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Sunday, March 20, 2011

One man's flake is another man's fortune

A few weeks ago, we got up early and drove three hours to another city for a prearranged meeting with a mid-century dealer. We were pulling a 16' trailer and had a 2-month-old and a 17-month-old in tow, so we already knew this wasn't going to be an easy day, but we hoped it would be a productive one, because the SIL had a pocketful of money and was ready to spend it.

Just as we pulled into town after the long drive, we heard from the seller, who said he'd had to put his truck in the shop and couldn't meet us till 5:30 or 6:00 that evening. He promised he'd call us as soon as he could, but when my SIL got off the phone, he said he had a weird feeling that something was up and the guy had just given us the brush-off.

We had another stop to make for another great Carter Brothers scoop chair...from the same person who sold us my black one. He told us that the dealer we were supposed to meet was a bit of an oddball, but he gave us the names of two other dealers in town he said were rock solid. One was closed that day, but the other was open.

Oh, my goodness...were we ever happy things turned out they way they did! We walked into a veritable treasure trove of mid-century smalls and lamps and chairs, and the dealer was a wonderful person. She was ready to wheel and deal, and we made a spectacular haul. Not only that, we made a great business contact and a new friend. We shopped and visited with her for about three hours, and she's going to start picking for us on a regular basis. What a stroke of luck!

We went back a week later to visit the other dealer who had been closed the first trip, and he's going to be a good source for us too. We bought a spectacular desk (possibly a Peter Protzmann, which I'll post about later), several more lamps, some great art and more smalls. It's also where we got the beautiful yellow safari chairs, the huge inlaid cork lamp and the Møller chair that I've already posted about.

And the other guy? Never called back.

Jo Niemeyer signed prints

Signed Emil Bertoluzzi lamp

Large green vase

Hanging ashtray

Huge centerpiece bowl (and a purple one that's even larger)

Large slanted Haeger bowl

Plato lamp

Danish Modern sconces

Huge C. Jere' sculpture

Starburst glassware

Large decanter (possibly a Joel Meyer's Blenko)
Anybody recognize it?

Orange swung vase and square orange Viking bowl


  1. Good deal! Sometimes things work out in ways we don't expect!

  2. @Tanya: My daughter swears the orange Haeger bowl looks like a hospital bedpan, but my SIL loves it. :) Other that than small divergence of opinion, we're all thrilled with what we got from those dealers.

  3. @1950sarh: I'm a big believer that things generally work out exactly as they should...if we don't get in the way. That dealer is a perfect example of getting in your own way. He missed making an immediate sale, and he's lost all of our future business, which might have turned out to be worth a lot more to him than what he was doing when he stood us up.

  4. Oh fantastic!! I love all of this, especially the lamps, wall sconces, hanging ashtry and C. Jere.

  5. @Rhan: The dealer who stood us up really did us a favor, huh?

  6. Wow beautiful things. I'm in love with the hanging ashtray. Your store is awesome. Best of luck.

  7. What wonderful treasures - your adventure reminds me of American Pickers, how one thing leads to another and they have a great find. Love the orange glassware.

  8. I love all of these pieces. Everything you three have been collecting looks like it belongs together. I'm amazed that even though there are three of you, you manage to pull together such cohesive and chic pieces. Also, that is really obnoxious about that dealer. How do people expect to operate a business if they have such terrible "people skills?" Or basic courtesy for that matter...

  9. @adriane: The three of us work really well as a team. Joe has a good eye and loves to search craigslist. When he thinks he's found something good, he sends me a link so I can identify it. I hunt eBay for smalls. My daughter is the merchandiser. She worked for Pier 1 for seven years and is really talented at setting a floor.

    And, yes, the dealer was a jerk. It would have been bad enough if we had been driving across town...but standing us up when he knew we had driven three hours with two babies was a despicable thing to do. His loss though...because someone else got the money that could have been his.

  10. smalls-a-go-go ! it all looks like candy, great haul!

  11. Fantastic items! I love those prints and the Jere sculpture.

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