Will I Find Anything at this Estate Sale?

I had a group of errands to run the other day and was tempted to include a nearby estate sale listed as a “liquidation estate sale.” Curiously the ad photos showed a pristine house with neatly displayed items, so I was dubious about their “be prepared to dig.” But regardless I decided to swing by.

Well it WAS a disaster zone. Not a lot left and half of it on the floor! I was surprised to see all the family photo albums, personal papers and awards left behind. That was a bit sad. There was all the stuff of a long, well-lived life now being strewn about and ground into the carpet.

Here’s a peek at a few rooms…

But I dug around for 40 minutes and did find a few things.

Here’s what I bought…

There were a ton of books scattered throughout the house and I should have spent more time with them, but I did like this 1943 Bible with great illustrations and the Fireside Book of Folk Songs which charmed me with its pictures and zany songs. The covers are a bit rough, but the insides are good.

In this condition, both books sell for $20-25 each.

I bought this vintage barbershop chorus polo shirt for my eldest daughter thinking she might get a kick out of it. If nothing else it would make a great night shirt.

I love this 1955 “Nobles of the Mystic Shrine” certificate from Canada. How fun is this? And look at that name! The frame is heavy (solid wood), so I may sell it without the frame. Current listings are all over the place so at this point I have no idea what I’ll list this for.

I wondered if this 1957 pencil/charcoal portrait was the wife. Such a sweet picture.

I’ll likely list this for $40-50.

When I headed back into the upstairs office I spotted this 1957 “National Geographic” astronomy chart in a box of papers and threw it on my pile. Turns out these sell for $15+. Current listings are at $25-50.

Wow…this is cool!

Will list for $30.

I should have picked up more of the random Royal Worcester “Evesham” porcelain pieces, but in the end I only bought the flan/tart pan.

Will list at $28.

Now this 1985 receipt from the Long Bar in Singapore was rather serendipitous. Just the previous day I had watched a TV that featured a segment from this very bar! I was looking at this receipt thinking “No way!” Well, I had to get it. My husband wondered why they had bothered to have a receipt professionally framed. I’m guessing it was a special memory for them and for some reason that touches me.

I got eight numbered (unframed) prints of various views on Stanford campus dated 1982. They are simple, but charming. I need to do some research on these but I’m hoping they’ll be the sleeper in group! It would be wonderful if I could get at least $25-$40 for each print.

Hmmm…” L. King F.”? Or?

Total cost: $10!

So in the end I’m glad I went and am happy with all I bought. But I’m kicking myself for passing up some things. Here’s one that breaks my heart–a large (water-stained) certificate of baptism with a bevy of angels. It was dated 1914 for dear Oliver of the Mystic Shrine. I so wish I had taken it as I fear it is now in the dumpster as that is where all the remaining items were headed a few hours after I left.

Apologies for the bad photo.

Why, oh why, did I leave that behind? And the lightly pilled hand-knitted cream afghan? And the….

It’s funny because when I first walked in this house, I doubted that I would find much, but the longer I stayed the more I discovered. Which is amazing considering the house had been extensively picked already. And I did enjoy myself…immensely. It’s a good feeling knowing I saved a few things from the landfill as workers were already putting things in a dumpster while I was there!

Wishing you happy hunting!



  1. I’m glad you did find some nice things.
    I found it sad when a well lived house is closed down and liquidated, without much respect for those who were there until recently. I guess it’s normal though. Life goes on. The house needs to be cleared and sold. The memories are gone.
    If only those belongings could tell us their story.
    Isn’t it sad?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wonder if something special happened there on that day, and the receipt was kept as a memento. 1985 is quite a while aback. Perhaps a special trip? On the other hand it only shows one item, so it’s not like a meal together with someone special. We’ll never know. I hope the people who inhabited the house are now at peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sad to see all that just on the floor. No family, or none that cared left. Maybe family lives out of the country. I felt horribly sad yesterday when I opened a photo frame I bought at a thrift store. I thought the image of the flowers was a stock one it came with, but it was a birthday card cut to fit. Still hinged, with part of the sentiment included. I imagined the recipient of the frame had no photos to display and cut the card that came with it to fit. I don’t know why, but that just made me so sad. Seeing old family photos, and children’s school photos at thrift stores feels wrong.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You picked some lovely items. I understand the feeling of regret. I have felt that many times at both auctions and estate sales. I always want to save the personal items because I also find it sad that so much ends up in the trash. I always want to save them!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to huntingforvintage Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s