Who would have ever thought to check the backyard before going into the house at an estate sale? But after reading this blog, I'll wager you'll consider it. The only time I recall prices catching my attention for Garden Furnishings was at some of the Red Barron Auctions in Atlanta, Georgia where there were huge fountains, statues, and urns large enough for a person to hide inside. These furnishings were usually so large, you would have had to own a mansion to use them. Prices were also large, with some items going as high as $250,000 or more. But, naturally, there are much smaller items to be found other than the grand pieces from these great estates of yesteryear.
Garden furnishings have been popular for centuries. I can still see those beautiful gardens in the old movies about the Roman days. Gardens have been the property of the wealthy in Europe for thousands of years. In this country, Since we began to duplicate the lifestyles of the Europeans, the ladies of the South have had formal gardens. If you close your eyes for a moment, you’ll be able to image a Southern Belle, dressed in that large hoop dress with a very stylish hat and parasol walking among a formal garden of her plantation. These images bring back a completely different style than we experience today.
“Snap out of it Daryle, and stop that dreaming,” I just told myself. So it’s to get back to the real world and back to treasure hunting and making money, because there's some serious money to be made today in Antique Garden Furnishings.
At an estate sale, when you enter the back yard and take a seat on that cast iron bench to scan the property, make sure that bench isn’t a Fern shaped 19th Century 59-1/2 inches long valued at $3,500.
What should you be looking for in that yard? How about a bronze figure like a little boy and girl reading a book by M. Geiss, valued $4,000 or more. Your eyes might then settle upon a cast iron fountain, decorated with birds and leaves. In today’s market, this fountaint might bring $15.000 to $20,000. Urns were always a great part of the beautiful gardens, so how about an 1880’s cast iron urn featuring angels for a mere $25,000. Other items are hitching posts, sun dials, birdbaths, boot scrapers, objects of art, and architectural elements like finials and wall brackets. My, oh my, there certainly are wonderful things besides flowers in a garden. Do some of your own research on the Internet and see what you learn today.
One of my friends told me the story of a sale he attended and after going through the entire house, he completely struck out. That was, until he was leaving and noticed two large green urns on the porch. He returned to the house and asked if the urns were for sale. I guess he caught them off guard, because they told him, “Well, I guess you could have them for $50." He quickly paid the price, and rushed out, needing some oxygen in the worst way. Like lightening, he managed to get those items into the car. You see, on the bottom, incised twice, was the word “Teco”. Need I say more?
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