Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Stocking the Shop: Estate Sale

Heidi and I hopped in the van and headed down Hwy 49 to Auburn, for a meeting with a collector. She had a hand-painted antique Chinese rice winnower for sale. We negotiated price but weren't able to find a common ground. We ended on a positive note, snagging a few smaller items for the shop, and promising to stay in touch.
19th Century Rice Winnower
On the way home we saw the small, handwritten sign: "ESTATE SALE." Weeds sprouted alongside the driveway of the luxurious yet unkempt home, and an untended spring garden overflowed the rock walls. The elderly lady had moved in with family, and her daughter (herself getting on in years) was running the show: "It all has to go! Mom was a collector. It always drove me crazy."

This is going to take a while to list! 

Our eyes popped as we scanned room after room of vintage & antique dishes, glassware, jewelry, clothing, uniforms, furs, games, collectibles, handbags, gadgets, tools, shoes and furniture. Within minutes our arms were full.

Small Collection of Steiff Handmade Animals

"Where can we put this?" She reserved an armchair for us, which quickly disappeared under a mountain of treasure. She had several elderly girlfriends helping her run the sale. After close to two hours of gaping, and trooping back and forth to our armchair, we were ready to check out.

Whole Set of Metlox Aztec Pottery!

One of the lady helpers was irritated and conflicted: she was annoyed by having to package so many items! At the same time, she was happy that we were buying so many items. It was funny to watch her face as she struggled with her feelings.

Treasures we kept for ourselves! 
On the way home the van had an air of celebration. Of course we picked up a few things for ourselves: an antique ivory bangle for Suuzi, a ceramic Venus de Milo for Heidi, an antique fountain pen ink case for Heidi's husband, a cast iron enamel pot for the kitchen and a hand-painted serving platter for Kelly, who cheerfully stayed behind with Heidi's kids at home! Sorry Kelly. We'll take you next time!