Saturday, February 2, 2013
The Estate Sale Diaries-Weekend of February 1 and 2, Nashville,Tennessee
Thursday morning I drove to West Meade to an estate sale that did not look promising, though one is never certain until the doors open. There were not many of us in line, and those who carried canvas shopping bags were told to leave them outside. The estate sale girl gave us little see- through plastic bags instead, since her company feared a criminal conspiracy of the light fingered, though I am sure pilfered items ride out in pocketbooks more often than they do in canvas bags.
This was a meager, sad little sale, and what was offered could have fit in one room. I think that on this one the estate sale company wasted its time and the heirs wasted their money. There were few books, though I did find the old"New York Times Heritage Cookbook". There was no cookware. There was a crystal mortar and pestle, an item that made as much sense as a crystal frying pan or a pair of mud boots with stiletto heels. Someone had tagged the mortar at twenty two dollars. At three dollars it would have been interesting. At twenty two it was ridiculous.
I did find the flower topped Aynsley china salt and pepper shakers there.I also bought the little plate with the French waiter.
Best of all was the lovely watercolor of the ancient port of Acre. I thought it the best thing there-
Friday I went up to the Catholic retirement village to another sale. It was 17 degrees with a miserable wind. Despite this, some of the women in line lacked coats, mittens or hats. And these were older women. I knew they were real Southerners at once, for The Law of Belles forbids disfiguring bulky clothing, frost bite be damned.
One woman, a neighbor, said the dead woman had collected quilts, though I saw not one. She did cook, and I picked up a stainless steel Italian saucepan, and a peculiar looking spoon that looked as though it had a sort of thermometer in the handle- Perhaps for making jelly?
I bought home an old crystal dish with gilt and cranberry glass, a green and blue pitcher, and some pretty enamel flower pins. Jewelry brings out the magpie in me. I wear it rarely. I tuck it away in my nest, as the bird does.