Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Everything Has a Story -- A Curved Glass China Cabinet It Only Took 45 Years

 Our dining room

To the left of the window is an Asian chest
which we bought about 13 years ago
Supposedly it is an antique
I think once upon a time buyers would go to China
and buy anything old looking and ship it back
(or buy anything that the Chinese said was old and ship it back)
And it was sold as "antique"

It held my china
And I have lots
It kept it behind closed doors
A look that I liked at one time

Some of my silver napkin rings ringed the top

Sometimes, however, you want change
And I decided that I would like people to see my pretty china
So I started a quest to find a china cabinet
There were "rules"
in my quest

a - it had to be old
b - it had to "make a statement"
(for the Asian cabinet did)
c - it had to be reasonably priced
(No $3,000 cabinets for me!)

I trolled Craig's List
Clear up to Nebraska
(although how I would have gotten it home, I'm not sure)
And found a couple
In that $2,000 to $3,000 price range!
And a lot of "cheap", "new" versions of
a curved glass oak china cabinet

I did find one locally
But didn't make a statement except it was really tall
And it was $1,000
(which was a little more than I thought it was worth!)

And then on Facebook . . . 

I see this picture
OMG, I say to myself
That looks really neat!

And then they posted the second picture
"Perfect" I thought

The pictures were advertising a farm auction (which also included household goods)
on Black Friday

The forecast for Black Friday -- rain!

The pictures of the furniture were inside
So I thought the sale (at least of the furniture) would be inside!


The forecast was right!
It started raining Thanksgiving night
And it was raining Friday morning

"Wrap up well and layer"
Husband Jim said to me as I headed out
(But the furniture is going to be inside the house, I thought, as I also grabbed my
needlepoint which should occupy me while I waited for the item to come up for bid)

I did grab a coat, and wore a long sleeve turtleneck and a cardigan
But I also wore my everyday crocs

Parking was hazardous
for it a sea of mud
And I almost got stuck in the mud leading into the designated parking
But I got myself free
And found parking on wet but solid ground further up.

The auction, I learned, was all in a shed down the way
And so I sloshed through puddles and mud to the shed where all the household merchandise was

And there . . . 
Leaning against the wall was that cabinet
More magnificent than the picture showed
For it had claw feet!

I sighed!

$1,000 thought I
The other one in Fort Scott was $1,000
This was a much better piece
And so I set that as my limit

Of course, the furniture was not first
The "little" household goods were.
The rain pouring outside
The ground in the shed getting muddy in spots
I found a chair and proceeded to needlepoint
But it was cold
My hands were cold
My body was cold
And my feet were freezing
For beside regular crocs, I wore no socks!

I put aside the needlepoint,
tucked my hands inside my sleeves
But there was no warmth for my toes
Which were freezing!

The crowd was small
Few women for it was a farm auction
(read tractors and bailers and tools)
But I did watch many come and look at my cabinet

Finally, they started on the furniture
And it went cheap
Really cheap
There were few antiques
And what was there was not in prime condition
Finally, they got to the china cabinet

"$500" said the auctioneer
"who'll give me $500"
no one did
"$300, who'll give me $300"
no one did
So I jumped in with a hundred dollar bid
And I had someone bidding against me
Then someone else bidding against me
It rose quickly at $25 intervals
But then at $200, I had the bid
And no one else bid any more!

It was mine!

I had made previous arrangements to have it brought home
if I was successful
So I called and set the time for pick up and delivery

And then I slogged through the mud and mire and rain
Got a big cup of cocoa
Sat in the car with the heater on high
And thawed from the inside out!

And finally it was delivered

Looking more perfect than I thought
A nicer piece than I thought I would ever get

I had unloaded the Asian chest while I waited for delivery
The dining room was piled high in china

As tempted as I was to begin "playing" with my new toy
The old glass had been out in the cold all day
And I didn't want it to crack
So I let it get adjusted to the warmth of the house

This morning, after breakfast,
I got to play . . . 
And everything fit into the cabinet
(with the exception of the silver trays which I knew would not)

And before lunch it looked like this!

