Everyone has some vice, a weakness that they find difficult to resist indulging. I have developed a bit of an auction problem. Even as broke as I am right now, I cannot resist the temptation to attend an estate auction within a half hour or so drive. Now, I am NOT a hoarder, not at all. I don’t go to every possible auction, only the close by ones that have stuff that I actively collect or could use for the textile art. I don’t buy things just to buy something. Much of my auction attendance is for business, since I use mostly old table linens, doilies and other vintage textiles.
Last night, I went to an auction in a neighboring county. I felt apprehensive going to it, as it was apparently the liquidation of a tiny historical society. Being one who is appreciative of local history, I felt odd about the situation. The offerings were rather mystifying considering the source (not a complete list, but enough of a word picture):
Thousands of 1970s to modern postcards
At least 100 sample advertising calendars from printing companies, none local
Loads of unopened packs of cheap picture prints from the 1920s-1960s
Railroad, coal and other industrial company papers, certificates, etc.
Lots and lots of assorted advertising papers items, most with no local connection
5-6 boxes of unused pop bottle labels from a bottler in another state
Lots of worn, torn late 1800s/early 1900s clothing
That was the bulk of the auction, and I could not make any rational connection between the stuff and the location. There were a few local items, but not what I would have expected. If that was the collection of the historical society, no wonder they had trouble staying open.
The best of my purchases was this:
It doesn’t look like anything great, yet, but that is the sort of stuff I love to dye. A couple small fancy tablecloths, some damask napkins.
Two torn old (before 1940, I guess) vests, two old nightshirts (I think) and a black wool coat, maybe early 1900s? I don’t know fashion history. The coat, I don’t know what to do with. The rest of this flat will be cut up into other things, I have a plan to make cotton paper pulp sculptures someday, and I have a theory that old cotton will be great for that.
The last box:
Only part of the contents, but you get the idea - a lot of Victorian scrapbook cards, with some assorted advertising paper and a few calling cards from the late 1800s. Finally, some progress towards fulfilling the “paper” part of my business name. I already incorporate paper in some of my art quilts, and I want to make some fabric and paper collages on canvas. Here I go!