I feel like the poker player who's been at the table too long (except that I don't gamble)......a string of amazing estate sales have brought some amazing vintage treasures into my arms and I know the string is bound to break, any Saturday now....
But for now~~things are looking good, very good. I hit a sale late Saturday morning and although I grimaced when I heard my "Estate Sale Ladies" carry on about "how many fabulous vintage furs & garments were there and how this "other" "vintage" "lady" came in as soon as the door opened and grabbed just about everything from the 16 closets~~and why didn't I get there earlier???!!" I secretly congratulated my opponent of "huntress of all things vintage" and congratulated myself on honoring previous commitments of far more importance and carried on into this lovely brick mansion, certain I would find something special to reward me for not getting there first. . .
My initial reaction was the very same...That looks interesting...it's a bit worn...just what is it? I proceed to pick it up off the table in the lovely, well~lit front room of the estate. Hmmm, why is it still here? Why didn't anyone else, that "other vintage lady", grab this if it's "oh! so! great!" I set it down, just another powder/cigarette case~~they're a dime a dozen on eBay (well maybe ten bucks a dozen, but you get the point...)
"There's no price on this" I say to the most congenial estate sale lady. "Could you find out for me, I'm going to have a look upstairs. Don't hold it~~I'll just check back when I make my way back down".
Up the staircase I go, my little treasure hunter following at my heels "Mom, did you see this wallpaper?" "Yes, love, it's marvelous, isn't it?" as I drink in the antique blue asian toile....sigh....is the wallpaper for sale? I think to myself, imagining it in my front hall and up the stairs to the second floor...I find a closet in the fifth (?) guest room and there, in a dry cleaning bag, is a three piece Halston suit~~but wait, I'm wandering....we'll save that for another post....
I salvage four lovely vintage frocks and, after a rather thorough tour from my partner in crime who had already cased the joint, we end up back in the front room. There it sits, still. On the table. It has moved, so others have looked at it, but still, there it is. It beckons me. Having walked through the rooms of this lovely home, full of history and the passage of time, I find a need to take this treasure home...I pick it up again. It seems even lovelier than at first. "I AM FALLING" ~~ "UNAPPROACHABLE" are stamped on the front~~obviously the possession of a romantic, a lover, a broken~hearted fool. A Gatsby. I have to have it. "Oh, that's $~~ " says the congenial estate sale lady. "It's Marked, you know." I pick it up again and peer closely. Yes, it is marked, but I don't really care at this point. It has the most romantic appeal, I have already decided I will choose this as my treat for the day. A cast~off that no~one else wanted....I will give you a proper (new) home, I think to myself....
Later, sipping on a glass of Cabernet, I discover "McClelland Barclay" inscribed on the front and
a Walter Lampl stamp ....
with a Patent Pending for W.L. ENCHANTAIRE ...
Perhaps there is something to be said for being fashionably late.....
I am in the process of researching a fabulous original "Estevez/Grenelle" vintage frock that just came from the dry cleaner's and is dying to have a home in "The Shoe".
There are two labels inside:
The no~need to explain Estevez Grenelle right along the zipper at the waistband, where he most always laid them.
This is the mystery label. Having lived just outside Providence for over 25 years and being old department/boutique store obsessed, I wonder how I have never heard of this establishment. Have you? I'd love any information, not so much for the dress, because it stands on the first label alone, but for my own curiosity.
I found a reference to the store at this site (which will definitely be the topic of another blog post), and a fellow vintage shop owner referred to it in this listing. But that is all my detective work has revealed....so far.
This is when I think I should forgo selling vintage and just be a research assistant. This sort of mystery could drive me to put the wine down, perk a pot of really strong coffee, and sit here in my little cocoon and eventually see the dawn, with pages of information bookmarked and that sleepy, yet content feeling of trying to find something wonderful that was lost, but may now have been found.
Anyway, here's a peek at this fabulous dress~~plunge V~neck back....
tiny metal zippers at each wrist and a bustle to boot~~look for it soon in The Shoe.
Check out this great Vintage cardtable my mom scored at a yard sale for $5.00! "Thou shalt not covet" I keep telling myself! I love the picture~~it looks like a Farmer's Market in Europe. And I just love the red dress on the lady walking the dog~~so vintage!
This is the back of it.
Does anyone recognize anything in the picture? I'd love to find out how old it is so if you have any info please leave a comment!
And look at this Vintage sweater I scored at a little shop that I frequent:
The bead work is amazing and in excellent condition. What a perfect time of year to wear something so pretty & feminine!
(If spring ever actually arrives, that is!)
Here are some goodies I've found lately. . .the book is French which I cannot read to save my life but it has beautiful photographs and it is my favorite shade of blue! The note cards are taken from the book Lawrence Alma~Tadema by RJ Barrow and are titled "Luxury & Decadence". . .there are 16 different images and they are all stunning!
Of course the Spring issue of Victoria which I am very pleased is back however I must quietly admit there is something missing this time around with it's publication. . .has anyone else thought/felt so? It's well done but it just seems, or should I say, it feels like there is something missing and I am not sure what. Any thoughts?
I found the labels at Homegoods for under $5.00 each and just had to bring them home. . .my daughter and I used some to tag our luggage when we traveled in February. I love to find pictures of old suitcases covered with stickers from all around the world! They don't stick quite as well to nylon, though. Another downside of modern travel gear, I guess.
Hmm, what else can I find?
Oooooh, this is a good one! A few years ago I bought a beautiful little black suede Vintage purse made in Spain. When I got home I looked in the tiny pocket and found this stamp inside. . .why did she save it? Who is John F. Donovan? Did she meet him in Hong Kong? Did they ever meet? Was it a last love letter before her wedding to another?
I think the mystery of it all is delightful! This is another goodie I would like to find out about. Maybe the postal mark has a date on it? Once again I find myself wishing I spoke another language!!
My curiosity about the past of Vintage treasures is probably the most intriguing part of collecting. That and wondering how in the world a size 12 in the 1950's came with a 26" waist! Where would that put a modern size 12 in that era? Yikes! How Americans have grown!