A Cold Vermont Morning
It’s a frigid January morning and I’m just passing through the quaint rolling hills, all covered in white, of Townshend, Vermont. I’m not here to buy, but I’m getting there–I’m actually on my way to an auction a few towns away yet. But I can’t help but see a few things for sale in a farm field along the way–including what seems to be carriage wheels. I’m already hot on the trail of some fresh new finds, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t let my intuition take me on at least one detour along the way. What’s a few more miles for a couple of treasures here and there?
After spying some carriage wheels peeking out from beneath the tarp covering, I galumph my snow boots up and check out what’s underneath. Wouldn’t you know: it seems to be a wicker baby carriage! This particular pram was also in great shape, considering it was clearly an antique and had been living an outdoor life for some time. I was intrigued…it’s not every day that you find an antique baby buggy, let alone a wicker one with all its wheels and a velvet seat cushion. Something about it told me that I was its next home. So home with me it came.
After squaring up with the farmer in Townshend and returning to my barn, I attempted to determine what it might be worth. As luck would have it, there’s not a lot of information about this particular carriage available. I tried a few presentations to up it’s appeal, and in one version it was filled with collectible dolls but wouldn’t move for even $75! But, as they say, there’s someone out there for everything. After posting the carriage in one of my barn sale event posts online, I received a visit from a local museum curator at the sale. She had seen the carriage and was eager to check it out.
After the curator’s historically-trained eye was able to get a look, she used a label underneath the seat cushion to determine the significance of this specific antique stroller. It had belonged to a Deerfield family in the early 1800s, and she had been searching some time for this exact piece! It was by this string of chance encounters, from the side of the road in southern Vermont to the right pair of eyes reaching my Facebook event, that I was able to reunite a local historical museum with a long sought-after historical artifact. And in return, I received a tax-deductible charitable donation receipt for the value of the item: $8,000!
It just goes to show, no one adage ever covers all the possibilities. Always make sure you do your homework, but don’t be afraid to follow your gut either! It’s all about balance.