Last Saturday: Sohrab and I were kerplonked after a hectic day of treasure-hunting, but we spotted an estate sale sign on the way home, and said, alright, last one. We walked up the narrow stairs into an upper duplex filled with gorgeously framed oil paintings, African wood sculpture, far north soapstone carvings, fanciful antique lighting fixtures, and all sorts of other evidence that someone with great taste and funds to indulge such had inhabited and adorned this home.
We walked into a light-filled living room and our eyes fell on this stunning cabinet. We looked at one another, silently acknowledged that we had fallen hard and fast for it...and then walked right past it, thinking that there was no way this was going to fit into our budget. A cursory glance revealed a small brown paper tag with $1500 written on it, crossed out, and $700 written below that. Worth it? Oh indeed. Within our budget? Not a snowflake's chance in hell.
We spent a few more minutes exploring the home, enjoying the sense of it being a well-loved, tastefully decorated space. Then we wandered back to gaze wistfully upon the cabinet's time-worn beauty once more. The owner walked over to us and said, "I bought this 20 years ago, it's Tibetan, and at least 200 years old." She opened the doors, and showed us the thick planks making up the back and shelving. She ran her hand over one knot in the wood and said proudly, "Solid walnut." Then she said quietly, "I'm moving, it won't fit into my new apartment, and if you want it, you can have it for $300." We thanked her, and walked outside, walked one block, turned, walked back, and said, "We love it and we'll take it."
We headed to the bank, returned to the house, handed over the cash, exchanged contact info, and then tried not to lose our lunches all the way home. We kept repeating variations on, "Did that just happen? Is it really ours? Do you feel nauseated too? I'm SO HAPPY!!!"
This past Friday: The mover I'd booked on Monday TEXTED me to say he was running late and could he meet us at 8pm instead of the agreed upon 6pm. It was 5pm. FIRED. I went into angry panic mode. Sohrab went into rescue mode, and (miracle!) found a crew of 3 movers who could do it on super short notice. I dashed home in time to see the movers in front of the building, examining the bottom of the cabinet. "Hey Peter," one said to the other, "check out the nails on this thing. It must be older than Methuselah."
I ran upstairs and quickly moved furniture and breakables out of the way. A few minutes later, it was in place in the Trove and I was incoherent with glee.
It is now filled with goodies, and waiting for Trovers to enjoy as much as I do!