The Road Trip: Part I

Think back to what you were doing last Thursday at around, oh, 3 a.m. You were asleep? Slackers. I was on the road, headed toward an estate sale. I teased you with this last week and now it’s time to finally reveal the spoils in a two-part post.

Normally I limit my adventures to the weekends and close to home, but a text message early in the week led me to a sale posting that had two things I was after: 1. a Drexel Declaration coffee table with two matching end tables and 2. a Broyhill Brasilia dining room set. You may recall that I collect Drexel Declaration and these three pieces were ones I didn’t have. The Broyhill set wasn’t for me, but for my mom who became enamored with the line after witnessing the majesty of my Brasilia magna dresser you may remember from this post. After some debate, we decided to make the two hour trip for an unusual Thursday tag sale.

Now if you’re willing to drive forever to get something you want, you want to do everything you can to increase your odds. We left town at 3:30 a.m. and pulled up to the house at 5:30 a.m. One person beat us, arriving at 3:30. Seriously? No matter, my game face was on. We waited on the steps for two and a half hours until the sign up sheet was set out. Surprisingly, the sale only managed to draw a crowd of about 12 people by the time it opened—but we still hit the ground running when the garage door went up. Up the stairs we ran into the dining room and living room and what did we find? Ultimate sticker shock. With the furniture priced up in retail territory we were momentarily stunned. I let the Drexel pieces be, but my mom did snag this.

BrasiliaIt was high priced as well, but still within the comfort zone. The table and chairs, however, would have to stay behind. Brasilia’s beautiful futuristic curves make it a tough siren to reject.

Brasilia2While I was still staring open-jawed at the tag on the coffee table, she also managed to grab these Danish teak tapered candleholders. I can never get enough of these.


Seeing these were like a dose of smelling salts and I regained my composure. If I couldn’t get what I came for, I’d have to fill the car with smalls. As I raced through the mid-century ranch, I discovered the prices on smaller items were much better and started getting excited. My favorite finds of the day were all of the toys in the basement. My mom grabbed the best one of the lot.

FredThis tin wind-up Flinstones toy was made by Marx in 1962. We were both amazed that he was still waiting for us when we got to the basement, considering he was only $4. The mechanism is overwound and doesn’t run, but otherwise it is in excellent condition.

Fred2I managed to snap up this Marx tin auto center play set. I have nowhere to put this and I knew I didn’t at the time, but it’s in such good shape and so many of the little plastic parts are still with it that I couldn’t resist. At this point a pile had officially begun near the cashier.


The level of detail that went into toys back then never fails to impress me. It’s just a toy, but it’s really like a tiny piece of art.


Did I mention the almost unnecessarily high level of detail?

Did I mention the almost unnecessarily high level of detail?

We found a few more great things in the toy room.

I don't know why, I just love these

I don’t know why, I just love these



TypewriterAs I was rushing loot out to my pile in the garage, I noticed a sign by several racks of clothing that said “Clothes $1 each unless marked.” Game on. The lady of this house had pretty great taste.

1950s Prom Dress

1950s prom dress

1960s Wool Dress with Mink Tails

1960s wool dress with mink tails

Very chic long wool vest

Very chic long wool vest

And with that, we were done at the sale. I wished I had left with my tables and the dining table and chairs, but it was not meant to be. I did, however, ask if I could leave an offer for each on the off chance nobody came for them the second day of the sale. You’ll have to wait for Part II of this post to see if anything came of it. At this point it was early in the day still and we were in new thrifting territory. When in Rome, hit all of the Roman thrift stores. And we did.

We hit a few shops and struck out before arriving at a shop that just happened to be having their half-off sale that day. The vintage clothing theme persisted with fervor. I found so many great pieces, all in excellent condition.

1950s pink satin bolero

1950s pink satin bolero

For the modern woman on the go

For the modern woman on the go

A little lemon chiffon for evening

A little lemon chiffon for evening

A little fluorescent houndstooth

A little fluorescent houndstooth

My mom found yet another great Marx tin toy at this thrift store as well. I can’t get enough of the detail on this little ranch dollhouse. It was a no brainer for $11!




As usual, I can’t go anywhere without dragging home a camera. I found this 8mm movie camera from the late 1960s. I don’t usually go for stuff this new, but I have to admit it’s kind of sexy.

CameraA buying trip also wouldn’t be complete without at least one piece of pottery. I found this West German pot at a Salvation Army in a neighboring town for just $0.99. I debated because it has a chip and I’ve promised myself over and over to not buy damaged pieces. But I just couldn’t say no. I can turn it around on the shelf and it will be our little secret.


Blasted chip!

Blasted chip!

My final purchase of the day, however, was one of the most interesting ones. As I walked into the furniture section Goodwill, the corner leg of a table caught my eye. It was wedged behind two other tables and had things on top of it, but was I really seeing the leg of a Broyhill Brasilia dining table peeking out? I thought I was at the time. It needed refinishing, but for $15.99 I can break out a little polyurethane—especially after just passing on one that cost 70 times as much. We actually carried this up to the cashier.


The more entertaining part of this would have been watching us try to fit it into my SUV which was already beyond full. We ended up spreading a blanket out in the parking lot of Goodwill and disassembling the entire table—removing the legs, expanders and all of the hardware underneath. But after that it slid right into the last remaining space in the car. Always travel with tools in your car for situations like this. Later that night a little research revealed that this was not Broyhill, but actually Perspecta by Kent Coffey—a very similar and arguably better line of furniture yet. Yay!

It was an adventure and an ordeal—but it wasn’t over yet. Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion in my next post.

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