Not All Estate Sales Are Created Equal

To be fair, the estate sale folks did advertise this sale as a “true digger.” Lots of boxes. Not much organized. Not much priced. But supposedly the owner had run an antique store, so there was the promise of some really good stuff.

Well, by the time I got there to sign up I was #42. (Alas, alas.) And by the time they opened (20 minutes late) I had already been standing for an hour. And there was more waiting till I got let in the house. (Thankfully, I made a new friend, Mike, and we passed the time chatting.)

Once in the house, it didn’t take long to get dispirited. Many of the “antiques” displayed on shelves in the living room sported “Made in China” foil labels. Most of the boxes contained a mish-mosh of items–a glass bowl, a newish Christmas ornament, a videotape, some pens–in less than perfect condition. It was a lot of hot, dirty work digging through stuff and I drew the line at the shed in back. It was dark with a floor that was rotted out in a few places and I decided I did not want to risk pawing through the bins and encountering a black widow or brown recluse spider. No thank you!

But that’s how it is sometimes. A crap shoot. I was there 30 minutes and did find a few things, but no wowsers!! Nothing that really excited me to bits.

Here’s what I bought…for better or worse!

This Belleek vase was the nicest thing I bought. A quality piece of Irish porcelain, though not particularly popular right now. It has the previous owner’s original price tag of $70.

I almost left this small amateur vintage painting by “Michelle” behind. I was so on the fence about it. Thoughts?

And I should have left this corroded piece of silverplate behind. Honestly, I’ve got to stop buying stuff like this! It’s not signed. It’s in terrible condition and will take hours to de-crust. This was in one of the many boxes outside baking in the backyard and I think the sun was addling my brain.

This Swiss/Austrian marionette was also in sad, sad, sad condition, but I could picture someone repurposing the vintage head and paper mache hands so I put it in my bag. Any takers?!

Of my littlest bits, I really do like the sweet Chinese frozen Charlotte doll sans arms. She has a black braid down the back and, if I’m not mistaken, a bit of age and scarcity. She’s my favorite find today and has already found a home in my living room. And the RCA Master’s Voice Lenox dog salt shaker…isn’t he a cutie? Wish I’d found the matching pepper! I also liked this tribal knife with an ebony and horn handle till I discovered at home that it’s stuck in the leather holder. Likely rusted in place. Poop! Still I might try soaking/oiling the sheath off.

When all was said and done, I was quoted $18, I countered $15 and the deal was done.

Was it worth two hours of my time? Hmmm…that’s debatable. Most of the goods in the house, at least by the time I went through, were not of the quality, age and/or condition that I was hoping for. Still I found a few oddities and didn’t pay much. And it was good to be out and about.

Would love to hear your estate sale stories!

Wishing you happy hunting,



  1. The last thing I went to was a Flea Mkt, but it was similar to your Estate Sale story. It was on the cool side so at least we didn’t burn up, but it was mostly junk. Really junky junk! Like bins of 10 year old teenage jewelry from Claire’s. I did find some vintage photos from the 1950’s and a Halloween decoration for $5. But it wasn’t really worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aack! Claire’s jewelry is some of the worst. Years ago my daughters received some as gifts and the pieces broke on the second wearing and the earrings infected their ears!! The vintage ’50s photos sound like a winner though…and the Halloween decoration!

      Liked by 1 person

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