Monday, October 7, 2013


An ordinary phone call.  The caller has an antique Victrola.  She attended our last sale and saw one sell for good money, so we booked an appointment.  As I pulled into the unpaved drive and came upon the beautiful lakeside home, my optimism began to soar.  I hopped out of the Jeep and sampled the air, a perfect 72 Degree Indian Summer's day.

I was greeted by a smiling woman, who thanked me for coming.  She explained that she was downsizing and was ready to sell some of her things.  As we walked through her home, I quickly realized that she had been a collector for many years, with a keen eye for the interesting, eclectic and unusual.  She explained that she was a veteran of countless auctions and estate sales over the years and simply bought things which spoke to her.

We began our tour in the kitchen, which was full of vintage gear, including a working 1920's "Sunbeam" mixer, with original bowl and a beautiful porcelain scale.  A stack of yellow ware mixing bowls and a super tin lot made our list.  Around the corner I spied a simply amazing turn of the century flip top Physician's cabinet, with black glass top.  This piece was in beautiful original condition, with a gold manufacturers label.  I just love a collection like this. The objects seem unrelated, except for the cool factor!

As we continued our progress, the collection began to show another common thread.  Most of these pieces were from the first three decades of the twentieth century, an epic period of American design and ingenuity.  In the basement an iconic example greeted us, an early Barber's chair.  I love this heavy metal!  The chair was a classic, with a Chicago maker mark, original headpiece and upholstery.  As I was thinking how great this would be for our sale, little did I know that the best was around the corner. 

As I entered the next room I beheld an amazing sight:  A colossal antique sidewalk scale towered over everything.  It was an absolutely superb example, the best I have ever seen.  Heavy porcelain over iron, a fluted column supporting a lollipop dial with reverse painted glass.  This piece came from the North End of Boston, where it enticed curious pedestrians for decades.  What an amazing piece of Americana!  I can't wait to see this baby in our catalog.

It was another great week of our endless treasure hunt.  I am ready to do it again.