Well I'm not that guy. And now is a great time to prove it. Right on the heels of this blog's first 4 posts which outlined a handful of my good solid scores. Anyone reading this with any picking experience knows that the wildly successful scores are not the daily norm. That pesky 'Law of Averages' exerts itself evenly on all of us. I hate that.
The incident I am about to share with you occurred super early-on in my picking career. I'm thinking it was only my second estate-sale ever. Whenever telling this tale I always classify it as a 'fail', and rightly so. However, the more time that passes, and the greater the number of experiences that get tucked under my belt, the clearer the value of Lesson #1 becomes.
First, a photo of the prize...and aside from whatever you may think of the choice of upholstery, it was to me quite a stunning sofa. Remember what a newbie I was...a significant factor, and the whole point of this post. The plastic packet on the right contains the extra remnants of the original material covering this piece...which was a special-order...by the original buyer's interior decorator...in 1964...and I was standing there talking to him. A retired Atlanta psychiatrist whose estate it was that was being saled. (Can you feel the mystique of this 'find' slowly but surely building in my inexperienced brain? Oh yeah...please pardon the grammar in the previous sentence.)
Take in the view for a moment. It helps to visualize Mrs. Armstrong in an upholstery type, texture, and color that better suits your fancy (as mentioned in previous posts, I like to name my furniture...this sofa was manufactured by the Armstrong Furniture Company).
Adrian Pearsall's designs, manufactured by his highly successful Craft Associates furniture company, were among the first MCM pieces that really grabbed me. And even though Armstrong was clearly the maker of this little lady, I made the critical rookie error of equating the Pearsall-like gondola sofa style with a potential Pearsall-like gondola sofa dollar-value. Stop laughing. Please. I already said it was a mistake. Geez.
(Go ahead...try to deny that this solid walnut base is not gorgeous. Yeah, I didn't think so.)
The treasure-of-great-worth about to be gently loaded into my picking vessel. That's not me in the photo...I don't own a purple t-shirt.
Ooohh...ahhh, an Armstrong label...clearly stating it was made only "for those who desire quality"! The hook was in really deep at this point.
Crazy fabric, right? Crushed velvet. Big flowers. Yet I must admit, over the 6 weeks I housed Mrs. Armstrong, I did grow rather fond of her upholstery...although I never would've chosen it myself. I'm more of a nubby, tweedy, woolly, mustard-yellow or turquoise guy...with buttons. Just sayin'.
Well, that's it. Not gonna tell you how much I [over]paid. Not gonna tell you how much I sold it for. But I am gonna tell you that I basically broke even. More importantly however, I had the privilege of meeting a super nice couple who were to become Mrs. Armstrong's new parents, as well as learning Lesson #1 mentioned above. I choose to call it ESSC (estate-sale-self-control). 'Nuff said.
Thanks for checking in on the *modwagen*...please tell your friends.
-Christo ... older, and wiser.