Saturday, February 23, 2013

Estate Sale Adventure - A House Worth Seeing

Mr KV was out of town yesterday & today, so this morning I got a chance to drive down to Ann Arbor and go to a couple of estate sales there.  Both of them looked like they had things I would like -- it's always so hard to choose which one to go to first.  It's a little like line-jumping at the grocery store:  the one you choose always seems to go slower than the other ones.

Anyway, I chose a family-run sale at a mid-century house.  The family was really nice and friendly and they just wanted the stuff to go away, so they were willing to make deals -- I always like that!  There were some they held firm on (which is only fair), but they were nice about it and not crabby.

I was number 12 in line and we all got right in.  I got some of the things I wanted, but not all.  I saw a great turquoise speckled melmac butter dish go away right in front of me -- I was so sad!  the same lady also go a couple of orphaned round Pyrex casserole lids (I always look for those) and 1960s gravel picture, similar in technique to these:
I remember making these with my mom -- it was so much fun to do!  We just didn't realize that someday those would be collectibles!

I got this great step chair, though:  it's in very good condition, with just one worn corner.
A great mid-century step chair -- it might have to live in my studio!
I also got these little goodies there:
7 Little Golden Books and a 'Let's Go to a National Park' book from the 1960s
Two quilted satin lingerie or jewelry drawer organizers
A Christmas box full of wooden spools and some other sewing stuff
I really like this clear vinyl clutch!  It has gold speckles and gold leaves, as well as being laced with  gold thread.  This is truly kitschy!
 I don't know if any of you are old enough to remember these:  sleeves to go over glasses to keep them from sweating.  I remember drinking grape kool-ade in the summer out of colored aluminum glasses and it was always a big deal to pick out the cup color and the sleeve color to go over it.  These are brand new, unused, still in the box!
Hi-Jac sleeves for drinking glasses
My next stop was only a mile & a half away, but it could have been on another planet!  The first sale was in a regular 1950s-60s orange brick ranch house -- a lot like all the other houses on the street, in a regular post-war subdivision.  The second house was a National Historical Registry home , built in 1915.  The entire street was one huge, big-money house after another (a far cry from the subdivision).  This house had 3 stories and servants' quarters, complete with back stairs to the kitchen.  There were 6 bedrooms, an elevator, beautifully tiled vintage bathrooms and even a darkroom in the basement -- the whole house was just magnificent!  Even if I hadn't found anything to buy, it would have been worth the stop just to look at it.

It was hard to take pictures because there were so many people there but I took a couple, and I hope you won't mind looking at them.  Unfortunately, the major rooms (the solarium -- yes, there was a solarium off the living room and below the second-floor porch -- living room and dining room) were all too crowded to get any pictures...
A wonderful 50s turquoise stove in the kitchen
Even the basement bathroom had character -- a TINY corner sink and frosted window out to the rest of the basement.  The floor was great vintage black and white tiles  
Don't get dizzy -- this is the shot up the central staircase (three stories)  All of the woodwork was original and had never been painted.  
What a beautiful house it was!
 Back to the shopping...
I got a few little things there to start with.

When I got to the third floor, I found this suitcase (below).  It has LOTs of international stickers from all the trips it had been on.  How exciting!  The estate sale listing said that the couple who owned the house were world travelers, and it was obvious by looking at this suitcase.  The inside is in great condition, too.  AND it was really inexpensive -- even better!

The great buy of the day (or perhaps the month!) was this picture (below).  It's hard to get a good image of it, because of the glass and reflections.  That's my kitchen chair it's on, so you can see how big it is.  It's a 3-picture (old sepia-tone) panoramic view of Jerusalem.  It's in a great old frame, though the frame has some damage.  I couldn't believe how cheap it was (only $5) and that no one had snapped it up.
Are you able to see the divisions of the three photographs?
Here's another view
This is the caption -- written in old -style with white pen
This picture is so wonderful!  When I took it to the check-out, the lady (who owns the estate-sale company and does most of the pricing herself) did a literal double- and triple-take.  She couldn't believe that she'd really priced it at $5 -- I was afraid she was going to raise the price on me, but she didn't.  She just kept shaking her head and muttering about 'missing that one' and 'I don't believe it'.  Lucky me!

Now the hard part is figuring out A) how old it is, B) how to go about selling it and C) how to price it.  Not a bad problem to have, at all!

I hope you had great shopping and that you've found lots of treasures this weekend, too!


Zootsuitmama said...

Wow! Lots of great stuff! Love the gravel pix and the turquoise stove the best!

PoetessWug said...

As usual, great finds!!

bethany said...

I hope you post again what you learn about the Jerusalem picture. What a cool find!

~Damita's Pretty Wrap~ said...

Oh what fun goodies!! And a beautiful house! :) Happy new week! xx Holly

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