Unique Estate Sale Offers A Few Surprises


I am currently in North Florida, setting up someone’s house for an estate sale. Boy, you never know what you’re going to get with these things.

This one is especially interesting because the occupant was interesting. Her home is filled with authentic Victorian dresses, hats, parasols and shoes, as well as several collections of English china and a dozen of those little toy cast iron stoves. There is even a diminutive icebox with a plastic cube of ice in it.

She collected boxes of chocolates — but just the boxes — and chocolate-covered cherries boxes as well. She has about 20 of each. There are approximately 50 fancy perfume bottles and 50 Victorian talcum powder containers. She collected Victorian baby shoes and baby bottles.

Her high-necked, lacy Victorian dresses, complete with bustles, chatelaines and beaded purses, are prominently displayed on vintage dress forms. A vase filled with ostrich feathers decorates one table. Hats overflowing with beads, lace and veiling sit on wire heads.

You can imagine what it looks like, walking into her home.

Instead of a dining room, she has a haberdashery. She had shelves built along each wall and, when her collections outgrew them, she started putting little tables in front of the shelves. Each table is piled high with Victorian scrap art, postcards and locking velvet albums containing antique photographs. Jewelry is piled in bowls.

Her china is stacked all around the house because, according to her sister, she ate off paper plates. No Victorian high teas for her.

Why? Because she was a rabid fan of “The X-Files.” She taped it, watched it, ordered it on DVDs and CDs, purchased the scripts, collected any magazine or TV Guide with lead characters Mulder (David Duchovny) or Scully (Gillian Anderson) on the cover, and has one room with “I Want to Believe” posters on all four walls and “X-Files” memorabilia extending out three feet from each wall into the room.

She has the clothes the characters wore and the coffeepot they used on set. She has Mulder’s FBI badge and Scully’s ID card. She has an “X-Files” Magic 8 Ball. I didn’t even know they existed!

Each of these items has to be researched in order to be priced correctly. Just type “X-Files Magic 8 Ball” into eBay and see what you get. You get nothing. I suppose I’ll have to call Hollywood to get the value of the clothes.

But this is what I love about the job. Driving down the street, past this little ranch-style house with the concrete Pomeranian at the corner of the driveway, I would never in a million years have suspected that there was a woman inside surrounded by Victorian gloves and high-button shoes, planted in front of her television set watching “X-Files” videos and eating off a paper plate. You just never know.

And tomorrow I get to venture into a bedroom.