Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Posterior - Part One - "That Was Easy"


Part One

"That Was Easy"

            Coming from behind something?
            Situated behind something?
            Situated to a rear?
            Near or towards a back?
            Coming after something?
            A buttock?
            A bottom?

            Can you do that?  Is a... at a...
A flea market?
            Or is that a situated posterior
            You hear?

            What if it is not?  Not a ‘back there’; behind.  To a rear.  Coming after.  Following.  After you have ‘caught’ an ‘antique bug’.  Defined that and accomplished initial gatherings and accumulations.  Defined a personal boundary... that crumbled when you found a “that”.  And decided to include that too.  In your antique bug.
            But are not those words you’ve heard?  Too.  “Flea Market”.  “It couldn’t be anything at all.  I’ve been there and it is just awful.”  You are such an expert at all this.
            Aren’t you.

            On Saturday morning one of the (flea market) vendors left the market to attend a local “yard sale”.  There the woman proprietress pointed out her ‘best thing’ to him.  It was (is) a Colonial era (1760) New England straight back banister back, sausage turned and carved crest side chair with a newer ‘replaced’ broom straw seat and an equally newer coat of black paint.  “She wanted seventy-five dollars for it”.  That was a very nominal price but the flea market vendor fell short of ‘I know’ confidence and... “left it”.  That was okay in the long run for the omission to the description was that the ‘original’ front feet; carved ‘Spanish feet’ were... long gone.
            The old foot stubs had been sawed off, probably at the time of the new seat and new paint.  They were replaced (in the front) with ‘ball feet’.  The rear feet were just  ‘ended out’.  Both foot works left the now ‘restored’ side chair ‘a little low’.  To a knowing eye.  Like mine.  Your knowing eye does not matter.  I don’t depend on it... for a living.  In fact it is doubtful you, even after I have written out the chair’s description, know what the chair... or even ‘kind of chair’ “it is”.  That is exactly where I want you on this.  So... there.  And stay there.

            The flea market vendor doesn’t know to ‘look for’ the ‘ending out’.  For the ‘you’, consider that a two hundred and fifty year old chair will have had “a lot” of usage “wear” and ‘height loss’ to “its feet”.  So... ‘ending out’ is ‘very common’ and a
            Colonial era side chair that does not need to be ‘ended out’ because it retains full height and has its original feet an... “are intact”... is very rare.  Okay? 
            And especially if the chair is ‘an arm chair’ and has ‘a spoon back’.  A banister back is nearly always a straight back so they (“banister backs”) are... a... notch (or two) “down” in “desirability”.  Don’t bother yourself with that ‘spoon back’ crap; most don’t.
            I do.  Though.
            Did I say this is all at a flea market too?  I should notice that to you.  Too.

            When the vendor came back to the flea market he hunted me up and spoke about the chair at the yard sale.  I was (am) too a vendor at the flea market.  He told me about the chair; described it.  As best he could.  I asked if it was an arm chair.  And if it had a carved crest.  And... did nothing more.  I qualified the whole chair using my developed expertise.  I configured that the chair was ‘not that good of one probably’ for ‘being a side chair’ with a banister back made it ‘they are around’ common especially in the hands of people who ‘lucked into it’ and don’t ‘know them’ (banister back chairs) so ‘show them around’ and ‘find out what they are... sort of.  “FIXED UP” (restored) is usually not part of the... ah... my consideration-of-good formula.  And since it was ‘not an arm chair’; a form of banister back (with carved crest) that is truly “grand”... I
            Did not need to drop everything and drive to the ‘yard sale’ to ‘buy it’.  No.
            I did not.

            That is pretty cavalier isn’t it.  Yes it is if you don’t... do that (a ‘not go’) all the time “anyway”.  The next vendor ‘in’ or ‘down’ or ‘over’ or... if  the chair WAS A GOOD ONE... will ‘pick it off’.  You may count on that.  And I do.
            Three days latter I was walking across the ‘field’ of an outdoor flea market and spied the chair on the table of a flea market vendor visiting from another Southern Maine flea market.  He’d “set up” with the chair “today”.
            I said
            He saw me
            Come across towards the chair
            He said.
            I said nothing then said
            He said, his hand touching the chair that was set on his table so the
            Seat of the chair was exactly at my face so allowed my
            View to not notice the aspect of ‘low’ for the chair’s height.  I
            Calibrated that alone as my eye walked at the chair.
            At the table I was “done”.
            “Yard sale?” he said.  “Seventy-five?” he said.  “It’s a lot more than that now”.
            He said.
            Of course it would be (“a lot more”) if it was a good chair; a great chair.  An arm chair.  Or just a side chair with ‘original height’ (feet intact) and not a ‘low too’ ‘ended out’.

            That was the end of that conversation about that chair
            At the flea market.  I didn’t walk back to my truck with it.  No one asked me
            Anything about it at all
            Or again
            Because I got caught up with another chair and two.  Funny how flea market days have “things” come in three.  Do they?  Or is it just my eye
            Working in the posterior of the
            Old New England decorative
            Of the chair (“Early New England Seating Furniture”).

            One chair was just dumped out on the ground in the isle.  “How much?” I said holding it by the scruff.  “No one can sit in that” I added.  “It’s Hitchcock” came back.  That summarized the decoration; a 1920’s gold stylized 1840’s floral stencil decoration on a 1920’s black paint.  “OK how much” I stated
            So I rescued that one:  Connecticut, 1760 sausage turned four slat back ‘ladder back’ retaining original finials and original full height.  Why is it ‘full height’?  You were already told: “No one can sit in that.”  These chair’s back is ‘too straight’ to comfortably ‘sit in’.  No one ever did.  It made it all the way to my truck.  That trip took two and one half centuries.

            But that wasn’t good enough.  One of the scruffy vendors blocked my view of a woman opening the side door to her minivan.  Then I stepped behind her van and looked back up to her.  She unload a (painted black with old wove straw seat) spoon back soft shoulder Queen Anne splat back side chair with its original full height, original Spanish feet ‘intact’, full bulbous turning at the front and hand whittled finished on the splat at the back.  Boston area; North Shore or Salem, 1740-60.  Perfect.  (Excepting the ‘acceptable’ old black painted surface).  Original.  Condition.
            “How much”
            That was easy.  She was cleaning out her mother’s house.  Herself.  “It’s easy to do really.”  It is easy to do really.  Just load some of mother’s old stuff in your minivan and go to the flea market.  One by one; load by load... her mother’s house is cleaned out.  I cleaned out her minivan by selective purchase, each week for four months.  I was very ‘helpful’ she said and I always paid her in “correct change” (cash).  Her mother’s house, today, is empty and is for sale.
            She didn’t know she ‘had antiques’; that the mother’s house had old New England decorative arts that had come down through the family and always been there?  

            I stood on a posterior; a roadside flea market field
            And ‘recovered’
            Classic Colonial New England seating furniture
            Found in old New England homes
            For pittance.
            “That was easy.”

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