Treasure Hunting

I'm a treasure hunter. And I come by it honestly, from both sides of the family. My grandma on my dad's side loved garage sales. Grandpa on my mom's side enjoyed visiting auctions and couldn't resist a bargain whether he needed it or not. I take after both. Treasure hunting at garage sales, rummage sales, flea markets & visiting stores is a favorite pastime of mine. During the summer most weekends you can find me treasure hunting. I'm also a romantic, which feeds my desire to purchase items with a past instead of new. I like the idea of owning something that has a great story. A history. I thought it might be fun to share some of my favorite scores. I'll start with the highlight of my hunting this summer....

This is what I saw as I walked up to a gigantic rummage sale in Evanston this past July. I was immediately smitten with the piece in back! It had the look of a Sheldon Rose (another story for another time...), which I have been hunting for, for several years now. This may sound dramatic but the moment I saw it my heart raced. I'm not kidding. I was so ecstatic. All I could think is “I need this.” The only issue... it was in a box of purchased items, sitting next to the owner outside. I stopped a few feet away and told my mom “I have to have that. Should I offer him some money for it?” It had a $10 price tag on it, so I knew what he paid. She encouraged me to go with my gut. Without even seeing what kind of shape it was in I counted my cash and threw out an offer of everything in my wallet. No joke, I really wanted it. The guy was very kind but I could tell a little leery. He told me his wife picked it out so I would have to ask her & she was getting the car, wouldn't be back for awhile. I gave him my card and walked inside nervously.

I was so distracted while inside shopping. I couldn’t focus on anything except the amazing letterpress block wall hanging outside. My poor mom & shopping partner kept talking to me but I was not very responsive. She decided we should leave after not finding anything. As we walked out we saw the wife hopping out of her car & coming up to talk to her husband. Again, my heart started to race. I was so anxious but really wanted them to know how much I loved the piece & how perfect it was for a letterpress printer like myself. I approached again, after the husband explained my offer. I think they were both a little baffled by my excitement. I might have come on a little strong but it was just so perfect. I'm very happy to say after considering it, the wife agreed. HOORAY! I am still so grateful. It's absolutely beautiful and every time I look at it I smile and even say a little thank you to Rebecca (the wife). I did have a moment of “did I overpay?” which thankfully, my mr. (Tom) quickly dismissed. 

Here I am with my treasure immediately after money changed hands! And below is a not-so-great image of the piece on our living room wall. The lighting was a little dark but you get the idea.

Also I'd like to mention the very kind Rebecca is a collage artist and jewelry maker. She has a great etsy shop called Shop Industrial Grace & can be found on facebook.

1 comment

  • Rebecca Hill

    Hey Amber!!
    I only just saw this post for the first time now! I was so pleased that you were able to get the art piece that you had been seeking. Thanks so much for the shout-out, and what a fun day that was! The cool twist of things now is that I am at Columbia College in their Book&Paper program, so I get to hang out with the Letterpresses there (plus at home we have a coffee table made from a type drawer!)

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