Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Today's Purchase: Schoolmaster's Desk
Having taught school for so long, I am hard pressed to express my happiness in finding this one and bringing it home.
It's heavy, and is larger than it looks in the picture.
Here's how I came to get it.
Nita and I rode to a storage room in McCalla where a guy was selling furniture he and his wife had collected for fifty years.
The desk was right by the door, and it was the first thing I saw that I knew was good. Turned legs, original hinges, that pumpkin-orange color, no major repairs or replacement parts, and a brown interior that only age could create.
When I saw the prices, my heart sank a bit, but I remained calm as usual and showed no emotion. The man had everything priced sky high, and I knew we could buy little to nothing. I did a quick walk through while he and Nita talked about his terms and prices.
He had told her the night before that she could take anything she wanted on consignment, but now he had changed his mind and wanted only to sell for cash,telling her to buy what she wanted and make all the profit she could.
That would have suited me fine, but, as I said, his sticker prices were too high from a dealer's viewpoint.
Nita then told him who I was and that I was a schoolteacher. I began to tell stories about my students, about the health care situation, about my life as an antique dealer, and about my old log cabin and my love of all things Old South.
After we talked a while he said that the price he had on the furniture wasn't the real price, that I should divide the number by two.
That was a relief to know; otherwise, it would have been a no sale day.
I told him that I wanted the desk for sure. He also had a dovetailed bible stand, ca. 1840, which Nita wanted for the shop.
She also got a bucket bench, a sled, a walnut table, a bronze quilt rack, a bureau with mirror( 1920s), and an ogee clock.
We loaded up everything but the dresser. He had a primitive lift-top desk that I want to look at again when we go back to pick up the dresser.
There was also a child's wicker baby doll buggy which was not repro that might be good.
There was a work bench, but it looked like the 1950s Colonial Revival stuff that was used for the house when Lucy and Ricky moved to Connecticut.
( Note: You must be at least 50 years old to understand and remember when Lucy and Ricky moved from New York City to Connecticut and bought a two story colonial house and filled it with 1950's awful maple revival colonial revival furniture. I don't think we ever saw what Ethyl and Fred did in their hired-man's farm house.)
There was also a large oak bed, but oak doesn't sell anymore ( not until Martha puts it back in her magazine).
So Nita ended up with about $900 worth and I just got the desk.
We got in the van and headed back to Montevallo before the afternoon storm arrived.
Nita's husband told her that we stole it all ( his favorite expression for a good deal) and I don't think we did so bad myself.