It happens every once in a while, you walk into a flea market and you see it, a piece you just fall in love with. Usually, a bright light shines down on the piece and you hear a choir of angels faintly singing in the background. And then the owner sees you eyeing the piece with a deranged looking smile on your face and runs over to tell you that it can be yours for such and such price, and oh boy what a steal you are getting!
That may have been what happened to me…
I found this Lane Company cedar hope chest as soon as I walked into the Douglas Flea Market in Douglas, MA. I knew instantly that I wasn’t leaving without it in the trunk of our car. And why would I, at only $40 it was a steal! The owner had said the piece had just come in, and after bargaining him down from his initial $100 price, I was ecstatic. Probably, how most people feel after winning big at the casino.
The chest was in excellent condition, in fact when he opened up the top, a great sharp smell of cedar escaped! The chest came with the original locking hardware and key, along with a document guaranteeing against moth damage. This document included the original owner’s name, a serial number and the term of guaranty from 1954 – 1957. I like that kind of stuff.
Instantly my mind was racing, should I use this chest as an entertainment stand for my television? No, no, not when it was meant to be opened and closed and used for storage. Maybe I should place it at the end of my bed for all of those pesky throw pillows and blankets. But there is no room at the foot of the bed. My conclusion: I didn’t care. It was mine and I would find something to do with it, even if it meant selling it (though this kind of broke my heart to think about).
I will admit that I thought about painting it a bright color to really make it pop. But after my dad claimed interest in the piece and stated that it would be a small crime to change the color, I realized he was right. Ok, I realized he was right after going online and finding what these chests were selling for in their original(ish) condition.
So in conclusion, I ended up just cleaning up the piece and going over it with a similar color stain. It now rests at the foot of my parents bed, and I hope (pun intended) to one day steal it back when I have room for it.