View Full Version : so I went to the estate sale of an opera singer

Jan-08-2012, 05:24
but it was in Michigan, so 99% of the list won't be interested, because she
- wasn't famous
- didn't sing at the Met

for those of you who are interested, it was great fun for me, and frustrating for 99.9% of the people at the sale, who knew NOTHING about opera.

I actually chased people out of the basement where the records were stored, because a couple of Homers who were looking for 1950s-60s doo wop were dropping and breaking 45s of Marian Anderson on the cement floor.
Almost all the 78s were broken by people who were sorting through everything like pigs at a trough.

I did manage to rescue one Victrola record by Ernestine-Schumann Heink, and a lovely assortment of 45s with the original dust jacket cardboard sleeves in mint condition:
a complete Otello with Toscanini, Nelly, Vinay, Valdengo
about 8 discs of Maria Cebotari, a few of them duets with Heinrich Schlusnus
Gigli-DeLuca duets
3 Freida Leider discs, conducted by Barbirolli
Nan Merriman singing Debussy
Gladys Swarthout in La Perichole
Dorothy Maynor, Leinsdorf conducting
Marian Anderson singing Schubert
Fedora Barbieri in Trovatore
Hermann Prey discs
many Gerard Souzay discs
Jan Peerce singing Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life
Erna Berger - Brahms
Jennie Tourel - Offenbach
Rita Gorr- Les Troyens and La Vestale'
Lucerzia Bori

all of these will get converted to digital and entered into the station playlist.

...and those are just the 45s.
I also picked up full 33 1/3 sets, but not many. The estate sale manager was more interested in what her movie card lobby cards would go for, and would not negotiate at all, so I had to leave behind a LOT of box sets. (sigh)

I also picked up a few large coffee table books of various opera houses and complete collections of sheet music.

It was very entertaining watching the disappointment on the faces of the rednecks who thought they were going to score some antiques to resell.
They left lovely 1920s era evening dresses on the FLOOR of the closet.

All in all, an entertaining day - I wished I had had a listmember with me to share the fun.

Jan-08-2012, 15:15

What a neat find ... and the wonderful things you were able to retrieve from that estate sale.

Sounds as if the organizers of the estate sale were un-experienced at this sort of venue - it takes lots of thought and people to run an effective estate sale like that, just to prevent needless damage as you saw.

I work part time in a thrift store (aka charity shop) and we are involved in a good many estate sales - and the treasures that abound in those are many.

You might return after a few days to see if those other 33-1/3 sets got sold - if not, and if it's at the end of the sale, the estate people might negotiate as they surely don't want to pack all that stuff up again ... and it may wind up being donated anyway.

Kh :cool:

Jan-08-2012, 19:20
You did well there, a good collection.

Jan-08-2012, 20:19
You certainly hit gold. Congratulations. I think Lars's suggestion about a return visit is a good one. You never know what might happen.

Corno Dolce
Jan-10-2012, 22:26
Far-out, dude! Congrats on what you were able to salvage after the swine had rifled through the picking'........

Corno Dolce
Jan-14-2012, 13:23
Hi John Watt,

No, I would never stomp on it. And no, I don't pre-forgive, because no offense was taken. MIMF is my "extended family" on the web and I love my extended family.

Corno Dolce
Jan-20-2012, 05:41
Br. John Watt,

Hahahaha ----- You joker, you : - D

My upright Bass is made by E.M. Poellmann of Mittenwald, in the German Alps. Every Italian Double Bass that I have ever "Auditioned" before buying has not had the sound I was looking for.

Corno Dolce
Jan-21-2012, 21:55
Yeah, I read that article too - Pity that the experiment did not take place in a reverberant room - Then one really finds out what separates the strads from the others.