Rummage, estate, bric-a-brac, garage, yard — whatever term you use, you’ll find me there. I love rifling through items from the past, hoping — often without success — for a rare copy of Betsy-Tacy or a Finnish Arabia ceramic dish or a vintage coat.
Most often I’m unsuccessful at finding exactly what I’m looking for, but sometimes I walk away with an unexpected item. Other times it’s just for the fun of hunting.
While yard sales weren’t common in Switzerland, used shops, called Brockenhäuser, were. Most of these were large Goodwill type stores, but I was lucky to live next to a small shop with let’s call it a curated collection of furniture, books, housewares, jewelry and other items, gleaned from one of these large stores.
Similar to Déjà Blue in Cherry Creek North, a sort of Goodwill boutique that has replaced Zurich’s “Kunst und Krempel” as a regular Sunday outing.
I’m the embodiment of the adage “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” — but I never ever expected to find the trove I did at a recent estate sale.
This one was conveniently located down the block, so there was no excuse not to stop in. I went in hoping to come away with a cement garden bench (I didn’t), but instead walked out with five pairs of vintage Ferragamo shoes.
I could not believe my eyes as they landed on this trove — a designer collection that would quicken the heart of any fashionista, particularly one that favors vintage styles and who went through a pretty serious Audrey Hepburn phase.
“Vintage Ferragamo!” I repeated in disbelief to my husband, who didn’t quite understand my elation, though after my seventh or eighth exclamation he realized this was a big find.
“I’m taking them all,” I said, no matter that a few were in deplorable condition and they were all a tad too snug for me. “You don’t see vintage Ferragamos at this price and not buy them!” A little suffering is well worth it when we’re talking about vintage Ferragamos!
As for their badly needed love? They’re off to the cobbler’s for a good cleaning and some new heels and, as they say in England, Bob’s your uncle! Suddenly I have five pairs of vintage Ferragamos in my shoe collection.
This is the magic of estate sales. You never know what treasure you may find.
Shana Goldberg may be reached at [email protected]
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