A Great Beach Cottage Find ~ Vintage ‘Glory Box’ Before

Fri 23rd, Oct, 2009

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G’day lovelies, well the Beach Cottage Witch is still here a little bit…let’s hope she goes away soon heh?

Let’s talk about good stuff tho, shall we?

Last weekend there was a notice in the garage sale section for a ‘Deceased Estate’, a 2 minute drive away, a few roads along – sitting there with a coffee on the deck, still in my dressing gown, I pointed it out to Mr BC…I wasn’t really in the mood though, you know?  To be honest, I’ve scored so much lately and been working on painting stored-up things in the garage, that I wasn’t full of enthusiasm.

Being 9.30 we’d missed, probably, the best stuff, but nothing exemplifies my motto of you never know what you will find more than this garage sale and like the new houses where we expected nothing but found the old weathered deckchairs at this Deceased Estate we got a boot load of treasure for twenty-one dollars.

When we pulled up, there was no-one outside and no signs, bar a bunch of balloons, it was so quiet, I wondered if we were in fact, gate-crashing a children’s party…

Perhaps, it is eccentric to evaluate garage sales on their vintage-treasure-giving-properties, but I do that in the first 30 seconds. One quick all-encompassing potential sweep and that to linger on a stranger’s front yard, it has to be good, it can be messy or ahem a bit grubby, I can deal with that, being the real woman I am ;-).  But, one thing, it must not, in any shape or form try to be anything other than what it, essentially is:  a way for the holder to make a bit of cash, save a trip to the dump and more importantly, recycle their unwanted goods.

Garage sales, for me, must offer at least one vintage thing…next it must have a friendly seller, preferably one willing to give history of items (like the old trunk that came with a history)…and it must have that real feel, you know the kinda rawness that so-called designer-’junkers’ we might see on the TV or those who frequent home-boutiques :-) with $45 rattan bells, would baulk at…gotta love me a bit of that kinda real.

Anyway, this one was probably right on up there in the Top 10 of garage sales…offering a plethora of vintage delights, organised, labelled and sorted, prices beautifully realistic…resident 86 yr old grandma full of tales…and a lovely old red-brick Australian bungalow to set the scene…(yes, to me, these old brick bungalows are history unfolding…)

There were so many things to look at in terms of linens and china and piles of books, I didn’t quite envisage finding a ‘Glory Box’ at all.  But after some initial gathereing of a few things, a dollar here, 50 cents there, I made my way to a back bedroom…and a chest of drawers, all marked up and labelled with $10 and the most delightful old vintage round mirror, asking the grand old price of $4. 

The vintage-seeking-Beach-Cottage-Treasure-Hunting Squeal of Delight?  Yes, I do think so. 

I have been looking for a dresser to replace the horrid, bottom-falling-out-it-is-so-badly-made one from IKEA in the Study that holds our regular linens and to have a vintage mirror to hang right on over it and for it all to be mind-blowingly in my budget, it was almost too good.

And it just got better and better, as the seller scrawled sold for my oh-so-massive purchase of drawers and mirror for fourteen bucks, in strolled 86 yr old grandma who proceeded to exclaim in excitement ‘oh yes we sold the Glory Box!”, looking over quizically she told me it was hers, 60 years ago, after the war and she had spent years saving her money and filling it with linens, dish ware and bedding…it was her steps on the road to marriage, she told us…stuff saved for and gathered while ‘courting’…and engagement…and eventually to marriage, her words ‘a very happy one’. 

I sighed, lapping it up, only to be shooed out By 86yr old’s daughter who had assumed I didn’t want to listen to her ramblings of her old Glory Box and those days…shame…later I went to find her but was told she’d ‘gone missing’, apparently a regular occurrence *smile.

So that morning was as I said, a Top Ten, and yep there’ll be another ten that are there to put you off but I do believe, garage-saling is a state of mind…demanding of both the bargain-hunter and seller…this time we all played our parts and I for one was very happy…


Enjoy your weekend, I hope you might find something as good as this for $10. 

I’ll be painting the little beauty, bright, beachy white, keeping those beautiful handles intact, and bringing the old glory into the study to sit beside me as I sit at the computer…stacked full of linens, just like it did all those years ago..

 blogged for Cindy’s Show and Tell, at My Romantic Home, thanks!

and a Beautiful Life at Melissa’s!


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46 Responses to “A Great Beach Cottage Find ~ Vintage ‘Glory Box’ Before”

  1. Tonya says:

    I so wish we had garage sales in the UK. Car boots arent the same as people cant always lug big items of furniture. Have found some good charity furniture places though, such as Emmaus. I love those mirrors, have now collected 4 of them as I want to display them together, all in different shapes and sizes. Its a great feeling when you find something good. I’m looking for a chest of drawers to replace an old MFI one with the bottoms falling out lol

  2. Quinn says:

    That mirror is killing me! What a find…..

