Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Spring Crud Can't Keep Me From a Good Estate Sale!

I've spent the week fighting off the spring crud and am just beginning to emerge out from under wads of Kleenix, aspirin bottles and nose drops.  I got up off the couch this weekend and hit two nearby estate sales.  My biggest prize turns out to be this 8-3/8" berry bowl in my favorite depression glass pattern:  No. 610 Pyramid by Indiana Glass.  This pattern was made from 1926-1932 and came in green, pink, yellow and crystal originally.   I love the art deco lines of the pattern; when Steve and I were in Jefferson, TX last October I found this 9-1/2" oval bowl that I had to have.  The green is my favorite though I like the pink, too.

Anyway, I was walking through a crowded estate sale and the house was filled with stuff.  It was a lot to take in.  I picked up a couple of little things and as I walked through the kitchen I saw the green bowl jammed in the back of a pantry with a $9.00 sticker on it.  It's in beautiful shape and I was thrilled.  I clutched it close to me as I made a beeline to the table to pay up and leave.  I just never see this pattern anywhere except on eBay or in an occasional antique mall.  To find one at an estate sale at such a great price was fun.  A real treasure!

At another sale I picked up this Fostoria American pitcher.  It's squat and stocky (and heavy!) and I like it.  I like this pattern, too; my grandmother left me some pieces which is how I got into semi-collecting this pattern.  There are lots and lots of pieces to this pattern and you'd have to live in a warehouse to collect it all.  I pick up the odd piece here and there.  I got this pitcher today and the salt and pepper shakers.  I gave long thought to a relish dish that was there and to a oil and vinegar cruet set on a tray but left them behind.

At that same sale I also picked up two books - one is an 1895 edition of the complete works of John Keats; I, of course, have several old volumes of Keats and some modern printings, but I liked this old one.  It's got a plate with his portrait in front.

I also picked up a 1958 edition (hardback) of Gilbert Highet's The Art of Teaching which is apparently considered a classic.  It's filled with such gems as "The teacher's chief difficulty is poverty."  And on the subject of "tough schools" and the challenges of the unmotivated, he writes:

"A woman teacher in such a situation has a far harder time than a is worse than useless to post a woman to such tough schools.  One of the essential reforms which should be made is to staff them all with men.  Girls will respect a man, and the boys will at any rate not despise him."

I can't wait to read this book and see what other bits of advice I've missed out on all these years.  I'm not being wholly sarcastic: the book is reputed to be filled with good common sense.  I'll add it to my summer reading.

Other than that, it's a lazy Saturday at chez SIGIS while I crawl back onto the couch to continue my recovery.  My neighbors are industriously working in their front flower beds and I feel like a sloth, but I've got to get this crud behind me.  Summer is coming!


Jayhawk said...

The pitcher is great. My grandmother left me a cut glass pitcher and a set of tumblers which I treasure greatly. Warning, though, admire but do not use until you verify that the crystal contains no lead. Adding lead was very common, and if it feels heavy it likely does. Mine, it turns out, does, and if used for potables it will result in the ingestion of lead.

Anonymous said...

I envy your finding such nice old books. I thought that new law a couple years ago banned sales of old books to prevent even the weensiest chance of exposing children to some bad chemical (lead? arsenic?), said law arising because China sent us toxic toys and poisoned our dogs. Or did they postpone enacting some or all of the law? You are lucky to find so many good books.
Anyway, I do hope you will give us a nice LONG review of "The Art of Teaching."
Just a thought: I do like looking at your pictures of glass and china, as I enjoy collecting, too. But I really like books, and I love love love old books. I would have liked seeing the two books you mentioned in this post, including the Keats portrait. Please think about photographing more of your book purchases in future. Your public demands it! Well, not "demands" so much as "would like a lot."