Saturday, June 4, 2011

The best yard sale find of my life!

Let me walk you through how the best yard sale find of my life unfolded:
I slept in this morning and when I woke up I was annoyed with myself for being 1/2 hr late to the beginning of the group yard sale at the church down the road.
I've been looking for a pair of nightstands to put next to the bed.
There was very little furniture at the yard sale so I left 5 minutes after arriving.   As I was driving home I decided to do a quick stop at the local thrift shop.
I notice a mirror as soon as I walked in so I grabbed it and set it off to the side.  As I set the mirror down I saw the oil paintings, so I turn to them and pull the bigger one forward to see it better (it's pretty dark inside the building) ... 

that's when I noticed all the papers on the back.  Way cool, I instantly wanted it.   I like when something comes with a 'story' ... something to give the item a date, and a way to identify it.  

I'm about to look at the smaller painting when a man says to me 'I know you from somewhere' ... and for the next 10 minutes I am chatting with this man about how he may know me.  I still don't know him and actually that whole conversation has me a little uneasy because afterward I realized that I ended up telling that man my first name and the last 3 places that I've lived ... fast forward 2 hours later when I'm replaying that whole exchange over in my head and I keep repeating to myself 'stupid, stupid stupid!'

Aaanyway ... the gentleman who works there come back in and asked me if I wanted any help so I asked him to tell me the price of the mirror and the paintings ... he told me $2 for the mirror and $5 for the pair of paintings ... Oh, I am SO game with those prices!
I paid for the items and left, I was in a bit of a hurry because I wanted to get home and get to work on some projects that I want to complete.
When I got home I opened the truck doors and pulled the larger painting out into the sun to get a better look ...  *gasp* it looks like oil on canvas and it is beautiful!

 I turned the painting over to read the papers and my excitement is building ... the one paper is 
in eye-talian and while I can't read it I at least can recognize "Accademia" 
so that tells me that the artist studied in Italy ... ?

I see the certificate of merit and the 'who's who' certificate but I don't know if these mean anything or if they are the equivalent of what kids get when they are in boy/girl scouts ... just something to say 'good for you!'

Hildegard Rath ... that's the signature on the painting ... the top line of the bio on the back says that she was born in 1909 in Germany!   

I stood in the driveway so very excited ... thinking about how in all likelihood Ms. Rath has passed on by now, but I'm holding something that shows that she left her mark in this world ... actually two pieces ... yup I was feeling very nostalgic.

So then I turn my attention to the second painting ... I've barely looked at it at this point.
It's a painting of cyclamens ... the uniqueness pulls at me.  Roses, daisies, peonies, sunflowers ... they are all usual suspects when it comes to still art, but this is the first time that I'm noticing cyclamens and I like it!

I turn it over and no paperwork but a small tag is pinned to it and I actually find 
myself stuttering in my head ... HOLY ... OH MY ... WHAT?! 

Well now wait a minute, people over price things all the time, that doesn't mean that these paintings are worth anything as far as the art world is concerned.

It turns out that they are.  Hildegard Rath did pass away in 1994 and from what I can tell her pieces sell anywhere from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars.
Looking at the paintings, I can see why.
I bought these pieces being happy in the knowledge that we get to enjoy the art that someone took the time to create ... not even considering that they would be from an accomplished artist ... just happy that someone took the time to paint them by hand.

The framing doesn't quite seem to be professionally done but that too is unique and I don't want to change a thing.

 I can't wait to hang these!!


  1. these are AMAZING!!! I love stuff like this too! I love the one painting myself! it's a good thing I was not there with you, we would of had to wrestle for them! lol...and remember...I grew up with 7 older brothers, so I've had my share of wrestling! ;)