Sunday, April 13, 2014

Estate Sale Weekend #3

Last weekend was pretty rough. I didn't find anything, really. Just walked away with some furry wood knob Viking dolls.
Which are cool, don't get me wrong, but vaguely disappointing.
This weekend, however, was much better and there was certainly a lot more to be found.

Friday started off pretty bad, but at the last sale I found this coat in a closet next to the front door. I originally walked right past it, as coats are not usually my bag, but spotted a fur collar out of the corner of my eye. I back-tracked and took a peek at the label.

So that was a nice surprise! I also found a great Catalina jacquard sweater in another closet. There were some pretty vintage Hawaiian dresses, but they were in very rough shape and the estate sale company still wanted my first born child for them, so I had to pass them up. My mother got lots of vintage fabric and patterns, too.

Also, in a strange act of "it's a small world after all", we ran into the son of The Shop Lady at that sale! So weird!

On Saturday, at a sale of an artist and sculptor, we found a bunch of great jewelry and jewelry-making findings, beads, etc (which will be in my mother's shop). There were some great art deco, art nouveau pieces mixed in with the bunch, like a repousse locket, lion-head bracelet, and etruscan buckle cuff.

That's just how garage-saling/estate-saling (are these still not words? I need to write Webster and figure this out...) work sometimes. One weekend will be horrible and the next will be great. It's such a random thing a majority of the time, whether you get anything or not. It's all timing and dumb luck.
Especially when it comes to vintage clothing.
There aren't 1920s flapper dresses (in my eight years of doing this, I've sadly never seen one of these), 50s ball gowns, or 40s novelty prints waiting in every closet at every sale. 
They're like grapes: they come in bunches.
Every time I've gotten vintage clothing it has happened in large groups and occurred maybe once or twice a year. My shop's stock is 4 years worth of garage/estate sales! Single pieces pop up every now and then, but the truly great sales need special circumstances.

1. Women who liked to shop.
2. Women who saved their clothes.

And the most important factor of all...

3. Women who properly stored their clothes.

But these special sales are what keep me going. The bad weekends are outweighed by the thought that maybe that next weekend or the next sale will be special. That the next house will be stuffed to the brim with amazing pieces. Maybe one day I'll find that 1920s beaded dress or that Ceil Chapman ball gown. Maybe I'll find that reverse carved fish bakelite bangle that haunts my dreams or a whole closet filled with 40s rayon. 

When you love things like these, you keep trying to find them.

It's the rarity and the history that make vintage things worth the effort.



  1. Holy cow, look at that collection of jewelry and jewelry-makings! Fantastic!

    And I absolutely agree with you: it's the thrill of the hunt that keeps you going to estate sales and vintage shops and antique stores and all those awesome places. You may come out completely empty-handed... or you may find the one thing you've always been looking for. It's always exciting! Even if I don't find something awesome, I love taking in all that history.


  2. Goodness, this is so true! The problem with me is that I can never spend a lot of money at one time, so I usually have to buy just a few pieces and leave the rest, even though I want to buy everything there because I know I'll never find anything like it again. As you said, the good hauls make the disappointing trips worth it!
    That red coat is a stunner though! I'm glad it caught your eye because it is amazing!

  3. oh my gosh, i literally GASPED at those two coats you found- what absolute beauties! thank god you caught site of that fur color at the last moment, that'd be such a loss if you walked away without it.

    xo marlen
    Messages on a Napkin