Monday, May 14, 2012

Behind the Scenes: Private Sale with Christina

Im very fortunate that 90% or so of the vintage I find, comes to me via private sale.  For those of you may not know what a private sale is:  Either by word of mouth or my own seeking out, the original owners or heirs to the original owners property sell vintage clothing and accessories.

Last week, I was contacted by a woman with a British accent, her name was Christina and she lives in Northern New Hampshire.  She invited me to her home, where she lived with her husband and her five cats (A woman after my own heart!).  I brought my awesome friend Robin with me.  Actually, Robin and I became friends via a private sale too! (remember all of those hats I scored!  Those were from her stepfathers mother!)  Robin and I were greeted by Christina at her side door - she lived in a 100yr old home that was decorated in a taste that can only be described as:  quality.  A mixture of antiques and newer items.  Her kitchen was quite 70s, but in a very modern Danish way.  She had a bunch of pieces of clothing laid out on her large dining room table, along with a huge hatbox full of silk and nylon scarves, ranging in eras.  There were several coats and dresses, along with a few hats in hatboxes.  She was quite chatty, so chatty that we were there for four hours - but we didnt complain, we loved talking with her and her husband, who is a very high quality wood craftsman.  He had built many of the pieces in the house, as well as the highly decorative molding throughout the home.

She then scurried us upstairs, asking us to walk before her because she climbed the stairs a little slow.  We entered a bedroom that I can only describe as, every girls dream.  A four poster bed, with a canopy and a fan at the ceiling! - The two windows were layered with different types of lace - creating the most beautiful amount of light that seeped through into the room.  A dressing table, a wood screen that her husband had made, everything was decorated with vintage and antique pieces of womens accessories.  There on the bed, she had laid out clothing, it was also hung on the screen and on an early 1900s baby buggy made out of what seemed to be wicker - with wood wheels.  There was also an early 1900s dress form, which was wearing a black wool cape.

We gabbed for what seemed to be ages, but was only really a few hours.  We talked about everything, told stories, laughed, almost cried and felt connections.  Christina is originally from London, and came here to the US in the early 60s.  She lived in NYC, and met her husband ice skating at Wolman Rink in Central Park.  She had fallen on the ice, and up came this man who said, "May I be of assistance?" And she said, "You're going to marry me. Because I've been out with every idiot out there and already I can tell you aren't one." - And so they were married!

Finally, I had gathered up all of the items I wanted to purchase. But I kept staring that that dress form. I had never seen one in such remarkable condition. I knew from seeing them, that this one had to be at least 1910s because of the cage at the bottom and the cast iron base which was on wheels. Noticed the tag on the bodice and that it was an Acme form, which are quite common. Then I noticed the address: 378-388 Throop Ave, Brooklyn NY. I LIVED on Throop Ave in Brooklyn! Well, on the corner of Throop Ave, and Putnam. This address was right down the block from the apartment that I lived at for years! This was something quite special to me, because the neighborhood that I lived in was quite...well, bad. And to think that something this special, this amazing came from from this neighborhood was even more special. (PS, this is the same neighborhood JayZ and Biggie are from!)

We realized how late it was and started to round up the items I had chosen. I cant wait to show you all tomorrow! A 40s Floral Lame Jacket, a Mollie Parnis LBD, an Edwardian white skirt (pristine!), a handful of 40s rayon dresses, a fantastic Bergdoff Cape and a bunch more! Oh and purses - 40s Cordes, an Edid Collins Wood Handbag and a 50s Curved Lucite Clutch with Rhinestones! The clothing and accessories belonged to her mother and her sister-in-law.

As we were downstairs getting ready to leave, Christina brought a box into the dining room and showed us a large amount of driftwood she had gathered from her home on the water in Nova Scotia. She spends the summers there and gathers boxes of driftwood to bring back. She sells them quite cheap too - and gave me a box to sell for her! This box of 50pcs, Robin purchased for $10! - I have a box of 50pcs, but larger sized for $15. So if anyone wants them, let me know and I will ship!

We were stalled a bit more by even more stories and conversation, but we didnt mind. Christina's husband even showed us his "weapons" that he made, that are installed in the rafters of their den.

Finally, we went out to the driveway and put the vintage into the car. More talking! - And Christina brought us into her backyard garden, and started picking Forget me Nots from the ground and gave us both small bunches of the pretty purple flowers. We gave hugs and said goodbye. So regardless of what I walked away with, we had a great visit with two lovely people. I wish every private sale could be so perfect!

PS! - Sorry not so many photos of my outfit today, I was very overwhelmed!

Cashmere Cardigan - gift from my mother-in-law
Jeans - Calvin Klein
Knit Top - Ann Taylor

(no workout today, I was beat! we were on the road from 9am and got home at 5pm! - Thank you ROBIN for taking photos, because I had forgotten all about it!)

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