Friday, March 30, 2012

Estate Sales Aren't for Sissies

Okay, so it's Friday and I realized I haven't posted since Monday. Busy. Life. What can I say? Since I hit an estate sale this morning, I thought I would do a sort of an "anatomy of an estate sale" type post. Although, I realize a lot of you are estate sale veterans, others are not. My number one tip: preview  estate sale photos online if you can - you can find some gems. Well, while perusing the sale photos for one of today's sales, I spotted this . . .
Oh, yes, I see you little Espana Chest. So, of course, I immediately thought this piece might look great in a client project I'm working on. After checking in with her, it was agreed - I should go check out the chest. So, this morning I put my husband in charge of getting our kids to the bus stop and darted out the door at 7:45 to hit this 8 a.m. estate sale (just for the record, I prefer 9 a.m. estate sales, but no one asked my opinion). When I pulled up at 8:07 I found the street was totally packed with cars and had to park at the bottom of a very large hill.
This was taken after I left looking down the huge hill. I was too busy trying to get to the sale and not pass out on the way up to take a photo.  I trudged on knowing there was gold (well, a chest) in them thar hills.
Once again, this was at the top of the very steep driveway looking down.
And here is the house that hasn't been touched since the 70's. Seriously.
So, once I arrived at the house at the top, I desperately needed some oxygen and a nap (I'm not big on exercise if you hadn't guessed), but knew I had to press on. I think you can guess what happened next -  I squeezed my way into what I'm guessing was the living room to find this on the Dorothy Draper Espana chest . . . 
Yes, foiled again. Being the nosy person I am, I peeled back the "Sold" sticker to see that it was only $60. Bummer.
But, I did notice the bottom of the piece had some water damage, and I'm not convinced it was an authentic Drexel/Dorothy Draper piece since I could find no markings. That's what I'm telling myself anyway. 

Since I had trekked up two steep hills to get there, I figured I might as well poke around. This house was in a serious time warp. To prove my point, here is a TIME magazine celebrating our country's centennial . . . 
This house also reeked of cat urine and looked as if it hadn't been cleaned in years (maybe since the 70's). Think hoarders. That's why I said estate sales are not for sissies.

But, don't worry, I didn't leave empty-handed. I picked up this lamp for $20 and the black shade for $2 (they didn't come together). I just need to get a shorter harp and I think it will work just fine.

As you may have noticed, I have a bit of an addiction to vintage lamps. I realized today that all eight lamps in our main living areas are vintage. 

I'm now in Memphis for a few days visiting family during my children's spring break (I started this post in Nashville, but finishing it in Memphis), so hopefully I can hit some thrift stores or estate sales while I'm here. Hope everyone has a great weekend!
 

8 comments:

Karena said...

Kathy all of the sales will be starting around town now. good tips, just sorry you didn't get the chest; I love your lamp though!

Please come visit to enter my amazing Cross Bottle Giveaway!

xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

nkp said...

I could have written this post. Been there, done that. I especially like the "mind games" you play with yourself...it's damaged, not the real deal...'cause I totally do that too! I just lost out on perhaps the score of a lifetime in the estate sale game. I'm still trying to swallow that bitter pill a week later. Next time you're in town we shall commiserate over coffee, or, better yet, wine!

Have a wonderful break and take pics of your thrift store adventures along the way!

xx-n.

Ashley said...

$60? Well, if you had been the one walking away with the chest, do you think you would have been upset with the water damage and/or questioned the piece's provenance? I think this just means an authentic DD chest in near-perfect condition IS in your future.

BTW, I do thing you won with that lamp...how great is that?

A Flair for Vintage Decor said...

Ha-I was there at 8:03 am (3 minutes after it opened) and that chest was already sold...and the person who bought it was no where in sight! I also noted the water damage-- made me feel better:) That hill was crazy steep! Take care, Caroline

Chateau À Gogo said...

Oh well, it was not meant to be. At least it was an adventure.

SHERRY HART said...

Geez...glad I did not drive from Atlanta and see that sold sticker....might have hurt someone! Got a great lamp though.....

Melissa Crochet said...

Sorry about the chest but the story is great!

Emily | Recently said...

Believe it or not I've only been to one estate sale in my life! I've been getting myself psyched up to try one soon though. Let's hope it's less hoarder-like than that one! I'm in love with that lamp. You know I have similar lamp addiction!