I don't think I could have been anymore excited a few weeks back when I dropped in on a garage sale. The owners had just tied up their balloons around their makeshift sign and were heading back up their driveway to start the sale. I thought I was a bit too early but decided to quietly make my way up to their garage hoping they were happy for some early birds. I almost turned around to go home when I saw all the power tools at the entrance. I'd made a very rash judgement that there wouldn't be anything of my liking.
And then I saw them.
My heart literally skipped a beat and recognising that I could blow my cover completely as a "naive garage sale hack", I gathered myself and began to ask a couple of questions with the best carefree approach I could muster....
"These look interesting. My kids would love to use these to show off their shell collections. What are they?"
Daughter and Father then replied "Oh, those. Well, we've been debating on how much we should sell them for. You see, they are very special actually. They are vintage and sought after."
I added a few umms and ahh's in the right places, reassured them that they'd go to a good home and oh my lordy, they sold both of them to me for $20.
I've been wanting to buy these for such a long time and I knew how expensive they were. Recently I saw them priced at $120 each at the Mill Market and they weren't in anywhere near as good condition as these ones.
They are of course antique wooden printer drawer trays.
Back when printing was done with good old metal type, printers would keep the letters, numbers and symbols nestled into each compartment within this drawer. Nowadays, they are used to display miniature collections. For me, we will showcase the shells we find on the beach and the wonderful little knicky knacks my children salvage at the local Op shop.