Over the years, I've been dragged along to a fair few estate sales, but always came away thinking that they were over-priced and full of junk. Turns out, it takes a fair amount of dedication, persistence, and sleep deprivation to get the good stuff.
The kind gentleman who sold me the Danish sofa introduced me to estatesales.net and my mind was blown. All of these years, I'd been relying on Craigslist or Ebay and this site was chock full of mid-century goodness.
I'd spotted the goods. I'd printed out directions. I'd arrived early. I'd brought provisions. Everything, however, did not go as planned. It seemed like every week, the piece that I'd waited for was snatched up by a mysterious goateed man. Coincidentally, or so I thought, the same pieces were appearing on my favorite blog, Mr. Modtomic. Once this happened a few times, I put two and two together and realized that this WAS Mr. Modtomic! Talk about salt in the wound. I'd lose out on all of these great pieces and then have to read about what a great score they were the very next day.
Then came what I thought was my day. I'd scoped out a Broyhill Brasilia bedroom set on estatesales.net and woken up at the crack of dawn (actually, way before it), but once again I was soundly beaten and left to stare longingly at the now tagless pieces. If any of you have ever seen Brasilia, you'd know how heartbreaking such an encounter can be.
After that disheartening experience, I thought that I was done with estate sales. However, on the way home from dropping the girlfriend off at the airport early one morning, I made a last minute decision to stop by a sale where I'd spotted a couple Lane Acclaim coffee tables (another of my favorites).
And there in line, right in front of me, stood Mr. Modtomic. He'd done it again! I decided to wait it out anyway, as I was 6th in line and might still be able to grab a few things, but it looked like slim pickings if what could be seen through the windows was anything to go by.
When the doors opened, I watched as the others made a mad dash for the dining room and bedroom. They were after the Kipp Stewart dining set and the tension pole lamp. This was my chance! I quickly made my way to the basement, as I'd seen concrete in the photos, and snatched the tags.
It was a small victory, but victory nonetheless.
Afterwards, I even got a chance to speak with Mr. Modtomic, who seemed like a genuinely nice guy. He congratulated me on my find and we talked for a while about mid-century design and exchanged emails. Since then I've tried to forward tips on any pieces that I know he's been looking for or that might interest him in his way. Maybe there is room in this town for the both of us after all.
Click the link above to check out his blog.