The Equality State Sale: Deb’s Part

You know it’s a good sale if you have to sit down and try to remember all of the things that you bought.  That estate sale in Cheyenne was up there in the top five all-time estate sales, and if I were on an unlimited budget, I would have bought a LOT more!

I thought this was a strange combo, and pretty odd framing, too:

Some of you aren’t old enough to remember the Northern Tissue American Beauty prints from the 1960s, but that little brunette on the right is one of the girls.  I’m not sure why she is paired up with a Victorian woman on the left.  They’re both dressed for snow, so maybe that’s the link.  I wish I had looked at the framing better; the background behind the prints is pretty crazy looking.  By the way, I was so focused on the pictures that I didn’t even notice the dress at the bottom of the picture with its fab beading!

Since we’re looking at decor, I know what I think about this chair:

Looks like a throne to me!  A 1960s throne, with mod fabric, to boot.  The lady who lived here, to put it mildly, must have been very theatrical.  I have no doubt that she received the cream of Cheyenne society in this chair.  If I were in the mood for statement furniture, I might have bought this behemoth!  That fabric alone makes it a conversation piece, and it was in pretty darn good condition.

If she were in the mood to dress for a 1960s chair, this might have been a good choice:

Oh, the fabulous chiffon with the empire waist details.  I’m pretty sure there is a vintage Barbie outfit that is similar (Lemon Kick, a pantsuit).  I really like this dress, and you would be the belle of the ball wearing it.  Maybe she wore those gold boots from last week’s post just to double down on the awesomeness.  It’s also interesting that she collected clothing from Victorian to Mod.  She was eclectic in her tastes.

I just loved the peach and blue smoking (?) long-tailed jacket:

If this belonged to the man of the house, he was just as flamboyant as she.  It’s not often that you see someone with the nerve to wear this in Wyoming—at least out in public.  The flapper dress has a cool hemline and the brocade inset is interesting.  I wonder if they wore these two together, as they look nice hanging next to each other.

I really included this picture because you can see Kathy in the rightmost picture wearing her fun hat and going through a trunk.  She is busy looking while I’m fooling around taking bad pictures!

I kept most of the flapper dresses for me, just because they’re easier to talk about:

This decorated silk sheath must have been very elegant, with all the flowers and beading.  It’s pretty amazing to think about going from Edwardian dresses just barely showing an ankle and still requiring corsets, to the nearly slip-like dresses the flappers wore.  And they say the 1960s generation was rebellious!  It seems pretty tame when compared to what was going on in the late 1910s and early 1920s.  This is another near picture of Kathy.  You can see the pink petticoat that she has in her arms—so pretty!

You could hardly enter a room without stumbling over a Victorian dress or two:

The one on the left had a bustle, as you can see all the extra fabric hanging down.  I love the jacket on the middle dress.  A very elegant ensemble to wear while making calls.  I think the dress on the right is much more modern, just from the cut and fabric, but it’s hard to tell from this picture.

This skirt has some mileage on it:

The tag says that it is an antique hand-embroidered wedding skirt.  I’m not quite sure why there is that strip of fabric at the waist.  I’m sure that there was a coat to go along with this, but surely, the blouse was tucked into the waistband.  Maybe the jacket was buttoned, and no one could see the waist area.  I guess it could just be a two-toned skirt that looks odd to modern eyes, but was stylish a hundred years ago.

What do you think of this picture?

I wonder if it alludes to the owner’s past?  If she were on the stage, that might explain why she liked to wear “costumes” from many eras.  The table on the front is nearly empty compared to what was on it right before this photo.  A young man was pulling a box out from under the table, the whole thing collapsed, and most of the stuff on top broke.  He didn’t knock into the legs, so I don’t really think it was his fault.  I hope the company didn’t make him pay for all the stuff that got broken.  It’s up to them to make sure their displays are stable.

Man, nothing ever got thrown out in this house:

it just got moved downstairs.  Those lights on the stand are pure 1960s magic.  I was looking at that piece of furniture, and it’s hard to tell what it is—a radio, a small bar, a wash stand??  Those holes in the ? drawers and the fabric down below are pretty mysterious.  Of course the tag is too small to read!  That purple fabric in the foreground is pretty fabulous.  I wonder if it’s a sari?