  3. HOOTIN ANNI says:

    Painting it white will be fantastic! And what a bargain…$10….geez!!! Lucky!!

    Mine today is just a sketch I drew. [along with a little worksheet share for a simple craft project....AND links to my photos of the trip to the zoo!!! LOL ---a busy post.]

    Click HERE

    Have a glorious Friday, and super weekend.!!

  4. Ruby says:

    love the glory box story and now you get to carry on the story – lucky you! thanks for sharing. ruby

  5. donna says:

    Now c’mon Sarah, you know you spent atleast twenty-five. J/K too soon? Sorry.I understand all to much the thought process of having so many projects to get to., but the feeling oh, the feeling that just overtakes any sensibility I might at this point be left with is too strong to fight.Here in New Jersey, our garage saling days are coming to an end for the season, but there will be estate sales,or what you refer to as deceased sales.On some level I feel bad looking foward to them. Then again I think of how we treasure the things they have left behind and how I would want it the same way.I know you understand.Have a great weekend!

  6. Erin says:

    A great piece and a great find, but the story is better than any of it in my book!

  7. cherrie says:

    That is a really lovely story, especially as you were looking to use the chest for it’s original purpose anyway. You will always have happy feelings about it. Cherrie

  8. What a steal! That’s wonderful! Can’t wait to see it all painted up and sitting pretty!


  9. Beth says:

    What a sweet story. Enjoy your Glory Box for years to come.

  10. Can’t wait to see what you do with it!

  11. mary says:

    Awww, she sounds like such a sweetie! What a terrific find. Isn’t it nice to have a bit of history to go with it!

  12. Beautiful find, but best of all was G’ma! We love encounters with folks like her and will listen to stories all day long!I wish you could have found her again.

    Your mention of the red brick bungalow made me think of two red brick cottages, here in our town. I’ve watched those little houses, for years. Loving them and trying to figure a way to give them new life, if I were younger with more energy. Huge beautiful trees were in the yard. J has watched those houses, too. A few weeks ago he came home from running errands and told me the two beautiful old houses and the trees were gone!! I didn’t want to believe it….all gone. They are being replaced by a filling station!!! I cried.

  13. Siggie says:

    Wow, how lucky is that! Great find! Wish we had garage sales around here like that. We have mostly flea markets and the prices are usu. too high, but alas, I haven’t been looking a lot either. You make me want to go out and do some junk hunting!

  14. Jennifer says:

    How wonderful! That is such a great find, and the mirror is gorgeous. It is all so much better because of it’s history, great find. Can’t wait to see it in all it’s finished glory.

  15. Awesome Story and a great find!!!

    I am finishing a dresser too, but I have no story about mine.

  16. What a wonderful find.

  17. Sarah Ann says:

    I love the idea of a glory box! I’d never heard of them before, I’ll have to ask my Grandmother about them…

  18. Tricia Rose says:

    Where did I see beautiful hand-painted numbers on each drawer of a vintage chest? Very subtle, and somehow looked meaningful…

    You weren’t tempted by the little model boat just visible on the mattress behind?

  19. Heidi @: heidi-heartandhome.blogspot.com says:

    Good job, Sarah!
    You always seem to be in the right place at the right time – even though you almost missed this one. I know it will be perfect in your cottage by the sea!
    My friend, have a great weekend. We are off for a visit to my 89 year old Dad’s down south…a great source of entertainment, by the way! He’s very funny, and remembers everything. I love listening to him, esp. now that my mom is no longer with us. The old(er) ones have the best stories!! ( He would kill me if he knew I called him old) :0!
    Heidi – Heart and Hoe

  20. Dream Mom says:

    Oh what a great find and a wonderful story. I have to imagine that when we find these pieces and hear the stories that go with them, that there is an energy to them. In the end, maybe there isn’t an energy in them but rather, the connection we get to the other person when they tell the story…the story is then passed down to us as keepers of those wonderful memories.

    Your story reminds me of a conversation I had with my best friend (of almost thirty years) over the weekend. I told her that when my mother in law passes that I want her cast iron dutch oven. She looked at me oddly. I explained that this cast iron dutch oven has been used at every family dinner I have ever been too, which means it has years of “seasoning” to it, something that can’t be purchased when you spend $250-$300 on a real cast iron dutch oven (not the cheap enameled ones), let alone the fact that I can’t afford one. It’s the history, the seasoning and the memories/stories that go with the cast iron pot that make it special. And that’s exactly what you got with your dresser, you got the wonderful history and you gave an old lady a chance to remember something wonderful in her life. I am sure that made her day.

