So Sunday, I was in a town that I'm not normally in and we were dropping something off at someone's house. Errand done, we noticed an estate sale just winding up right around the corner. There was a big dumpster out front, and some items on the driveway. As we approached, the people running the sale very tiredly said, "The items out front here are free. We are just so DONE."
It was mostly canning jars and such, but there were a few odds n ends and so we poked around. Hubby grabbed a huge vintage Lazy Susan that is a nice solid, stained wood piece. That's his deal, but I can see its usefulness. He also grabbed a cool vintage brass bowl.
Then I saw a stack of dishes.
Checked the mark on the bottom and after turning it around a bit, I made out "HEATH". Sweet!
Heath Ceramics was started in California by Edith Heath in the 1940s. Some of her designs are in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.
Later research revealed that the line is called "RIM" and it was designed in the 1960s. It's still made today, so I'll have to research the mark a bit more to date these better. One dinner plate on the Heath Ceramics website goes for $36.50.
But it gets better.
We wandered further into the garage but there wasn't much there so I was starting to get the idea that it was over. There were a lot of people, but I think most people were actually family. Someone asked if we were done or waiting to checkout. (it was confusing). I asked if there was more inside the house.
So one lady said to another, "Well, I suppose they can go look in that one closet....in the kitchen". So they turned to us (there actually was one other woman customer) and said, "There's a closet in the kitchen full of dishes that we didn't even get to, it hasn't been touched at all."
Did you catch that?
An end of estate sale, untouched by greedy dealer hands (the only greedy dealer hands were mine, the other customer wasn't a dealer) closet in the kitchen full of dishware!!!!!
So I feigned politeness and said, "If you don't mind, if it's not too much trouble...." as I walked into the house.
The woman showed us the closet and it was kind of funny, because the other customer and I were trying to be polite and not rush it. We both kind of peered in, but when I realized we'd be there all day, I jumped forward.
One of the first things I saw was this:
Wasn't sure right away what it was, but Black Americana is collectible so I put it aside to decide on later. Well, as you can see, I did keep the little chef. Any guesses as to what it is? (answer is at the bottom of the article)
Then it got really good.
I pulled out a large enamel covered cast iron Paella pan and flipped it over. Yup. Le Creuset. !!!!!!!
Then I pulled out a small Dutch Oven (or French Oven) in the same burnt orange color.
Then I pulled out a large Dutch Oven...same color.
The insides are pristine!!
One of the owners opened the bottom of the stove/oven and said, "Oh I think this goes with it too". It was a small open baker/ pan thing. (not sure the official name)
Note the color and the interesting handles. I assumed from the color that these were from the 1970s and I was right. In 1973, Le Creuset enlisted designer Enzo Mari to do a special line of cookware, which he called La Mama.
Hubby was sweetly standing by, holding our free finds, letting me do my thang, so I picked up my LC (it was so heavy my knees almost buckled) and plopped it over by him.
Don't get me wrong, the other customer was not into these things at all. She I think grabbed some aluminum bread pans and then when she found a stoneware one, offered it to me. So not a dealer. ;)
But it wasn't over.
I picked up one more dark brown bowl and flipped it over.
Arabia of Finland.
It's an open vegetable bowl. I didn't know it at the time, so I wasted precious moments looking for a lid. It's listed on a replacements site at 59.99.
I'm sure there was so much more. There just wasn't time. And the family was trying to finish and they looked wiped out. I was quite happy with what I got. But it makes me wonder what I missed....
So I asked the owner, "What can I give you for this?" She hesitated because I could tell they were just happy more stuff was going out that they didn't have to deal with. Then she said, "$5.00???"
That was so nice, but my conscience would not allow that, so I gave her more.
It was really an estate sale situation that you normally only dream of. Twenty pounds of cast iron kept me from floating away.
Oh...and the chef? There's a hole in the top and right as we were paying I realized it was a....
..Pie Vent/Pie Whistle/Pie Bird type thing. Sweet!