An occasionally updated chronicle of estate sales in the city and suburbs of Chicago.

"It's such a guilty pleasure..." Lynne Stiefel, Pioneer Press


Friday, October 9, 2009

Bellwood Leftovers

This was one of those last-stop sales. It's hard to say why it was such a mess. Maybe because ravenous estate salers had been upending it for two days straight. Maybe it had always existed several notches below Martha Stewart's best, and had just been allowed to go downhill from there.

I doubt whoever slept here allowed lightbulbs to be dropped just anywhere (lower-left corner) or kept their pillows on the floor next to that decent-enough mid-century chest of drawers.

You want to know what happens to the stuff that's left after an estate sale? There are a few possibilities. Sometimes the estate sale company auctions it online and takes a cut of the proceeds. That sounds like a tough way to make a living, but it beats working in a coal mine and its modern-day equivalents.

It can also revert to the people who own the house. But chances are they've already taken what they want and probably aren't thrilled to receive a bunch of beat-up suitcases, sour-smelling linens and a roomful of other random stuff. Even if some of it might be worth keeping.

Usually someone -- the owners or the company -- pays someone else a few hundred dollars to throw it all into a big truck at the end of the day and make it disappear. Don't you have room in your home -- and your heart -- for this psychedelic floral chest of drawers?

Who knows what happens to this stuff after that? It could end up in a landfill, a charity, or the storage spaces of incredibly canny collectors. After all, they're not making green ScotTissue in the 1000-sheet roll any more, and probably won't ever again.

This stuff might be worth a lot in the right market. There are probably a few places on Earth where these things might be considered riches.

And then there are things like these. Arrangements that you -- okay, I -- just want to buy up whole and donate to the Smithsonian Institution.

There's something kind of nice about this. I can imagine sitting down here and reading a book under that lamp and feeling perfectly content. At least for a little while.

The asking price was $45, and I'd bet that much it could have been purchased for $20 with no questions asked.

I hope it found a good home.

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