Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A few small sales and one man’s domain…. 10/3/09

There was not a lot going on this morning and for reason I cannot recall at this time I was not in any way organized to encounter whatever treasures and surprises might await me. My first stop was several small totally unmemorable sales on Elmira St. Where I encountered boxing gloves, old VHS tapes (aren’t they all old at this time) a child’s rendering of Electricity on canvas, some old televisions and a sump pump. Considering that only two weeks ago the city was flooding I consider the sump pump the most notable find of the batch. Considering this its remarkable I recall anything.

In Decatur on Melrose Pl. there was a far more interesting sale where a man was selling off a number of movie props including faux whiskey bottles and some old ugly luggage from the film “We Are Marshall”. I don’t know who would want to own old ugly 70’s style baggage from a film depicting the plane crash of a sports team, perhaps fans of aircraft disasters? He also had signs and stickers from some other film that would allow anyone to turn your car into a Washington DC cab. On a table was a collection of miniature furniture. To the best of my knowledge it was not used in a remake of The Incredible Shrinking Man.
I bought some miniature floor coverings for some unknown reason and another buyer gave me some card stock she had purchased. I will use it for making new library cards.

After driving around through light rain and failing to find several advertised sales I came across a self-claimed estate sale in Morningside. The sale was a dreadful collection of stuff not even worth photographing in the garage of a new infill house. But I did notice that their sale sign had been retrofitted from an old John McCain campaign sign.

Vedado Way – Midtown “Collectors Estate Sale”
When I approached this house I anticipated that it would be one of those homes filled with antiques run by an antique gallery owner wanabee. Inside it appeared to be what I had suspected but something seemed to be off. The walls covered in far too many painting and the shelves and mantels bedecked in a countless assortment of objects d’art seem to be part of a home that was lived in. After perusing the home I spoke to an older, near toothless gentleman seated on the front porch. He told me that this was indeed a house that had been lived in and that the massive collection inside was that of a Dr. Smith (no relation to the Dr. Smith of Lost in Space fame) a bon vivant who loved buying things. Upon a second tour of the domicile I noticed that the late physician had a special knack for picking of images of men in all forms. While not lewd (but some perhaps slightly suggestive) it was a collection to behold and I was sorry I did not come buy two days earlier when the sale began. For on that day said Dr. Smith’s acquaintance remarked the place had three-times as much stuff as was displayed today. While the male images stood out there was considerable more stuff in this home old medical magazines, bags of silverware, yellowed appliances with large NO signs taped to them, a selection of old military uniforms and many leather bound books.
On a fine antique piano was a portrait of the estate owner. I told the gentleman on the porch I had initially mistaken it for a photograph of Tennessee Williams.
I bought nothing.

Inside the home of Dr. Smith.

Appliances not for sale.

Figurines found in estate.

Old medical ephemera.

Collected uniforms of nearly all branches of the armed services.

The late Dr. Smith, not Tennessee Williams upon the piano.