Saturday, July 11, 2009

Thoughts on Estate Sales and Some Great Finds

Estate Sales are interesting to me. Most often they take place after someone has died and the family is trying to get rid of everything to either pay bills or get the house ready to sell/rent. You get a glimpse of the persons life by looking at all their possesions. You wonder what kind of life they led. So many thoughts go through your mind. How did they die? How would they feel about so many people going through their things? Did they entertain a lot? Where they the type to stay home more than go out? Did they have family surrounding them or where they alone?

It feels a bit strange walking through a stranger's house, looking through their closets, wandering into their bedrooms, thinking to yourself "how can they have so much junk?", wondering if you will have this many things when you leave this world and hoping to find some great treasures at a wonderful price.

The first sale I went to was the home of a retired Math teacher. She had tons and tons of math textbooks, cookbooks, and random books. You could tell she enjoyed reading. She also had quite a lot of Victorian-style jewlrey, purses, glassware and furniture. She lived alone at the time of her death but she still had men's shoes in her closet--I'm assuming from her husband who probably passed away before her and she just couldn't bring herself to get rid of them. This is where I picked up my French cookbooks.

The second estate sale I went to was very popular. I was there about 10 minutes early and there was a line of people about 30 deep and some of them had been there for 3 hours already! The ad in the PennySaver said they had 1960's Danish furniture so I guess that was a hot ticket. When they started letting people in it was only 10 at a time and it was taking too long so I left and thought if there was something meant for me it will be there when I come back.

I stopped back a few hours lager, no line, no crowd. I got a feeling that these people really liked to entertain. The kitchen was full of bar ware. Wine glasses, port glasses, brandy glasses...And they had numerous dinnerware sets. Lots of tea cups and saucers. I found this adorable tea set waiting for me and for a great price! I couldn't resist and I realized as I was leaving that I picked up yet another vintage kitchen item in green...oh well just add it to my collection.

I got the set for $10 and it includes a tea/coffee pot, sugar bowl, creamer, 5 mugs, 2 pepper shakers, the top of a butter dish. And the orange napkin in the picture above and green/blue napkin below were $.50 each so that was a great deal too!


The last estate sale I found was the home of a man and wife who both enjoyed working with their hands. He could be found tinkering around with electronics and she would embroider or knit. While wandering through the rooms in another house I spotted this hanging lamp and was immediately drawn to it. I love the pattern and style and for only $5 how could I resist?
It needs to be refinished, maybe re-wired but it has great potential and I can't wait to see how it will look after! I have lots of color ideas but may have to wait to see where it will go before I decide what color it will be.



And then the China. They had an entire set of beautiful Noritake China but it was way out of my price range so I picked up a few bowls and serving platters for $25 instead. Great condition, no chips or damage anywhere!


All-in-all it was a pretty good day! Now I need to find room for these new treasures and maybe get rid of some of my own old things that I don't use!

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