A friend of mine, who is re-doing her 100+ year old farm house outside of Memphis, TN, is working her way down the "endless yard sale" right now starting in Covington, KY. Last year she found some incredible bargains (in spite of what seemed like endless rain), including some light fixtures piped for gas made by Tiffany. She bought a beautiful stove made in the 20s several enamel topped kitchen tables from the same era and a Hoosier cabinet with all the fittings intact.
She moved from California to Ohio and then to Tenn., five years ago and has gone on this trek for four years. Her son owns a small trucking company and sends a truck and driver with her (lucky her).
When she used to visit me she always admired all my cast iron and other old stuff but out here had a very modern house (50s modern, all glass, chrome and etc.) and didn't think such things would fit. After her husband passed away she moved back there to be near her son and found this lovely bungalow built in 1902.
I haunted swap meets and yard sales for years and still manage to get to a couple each year, usually the one at the Rose Bowl which has a lot of real antique vendors, they vet their vendors very strictly.
I also go to estate sales and auctions, particularly those in the more remote area where the dealers are not as thick on the ground.
When MGM had their huge auction of things from their studio back in the late '80, a friend and I bought a lot of furniture, decorative and kitchen items that had been used for props since the 1930s. Many of the things were sold in lots and one had to take the "chalk with the cheese,", as the old saying goes, however we did get some incredible bargains. One lot was 8 closed wooden crates full of "china" which we got for $160. and which turned out to include 2 complete sets of Victorian era Spode, each service for 24! As with most Victorian sets, there were many extra dishes not seen in modern service. We also bought 4 huge boxes of "fabric" which were bolts of vintage fabrics still in their original muslin bags, all from the '40s.
I bought a lot of kitchen items, some with the stickers or tags that indicated in which movies they appeared, still attached. Most of these were from the 30s and the films are long forgotten but now the items themselves have become very collectible.
If I still had the energy I would love to spend more time poking around flea markets, swap meets and yard sales. However I have reached the point that I would have to buy another house to hold the stuff. I also have the feeling that my housekeeper would become a bit "testy" if I hauled anything else in that needed polishing or any special attention.
Edited by andiesenji, 05 August 2005 - 08:40 AM.