1.30.2010

Estate sale finds




This morning before helping Twila Jean move from one house to another, my grandma and I went to an estate sale held at a community center. The paper said the sale started at 9:00 so we got there early, but apparently they listed the sale on Craigslist as starting at 8:00, and had to open doors then. And while there were still some really good items remaining, the clothing rack only had a few late 60s dresses left, and since most of the other items were from the 20s to the 50s I just know there must have been some great feedsack dresses or nylon blouses someone grabbed. Sigh.
I did buy some really pretty things though, three aprons for my shop, and for me three 40s cotton kerchiefs, a big collar, 1915 and 1916 books on sewing and embroidery, the coolest address book ever, a plastic bead necklace, cat eye glasses, and an orange bakelite bangle. I was really excited to find the bangle, since it was only $1! So far I've found four bakelite bangles at estate sales for practically nothing thanks to people throwing them in boxes of junky jewelry and assuming they're just cheap plastic. You can tell if a plastic is bakelite if you press it against your clothes and rub it for a few seconds, and it has a chemical smell or the rubbed part feels warm. Some people always look at me funny when I walk around smelling jewelry ;)
I really want to be more educated about bakelite, so if anyone recommends any books or websites to check out, let me know!

There was a bittersweet aspect to the sale, which was that the woman who passed away wrote little notes and attached them to things, such as "I sewed this in 1942, with linen my friend Ethel brought back from France. I had to press it often especially when it got wet." All sorts of notes in beautiful cursive on yellowed paper. It was a vintage lovers dream, because it gave dates and history. Nothing I bought had a note, but I wish I had bought something with one just for that reason! It was so sweet, I wish they had pictures of her!

30 comments:

art*deco*dame said...

the rub test is always good for bakelite but do invest in some SimiChrome for guaranteed results.Cute finds!

Solanah said...

Thanks I will!

art*deco*dame said...

it wont hurt your bakelite and its also great for polishing not only your metals but other costume jewelery.Its a tad pricey as far as cleaners go but a lil dab will do ya and it last forever.

oh and dont worry I get the same weird stares cause Im constantly at flea markets rubbing and smelling jewelry and kitchen utensils,haha!If they only knew...

Sirens Sexy said...

I would have loved to have been there and read all the little notes!

That foxy lil lady obviously cherished her belongings, and I hope everyone who bought something will enjoy them as well, and pass the story down of course!

I hope that when I get older, and I know the end is approaching that I have enough marbles left to do something similar :)

Amanda said...

I have an apron just like that pink one that my great aunt made, and they hold up super well. I'll have to did it out of storage

slovly said...

That address book is so adorable! Looks like you had a fun day.

katrina said...

fantastic finds, Solanah.

the notes on some of those items are so endearing...

Brook said...

oh my gosh... the notes... that almost made me cry... those glasses are amazing!!! I need to get some so bad!!!

Screen Siren said...

wow, that address book is amazing! i miss those, everyone has cell phone and e-mail now!

Samurai Mom said...

Must start shopping estate sales! Silly me busy taking care of my kids and getting the house ready to sell. To think all that stuff was for sale in my town and I missed it!

Ruby said...

those glasses are a-mazing!

Betty Lou said...

oh my that adress book is awesome!

sinnlighet said...

My God what a great blog, I want to make a Swedish footsteps behind me.
Hope it's ok that I add you to my 'love love love' list!!

Agneta, Sweden

COCAMIA said...

Such priceless finds! Love it!

Jenn said...

Gorgeous goodies! Enjoy!

thephantommuseum said...

mm, i love those glasses!
best regards!

Fabiola "Fab" said...

Lovely Finds indeed! I love aprons! I have a similar one but in red gingham with crochet beads and voile fabric. Ok looks like I'm going to post about my aprons someday.

xoxo

feathergirl said...

I love that she left those notes!

forrestina vintage said...

What a great sale and finds!

Karen said...

Great finds!!

Lara Anna-Louisa said...

This is lovely x

Miss_Tami_Lee said...

There is something so bittersweet about estate sales. Everytime I go to one I can't help but feel weird that all the cheap treasures are just there because their owner died :/

ASB said...

That turquoise address book is simply fabulous ~ It looks brand new! Great finds.

Casey said...

Oh wow--what great finds! :) I just went to my first estate sale this past weekend, and am definitely hooked. ;) I'm drooling over those Women's Institute booklets you found--aren't they the neatest?!

Thanks for the tip about the Bakelite identification. I've often wondered how to know on the fly whether it's the real deal on not...

♥ Casey
blog | elegantmusings.com

Avalon76 said...

I love the red bead necklace, but the address book is absolutely fantastic! ^_^

Darla: Retro Ways said...

Such a lovely story, I love finding hand written dates and notes on vintage things.


♥Darla

Those glasses are so adorable. swoon

Fine Estate Sales said...

There are so many layers of identity attached to so many of the things you can find at an estate sale...and sometimes it's made explicit with an attached note, while at other times the story of the person for whom the estate sales is being conducted is made up by the shopper...

This is the beauty of shopping for and buying vintage or antique items at an estate sale, that you can get closer to the truth of who the person was, and be enliven by the experience...

Thanks

Martin

kanishk said...

Its a tad pricey as far as cleaners go but a lil dab will do ya and it last forever.

Work From Home

Kate said...

i actually just did a little bit about bakelite on my blog (http://thestoryofkat.blogspot.com/) as i'm trying to identify some buttons i found recently. there are several types of vintage plastics which all get called bakelite..it can be so confusing! i used to work in an antique store though and this is a good website with lots of good information about vintage plastics, how to identify them, and care for them:
http://www.coololdgames.com/plastics.html

p.s. love your blog!

Starr Crow said...

well you still made some really great finds! i love a good sale, but the early morning competition really makes me anxious. I hate to here that you came in late!