Earlier today we went to pick up a few items from a gentleman who previously had a yard sale and had some other items that he had not yet gone through. As he opened boxes that had not been viewed for over fifteen years, we talked and learned a bit about his rather eclectic collection. Many of the items were from his mother and grandmother, but they were not all family pieces as they once owned a fine antique store in NY.
They are a Eastern European family who escaped before the Holocaust and even so, like many, they knew people whose family members were killed. He told of a family member who used to have nightmares and wake in the night screaming. I cannot imagine such horrors. As we spoke, I asked him if the pieces had a story. He said that there were lots of stories, but he didn’t know them. I felt a mixture of sadness and happiness for him. Perhaps, its best not to know all of the stories of the pieces that he had. Who knows who they may have arrived with or when? I was also happy for him because knowing such stories would certainly harden one’s heart.
Carefully, he unwrapped two vintage mirrors that were exquisite, we happily purchased them for our shop. He then pulled a beautiful Art Deco lamp from the heap, which we also purchased. It needs a bit of love, but it is still a beauty! He also sold us a beautiful vintage rocker that also needs a bit of TLC..nothing too serious though. So two ottomans later, he pulled from the mix a piece of signed art by Jewish Photographer, Laurence Salzmann, the piece is entitled, The Last Jews of Radauti. He said, ” you probably are not interested in this and tossed it aside.” I was moved by its poignant image and we purchased it also after deciding on a price. We bought a few other pieces..a chandelier, a hand painted chair, and another small piece of art. When all was said and done he told us that we wanted the things that nobody else wanted. For a moment, I was taken aback. The items that nobody else wanted are indeed vintage, lovely, and interesting. Its sad to think that such beautiful things are somehow sub-par. I wandered what he would think of our humble abode and if it too contained items that nobody else wants. I hope so.