I hit the jackpot today.
Mitchell Road Auction House is a warehouse full of beautiful junk. In the ground floor are items that have gone through some mild to serious tear and wear, but are still functional and/or beautiful in their own way. The items on this floor are very fairly priced and this is where we bought chairs for our kitchen table and a standing mirror last Saturday. We paid $AUD 116.50 for a set of 4 chairs and the mirror, all in good condition. The auction house adds 16.5% to the tag price for having found and stored the item in their store. That is why we paid that odd number.
The second floor of the building is full of gorgeous antiques and retro items that are in *excellent* condition, and I mean there is a lot of stuff that is 30 years old but looks as good as new. The items on this floor are significantly more expensive, but you could debate that they are also fairly priced due to the fact that they have been maintained so well.
In any case, I liked the place a lot and decided to pay another visit today just for kicks. Well my friends, I did not come home empty handed.
I found this GORGEOUS chest!!! I knew I wanted it the second I saw it. The price tag was AUD$65 and then I just had to have it! M and I had been talking about how it would be nice to find a coffee table item that could also serve as storage, so we thought a chest would be perfect. Since that discussion a couple of months ago, we have seen a few beautiful chests but they were $600+ and then some were $100 or so, but too simple and boring. I took a chance when buying this one today because M is not home, he went on a company retreat for the weekend. Man I hope he likes it as much as I do.
The chest still has stickers attached to it from its voyage. I find it so fascinating, it makes me giddy.
What I could gather from the stickers is that it came from Italy on the ship Galileo Galilei operated by the company Lloyd Triestino and it belonged to either a Mr. Iannello Rosario, or a Mrs. Rosario Iannello. Even the original lock is still attached and says "made in Italy", though you can open the chest because someone broke the lock mechanism.
So I googled "SS Galileo Galilei" and finding out about it was easier than I thought. This ship travelled between Genoa, Italy and Sydney, Australia, between the early 60's and the late 70's after which the ship changed name and operator several times.
I am so delighted with this chest! I paid 75 bucks for it but to me it is worth its weight in gold. I think I will visit the Mitchell Road Auction Centre as part of my Saturday routines from now on.
The insides of the chest are clearly worn out, and now I am trying to decide whether I should scrape off the old paper and attach my own new one, or if I should let it be as it is and try to preserve it. What do you guys think?