  21. Linda Queen says:

    Fun things and fun post to read.
    Enjoy your time working on this piece, great find!
    Linda Q

  22. leann says:

    What a sweet story! I love the history and the piece is beautiful. Congrats on your bargain of a find!


  23. Pearl Maple says:

    Lucky finds, never know what treasure or old dear will turn up at those sales.

    Glory box is a beautiful old term and perfect for your beautiful new additions.

  24. Becky K. says:

    Very wonderful finds. I love that the original owner got to enjoy your enthusiasm.

    Becky K.

  25. Marie says:

    Hi there! Really j’adore your blog. I’ve been obsessing over your decor style since it’s somewhat similar to my style. So I’ve added you to my J’adore blog list and someday when you have time, come and visit me.
    -marie at mariesmaison.blogspot.com

  26. Can’t wait to see the finished product!!!

    Have a great weekend,

  27. yeah i do seem to be having luck lately!

  28. Thanks for the comment on my blog…you have been the inspiration for the more coastal feel that I am trying to incorporate in my home! So THANK YOU for all of the beachy ideas! Happy Weekend!


  29. Jackie says:

    Yes I evaluate garage sales in 30 seconds to lol. Friday night I actually “street view” the house on google so I can get an idea of what sort of style of goods they may be selling, that’s not good is it lol. Last night as I street viewed one of the houses on my list I had seen the house before on a real estate site and knew that I loved their style of decorating. Unfortunately I didnt score with the furniture It was too expensive but I did score some lovely vintage goodies. I ended up with some good finds this morning.I Love your blog it never fails to inspire me. Thank you

  30. What lovely finds – I’m sure that grandma was a hoot. Can’t wait to see your finished result !

    Have a great weekend


  31. Paula Jean says:

    What fun finds! Thanks for the reminder that we have to sort through a few not-so-good sales before we stumble upon the ones like you did here.

    Thanks as always for sharing!

  32. Hi Sarah,
    The sweet story is wonderful and the chest and mirror are quiet nice also! Plethora is such a great word. I must use it in a post soon, thanks for reminding me of it. You have a lovely touch and everything you lay your creative talent on turns out light and beachy. I always enjoy visiting.

  33. Katherine says:

    Hi Sarah great finds. Its fun to get lucky, but i know what you mean sometimes the stuff comes so thick and fast that you don’t get a chance to organise it all before more goodies are coming in the door. cheers Katherine

  34. Leanne says:

    Beautiful glory box. What an amazing find for only $10. You’re one lucky lady. It will be even more beautiful painted. Thanks for sharing your beautiful home with us.

  35. Lesley says:

    I did find something…and it was FREE!!!

    My neighbour was getting rid of a chest of drawers and a small 1930′s wardrobe that the kids had been using. They’re both sitting in my driveway waiting for a good sanding down and a coat of “antique white USA”


  36. carold says:

    A pie crust mirror!!! Ones that big are so hard to find! Lucky you.

  37. Great find! Can’t wait to see what you do with it!

    ps. thanks for stopping by my blog!

  38. What a find!! That is amazing! The mirror is fantastic but the dresser, I mean, what a story!

    Thanks for stopping by the other day! I love that kettle too! Such a steal. See you around!

  39. Roeshel says:

    What a great story! I love your finds! :)

  40. beth says:

    It’s beautiful! You are so luck to find such wonderful pieces at such good deals! Love it!! :) Have a great day! Beth.

  41. What a great deal! I really love the mirror!!! $4…what a steal!

  42. Amanda says:

    What a great find and how lovely to be able to know the history behind the piece. Speaking of great finds, have just discovered your amazing blog – it is beautiful and I will definitely be checking back often for your new posts!

  43. kathy says:

    hey, love the picture in the background

  44. Hey Sarah – enjoyed the blog post about the “Old Glory Box”. Its a beauty and I hadn’t heard that term coined before. I’m used to cedar chests here in the U.S. being used for this type of collecting before marriage, but I surely love the idea of the glory box much more. Your dresser will be fabulous I’m sure, and I can’t wait to see it. The price is incredible as well.
    Love the mirror too. I’ve purchased 2 of these in the last month. They are both quite lovely and are pie crust styles, but more elaborate up and down rectangular ones with curves, etc. I paid US $18 at an event type of sale, and than found the second one for $5 at a Barn sale. I adore these type of mirrors. Will have to watch for a round one next.
    Lovely post as always.

  45. I think I’m turning into a softie ’cause I got a little misty at the Glory Box story! :-) So incredibly sweet. Don’t you love when things like that happen at a yard sale?! I love when I get the stories, and I’m happy when I’m the next steward of a piece’s history and story.

    And of course, I also like a good deal, lol! Boom-boom indeed!!

    xo, Laura

  46. Alison Gibbs says:

    What a wonderful buy and to hear her story – sweet