Thank You Quakers!

Every year the Quaker community in my Silicon Valley town hosts a fall festival. It’s a delightful fundraiser, run by nice folks, with lots of rummage stuff, books, baked goods, plants, food and music.

It opened at 9:00 and I got there at 8:45 and waited behind the barriers with the ever-increasing crowd till they officially opened and then it was crazy! Forty or so of us charged in. No one broke into a run but nearly so.

My first destination was at the “treasures” room in the very back of the property. This is typically where the best stuff is. The jewelry area in the room was immediately mobbed so I started perusing the other tables. The first thing I picked up was a cool silverplate jigger. I knew this was a quality item. (Later I noticed the tiny marks that it was made by Napier, pat. # 184638. It’s called a “bottoms up” jigger and these have sold for $40-$60 and two are currently listed on Etsy in the mid-$70s.)


A little more looking and I fell in love with this beautiful wedding hanky with handmade bobbin lace. Probably not a ton of profit left on it, but it’s just exquisite. My photo does not adequately show it’s delicacy.


After more looking at all the other tables (I turned down crystal bits, Franklin Mint collector’s plates and artisan-made pottery), I edged into the group by the jewelry. Some folks had been there since the sale opened and were not moving! I managed to see some pieces and scan most of the displays but nothing caught my eye. Time to move on to other areas.

Outside the treasures building I headed towards the linen table and found a very old, sweet handmade cotton crazy quilt amidst all the newer (and in my humble opinion) lesser bits. As a quilt lover I got rather excited. I opened it up and looked it over. I even gave it the sniff test to make sure it wasn’t full of musty nastiness. (It’s not.) It showed some signs of age and wear, but was still colorful, soft and heavy enough to ward off chill. Someone was originally trying to sell it for $120, but the rummage sale tag was $25. At that price I’d be crazy not to buy it!!!


I also found a little creamer for $1 that hadn’t been snatched up. And here’s the great thing…I actually knew the pattern as I had sold a piece of it before. It’s made for the Ahwanee Hotel at Yosemite and this creamer was one of the older pieces made by Sterling China (Wellsville, OH) now out of business. It was so fun to have research I’ve done in the past pay off again! (These sell for $20-$30.)


At the garden table I was drawn to some old tools where a beat-up hand rake called to me. It had a rusty cast iron head and a very worn yellow handle that had been charred by fire at the end. (Good grief what had happened to this poor tool??)



But I loved it and it was marked 10 cents. (What can you get for 10 cents these days?!!) In the end, the checkout guy gave it to me for free. I haven’t decided if I’m going to use it, display it or sell it, but most likely I will keep it. I grew up on a farm and this is a touching reminder of days past.

Other finds included two books (a 1936 Boy Scout manual and a 1943 cryptography book) and some beautiful monogramed napkins. Oh and two huge delectable fudgy homemade brownies to bring home!!

All in all a most delightful hour. And despite the eager and plentiful competition, I came away with some special finds which made me happy. It’s a lovely validation of what I’m doing now. 🙂

Wishing you all happy hunting wherever you venture!


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