Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The lure of antiques

I like to venture out to estate auctions, when I can, although I know they can be dangerous to the wallet. When an ad appeared in our local paper for a sale just down the road, with an old spinning wheel as one of the attractions, I called my uncle as an accomplice and we decided to make a morning out of it.

To make a long story shorter, we had a great time browsing and people watching, but I didn't get the spinning wheel — a small flax wheel in good shape which went for nearly $200. (I should mention here that I already have a great wheel, that I got for a steal at another estate auction!) I also bid on a lovely secretary, the kind with a glass-door bookshelf above the hideaway desk. I wish I could post a picture for you (lesson learned: bloggers should take pictures even if they don't buy anything). The secretary was skinny, still had the key to its desk, and had that dark, almost black finish that I see in very old furniture in this area. And here I'll mention that dealers were present — I could have bid a little higher, but I didn't stand a chance.

I did find one thing, though, and came home satisfied without losing all my money! A stack of old postcards; I had seen only the top one because they were in a glass case until time to sell. I was very happy as I flipped through my new treasure to find that many of them were local. They had been written on and posted (with 1 cent stamps), dating around 1900 to 1909. The addresses consisted of just a person's name and the city — that's all they needed back then.

Postcards - several are 100 years old.

A few were actual photographs, with that negative sheen on the dark portions.

A few birthday cards and letters were thrown in the lot. One letter, however, was written not in the early 1900s, but during World War II. The contents are so fascinating — not only great genealogical information, but also juicy gossip from a young local woman — that I'm considering posting the contents. But I need to check with a few people, first, because the author is local and may still be living.

Another thing I noticed was the use of the word "thy" on a couple of postcards, by the same writer to a friend. It could have been an endearment, but with the Quaker presence in this area and the timeframe, I wouldn't be surprised if the author spoke and wrote the second person familiar all the time.
Postcard of the Randolph County Courthouse, which was just renovated.


Jayne said...

Love that you got the postcards. I have a tiny collection of old postcards. They are all from places that really mean something to me and I have them displayed in a Victorian (?) toast rack.

Elizabeth said...

Your collection sounds nice. My grandmother collected postcards. I always enjoyed seeing where family members had traveled all over and written to her.