Eccentric Estate Sale in Napa This Weekend


It’s going to be perfect road trip weather this weekend, so head north to check out the goods from two lifetimes in one Victorian house near downtown Napa. On sale are the collected households of two women in their nineties; one was a long-time piano teacher the other owned a pawn shop. Need I say more?

The event, staged by Fine Estate Liquidation, Inc., will be held in the home of the music teacher. For  decades she taught children how to play the piano in the small house, and now her instruments are for sale, including a 130-year-old, nine-foot-long concert piano. Over the years the teacher amassed thousands of pieces of sheet music, and they will be offered as well.

Also for sale is her beauty of a steel guitar, a Rickenbacher Electro Model B-7.

But the teacher’s interests weren’t limited to music. She also loved gothic and medieval-style furniture. Her dining set includes a massive table (check out those legs!) and chairs that are decorated with needlepoint seats depicting elegant lords, ladies and saints. It likely took her months, if not years, to complete the hand work.

Also in the set is a fantastic hutch. Perhaps the entire ensemble might be a bit much for modern homes, but this piece on its own would make a statement in any interior.

And what gothic dining set would be complete without a silver chalice?

Of course, like most women of a certain age, she had a full set of formal china. She liked the fruit pattern of this midcentury Royal Worcester set.

The teacher and her long-time husband loved art. He liked to paint and copied masterpieces by the likes of Rembrandt and Copley. His reproductions are mixed with original works, and they blend nicely.

But, hands down, the most unusual piece is a set of false teeth. Family lore has it that the teeth (heavily embellished with 16-karat gold) are nearly 80 years old and belonged to a European prince.

The sale organizers have brought in the goods of another woman, this one an Australian pawn shop owner, to this event. As you can imagine, after a lifetime of operating a pawn shop, she gathered a collection of eccentric goods. The offerings include two large ship lanterns, a nautical compass and a ship’s bell.

Also in her collection: whale bone carvings, Asian statues and a pair of eight-inch-tall white elephants.

Not to mention an amazing wooden rocking horse and an eclectic assortment of china pieces and watches.

Check out the sale at 438 Coombs St. The sale runs today through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.




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