Wednesday, July 18, 2012

antique apothecary jars

i'm still ridiculously excited about my amazing find in palm springs about a month back. literally on our way out of town my friend and i decided to stop at an estate sale we had seen signs up for earlier in the day. we pulled up to the house after marveling at the cool old neighborhood architecture.

we walked in the house (my favorite part because as i designer i love to see other people's homes) and were greeted by a fairly young couple who were very friendly and announced that we should ignore the yellow tags as it was day 3 and they were getting ready to wrap it up. i sorta thought, "well, there probably wont be much left if it's day three", and it was sparse. i mean sparse. we milled around and really didn't find much. as i wandered through to the kitchen there was an entire counter of really old, really dirty and really kinda germy (sorry can't think of another word) looking apothecary jars.

we had a moment the jars and i. a real moment.

i love apothecary jars and this was really cool to see these all lined up and untouched. these had been here for 3 days and fortunately for me they were just grimy enough to scare everyone else off. my friend came around the corner and with big wide eyes i was like, "LOOK, aren't these amazing!!" she gave a "not so much" face and said, "uh, mmmm, not for me but you love stuff like this." 

i quickly went to search out the guy who was running the sale whom i later learned i was in his grandfathers home. his grandfather had been a contractor and was a very giving man who spent his life in palm springs. he was immersed in the community and even spent some time teaching classes to kids in various subjects even though he hadn't been educated past the 8th grade. not sure how that worked but it was really cool to hear about the person who had made this his home for so many decades.

i use to feel sad or uncomfortable at estate sales but i have learned so much in the past 5 years about how i feel about death and passing and where it is (i feel) we go that it has somehow made it all easier for me. anyway, i didn't know much about the jars but knew they were apothecary jars and they were old. i assumed vintage but other than that i just found them to be really cool.

i had no idea what i would do with them and tried picturing a spot where i'd display them.
i couldn't.
i tried to picture me having time to clean them as most of the lids were stuck and not budging.
 i couldn't.
somehow though i couldn't leave without them.
i couldn't.

there was probably about 25 jars and i picked out 6 i was really drawn to. i asked the nice guy, "ok, what do you want for these 6?" he answered by asking me what i wanted to pay for them. uggghh. i hate that. i don't know what to say to that because i didn't want to offend him by saying too little and honestly maybe they were really worth something but to me they were just gonna be cool displayed in my home. i answered that i honestly didn't know. he looked at me and said, "wanna pay me twenty bucks?"
wow. twenty? deal!
he even boxed them up to keep them safe on my drive back to l.a.

when i got home i took them out to show shane.
 "i know, i gotta clean them",  i said quickly trying to sell their "not so outwardly beauty" to him, "but aren't they so cool?" 
shane tipped one over and read the bottom.
"uh, kendra, these are from 1894".
huh? what? seriously? definitely not vintage. these are antique.
oh wow!
shane went to the computer and looked them up and we found a site that was selling them for about $100 each for some much much smaller than mine.
i definitely scored.
but they are mine now.
not for sale.
i really like them and they will stay with me and be loved and enjoyed.

the labels are gold rimmed and glass. glass labels! cool huh?!

a few of them still have paper labels on them from brunswig drug co. in l.a. where many people got their apothecary's filled back in the day.

so now i gotta find some time and figure out how to clean these and get them open without cracking or ruining them. is it strange that i kinda like them all stained and filled with old who knows what?? i might leave them as is which truly goes against all my beliefs as a semi-professional germa-phobe.
anyone know how to clean them or have any idea's send em my way please.