Suzanne O’Connor’s Bargains LA

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Estate Sale Finds

By Kevin O'Connor

I love good linens. I use them during the holidays for our family breakfast presentation as well as for a formal dinner. After the Holiday meal, I wash and press my linens. I have to admit, I actually like doing it….It has become a yearly ritual. Most of my linens were gifts or were inherited and tend to be older…. From the 1930’s-1960’s.

After a request from a reader, it dawned on me that I don’t see fine table linens much anymore. On the rare occasion when I do see them at some upscale boutique, they are seriously expensive. We don’t live the lifestyle that requires fine table linens, so dropping thousands of dollars on fine linens wont ever happen. But that doesn’t stop me from keeping an eye out for them.

As luck would have it, I have been seeing a lot of fine, antique linens at Estate Sales.  Being practical, I don’t always pick them up, but Estates Sales are where I do see them.  So I do check every Estates Sale for them whenever I go.

This past weekend we stopped into an Estate Sale in Los Feliz. The woman who’s home this was had been, had a lot of fine table and bed linens….. and she had incredible and expensive taste! It was a home over flowing with beautiful things. The sale had been going on for 2 days and this was the last day, so everything was marked down 50%.

I picked up 6 beautiful, used, but in mint condition monogrammed fine damask linen napkins at $8 and a very big (big enough for a table of 12) damask tablecloth for $20. I had to check each one unfolding them to inspect, including the big tablecloth. But it was worth the extra effort to make sure it was in mint condition.

I was quickly joined by other sharp, savvy women, snapping up these gorgeous linens with audible oohhs and aahhs!  I just got the one tablecloth and matching napkins. But most of the women made huge hauls with armloads of fine linens. I’m pretty sure that what I found there at $28 would have been well over $1000 brand new and at least $150 or more at an antique store. Waiting sure paid off.

The new tablecloth is way too big for me to clean and iron myself. It will have to be sent out. Until then it’s nicely folded away in my buffet, waiting for an excuse to bring it out…. along with our rarely used fine china.

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