Thought we'd take a break from vintage handbags this week. I have a little something special to share. This is my all time, most valuable, blew us away, best deal in the world vintage score - well, for me.
Seven years ago, before we moved to Pagoda, I stopped by an estate sale about a mile from my old house. The sale was on a property. An older property (for Phoenix), that had several buildings on it. I think the sale had been on for a day or so already. Andrew Henry and the daughter were off on a school sponsored Father/Daughter field trip so I ventured off alone.
I wandered into a barn/garage type building. There was "art" all over the place. Framed things, prints, clown paintings, velvet things, a few originals, photographs etc., you get the idea. I wandered over to a pile in the corner (who doesn't like a corner pile?). There were frames propped up against the wall, most were covered in cobwebs. Found an odd looking framed map. It looked rather old and had, what looked like, colored highlighter lines drawn all over it. I like maps. Andrew Henry likes maps. It was $2. I bought the map.
It felt old, you know what I mean? This is what was printed on the map - "John Speed. America with those parts in that unknowne worlde both people and manner of buildings Discribed and inlarged by J.S. Ano. 1626." Couldn't be real- it had marker lines all over it, but something was nagging at me. They framed it. "Why would they bother to frame it" kept wandering through my daily thoughts. Weeks went by (map still sitting on table).
Internet search. Found a map guy in California. Sent him an email describing what I had. He called me within an hour. He asked me questions about the map. He got VERY excited. I sent him the map for authentication (I trust almost anyone). Waited about a week. He called. It was real. IT WAS REAL. I bought a more than 350 year old map at a house sale for $2. I was quite pleased with myself and believe you me, Andrew Henry heard about it. I believe the daughter was on his doubting Thomas team as well.
The map expert wanted to buy it. He explained it had to be restored. He gets this done in Europe. This would cost him quite a bit, blah blah. He would give me half what he expected to sell it for. Then, the worst thing happened. The thing Andrew Henry and I kick ourselves over. Even now as we're reminded of it, we feel we should be shot. Tarred, feathered, possibly quartered or submitted to hours of Chinese water torture. At the very least, not be allowed to ever eat Nutella again!
We sold him the darn map for about $2,500. At the time, the money sounded good. Yes, with private school tuition it sounded good, but not now. NOW, having that old map hanging in Pagoda, sounds better. Ah well, live and learn - plus the daughter's education is worth any old map - even if she doesn't make her bed when she comes home to visit.
It's a good story to pull out at a party right? I'm glad we photographed it before we sent it to that guy in California (think his name was Barry). I like to imagine how it came to live in that dusty corner in a barn in Phoenix. How many people have touched it over these 350 years? Where is it now?
It was exciting and it's my find of the century.............'till I discover the next one.
PS - I just found another one the internet for $8,500!! Kicking self.