Curious Collection – Estate Sale Finds

Friday morning, my alarm sounds off at 4AM and I muster up consciousness to drive over half an hour north for first dibs on an estate sale I saw online. For those unfamiliar with estate sale hunting, some places with desirable items create sign up lists that are posted outside the home a few hours before starting time, and then crazy people like me get filed in by that order. The clipboard goes out at 5AM; I arrive at 5:06 and a dozen people are already scrambling in the dark to get their names on the list. I’m number 17. Next comes the waiting game… Doors don’t open until 8AM, so me and a couple other dedicated buyers camp out in our cars along the street until go time. I decide to pee in a bottle because I can’t drive to a restroom and risk losing my perfect parking spot. The things we do for the hunt…

Estate sales gather groups of people almost as eclectic as the items we’re vying for – all different shapes, sizes, ages, backgrounds. People who can’t stop talking to you about their interests. People who all know each other from other estate sales they’ve staked out. People who resell weird things and people like me who just collect weird things. Despite our differences, there’s a unique sense of camaraderie and we all wish each other “Good luck”.


In the end, here’s the haul I came back with: a beautiful vintage goat mount, a good sized antler rack with hunting tag still attached, an old hand saw, vintage tobacco tins, old shears, and a load of gorgeous hard-cover books (one of which is from 1900 and has a hand-written note inside dated 1905).

7 comments on “Curious Collection – Estate Sale Finds

  1. Oh man you got some sweet finds! I’ve never had to camp out for an estate sale! That’s intense. I go to a lot here in Dallas or bid online… people can get vicious. I can’t say I’ve scored anything as great as you yet though. I always go for vintage clothes first but I get lucky if I find any taxidermy at all. Clearly I need to come to California!

    • This was the first time I ever had to camp out, so it was quite an experience, haha. Taxidermy is rare and overpriced in California. The only times I’ll find it at estate sales is if the late owner was a hunter (like this guy was). And the pieces sold at flea markets were brought here from places like Texas, Arizona, Colorado, etc where taxidermy is more common.

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