Estate Sale: Hunting in the Mission


On a cool and cloudy weekend it’s not fun digging for treasure in a drafty, old house. When the weather is this way, I head to places like Harrington Galleries in the Mission. You can shop the goods of several estate sales in one sheltered spot. Fiona O’Connor Devereux, whose parents opened Harringtons 40 years ago, has brought a new attitude to the establishment. She liquidates small estates (condos and houses that are too small to host a traditional estate sale) and the households of families who aren’t interested in a free-for-all in a private home. Drawing on her advertising and design background, she looks for furniture and accessories that may be old, but work beautifully in modern interiors.

This weekend, she has some goodies that just hit the floor, including: A gorgeous mid-century blonde wood table that came from City of Paris, San Francisco’s famed department store that closed in 1976. Devereux found the table in Bayview, and it was covered in grime and had tattered upholstery. With a thorough clean, new seat fabric and a tabletop restoration, it’s ready for prime time in a household once again. (Another benefit of shopping at places like this is they do the heavy lifting for you.) She’s selling it for $3,500.

Another Asian-style dining set that has just arrived has a long, black-lacquered table, chairs and sideboard. The set is complete with two captain’s chairs and is in great condition. The table and chairs are going for $1,650 and the sideboard is listed at $695.

When I spotted the white leather sofa with a brass base, I thought it screamed 1970-era Los Angeles. The stamp on the bottom, Jebian Bros. L.A., proved me right. It comes with two side tables, also with white leather tops and brass legs. The sofa is a steal at $1,550.

Another sofa, measuring nearly seven feet in length, had to have been a custom-made piece. Its straw-colored, nubby fabric is very good looking. It’s going for just $895.

A nice bamboo coffee table is from the same estate.

A chair with unusual upholstery (striped silk and kicky little tassles) came from a small Pacific Heights estate. There are two of these playful chairs offered at $650 each. Devereux admits that all of her prices are negotiable, so it never hurts to ask. Check out the goods at Harrington Galleries, 599 Valencia Street.

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