Category Archives: Adventures in junk

An old find finds a new home

Apologies for not posting for a long time. I’ll do better.

So, two years ago, while plundering through an estate sale, a little porcelain figure caught my eye. I didn’t know what I was looking at but it was well made and unique enough for the $12 asking price. I didn’t even haggle.

Found two years ago for $12 at an estate sale.

Every once in a while, I would do a google search to try to research the thing. My usual search terms would be stuff like “cloak and dagger,” “Jack the Ripper” or “Dracula.” A general stab in the dark (pun intended) with no return.

When I’d remember I had it, I would bring it out to show guests and get their opinion as to what the hell it was. Finally, a friend of mine took what vague information she gathered and somehow found the exact porcelain figure had sold in an auction in 2007 for $660. Wow! Thanks, Meredith.

What I had was what seemed to be a fine porcelain figure from the 1930’s mystery radio show “The Shadow” which later became a character in mystery magazines.

Needless to say, after more procrastination, I contacted a dealer at the Hake’s auction house, sent it to them and waited for the auction to begin. Very nice people at Hake’s and some really cool items they find for their auctions. Take a look, but later on. Hake’s Americana Auction

Well, the auction ended today and maybe due to the bad economy, or soft market, or because I waited so long, it sold for a lesser amount than in 2007. That amount was $445. Not bad for the $12 it cost me, eh?

I’ll miss the little guy but, hey, now I can afford to buy 40 of them if I ever run across any more.

The Shadow’s catch phrase was “The Shadow Knows.” That’s good because I didn’t know what the hell he was.

Here’s a link to my closed auction:  http://www.hakes.com/item.asp?Auction=206&ItemNo=113075


$20,000 found hidden in back of armoire

Long story short:

A worker for an estate sale liquidation business finds $20k stashed in the back or an armoire. The company owner traces the dough back to a 78-year-old widow (who lives in a nursing home) and returns it to her family. Come to find out, the widow’s deceased husband stowed it in the armoire years ago due to his distrust of banks.

That’s a nice bit of honesty, there. I sure hope there was a reward offered.

“He could have put the envelopes in his pocket and no one would have been the wiser, but he didn’t,” Davidson said.


Off to an estate sale of former Newton Mayor

Almost 70 miles northwest of Beaumont is the small town of Newton, TX.

We’ll be driving to there to attend a sale at the estate of Rachel Martin who was the Mayor of Newton until her passing earlier this year at age 77.

Mrs. Rachel Martin

She was a prominent woman with many talents including painting, poetry, songwriting, floral design, music. She was also a private pilot.

It’s unusual to put a face and name with an estate sale. Most of the time, the sale is handled by a third-party hired by the family. This one is different, not sure what to think.

She seemed to be an interesting woman and I’m respectful and anxious to be invited into her home.

I’ll post an update later today about our trip.

UPDATE:

Lily pads and cypress knees rise from the bayou south of Newton near Kirbyville, TX.

The scenic views on the way to Newton was worth the trip alone. That’s good because there wasn’t much that interested me at the sale.

The small storefronts downtown seem to have been there forever while the historic Newton County Courthouse continues to be under repair from a damaging fire.

A store owners sweeps the sidewalk while another plants flowers in a planter below a large pane window. Children meet up to ride their bikes with a sense of urgency as a horse-drawn wagon carries a group of folks around downtown.

On a Saturday drive-by, Newton seems to be a nice, sleepy little Texas logging town that the residents care about. Continue reading


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