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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

When Estate Sales Break Your Heart

Last Friday, my sister-in-law and I went to an estate
sale at a very old house; we didn't buy anything. 

But on Saturday,
Howard and I went back to the sale, because I wanted these:
Picture from the estate sale ad, by Jerry's Antiques and Estate Sales.  Jerry, by the way, is great fun to chat with.
Royal Copenhagan plates.
The "Flute Half-Lace" pattern, in green.
This pattern dates back to 1775, and is still made by Royal Copenhagen,
and by many other manufacturers under other names: Finlandia, Denmark, etc.
In blue.  These were green.  Green!  For about $20 for 11 plates, I wanted them.

But as we walked up the steps to the house, a gentleman walked
down the steps, carrying those plates.  Dang.
The thing about estate sales: You snooze, you lose.

But that's not the heartbreak part of this tale.
No, the part that broke our hearts is that this house is being torn down.
The new owners want a place with lots of glass.
This house, from 1806, is too old, they say.

Too old.  After all, who could bear to live with an entry like this?

When Howard and I last saw this front parlor, that beautiful fireplace was lying on the floor.
I hope it's headed for a wonderful new home.  It's not original to the house, but it's lovely.

If I'd had an extra couple hundred dollars (stop laughing, Howard), I'd have taken that mantle.
Gorgeous old wood.  I hope someone took it.

Yes, it is heartbreaking that a gracious, beautiful home,
that has sheltered families for many generations,
will be torn down because it is old.

Don't get me wrong.
I have nothing against new houses.  Believe me, living in an old
house often makes the thought of new construction very appealing!

But surely, surely, this couple could have found some empty land
on which to build their glass and steel dream home.
And not destroy this bit of old New Jersey.

Well, now that I've depressed everyone, I need to say goodbye.
My friend Emily and I are going shopping!
She is getting a rare day on her own, without her twins;
wonderful husbands are valuable assets.

Speaking of wonderful husbands, Howard and I did buy
something from this estate sale; I'll show you tomorrow,
and share the results of yesterday's jaunt to Philadelphia's Main Line.

Enjoy your Tuesday -- Cass

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Confession: Those pictures of the house are not mine; they are from a real estate listing.


  1. I sure hope they have hired salvagers to mine the historic bits out of the place. Since it won't be saved, perhaps the parts can live on. :(

  2. That is heartbreaking, Cass. I'm sure those walls could tell many stories. I find the younger generation does not seem to care much for 'the old' in furniture or homes. It's all about new. We are going to miss our old home when we move but are happy that our daughter will take it over for now. Not sure what we will do down the road. That really is a beautiful home I would have loved to live there. Deb

  3. OMG! What a shame. Look up the John Osborn house in ancestor built it. My father, over the years, saved many family heirlooms, like the spindle from one of our ancestors. I also have my great-grandmother's china and silver. That is so sad that people today do not or can not recognize quality in a home. My parents' home was torn down and a "mansion" put up in its place. I'll never drive by it again..
    Cheryl Ann

  4. Wish someone would buy it and have it moved! It's Gorgeous!
    Oh, by the way, Hello from Texas...Nice blog!

  5. I learned long ago that if I see something I really want at an estate sale or antique it, sure as night turns to day, it will be gone by the next day!
    I can't imagine anyone wanting to tear that beautiful house down...there should be a law against it.
    Have fun shopping, Cass!

  6. Oh... be still my heart!
    Even if the young couple couldn't or didn't want to live in that old house... wouldn't it be IDEAL if they could find a buyer and move it!
    a buyer out there-- that would love and cherish an old place like that?
    Old houses don't get the respect they deserve. I discovered that recently when we spoke to a realtor about ours... :/ It made me sad!

    have fun shopping, I can't wait to hear about the recent Craigslist adventure.
    take care!

  7. Yep, sad! :0(
    It's a gorgeous home.
    Sorry you snoozed.

  8. Oh my goodness...those wide plank floors are to die for! The entry way... the wood work... just all of if! DROOL worthy.
    Why oh why don't I have enough money to save all of these unappreciated homes? :)

    I would cherish

  9. Wow, the price must have been so low that they were willing to shell out money for land only? Perhaps land is at a premium in your area? Very strange indeed.

  10. What a shame about that beautiful old house! It's tragic to tear it down, especially to build some glassy monstrosity.

    I've been in Jerry's Antiques in Montclair many times and bought some very nice things at reasonable prices. It's also very close to one of my favorite used book shops.

  11. Why the h-e-double-toothpicks would you bother to buy that house just to tear it down and build something else! Just buy a piece of vacant land and start from there. Too bad it didn't go to someone who would have love it :(

  12. So, so, so sad. What are these people thinking!!!

    M : )

  13. O my goodness, my heart is indeed broken, I can't see any ole house torn down.. glass or not. sadly but I don't see anything in new houses except ugly .. specially here in San Francisco.. the new house are terrible ugly and sad.. no character at all.. man when I see things like this I want to say can you please ship it here to me.. with sadness Janice..


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