Estate Sale Shopping

I went to my first estate sale two years ago on a whim.  I had just dropped off a family friend at a soccer game when I saw a sign for a sale.  I followed the signs to the house and went in.  I soon realized that the sale was ending in ten minutes and that anything desirable had already been bought up.  The whole experience intrigued me though and I filed "estate sales" away in my brain as something I'd want to pursue more in the future.  But life got busy and I didn't make any efforts to scout them out.

So fast forward two years to a couple weeks ago when Jessica texted me about an estate sale going on here in Fresno.  After a failed attempt at going together (oh nap schedules!), I ended up going later that day on my own.
The house was full of mostly french antiques that were beautiful and fancy.  A lot of it was too formal for our home but I still appreciated it.  And there were some other styles mixed in too.  Here is just a smattering of what I saw...
^^Loved these persian rugs. 
I walked around the house taking everything and then I came to the second bedroom where there was a bunch of art piled up against the wall.  It looked like a bunch of framed posters and I almost didn't go through it but decided to anyways.

Halfway through the pile I came across a painting of boys on a ship.  The room was dim but I could tell there was texture to the painting so I immediately thought, "An original!"  I asked the nearest worker the price.  He held it and said, "Oh it's an original."  To which my heart sunk because all the other originals in the house were going for $250+.  But then he said, "How about $20?"  My face lit up probably a little too much and I said yes, for sure.
I am always drawn to boat paintings for some reason.  I love that these boys look like naturals on the boat.  I want my boys to be out enjoying the world, having a great time.  And I think the way the ocean was painted is just beautiful.  I love all the blues.

Upon arriving home where I could get a better look at the painting, I could tell that it really wasn't an original.  There is a heavy coat of clear gel brushstrokes over the whole surface to give it the appearance of being an original.  This technique probably as a technical name, does anyone know it?
I think the technique is a little over done here cause it's globbed on pretty thick.

Anyways, I wonder what I could have gotten it for if the worker hadn't thought it was a true original.  But really I can't complain.  Twenty dollars for a framed, medium-sized piece of art is great.

Update: Turns out the painting is a classic American painting by Winslow Homer titled "Breezing Up." Cool! (Thanks anonymous commenter!) Turns out you can get a similar sized print, unframed from Art.com for $49.99 .   And now that I look at the print on Art.com more closely, I can see that the original painting had a boat off to the right in the distance.  It looks like whoever framed my print cut it down to fit the frame.  Interesting stuff!

I think it will look great in a future boys room alongside a framed map or something.  The frame is a little too green for our living room so I don't really like it there.  I will have to find the perfect spot for it till our some-day-future-boy-child is born.
While at the estate sale, I also picked up some vintage floral napkins (maybe I'll get crafty and turn them into pillows?), a marble slab (the background in these photos) and a brass envelope holder.  Such a success!

So my conclusion is that I need to go to estate sales more often.  They are such a fun look into someone's life.  It's not often you get to walk through a stranger's house and see how they lived.  And this home was darling. I wandered around the house wondering about the woman that lived there and even mourning her passing a little.  She must have been a great lady :)

And thank you Jessica for telling me about the sale.  I sure hope we can work it out to go to a future one together!


  1. Winslow Homer, "Breezing Up"

    1. Thanks! I just looked up the painting and found it interesting to read its background. I just updated the post with some info :)