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California Antiques, Flea Markets and Estate Sales

The expert market editors of California Home + Design explore the best of California's antique and estate sales. Get the down-low on all of the best places to find amazing antiques and find out about not-to-be-missed estate sales. Our editors will show you how to find hidden treasures while antique hunting, scouring flea markets and pouring over estate sales.

Packed is a word that's held dear in the heart of an estate sale junkie. And that's what this Berkeley estate sale promises to be: packed to the rafters.

Starting today, more than 500 artworks by Northern California artists will be sold in a massive estate sale. The works are from the collection of Charles H. Curley, a prolific collector of paintings, drawings, pottery and sculpture.

Bad weather may be putting a damper on estate sales this weekend, but that doesn't mean there isn't something out there for the determined shopper. From Petaluma to San Leandro, deal mongers will find some interesting goods.

Maybe it's because of the holidays, but looking at the wares of this Alameda estate sale made me nostalgic for my grandmother. Most of us are familiar with these kinds of goods: the furniture speaks to another era, tabletops are full of tchotkes (gifts from grandchildren?) and the kitchen is loaded with dinnerware and serving items (remnants from family dinners past?). If you like to get creative and renovate furniture, if you have a older adult on your holiday list or if your tastes run more to the trad than rad, this could be the sale for you.

I once had a conversation with a revered interior designer who had a shop in San Francisco (he's since moved to New York) that went like this:Me: "What do you say to people who say you get all of your wares at flea markets and estate sales?"Him: "I say: I've got it. You want it? You've got to pay me for it."I started shopping estates sales the next week.

The San Francisco Fall Antiques Show is one of my favorite design events of the year. Not only are fantastic decorative arts on view and for sale, but the lecture series makes the event more than just a pretty face. And if the word "lecture" has negative connotations for you, don't worry—these presentations are great fun.

This Saturday and Sunday people who enjoy the hunt should head over to the Castro for an estate sale that promises a bounty of jewelry, ceramics, paintings, and prints as well as a variety of furniture, dishes and decorative arts. The people staging the event say that items from previous sales will be discounted by 20 percent, so there are deals to be had.

It's October, which can only mean one thing: it's nearly time for one of our favorite shows of the year. The 30th Annual San Francisco Fall Antiques Show is just a few weeks away, running from Oct. 27- 30.

There's a certain kind of estate sale that gets to me: The ones where you feel as if you are walking through rooms the dearly departed have only recently vacated. You can get a sense of how the owners lived, what they loved and the type of people they were by looking at their possessions. This week's sale at 140 24th Ave. is such an event and it's filled with interesting finds. It opens this morning at 10 a.m., and it's a can't-miss for treasure hunters.

What does it take to get me to Moraga? A pair of alabaster lamps are tempting me across the bridge this weekend.