When I was helping Mom get rid of the remaining furniture in her house, I turned to Craigslist for help. In the first week, I sold a bedroom set and the bench to the vanity which Mom used in the basement as a sewing storage area.
I realized after I had a positive response, and I brought the bench to my house to await the check being mailed and pickup, that I had, in fact, photographed the rear of the bench. It was lovely as it was. BUT, when I turned it around, I saw that there was a drawer in the bench, but was missing the pull. The next time I was at Mom's house, I emptied the drawers of the vanity, since I had had several inquiries about it as well, and lo and behold, I found the pull for the bench.
I attached it when I got home, hoping to find some family treasure long hidden in the drawer, but there was only about 40 years of dust there. The stamped label of the manufacturer was at the back of the drawer.
Mom had recovered this bench in blue wide wale corduroy to match the decor in her house in Connecticut, before she moved to Colorado, and I hadn't paid any more attention to it.
Again, once it was at my house, I gently lifted this fabric, where a few of the nail heads were missing and found this:
This was probably the fabric from my Grandmother's house. And there's more:
And more still:
This was the original fabric and from the looks of the way the nail heads are rough, there was probably a braiding which bordered the fabric. The bottom fabric is fragile and parchment-like after all these years. My guess is that this bench (and the vanity that it came with) date back to the late 1930's in my Grandmother's house once my Grandfather's delicatessen was a going business and the woes of the Depression were easing for the family.
Can you tell that I became quite fond of this piece in my house? I was hoping that the purchaser from Craigslist would flake out and never send the check, but sure enough on Friday the check came. I cashed it right away, and waited to hear from him (he lives in Telluride, and would have to find someone to pick up the bench for him). I was fully prepared to follow through on the transaction, because I am an honorable person and a deal is a deal.
When I talked to him on Sunday night, I told him about the drawer and the layers of family history, and how I had grown fond of the piece. He didn't hesitate a bit and offered to cancel the transaction to keep this special piece in my family. I was stunned that he was being so kind and understood what I was feeling. A full refund is on the way back to him and now I get to keep the bench. So Santa, if you know Chris in Telluride, make sure you leave him some extra goodies in his stocking this year.