Monday, September 19, 2011

Back On Topic

While last week may have been a disaster, I did manage to snag some of the big-ticket items on my checklist.

I'd been fretting all week about which sale I'd attend: the one with the Sputnik chandelier or the one with the another of my most-wanted pieces.  Both began at the same time and they were at opposite ends of the city, so one would have to be sacrificed.  How could I choose?  In the end, I decided to go for the Sputnik.  It's easier to transport and I was considering constructing my own wall unit anyway.  

Surprisingly, nobody showed up until 7, two hours before opening.  There I'd waited, sitting in the cold since 3 AM, all for naught (Admittedly, I did have a lawn chair, blankets, and free wifi).  It was well worth it though.  I got that coveted first spot in line and easily snagged the lamp.  Good thing I did, numbers 2 - 10 all went for the exact same thing. 

There isn't much available on the history of the Sputnik chandelier, but they were (I believe) originally designed by Gino Sarfatti for the Italian lamp-maker Arteluce.  I can't find an exact date, but I would assume that it was produced shortly after its design inspiration, the Sputnik-1 satellite, launched in 1957.  I'm pretty sure that mine isn't an Arteluce, but it may be a Lightolier, a firm that mass produced Sputniks in America during this time period.  I'll have to check if there are any identifying marks (and update with an actual picture of my Sputnik rather than a stock photo).

After checking out, I headed up to the second sale, just to check out what was left.  I figured there wouldn't be much.  After all, I was an hour late and when I pulled up, there was a woman carting out a load of bubble lamps and shell chairs.  And that's where we'll pick up next time.

A side note - They call it a "tag" sale for a reason.  You take the tags off the items you wish to purchase.  If the item does not have a tag, someone has already taken it.  I had 3 different individuals try to walk off with my dear Sputnik this Saturday, one of whom managed to break several of the star bulbs.


  1. wow...i never went to an estate sale so early or on the first day. it sounds like fun when u find what u go there for :) contrast to the disappointment when u see someone else walk away with it right in front of u

  2. I wouldn't normally wake up that early on a weekend, but this was a special case. I'd set my heart on that silly lamp and there was no going back.

  3. Ooooh, bulb breaker needed a slap upside the head!

  4. Slapped upside the head indeed. Those things are awesome and not cheap...especially when you aren't replacing like 4 bulbs but 20 something!

    Congrats on the sputnik, it's a beauty.