Print Friendly and PDF With Strings Attached: Estate Sale

Friday, June 8, 2012

Estate Sale

Copper enameling was a home craft of some popularity in the 1950's. I remember my dad heating up the little electric kiln  and placing enamel powder on precut copper forms. I still have a little pin in the shape of a butterfly that I put the color on. (And I still wear it!) That's why I had to buy this at the estate sale I went to today.
The estate sale price: $3.75!
There are the instructions, some copper shapes, and powders. Anything liquid is all dried up.  I don't know if the kiln even works, but for $3.75 it's worth trying.

I couldn't pass up a piece of red glazed cotton -- 36" wide, 4-1/3 yards -- for .75.  Also .75 each:  a few pieces of Ultrasuede (of which I have a modest stash), three lengths of pattern transfer web, and a pretty piece of painted silk. 

Never-used linens: two pillowcases edged with cutwork, bedsheets, and a box of 4 men's handkerchiefs (initial W; their last name was Wool).

152 thimbles ($12.50).  Many are tarnished (or were cheap metal that is discolored; I haven't tested them yet).   

Some are very tiny.  Are they intented to be functional or just miniatures? 
A couple had translucent tops. 
148 swizzle sticks!

Estate sales are better than garage sales because the entire house is open. The contents of people's lives are on display (with price tags!).  I speculate about the people who lived there and what the house was like with all the furniture in place, before cupboards and closets were emptied. 
This house was traditional on the outside but 1960's-modern inside and quite spacious. The owners, Dr. W and his wife, have moved to assisted living. They'd lived in the house for more than 40 years.  One bedroom had been turned into a veritable boutique with Mrs. W's clothing and accessories -- a dozen pairs of white gloves; scarves; belts -- and many, many high-heeled shoes -- size 3-1/2!  She was a very petite woman, and probably bought  shoes whenever she could find them.  


  1. Nann,
    Nice haul! if any of those thimbles are advertising ones, there might be a market for them. I have one or two that have almost perfect advertising on them and they are fun to look at.

  2. What an awesome haul, Nann! Love your stuff. I collect thimbles and I am only up to like 10..ha! WOW! The tiny thimbles might be for children, after all they started cross stitching and sewing very, very young! As to the polished cottons question, many times it becomes drab, but I have washed a few that stayed almost as bright as when they were, I guess it must depend! Test wash a small bit and report back to us all!

  3. A fine haul,Nann! You have rescued some great stuff for pennies on the dollar with the copper enameling supplies. When I taught Art at the middle school level in the 70's it was still very popular. I have treasured pieces, too!

  4. 152 thimbles?!??!?? WOW!!!! Looks like you had a great time!


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