Sunday, April 10, 2011

After the sale

Well!  I'm sure glad I have a day off from the A-Z challenge.  I don't think the little gray cells could cope with much more input.  The sale was a success and all the post-sale discussions are now taking place.  Should there be another?  Did we really sell enough?  What do we do with the left-over stuff?
From my vantage point behind the book table, I can watch the folks who come to look, to buy and to remember.  It's the memories that are on offer at this kind of market.

There are antiques that hardly anyone remembers.

And kitsch that makes us laugh when we display the pieces together.

But I don't think that's why some folks come to these kind of sales.  So many came by to talk about the books they read when they were children.  Or to caress a doll that looks like one they used to have. 

For me, it's a reminder of  a way of life that is mostly gone now.  Remember when everyone had to have a silver tea service? 

Crystal glasses, stemware and punch bowls were on everyone's wedding gift list. 

Linens were important and many women spent hours creating these beautiful pieces.  I know I did.  And I've also spent the hours in caring for them, too.  Nope...don't miss the linen.  

When I was a teenager, I remember being invited to a bridal shower for someone I didn't know all that well.  My mother said that the most suitable gift would be a teacup and saucer.  As I recall it cost about $2.00 - more than I made  in a couple of  hour's work!  It was absolutely necessary to have these in your home.  Ask Emily Post.

People collect stuff.  Salt and pepper shakers are a perennial favorite. 

I managed to catch this photo well after the doors had opened.  For the first half-hour, my table was two and three people deep.  I was glad that the real hectic action was at the camera and jewelry tables.  Wow!  There are a lot of camera collectors out there.   They know what they're looking for and what they'll pay.  We were told we had good prices.  Mostly it's dealers who are buying today and they need to make a few bucks on their end, too.

Makes you think, though.   Here's all of us baby boomers whose parents have worked so hard to acquire these items necessary to gracious living.  Some of us have similar stuff displayed in our homes.  Or hidden away in cupboards to reflect current decorating trends.  For a lot of us, downsizing is always on our minds.  Especially if you've had to deal with a houseful of parents' possessions.  We're hearing from our kids that it's not exactly what they want to inherit. So...where is it all going to end up? 

Which brings me full-circle to the top of this post.  Just another of life's practical questions.


Ginny said...

What a huge sale, it looks like an antique mall!! I would have been tempted to buy some of those salt and peppers, so retro and cute. Now what kind of sale was it, I don't think you said?? Was it to raise money for the Senior Center, or just for people to all get together like a huge yard sale? Did you make much money? Yes, the silver tea services!! Constant tarnishing and polishing, I never liked them! Give me some good melamine any day!

koko said...

I wish I had gone to the sale, Stephanie! But then again, I have plenty of the items you have displayed - in cupboards, in boxes, and on shelves...I know what will happen to the things WE love looking at now - when we are gone, I think most of this stuff will end up in the landfill! People's homes are getting smaller and smaller, and tastes have changed already!

Mimi said...

I wish I'd been there, I'd have had a ball! I love all those old linens, I have loads of it, but there's never too much! I use it too!
China, I keep in presses, and there's even a box of it under a bed.
But... it's making a comeback here! Avoca (not sure if you came across that shop while here, Stephanie? gorgeous food and clothes!) are currently selling "vintage china" teacup and saucer set for €15! How do your prices compare to that? Maybe some of their buyers would head over to you if you have another sale!

Joanna said...

You've created quite a thought-provoking post even if you are tired, Stephanie. It makes me wonder what stuff that we now value will be bartered for at garage sales of the future. Who knows, maybe those lace trimmed napkins and teacups will become trendy once again. I'm surprised about cameras though. I had no idea they were a sought-after item.

Stephanie V said...

Ginny - I kind of like the s/p shakers, too. They are fun. The sale is part of the church thrift shop that we volunteer for. Some donations are not appropriate for sale there. The money raised goes to a church center for street people.

Koko - It's hard to resist buying something. I came back with some sheet music and an old sock pattern book.

Mimi - teacups were selling for about $10. A shop might sell them for about $20. If you bought enough, the savings would cover your flight from Dublin, right?

Joanna - I'm sure you're right. I was thinking the same thing. As we struggle to get rid of so much we will cause a scarcity. That's the world of commerce: supply and demand.
The cameras surprised me, too.

EmptyNester said...

HUGE sale! All of my grandmother's things are still in her house where Aunt Betty lives. All four of my girls and I love those possessions and will completely love inheriting them from Aunt Betty and Mother--which we hope is a very long time from now!

Really enjoyed this post! And I'm grateful for a break from A-Z too! LOL

Annie said...

This post especially moved me. I've been in the process of removing stuff from my life for several weeks now and that includes going through the remains of my mother's possessions. Interestingly, I'm getting rid of more of my stuff than hers. The glassware, doilies, aprons, photos, china, babyclothes, and so many delicate things - these are what I keep. What's old is new and loved once again.

Rudee said...

I love all that stuff.

I hope my kids don't think every single item is trash. Hopefully they're bright enough to sell the yarn stash on ebay!

jeannette said...

Don't have that problem, since I moved to another country:) my kids have better kitchen stuff that I do, but they're already making sure to tell me which paintings they want when I die:)

Madeleine said...

Good point. Great pictures :O)

Angie said...

Bet you had a little wind down time today. Hope you made lots of money for the center. (Trust you to buy an old sock pattern book!)

cindy said...

Oh, my gosh I haven't been to a sale in like forever. I would be at the table with the tea cups and saucers, well that is expected of one who has a tea room. There are some lovely pieces, imagine $2.00 for a cup and saucer. I saw a set for $123.00 at a gift shop here on the Island, ya it was nice, would I need it for the tea room? If I had it I probably wouldn't let anyone drink from it. My grandchildren come over and have a tea party and play with a china set \i have for them, too cute.


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