A Collector’s Estate Sale


To some of you El Cerrito might seem like a long haul. Get over it, because El Cer is only 30 minutes from SF and it’s the scene of a good estate sale this weekend. Nice tansus for $300, need I say more?

Now, let’s be clear: these are not tansus that will end up in a museum; their owner cleaned them up, removing the patina and original finish. Anyone who has ever watched Antiques Roadshow knows that this is a big no-no value wise (and causes poor James Callahan, resident Asian art expert, to sadly shake his head). But here’s the thing, they still look good. Check out these examples:

Sure, he refinished the pieces and cleaned the hardware, but they are still attractive. And, let’s face it, where else are you going to find a vintage tansu for $300?

The owners of this house loved to travel, entertain and shop. During their lives they collected tons of Asian decorative pieces, the kinds of things you would find at Gump’s in San Francisco. “Nothing here is really old,” says Gayle Davis of Sisters Antiques & Estate Liquidations. “Except for a few antiques, everything is 15 to 20 years old, but it’s all very nice.”

In fact, Davis says the owners (a lawyer and his wife) had a good eye for modern day Asian pieces and they bought quality. Check our the velvet sofa which, with a little love, could be very nice.

A pair of oxidized, green-metal lamps ($65 each) are also waiting a new context and new shades to come alive.

Note the hibachi grill the second lamp rests on. It’s quite old and makes a great occasional table.

You’ve likely noticed the screens that fill the house. Davis says they are all modern, but if you like screens, they make pretty decorative items. Here’s the bonus: they are priced between $35 and $55.

Other items of interest include a modern, Asian-style table ($1,000):

A set of Minton china from the 1920s (it belonged to the owner’s mother):

A boat-load of accessories (I like the white ceramic chrysanthemum):

There’s also a couple of antique bird cages. The red one is interesting:

Apparently, the couple liked to throw parties, so there’s also a lot of great kitchen ware and serving pieces (three sets of flatware):

The sale runs Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m.—3 p.m., 2206 Pinehurst Ct. (Mira Vista Country Club), El Cerrito. Park in visitor areas only.






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