The last house picture is of the kitchen light fixture:

Isn’t it cool?  I love the basket form with the rose decorations.  It looked really pretty with the lights on and off.  I’m glad it’s still in good shape; I hope the new owners sell it if they don’t want to keep it.  It’s pretty unusual.

We wanted to tell a story from the sale, although there are no pictures.  We were standing near two women who were looking at a gorgeous 1920s silk shawl with beaded Art Deco decorations.  It was that 1920s orange with green and black.  It looked to be in perfect shape, and one of the women was lamenting that she couldn’t afford to buy it.  We were consoling her, when she added that she was a collage artist and wanted to cut it up for a collage project.  I’m sure our expressions were horrified because she asserted that she was “an artist!”.  We moved away before we said anything unforgivable, but I heard her later say that she was coming back on half-off day to buy it.  I hope that it was sold before then.  Our feeling is that if something is damaged, then it’s fair game to reuse any way you want to.  But, when it’s perfect, or nearly so, then there is an obligation to the future to preserve the piece as best as you can.  I’m not sure there are more than a handful of such silk shawls in existence.  It seems a shame to ruin something so rare and beautiful in the name of art.  Rant over.

Here are the clothing goodies that I bought:

There are two flapper hats, and the pink one in the bottom right corner seems more Edwardian in shape and decoration.  The black beaded piece is sort of like a collar that hangs down a good two feet, and is silk with hematite, or metal beads on it.  It weighs a ton!  My old purse is a reticule, and the strings loop through glass rings in a matching blue.  I adore it!  I might be selling two of the hats, but I’m still mulling it over.

I also bought some hard goods:

Sigh, the Art Deco multi-drawer box was sitting there waiting for me.  I really don’t need it, and don’t even have a place for it, but it came home with me.  Since I live in a 1950s ranch house, I surely needed this clock!  It has the short cord that you plug into a receptacle that hides behind the body of the clock.  It was ticking away when Kathy spotted it and I pulled it off the wall.  It has some extra paint on it, but that doesn’t matter.  I never mind that things I buy have had a life before they came into mine.

I hope you had as good of a time reading about the sale as we had going to it.  Keep tuned because who knows what we might run into next time!

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8 Responses to The Equality State Sale: Deb’s Part

  1. romitazz says:

    What an incredible place! Your story and pics make me want to know about the people that lived there – was she an actress? Were they both actors? Such beautiful clothes! And they look like they were and still are very expensive. Her home is like a walk through the past. Thanks for your great stories – I always look forward to what you will find next 🙂

    • kathy & deb says:

      It was pretty incredible. I kind of think that most of the clothes really belonged in a museum; a lot of them were really high quality and in good condition. We didn’t even get a picture of the 1950s stuff. A woman came in and swooped it all up. we were super curious about the owner, too. I think it would be nice for the estate company to post a small bio, but of course some folks are way too private for that. We just make stuff up at a certain point based on what we see!

      • romitazz says:

        Haha – I can see you guys doing that (making up your own story!) I guess many of us do that when coming across something like this. So many unanswered questions. Oh too bad about the 50s stuff – I have a friend who has collected 50s stuff for years. She has storage facilities full of dresses, hats, shoes, purses – you name it. She uses it for fashion shows at various events. It’s fabulous! I agree about it being museum quality – it sure looks like it from the pictures. Just stunning – thanks again 🙂

      • kathy & deb says:

        Wow, your friends collection must be fabulous! So glad that you’re reading along and chiming in; we love to hear from our readers, too!

  2. Stephanie Gazell says:

    What a great post! So many treasures! That little chest of drawers – oh my!! And the vintage hats! Lovely…

    • kathy & deb says:

      Thank you for appreciating all of my goodies–not everyone does! That sale was amazing; I want to know more about the owners life! It must have been really interesting.

  3. What a fabulous sale!

    • kathy & deb says:

      It sure was. It was like wandering around in a clothing museum with a lot of mid-century stuff scattered around!

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