|German tea set|
Yesterday we took a joy ride. Having been pretty sick and housebound all week, I was feeling quite a lot better, so I checked estatesales.net to see what was going on in our area. I found one sale that had incredible stuff, but it looked like an antiques shop, not someone's house. Curious -- so we decided to go.
|Assorted silver and cut crystal|
Thank God for Steve Jobs and his iPhone! We would NEVER have found this place without it. The sale was listed as being Montevallo, which is a little college town outside of Birmingham, and is, in fact, where my late cousin with the pretty red and white kitchen you all loved, lived for the last 30 or 35 years of her life. However, I had no earthly idea of all the isolated rural areas around there, having just always thought of it as that nice little college town south of Birmingham.
Let me tell you, there are some very remote areas around here when you get outta town! Once out of Montevallo, we saw mostly mobile homes, many of them dilapidated, their yards covered up in junk, on these roads where one county road turned off the next and the next and the one after that. An alternate route (which turned out to be a red dirt road!) was shown on the phone, which I was very glad we didn't take, although we did see where it came back into one of the "main" roads on the way home. I think we might have needed an ATV for that one!
|Wouldn't these be fabulous with the frames painted bright red, green, blue, yellow, turquoise -- any very bright color in a high gloss?|
|Really pretty little birds-eye maple chest|
|Gorgeous carved Chippendale style mirror|
|Aren't these little guys cute?|
I was tempted, but I kept my eyes on the prize!
|This Baker secretary was a dream!|
We passed several Fall Festivals with crudely hand-lettered signs at tiny country churches and schools, little kids in their Halloween costumes lined up for various activities. Many people along the way were having yard sales, but they weren't anything I would have stopped for. What struck me most was that the whole area looked like the folks who lived there had just given up on life.
|Those fuchsia plates - divine!|
|This gorgeous LaBarge mirror almost gave me cardiac arrest --|
lust, craving, all those wanton things!
When at last we made the turnoff which the iPhone indicated was our destination, eventually we saw a couple of nicer doublewides down a graveled lane, one with a sign indicating that it was for sale by owner, but no one was about. Was this it? Uncertain, we started to u-turn it, but then I saw a very small sign that said "Garage Sale" up ahead at a curve in the lane that went up and over a hill. Gamely, we kept on going, telling each other, "This is quite an adventure!"
|This was one of the pieces I had on my list to see. It was VERY large --|
and very gorgeous! 19th C. French.
A vista with a lake, a big house, some outbuildings and an antiques STORE(!) spread out before our eyes as if unfolding on an HD widescreen, all of it wooded and hilly, very, very pretty. All the broken down trailers and shacks and downtrodden looking people we had passed on the way for the last 45 minutes gave no indication that we were going to arrive at this!
|loved this mirror!|
I had looked at the photos on the web-site the day before, and I saw all these fine things you have been looking at, plus many, many more. I was pretty sure we were being lured into some kind of a trap, or maybe it was a joke, but just possibly, it was really there? When I finally saw the place, I had to laugh at the absolute absurdity of it all. Were we in a Fellini movie?
We parked and went in, and there were two women, both with "Yankee" accents, obviously not from the South, and they informed me that "he was wheeling and dealing -- make any reasonable offer." I wondered who he was, and after we had been there a while, he eventually turned up and reiterated that deals were indeed possible. The man was absolutely enormous, and he sounded like a Yankee, too. I thought, could this get any weirder?
|Isn't this Havilland Limoges chocolate set sweet?|
All three were very nice and chatty. Several other couples drifted in and quickly out, evidently finding the inventory too rich for their pocketbooks or taste. We continued to study the wares. I had immediately zeroed in on several items I was interested in to begin with, the reason for seeking out the sale, but I played it cool. I knew I would not pay the ticketed price on any of it, so I was going to see if and how much he would deal, sooner or later.
|marble top French plant stand|
|signed original Louis Icart pencil etching from the 1920s|
I found out that he is indeed a dealer, has exhibited for years at the Scott's Antique Market near Atlanta once a month, and he is going to do maybe one more show there, and then consign his remaining inventory to a big antiques store in Mobile. So if you are down that way, keep your eyes peeled!
We got down to business, and I made a deal which was agreeable to both of us. I bought this 19th Century English Mappin & Webb silver meat dome and platter. I have wanted one for a long time, but never have run across one that suited me. They were always too large, too expensive or too damaged. This one was just right! I figured it had been waiting for me all along -- I just had no idea the process of finding it was going to be so interesting.
If you are interested in contacting this dealer about any of these items (except for what I bought of course), I might be able to locate his phone number for you.