource turns out stunning, high-quality reproduction fixtures. Its more than 500 period-specific styles all have a sense of old-fashioned glamour, from gorgeously weighty brass longshoreman-style lanterns to weathered mirrored Mexican star pendants and cut-crystal art deco table lamps.
circalighting.com

Curiosity Shoppe Online

A little over a year old, this engaging site is dedicated to offbeat gifts with a retro-rustic charm. Its folksy-looking home page groups together items under an inspired theme; at press time, it focused on the great outdoors. For example: dessert plates featuring classic camping imagery (a pup tent, a roaring fire), a teensy bronze hedgehog necklace, knot-tying and learn-to-whittle kits, and a gouache portrait of a coonskin-capped pioneer.
curiosityshoppeonline.com

Day-Lab

Flush with affordable accessories—it's common to find items for under $5—this Baton Rouge, Louisiana–based site is a particularly good source for never-worn vintage jewelry. The selection of monogram pieces is standout: Silver filigree pins, bitsy heart-shaped rings, and chunky carved-Lucite pendants come in an alphabet's worth of initials—and there's even a selection of enameled necklaces, many bearing popular-in-the-'70s names (like Marcia, Jodi, and Leslie). Don't miss Day Lab's new alter ego, night-lab.com, which specializes in unusual items for guys, such as old heraldic crest pins and tees silk-screened with images of clipper ships.
day-lab.com

Erie Basin

We're diehard fans of this achingly well-curated Brooklyn jewelry boutique and regularly navigate to its online outpost. As with its bricks-and-mortar shop, the site focuses on exquisite estate and modern-day pieces with a goth-Victoriana influence, from thin-as-a-thread stackable Philip Crangi rings and Scott Stephen tartan-bead strands to pressed horn bracelets and necklaces made from patched-together pocket-watch chains.
eriebasin.com

Foundation for Contemporary Arts

This 45-year-old nonprofit arts organization recently put its vast library of for‑sale prints, photographs, and posters online. There's an impressive inventory of works by well-known names for surprisingly low sums—perfect for the burgeoning collector who wants to get her hands on a Robert Rauschenberg lithograph, a Kiki Smith woodcut, or a signed Matthew Barney exhibition poster.
foundationforcontemporaryarts.org

Hi and Lo Modern

One of the most common frustrations of shopping for antique decor on the Web is the lack of clear photos. Grainy, thumbnail-size shots don't cut it when you're trying to figure out exactly what color that Russel Wright pitcher is or whether those cork table lamps are cool or scary. But at Hi + Lo, it's information overload: Every desirable, clearly depicted item can be viewed at nearly full-page size, which makes it easy to shop with confidence.
hiandlomodern.com

Jbox

This San Diego-based Japanese tchotchke importer is thoroughly engrossing: It has thousands of largely functionless yet somehow completely essential trifles, from ninja-sword-shaped earwax extractors to key chains that play the arrival chimes of bullet trains. Jbox is also an expert resource for all those oddities you hear rumors of but can't believe actually exist, like Hello Kitty pollution masks and adhesive leg spray to keep kneesocks in place.
jbox.com

Little Paper Planes

Kick-started by Kelly Lynn Jones, a painter living in Los Angeles' hip Silver Lake neighborhood, Little Paper Planes feels like an e-commerce-enabled virtual zine. It promotes the work of other young emerging creative types, and Jones puts nearly as much energy into providing insightful Q-and-A's with her stable of 150 talents as she does in stocking an esoteric range of accessories and artwork, which includes silk-screened totes and charm-flecked chain headbands.
littlepaperplanes.com
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