The Adventures of Attending Estate Sales and the Items That Got Away

Groswold 13

I checked the paper the other day and found a House Sale listing a Civil War Operating Table, so yesterday I made it out of the house early to check this out. Being from Kentucky, my mind told me that I might be the only person attending the sale who would have interest in this prize.

I arrived at the sale with my son, Joshua, and as we waited for Cindy to arrive, I began visualizing the purchase and sale of this table in my mind. I even visualized reporting this great find to you all in a Blog. When I entered the house, I immediately ran for the area where I was told this table was located. When I got there, my heart fell. This antique and highly collectible prize, already thought to me mine, had a price tag higher than the amount I had designated for the purchase. I’m sure Joshua and Cindy could see the disappointment in my face, but I tried to show a strong presence to them by saying I am sure there are other treasures here for us. I thought I was fooling myself, though. But, since we were already here, why not look around?

The first things I spotted were about 50 pieces of an amber Depression Glass set, I liked their price tag of $75. I asked if all the pieces were perfect. They were. I told the attendant I was willing to take the entire set for $60. He accepted that and this was the start of our shopping list. Next was a quick trip to the kitchen, where I found about 10 pieces of Griswold Cast Iron skillets and lids. At one time, I owned one of the largest collections of Griswold around. There were several skillet lids, skillets, and even a miniature. I quickly formed a large group of the pieces. I asked the attendant what these would cost me. He asked me what the tag showed. I told him that it showed $100, but I could give him $60. He added them to my list. This is when Cindy called me on my cell phone from an upstairs bedroom, so I was certain she found something. “I’m stranded up here, guarding some special books I don’t want to walk away from. It’s too many for me to carry,” she told me.

I went up there, and indeed she had found some great books, but there were tons more still on the bookcases. You should’ve seen the look in her eyes when I said, “Just start stacking them and I will carry as many as I can down the stairs. I’ll be back for the rest.” We did this until I must have carried 100 hundred books out of there, into the family room and plopped them down on a sofa.

But this story doesn’t stop there. The family room had loads of bookshelves filled with more books. I dug in and by the time the two of us had finished there must have been 200 books on the living room couch. They were an assortment of books From Civil War books to Antiques and Collectibles, Fine Art, to Golf. There were so many that we had to take a blanket to cover them so that others would leave them alone. This helped, but I had to still tell several people that these books were sold.

Two pieces of Yellow Ware, some sewing items, a few advertising bottles, and a couple of Vintage Cigar Boxes completed our shopping. We might have missed the diamond, but I think we may well have found over $2,000 worth of rubies that we spent $287 on. It would have been very easy to just have walked away in disappointment. No, we didn’t make $10,000. That will have to wait for another day.

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PHOTO: #13 Giswold Cast Iron Skillet Sold for $925 on eBay on March 26, 2008