Monday, March 1, 2010


This past weekend we attended a farm auction at my great-grandparent's homestead. The farm has been in my mother's family for 115 years, and has been designated as a Colorado Centennial Farm. It has been farmed all of these years; first, by my great grandfather, then by my grandmother's brothers and their descendants. The last cousin to farm it passed away a year ago, so it was time to sell the equipment and the household belongings. Ownership of the farm will be retained by the family, but the farm will be rented out.
Below is a picture of my Great Grandparents taken in 1941. Yes, she was really that much taller than Granddad and she ruled the roost!! The other picture is of a bunch of us cousins at the state fair when the farm received it's centennial designation.

So, the auction was a big deal and very sentimental to all of us. The day was cold and windy, but it didn't deter the crowds. There were pickups parked down the country road for as far as you could see.
The first day of the auction was mostly the sale of the farm equipment, tractors, pickups, stuff out of the sheds, etc. - you know - guy stuff!
The local chapter of the Future Farmers of America had the food concession. Bob and I each had one of the best hamburgers cooked on this huge homemade grill on both days.

The second day of the auction featured the household goods. All of the furniture was carried out to the lawn to be auctioned off; and trailers with boxes and boxes of stuff were pulled into the yard. My great-aunt was the last woman to live in the house moving to the nursing home 11 years ago. I don't think she had ever thrown anything away in the 72 years she lived on the farm. I was very patient as they sold things, because I had something in mind that I really wanted. I did buy Aunt Selma's rolling pin for $1 from a trailer to add to my collection of family rolling pins.

And what did I have my eye on? Well, in the shed they had placed all of the dishes and more stuff, stuff, stuff. Inside the show cases, they had placed what the auctioneers thought were the old dishes (1930s depression glass and 1940s Roseville pottery). Oh, the cousins were bidding fast and furious against each other for the show case dishes. But I was patient and waited until the very end of the second day when they finally got to this 1880s brown transferware wash bowl and pitcher that was just sitting among the old comic books and junk.

If you regularly read my blog, you know I love my brown transferware. I was so excited I could hardly stand it when I won the bid for $35. Earlier they were selling 1960s salt and pepper shakers for twice that amount.

Here is the pitcher and bowl all cleaned up and in my house. I was fortunate to inherit so many of my great grandmother's beautiful things when my grandmother died in 1988. This is just icing on the cake, as it dates from the time of the homestead.

The pitcher is 13 inches tall and the bowl is 14 1/2 inches in diameter.

I'm thrilled!!

I'm joining in on Susan's (A Southern Daydreamer) Outdoor Wednesday party. Be sure to check out her blog for a list of the participants.


Anonymous said...

Well, I was typing a comment and it went away! I wanted to say how much fun and I love love your brown and white transferware! How fortunate to find this!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Unknown said...

Just beautiful!

Marigene said...

I am so happy for you to be able to get the one thing you really wanted for a reasonable cost. I love is amazing what you can find when it is someone who has been there, their whole life.

Chari at Happy To Design said...

Hello sweet friend...

I was just thinking about you and wondering how you were getting along? You sure have been busy, Darlin'...between baking yummy banana bread cobbler and making a headboard for your beautiful bedroom! Hehe! I'm so happy to hear that you are being able to do a few things!

Ohh Sally, this must have been quite an ordeal...going to your family's auction! I'm just sooo happy for you though...your great-grandmother's brown transferware pitcher and bowl is fabulous! Oooh...and that's Fabulous with a capital "F"!!! It is sooo beautiful! And yes...I know how much you love your brown have a lovely collection of it! I do say that your great-grandmother's pretty pitcher and bowl may very well be the "crowning glory" though!!! Wow...and you got it for such a great price! Yep...I say let all of those folk just bid on that ol' 80's stuff! hehe!

Sally, I just love your new headboard! It turned out so pretty! And...that toile is absolutely gorgeous! Hmmm...can't think what they call that type of toile right now...but it's beautiful! You guys are so clever and talented!!! Great job, my friend!!!

Well my dear, I know that I'm writing a book here! Hehe! I wanted to stop in and see how you were doing! Just thinking about you!!!

Love ya,

PAT said...

What an amazing day, Sally! Loved the history.

Your pitcher and bowl are exquisite! I am so happy you were able to bring it home.

What is it about having one of those farm auction hamburgers! They always taste soooo good!:-)

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

How wonderful that you've had the farm in the family for so long but so sad that there's nobody who want to farm it.

Love the pitcher and the bowl - they are really gorgeous!


Light and Voices said...

It was wonderful for you to share your family history with us online. Lovely transfer pitcher and bowl! Lucky you.
Joyce m

Jeanne said...

Hi Sally, I love your post this morning. We too had a family homestead that was in the family for just under 100 years. We lived in the homestead until I was nine. Your wonderful auction story and photos just brought tears to my eyes. I was only nine but the memory is still strong when our family sold the home place. We moved to Fl. far away from our Mi. farm.

Your lovely bowl and pitcher is so beautiful. It was meant to be that you should have it after all those years. I am so happy for you.
Hugs, Jeanne

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

Hi Sally...How wonderful that the farm has been in your family all those years! And I love your transferware wash bowl and pretty and it looks right at home in your house! I scrolled down to catch your headboard! I hope you are doing better! Happy week!...hugs...Debbie

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

What beautiful pieces to add to your collection and what a price!!

Sue said...

Your family history is amazing...I always love reading about it and seeing all your family treasures...Your transferware pitcher and bowl is beautiful and I'm so glad you were able to fight off the cousins and get it...I know you treasure all of your family history and I just can't get enough of seeing all your wonderful things.....Hope your asthma is getting under control...stay warm out there...Sue.

Mumzie said...

Hi Sally, This is my first visit to your blog. I love old farms and I also really like the brown transferware. Great things. Mumzie :)

Chari at Happy To Design said...

Mornin' Sally...

Hmmm...funny thing, I woke up this morning and looked had snowed (slightly) but you came to my mind! Just thought I would stop by and say hello and see if everything is okay? I was reading Sue's comment...are you having problems with asthma? Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers, sweet lady!!! Have a wonderful weekend...

Love ya,

Elaine said...

What a beautiful pitcher. I am glad you had the winning bid. You will give the piece a good home.

I was looking at your blog header and noticing that I have a gravy boat similar to yours and it is in a bookcase that has a backing just like yours. Funny!

SmilingSally said...

What a super treat for you to have. I can see why you're jumping for joy!

Sue said...

Hi Sally, I love your brown and white transfer ware and would love to start a collection, myself. I've stopped in for a visit from Mary's a few times but never signed up to follow, so I'm doing it now. Look forward to future posts! Have a great weekend. :-) Sue

Susie Q said...

What a wonderful history...I am sure this was a bittersweet experience. Oh how happy I am that you were able to bring home such treasures.,,,beautiful but alos filled with meaning!

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

I had to come back to your previous post and look at your gorgeous transferware. The pitcher and bowl are fabulous.

Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

Sally, how wonderful that you got these pieces. They are absolutely beautiful, but the added beauty of being family heirlooms makes them so much more valuable. I'm so glad the cousin's weren't wanting them too! laurie