Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Part 2 of The Estate Sale Saga

You may want to have a look at last week's post to see "episode 1" ~ estate sale-ing. 

A couple weekends ago, I went to one of those estate sales that are "memorable". These are the ones that stay stuck in my memory because of the sheer enormity of "goodies" found in the rooms of this home which someone has vacated. I discovered that the person who owned this home was an antiques dealer who did all the big shows - Rennniger's in PA and FL and the Brimfield Show in MA.

Sometimes the homes are vacated because the past owner has moved to a smaller abode, or into an assisted living situation, or perhaps, has passed away. Usually their heirs will take, as a remembrance, some of the treasures left behind. They, then, make arrangements to stage an estate sale by choosing a local company to manage their sale. The usual arrangements are: the managing company earns a certain and lesser percentage of the sale and the heirs, the remaining percentage. Oftentimes, whatever is left over at the end of the sale is donated to an organization like the Salvation Army or Goodwill but other times it goes to a second-hand store.

As I have mentioned before, there are some that have made a deep impression on my memory. This one was one of them. I was not even aware of the sale until day 2, at which point everything purchased was given a 30% discount. This sale was scheduled for a Thursday, Friday and Saturday (which is pretty common). When I found my way over there on Friday, there were still cars and trucks clogging the street, the house was still filled with shoppers and overflowing with "goodies". Trucks, because much of the case goods furniture is purchased by antique shops which descend upon a sale like this one with large moving van trucks to transport chests, bureaus, mirrors, tables, chairs, etc. to their shops. This is a good thing for me, because they create space in the house so I can actually see the things I want to upend without having lots of large furniture blocking my view.

The house was a ranch style - so just one story plus basement (which is where I discovered the wringer washer in last week's post). When I arrive at a sale, I usually head directly to wherever I think the linens might be. Sometimes I have to ask where they are. Usually, I find them in a bedroom or linen closet. Not so in this house. I entered through the living room. Next were all the bedrooms - no linens. Then the kitchen and dining area. Still no linens. Passing through the kitchen, I see the basement stairs (which I'll descend later) and a sun room next to it (and behind the garage), one step down from the kitchen. In the sunroom is where all the linens were. And, oh!, what a treasure trove.♥♥♥

I found lots and lots of hand crocheted doilies, pillowcases with hand crocheted trim, new Irish linen hankies with tatted and crocheted edgings. And several of the most unusual and beautiful bed sheets I've ever seen. The sheets are the finest cotton but the crowning glory of these sheets are the top hems. All manner of skilled needlework embellishing the hems. 

I have already laundered them and dried them outdoors on the clothesline. I will attempt to sell them as is. They are in pristine condition. 

One item, which I thought was a sheet but is a tablecloth (so you can imagine how big it is) does have some damage which I discovered when I laundered it. It had some rust spots which I treated successfully but I did notice a teeny tiny hole in it. I don't know if this is a result of my laundering or if I bought it like that. Therefore, this piece will be used to refashion into something else. This piece of linen has a gorgeous, deep crocheted edge all around the four sides. It has other needlework in the middle - cutwork and embroidery, all white on white. 

This is one issue with estate sales - usually the lighting is not the greatest and space is at a premium. It is very difficult to stretch out a sheet or quilt to see what the condition is in a cramped, dark space and with other shoppers breathing down your neck waiting for you to put the item down.  

I did purchase a couple other things besides the linen. A couple antique books, postcards, an antique knitting bag and crocheted collars. All I did for the collars is launder them, then take pictures of them with a strapless top, making a new use for them as neck "jewelry" rather than the demure, little accessory they were, at first, intended to be. 

I'm still reveling in the warm, fuzzy feelings I get from my good fortune of falling upon such a huge bonanza. And to top it all off, I went back again on Saturday and the discount was 50% ♥ 


  1. Sounds like a lot of fun! My personal weakness is old books. I love the feel and the smell...doesn't matter the topic!

  2. Love those sales! I find estate sales have higher prices but there are goodies to be had if you dig enough! Going to the Advent House sale this Friday....a great sale in our area.

  3. What a fun adventure. I happened upon a estate sale once and bought a old Bible with birth records and inside an old church bulletin from Christmas day 1899.

  4. You answered all of the questions I thought of when reading your last post. :) I love vintage linens, too...those sheets are gorgeous...but old books are my absolute favorite.

  5. Wow you got some lovely items! Looking forward to seeing what you make with the re-purposed ones. Blessings Niki x