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Monday, September 7, 2015

Jackpot!

During the remaining days of our vacation we checked out every flea market, yard sale and antique store in our travels.  The Berkshire area of Massachusetts had a large selection of antique and collectible stores.  For the most part however all these markets had only dolls to offer and since I've never been a collector of dolls, I left most of these markets empty handed.


On our final full day, we visited Lee, MA, and dropped into a small antique and collectible store.  While browsing the aisles I noticed a Ralph Lauren paper bag on the floor, tucked into a corner of the shop.  Peeking out of the bag was a box with the name Millie August written on it.  Ha ha!  A brand name that any miniature collector would recognize!  I picked up the bag and placed it on a table to investigate the rest of the contents of the bag!  Pay Dirt!  The bag contained 25, yes I said 25, miniature furniture kits from House of Miniatures, Shenandoah, Chrysnbon and Millie August!  I never even knew that Millie August produced miniature furniture kits, but apparently they did.  



The bag of 25 kits were priced as a set and initially I picked out the kits I didn't already own and approached the shop owner about buying only the kits I needed.  We agreed upon a price and I stacked up my kits at the counter.  While waiting for the rest of my group to finish their shopping, I struck up a conversation with the shop owner and my husband.  I said my other friends would be so pleased with the purchase and wish they had found it.  My husband had the great idea then for me to buy all the kits and sell the unwanted kits later!  So we negotiated a new price for all 25 kits, which fortunately was half the original asking price and off we went with my new purchase!



You couldn't wipe the smile of my face!  Most of the kits were sealed, so I knew these would be in tack, but a few were open.  A quick glance in the store showed they appeared to be complete, but I knew I would need to clearly check all the open kits with detail to ensure this.



Later that afternoon, back at the condo, I checked each open kit and discovered for the most part all were complete.  The Chrysnbon stove kit was missing the bottom plate, but interestingly enough, I have this kit and had never used my bottom plate, so I can put mine in to make this kit sellable.  (Update: this kit has now been claimed by a friend).



One of the footstool kits was open and was missing most of the pieces, and had the instructions for another kit, but that was no big lost.  Some spare parts for later.  

The chest on chest, which I also have, and was going to sell, was missing two drawer fronts, so this was the most seriously missing parts, but I think I can cut new ones to make the kit complete again.



Interestingly enough, the dry sink kit, which I also have in my garden shed, had an extra drawer front.   I had used mine in the garden shed project because I had lost a drawer front while assembling it.  Now wasn't that fate!  I now have a drawer front to fix the one in my garden shed, and I also have a complete dry sink to sell!



The Millie August kits were definitely an interesting find.  At first it looked like someone had opened the kits and checked before to see if all the parts were there, because all the parts were bundled up inside the linen fabric that is used to upholster the pieces.  But after checking all four kits, I realized that this was how they were packaged originally by the manufacturer.  It's not a great packaging method, because the fabric, foam and paper templates have gotten very wrinkled, and getting the wrinkles out of the linen is challenging.  The foam should flatten once pressed into place.  Some of the templates will have to be remade, no big deal.  

The instructions with these four kits are unbelievable.  They are the most detailed set of instructions I have ever seen in any miniature furniture kit.  The pieces are all welted and the kits contain dental floss to use to make the welting cord.  These will be interesting projects to assemble!

I have no immediate plans for the kits, but I will be selling all case pieces except the settle bench and round dining table, which I am keeping.  I'm going to keep all the upholstery kits except the settee from House of Miniatures.

If you are interested in buying any of them let me know and we can come to an agreed price.

Until the next time....

A very pleased,
Wanda

9 comments:

minwks said...

What a great find and what fun you must have had.
Janine

PILAR6373 said...

Un gran descubrimiento!!!!! No me extraña que volvieras tan contenta!!!
Besos.

Kleine Vingers said...

What a lucky find, those kits are lovely! Hope you will enjoy assembling them.
greetings

Giac said...

Hello Wanda,
You made out like a bandit! Congratulations on the great find!
Big hug,
Giac

Elizabeth S said...

This indeed was a JACKPOT! Congratulations on your Find! :)) I also didn't know that Milli August made furniture kits but when you showed the photos, they did look vaguely familiar. I think that the most exciting are the Shenandoah kits. They were the most refined albeit that there was not a lot in the line. Anyway, I know that you must be feeling like a cat in catnip right about now and rightly so!
Well Done Wanda- Super Sleuth!:D

Fabiola said...

Great finds!

otterine said...

Marvelous finds! I put together the Millie August slipper chair and a slightly different couch for my beach house. They are great kits to work with. :D

Irene said...

Wow, you were obviously in the right place at the right time. What a great find and such lovely items too. I hadn't heard of Millie August kits before.

Daydreamer said...

What a fantastic haul!!! Those kits look to be in great shape! I am not familiar with the Lilian August ones at all! I look forward to seeing your finished projects!