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The Story Behind an East Gloucester Pick

A rock is just a rock, but if it fell out of the sky and knocked a body unconscious or worse, killed them, it's an interesting rock. If it fell on Lady Gaga and made her an idiot savant, it's an even more interesting rock.

The point here is we don't buy things for what they are, we buy them for the stories behind them. Even if the stories are exaggerated or preposterous, it makes them interesting.

Collectors love history and when they want to show off their collection, the key to not being a bore when doing so is to supply the story behind it. And good stories behind antiques can create excitement and spark a sale.

Stories that can be proved (aka provenance) can add significant value to an artifact.

But enough of the dance-a-round, the real deal here, is that stories make junk-trading FUN!

Since I buy and sell antiques & vintage items for a living, the stories behind the treasures I unearth can be of interest to my clients. And since memory can be a slippery thing, I thought I'd pen some of them here before I forget them. Along with the how, why, and where I decide to sell them.

Let's start with this awesome Globe-Werneke Barristers' Bookcase.

Handsome is the one-word description for it!

I received a call from a client with whom I've done a bit of horse-trading in the past. They have an amazing historic East Gloucester MA home, and I'm always eager to pick in that part of town.

The reason they rang me up was to come to help clear some clutter in their barn and basement, and to put more clutter in their wallet.

I pulled into the drive, and thought, "How can a place look exactly as it did 5 years ago?" But it did.

After the social formalities, we agreed to start in the cellar where I made a preliminary pile, then we walked to the barn.

I opened the door and the air and presence just changed - not an uncommon experience. How can ancient dust float in an atmosphere, and that atmosphere at the same time, have cool, crisp air? Who knows? Who cares?! I was on the Hunt!

I had just been transported back in time to a place that I can only describe as Old Glosta.

Old signs hung on the wall, along with shelves of crunch hardware, oil cans, and brass grain scales. I found a box of Gloucester maps, (bought em) an old rubber raft, which I was forced (ahem) to buy after being told it had to go with my other picks!

Among the other pics, the lawyers' bookcase was the bait that got me. I won it with about a 1/2 truck full of other cool treasures. It's a Globe-Werneke, 5 -stack, solid oak baby (circa turn of the 20th century) in excellent condition. These have been staples in the biz as they're attractive, well-built, and extremely useful.

Want to see the other items I picked from this East Gloucester home...

Stop by and see us at our Vintage Yard Sale!

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