Yard Sale Documentation Project 6-30-12

It’s likely that you’ve seen one or two of the Chevy Chase “Vacation” movies. In one scene, dim-witted Randy Quaid shows off a prized possession to his big-city in-laws and proclaims, “That’s a fine quality item, Clark.”

Today was “fine quality item day” in yard sale world.

Kate was away for the weekend, so I was left to my own devices for the morning’s activity. While it’s not as much fun going it alone, it does afford the absolute focus on personal goals, which in my mind are paintings, art pottery, and anything of use in the garden.

The first sale opened at 7am, which should have been my first clue that we were dealing with real Mainers here. And I must say, this one might qualify as the single best yard sale of the season. (See YSDP 4-21-12 for the complete list of categories.)

First of all, the pile was huge; spread out over an expansive driveway overlooking the Scarborough Marsh, which at 7:30 on a summer morning is worth the trip right there.  Visitors were greeted by two cheery deeply-tanned women, probably in their early 70’s, who looked like they should be cover girls for Downeast Magazine.

Not only was the vibe friendly and warm, these lovely ladies were serving up free coffee and donuts. Normally I’m all about coffee and flour and sugar, but in this moment was too distracted by the goodies that were not edible.

The first thing to catch my eye was a rolled up rug (seen in the photo above), which I could see from the label was 5′ X 8′ and 100% wool; the price tag said $5. I looked for more zeros but couldn’t find any.

The next thing to capture my attention were 4 wooden window panels, the kind that create divisions in the windows where there really aren’t any. These things are great for the garden, for staking peas, or as a background trellis for winding traveling vines. I was thrilled to be informed that these were in the FREE pile.

It’s only 7:45am and my day’s already been made.

I leave with the rug, a free pad for the rug, the 4 free window panes, and this fine quality stainless steel spatula. I figure it’s gotta be all downhill from here.

However, the next stop had me wondering if I’d hit upon a genuine treasure.

My name is Jeanne and I have a pottery addiction. I LOVE art pottery…mostly the matte green — McCoy or Roseville or Haeger or Rookwood or Floraline, but the white stuff is nice too, and I do have some brown pieces… and a few yellow.  I also have some Swedish Hoganas, a few English pieces, and some Japanese pottery. I like pottery. But I’m at the point where it really has to be something special for me to buy it, since as you might imagine, there are quite a few pieces in the current collection.    

The piece pictured here could be a mediocre find or it could be truly spectacular. it all hinges on the mark at the base. (It might not have come home with me had it not been stamped.) I did some research, but it’s as yet inconclusive. If it’s Van Briggle or Greuby, it’s worth a bundle. If it’s a Roseville or Rookwood that’s good too. Whatever it is, at $2 it was special enough to take a chance.

Dan StaroffAn artist friend Dan Staroff sent me a print of one of his works, a Tree of Life pictured here. The frame shown above is the first step toward getting the piece hung in my office; next step: mat and glass. BTW, that’s a Larson Juhl frame, probably out of my price range under usual circumstances.

Another fine quality item!

One more home decor find to report, this handsome foot rest. As you can see, it perfect matches a chair that already sits in my home, one of my favorite pieces.  Now– I’m wondering if it’s possible that they were made by the same person, the similarities are so striking.  

The chair is hand-hewn, which can be seen in a up-close inspection of the woodworking. The foot rest bought today is obviously hand made and is unmistakably signed by its crafter. While it seems unlikely, the materials and date and style and scale of both are so similar that it does make me wonder if Mr. Robinson (a local Mainer?) made both pieces.

That’s one more project for the research department.

Here goes with today’s tally:

* 8′ X 5′ wool rug: $5
* Art pottery: $2
* Wooden foot rest: $5
* Fancy frame: $5
* Stainless steel spatula: 50 cents
* English plate: $1
* 4 window panels and a large non-skid rug pad:  FREE

Total spent: $18.50

I must say I did an excellent job of not ” buying just to buy” so as to take advantage of the multitude of high quality items out there today.



  1. Cynthia Maier said,

    July 1, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    Wow… I love to follow your shopping adventures. Great read and great finds Jeanne Anne! So very impressed. 🙂

  2. July 1, 2012 at 10:36 AM

    Thanks for following this little adventure, nice to know you’re out there Cindy!

  3. Mike said,

    July 1, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    Good hunting…we’re upstate at Mel’s taking a break from the incomplete kitchen

  4. July 1, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    Ah, good idea. Maybe a bit cooler there than in RVC. K/C/V are in Endicott right now, a mere 2 hours from you!

  5. charlene said,

    July 1, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    love your yardsale blog!! used to do it a lot but now I am living vicariously through you!

  6. July 8, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    […] probably should have expected an ebb after last weekend’s rushing flow of fine quality items. Also to contend with was how the mid-week July 4th holiday messed with everyone’s […]

  7. July 29, 2012 at 10:11 AM

    […] depending on the presence of the observer. In the same way that I had a certain experience a few weeks ago when Kate was absent from the event, an experience that would have been vastly different had we been […]

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