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.

2 comments:

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.