The Aynsley Pembroke plates are on the lower shelf on the left
Grandmother's Noritake plates are on the right
And platters are in between

Grandmother's Noritake is on the shelf above
(as well as some lovely little odd white with gold trimmed cups and saucers that I adore)

Miscellaneous bowls and plates are on the next shelf

The Aynsley Pembroke is on the fourth shelf up

While the top shelf holds the partial set of
white with gold trim Old Paris that I got for a song
here in Fort Scott

My silver napkin rings ring the top of the china cabinet
While crystal pitchers and the silver coffee urn are also on the top

Husband Jim decided that the cabinet was my Anniversary Present
I adore it!
I only wish he could have attended the auction with me
(but he's home recovering from surgery
and so I had to "go it alone")

The new look in the dining room with the china cabinet on the left
(The middle table was changed out eons ago and the mirror dispensed with --
It's an civil war era dining room piece and holds the tea service and punch bowl nicely)

The dining room as you see from the front door --
It's decorated for late November
with colorful mums in the epergne
And the turkey salt and pepper on the sideboard

The Story of "Why Forty-five Years"

We celebrated our 46th Anniversary on Thanksgiving

When we were first married we had little money
And so our furniture purchases were "used" furniture
Mostly golden oak which was just "used" at that time
rather than the antique it did become.

And I so wanted then a curved glass china cabinet
Really, really bad
And "plain" ones
(not as fancy as the one I got)
were $100
which was a lot of money in 1969/70

We really couldn't afford it
And I never got one
Not even a plain one

So forty-five years later,
I finally got my curved glass china cabinet
And I am elated!

It is a statement piece
It does hold all my china
(but I'm not sure how much more it would hold --
which Jim thinks is a good thing)
And the price was definitely right!

I smile as I walk through the dining room and see the cabinet
And I shall never forget that "Black Friday" when I bought the cabinet
in the rain and the cold and how miserable I was
waiting for it to come up for bid!

It will always remind me of cold and rain!

And when I walk past it, I get shivers
From excitement
Or remembering the cold and the rain?

Husband Jim likes the piece
(He had only seen the picture)
And was only too happy to gift me with the china cabinet for our anniversary.

It was one of the best anniversary presents ever!

And as my son-in-law's Aunt Jo said
"I think china cabinets are one of my most favorite things.    
they are usually full of memories and family stories of great times past."


Bernideen Canfield said...

You got an incredible bargain! Most antiques peaked in the early 90's. At that time china's like yours were going for $2000.00 and up. Especially with the curved glass and the carved feet. Who could believe you could find one for that price - congrats!

Sarah said...

Well, this is the best story I've heard in a long, long time. I'm thrilled your found your curved china cabinet. The story that is now part of its history will become great family lore. Preserving pays off! Kudos to you for searching till you found one you were thrilled with and double kudos for obtaining it at a bargain. That fact makes it even a better story. Well, that and the cold, wet conditions. '-)
Happy, Happy Anniversary!

Darla H said...

That is a beautiful China cabinet. Just was waiting for you all these years...for just the right time and circumstances!

I enjoyed reading the story too! I could feel your excitement.

lucy said...

So happy for you both. You finally got the perfect gift and Jim was happy to gift you. What a sweet and funny story to tell Lucy and her sissy. Frozen toes never stopped us from shopping :-)

Bookie said...

How wonderful! This is lovely and you were brave to tackle the weather. I am happy for you, what a Thanksgiving.

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

In the fullness of time.............You did well! What a lovely piece and what a super price. I feel it will be happy with you from now on. And you will be happy with it.

Running with a sharp pencil said...

What a treasure! Your china looks lovely in it!

Connie said...

I wanted to put on a pair of socks once I began to read this. There's nothing like a farm auction in Kansas on a cold, blustery day! So happy for your success...what a great story!

Fox and Finch Antiques said...

A great find and at a great price. With my antique shop, I routinely go through what you went through that day. I could tell you some stories! The curved glass is beautiful and look at the amount of china it holds. A fabulous piece in tiger oak and it looks wonderful.

Deanna said...

Beautiful piece of furniture.
Happy for you.
Happy Anniversary,

Rosie M. said...

Oh, my, what a lovely addition to your home. I love what was said about the memories that china cabinets hold: it is so true. Sometimes I just stand at my hutch thinking about the pieces that have been in my family and the dinners and special occasions they have seen. Congratulations on your anniversary and your new china cabinet! Rosie @ The Magic Hutch

Maria said...

What a great story! Every beautiful piece of furniture deserves a lovely story, which can be handed down. Congratulations!

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