I spent most of my Saturday combing through boxes of stuff and racks of clothes at an estate sale in NW Phoenix, AZ. The house was built in the early 1930s, and would have been a beautiful estate, back in its day. It was a 2-story Spanish-style house with a tile roof, with mature trees, huge pink and yellow lantanas (that were so old they had 'tree trunks' for stems), and two guest houses in the back. The estate sale company posted 150 photos in the listing, which whetted my appetite: all sorts of vintage stuff, a 1930s house- of course I was going to go!!
The listing did have a couple cautions: apparently the owner had a number of cats (12, I heard someone say) so we should be prepared for a 'cat smell' and if you were allergic, beware... also, the posting said if you were squeamish about bugs or dirt, this probably wasn't the sale for you. Still, I was intrigued! I got there about 8:15, and had to wait in line for about 15 minutes before I could even go inside. It was still pretty crowded with stuff, even on the second sale day!
I couldn't get very good photos of the house, but here is a pic of the large living room... this was definitely a gorgeous house, in its day! The ceiling was arched, with large windows on both sides, along with a fireplace. Unfortunately, it hadn't been kept up, so the plaster and paint was peeling off the ceiling, and the wall along the (boarded-up) fireplace had some holes in. (Plus, the smell of the cats was almost overwhelming, when you first walked in...)
This room was full of clothes, handbags, scarves, and makeup / creams, etc., most of them never worn. I believe the home-owner's 'hobby' was shopping from the HSN home shopping channel, so a good portion of the clothes had never even been taken out of the package. There was a round rack (like from a store) that was full of purses and bags, and at least 5 rolling garment racks full of clothes. (kind of sad, in a way.) One of those racks was only leather and suede: blazers, jackets, pants, skirts... and this was on Saturday- I can't even imagine what the place looked like on Friday morning!
The staircase going up to the second floor... the wall is curved, and I love that rounded window!
The second floor had been turned into the caretaker's apartment, with a small kitchen and living area... the light pouring in here was gorgeous! (those closets along the left-hand wall had also been full of clothes, I think.)
This is a photo of the kitchen wallpaper (this is another thing that intrigued me about the estate sale listing; I could see it in some of the photos). The kitchen hadn't been updated since 1950, if not earlier-- it was pretty dark in there, so I couldn't get any other pics of the room.
One of the cut-glass doorknobs. (the other shoppers were probably wondering what the heck I was doing, taking pictures of stuff like this, but I didn't care!)
another vintage wallpaper- this was in a small room right off the 'family room' I showed above... this room was probably only about 8 ft x6 ft, with two small windows, and some built-in storage cupboards... I have no idea what it would have been used for. The background of the paper is black, with a funky design- each of the figures has phrases next to it, like "when may I see you?" "why do you misunderstand me?" "you have won my love" or "forgive me, I pray you." Odd, right?? I do love that red ribbon design, though.
Right when I got there, I spent a good amount of time at the jewelry table. (the listing said there were over 300 individual bags of jewelry, with quite a bit of it coming, again, from HSN shopping.) I got the two rings in this photo- the small bird is Zuni sterling silver inlaid with turquoise, onyx, and mother-of-pearl (I think). I love it! I found one similar to this at an earlier estate sale, and actually, seeing this ring in the listing is why I wanted to go- thank goodness it was still there on Saturday! Better yet, Saturday was half-price day, so I got this ring for the sum total of $6. The larger ring is modern, and from the maker's marks on the back, I figured out that it's Tibetan turquoise and sterling silver, and came from a limited-edition HSN jewelry collection about 5 years ago. They sold it for $70; I got it for $11- score!
I did get a few pieces of clothing, too- the best purchase (I think) was this 70s-style suede jacket (unworn, still with the tags on). It has one small mark on the back (about an inch long) that I have to work at removing, but the price was definitely right- $7.50! It will be nice to wear during the winter; enough to stop the chill and wind, but not too heavy.
I spent most of my time (4+ hours) in the main house, but there were also items for sale in the garage, as well as in one of the guest houses... The sale listing showed photos of quite a few pieces of mid-century modern furniture, lamps, clocks, etc. that were mostly gone by Saturday (not that I'd have a place to put it, anyway). I'm glad for the family that this sale seemed to be very well-attended, and it looked (to me, anyway) like a ton of stuff was sold. Plus, I'm glad of the new additions to my wardrobe and jewelry collection!
After I left the sale, I headed to a new (it opened in March) antique mall: the Brass Armadillo in Goodyear, AZ. After a few hours of looking there (no purchases), I was definitely in antiques and collectibles overload, so I headed home for dinner, a (badly-needed) shower, and some rest. Now, I need to get back to doing research on my purchases!