Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Cabinet III

We woke up early and drove I-70 east to Emma. The auction was actually on Sunday, so we decided to preview the auction and then drive a little further, to Columbia, to research its Harzfeld's location. We enjoy road trips and stopped at some antique shops on the way.

We found our exit to the small town of Emma, and easily found the auction house. We looked around at the interesting items, but alas, no display case. Although we could have inquired, we thought it best to keep a low profile to not express too much interest in the cabinet. We got back on I-70 and made our way to Columbia. We stopped at the library, went to special collections and found great help. Our first focus was the phone book area. This helped us establish when the store moved between three different locations and who managed it over the years. We also found items in the vertical files and Harzfeld's ads from a few college yearbooks. We then sought out the locations and snapped some photos.

We spent the evening in Columbia and stopped back at the auction house on the way home. Still no cabinet. We again surrendered the fact that it might not be in the cards. We signed up to received future auction bills by mail and headed back to Kansas City.

Several weeks later, an auction bill arrived in the mail. This auction had many old store fixture items so I scanned the listings and there it was! A small photo was included, but there were no details of its origin.

Finally, it was the weekend of the second auction. We headed back out to Emma. We sat through numerous items until finally in the late afternoon, it was time for the cabinet to sell. We had decided on a limit we would bid. I calmly made the starting bid once they called out for $600. I was patiently waiting, then, an opposing bid was given. I calmly raised their bid and waited. SOLD to #168 for $800! We were excited and relieved that we would finally end up with the cabinet.

The auction house was good about storing items and offered delivery. We weighed our options, and decided to have them deliver it to our house. We were nervous about leaving our large plate glass box behind since there were many items being moved about as the auction came to a close, but since it had survived this many years, hopefully it would make it through this event. We drove home and cleared a space for the cabinet.

A week later, the cabinet was to deliver. I waved the truck and trailer in and we backed it up to our back sliding door. A nice older (than us) gentleman of medium stature came out of the truck. We realized he was alone. As we discussed how we would get this monster into the house, he shared about the pins in his back, yet had little hesitation about the task. After not finding any additional help, we strategized a bit. Then he disappeared under the cabinet. With all the assistance we could offer, the cabinet began to levitate. How he was able to raise the weight of the cabinet from all fours is still baffling. With a few moves forward and repositioning, we were at the door.

I got my side in and backed into the the house as our new friend guided his end to the door. His energy was giving way as we approached, and the cabinet was dropping with him. Thankfully he was okay and with the exception of the front right leg, so was the cabinet. After recovering, we finished the move, settled up, and wished him well with his other large deliveries.

Like much of our information, and many of the items from Harzfeld's, they seem to come to us, but not without a little effort.

(8' 2" in width)

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