Ever see those signs that say, “The best time to buy antiques is now!”, or remember your mother saying, “If you like it, you should pick it up” – especially when it came to sale tables?
Well, they say these things for good reason! If you don’t pick it up now, someone else will. And by someone else, I mean someone who isn’t going to care if you saw it first, want to haggle with you, or really give you the time of day when you try to verbally or monetarily convince them that this item should be coming home with you.
Let’s take, for example, glassware called Ruby Thumbprint (or Kings Crown). My mother has collected and we have used this glassware for as long as I can remember. Christmases were made more festive with its bright pops of red and birthdays more special because you could drink from these fancy glasses—you get the picture.
So, we’re in this great house in the Highland Park neighborhood of Dallas, Texas, and I see a set of 10 sorbets (or sundaes) for $10. I think “oh, I bet my mom would like those – let me call her real quick”…and I had hardly made it two steps to the left before another woman swooped in and took them. (Well, she took four, but as I picked up the other four – ready for a haggle – she not-too-sweetly reminded me that they were now hers.) No lie – here’s the picture. I even had time to think, take a picture, text, and then call my mom. And, of course, mom said “BUY THEM!!!!!” She probably would have even paid me double – just as a convenience fee.
Possession is 9/10ths of the law.
As if I didn’t re-learn my lesson sufficiently that weekend, I was reminded the following week. I spotted a great striped hatbox in one room, continued on to the next room because the house was practically empty, and when I looped back around, the one other person in the house had already picked it up.
Let’s not even talk about the time that I saw a lead crystal decanter in a bar in North Dallas, thought “nah, I’ll wait – I don’t want to spend half my money at the first house” – and rued it all day long (that’s not to say that the other houses didn’t have good stuff – just that none of it was as great in comparison). And, of course, the following day, when I couldn’t handle the regret anymore, it was gone. To someone else. Who realized that $15 for a lead crystal decanter, with a beautiful star pattern, and original stopper, was worth it. I, of course, had realized that it was worth it, but I was being too Dutch (a theme, I’m sure, that will continue to reappear).
Moral of these stories? (and the others that, we’re sure, are to come)
BUY IT WHEN YOU SEE IT. If you like it, and you can’t believe the price, and you can’t believe the find, and it’s in your budget – buy it. And, if you need to think about it for a little bit, pick it up and walk around with it! As long as you don’t leave the house, you’re well within your rights to have and to hold, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish…until your wallet/husband/friend/gut say you should part.
Have any regret stories to share with us?
If you’d like more info on Ruby Thumbprint (or Kings Crown) click here.