My friend Mary is a veteran treasure hunter and estate sale scout. She looks for places that are lived-in, worn-at-the-edges, abundant–in other words, houses with a lot of stuff in the basement. Mary loves discoveries of ephemera best: bits of ribbon, rolls of old wallpaper, kitschy greeting cards, and she’s willing to whisk through the contents of desk drawers and dig through musty closets for a great find.
Last weekend, Mary invited me to a sale held at a former convent of Armenian nuns, which before that was the many-roomed replica manor home of a wealthy family. The place is now marked for demolition. It was one of those places layered in stories: the third floor narrow hall with rooms in the eaves for servants, a grand sun room darkened by the nuns into a makeshift chapel, a wing painted in ice cream pastels for orphaned children. I didn’t pick up much–a plate, a stitched scene (of Armenia?)–but I marveled at the crackled linoleum, the porcelain door knobs, the notebook filled with needlepoint patterns, Xs in squares, the pencil still tucked in the page.
7 thoughts on “Places: Treasures & Trash”
Sounds like the perfect setting for a story, Margaret!! I especially love the idea of a sunroom made into a chapel–how interesting. I love that doorknob–is it made of porcelain?
It was certainly a setting. Maybe the place is unsalvageable but it seems sad that it will be torn down!
Wow! Amazing how such treasures
can be discovered in hidden places! Love the dim, faded aesthetic, especially with the porch and lawn. Spooky!
love your name, too 🙂
This is so pretty. I need to get on the right email list to find out about sales like this!
I think Mary just looks online for estate sales–I can check with her if you’d like!