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Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Canadian Mint and Other Eye Candy....

Canadian Quarter
I think a little clarification is necessary here. What exactly is the difference between a tag sale, an estate sale, garage sale, and yard sale, etc.?

There is no legal clarification for what a "sale" is allowed to call itself.  California recently had a sale,( no, not a fire sale).  They sold off a lot of excess items they had in storage.  While I am sure the government is in dire straits there, the fact that they called it a "tag sale" was coined by the media. Here is my best definitions of each:

Tag sale - They didn't know what to call it but their signs were too small and couldn't fit "Garage" maybe?  Tag sales rarely have any tags for sale.

Yard sale - They don't have a garage, or tables, items are commonly in boxes or strewn on a blanket with signs like "Everything on Blanket $1."  Many times I've asked at a yard sale, "How much for the 3ft?" but nobody ever gets that joke.

Garage Sale - Now we're getting somewhere. If true to the name, this is a collection of all the items that have overflowed from being tucked into corners, cubbys, pockets, and rafters - a sale is imminent if it is ever to be used as a garage again.

Moving Sale - We're getting close to estate sale territory here, but these are often "home goods" sales. If you are looking for furniture, large and small appliances, including bric and or brac.  Usually the best stuff is in the moving van, though.

Schaefer Beer Can
Estate Sale - The golden child of the group.  The one where you get to ask, "Is it throughout the whole house?" and the answer comes back "Yes."  These are the ones that are most often classified as "digs"  (Urban Archaeological Dig - that is).  They're not all rosy treasure chests of booty waiting to be spotlighted on the Antiques Roadshow, but some have potential.  My favorite phrase is "time machine". I'm
looking for the kind of sale where I can step into grandpa's workshop and feel as though I've just gone back in time.  The pencils in the old beer can with the dried out erasers have the names of long lost local businesses still clearly stamped on them. The drawers under the bench hold a multitude of nuts for which matching bolts no longer exist. If you dig in those drawers you may find at the bottom is an ancient coin. Kept as a good luck piece and forgotten when incessant hammering vibrated it into the void from which I rescue it.  The Centeime (front and Back) is a french quarter from 1918 and worth about 26 cents and was found in a box of hardware in Danbury. The half crown from 1959 is worth $1and was found in a drawer in an old barn in Ridgefield..  Just for clarification, none of these coins are gold, that's just my imperfect photography skills.

25 Centime coin french 1918

Then there are the hooks and nails affixed to the walls to hold that gadget, or thingamabob that's never left it's original packaging, still emblazoning it's false printed promise to solve some age old problem.  Beer can openers, swizzle sticks, folding tape measures, and worn tools, some whose purpose may never be known - unless you can tell me. What is this?

Seems to be designed to turn a piece of wood and shape it somehow.

Finally, the collection of manuals, old newspapers, calendars, etc. which were so very important at one time and could never be casually tossed.

It's all treasure to me.  Some to keep, or not, but worth appreciating, studying, and attempt  to understand the way you might at a museum of oddities.

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