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 Post subject: from estate sale to dumpster, and few were saved
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 9:47 pm 
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Victor O
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 3:57 pm
Posts: 64
I think we have all been there, hearing about 100s or 1000s of 78s, being thrown in a dumpster and now in the collection of a landfill. Went to an estate sale a few weeks ago, could only spend about an hour there, had a work obligation I could not change. It was that of a collector hoarder, a garage full of everything, I'd estimate about 10000 LPs, boxes and boxes of uncatalogued 78s, 1000s of 45s. maybe a 1000 piano rolls (many QRS). Condition from badly mold covered to near mint and everything inbetween. Boxes all over the floor, you know the drill. I managed to pick about a 100 78s for 30 cents each nothing extremely rare or desirable but some very interesting pieces, including some rare early Pathé ethnic 78s and early Okeh electrics, NM dimestore labels like Regal, etc. It must have been a relative selling off the estate who had no interest in keeping or trying to sell anything beyond one day, the estate sale rep said "all has to go in the dumpster immediately after the sale ended".I maybe got through about 500 78s of perhaps 3000, I doubt I left any Paramounts or Robert Johnsons, but I pulled 25 different labels in minutes, all but one prewar. Many good ones must have stayed on the shelving. I was kind of shaken up, who knows what great pieces got smashed to bits after surviving about 100 years.


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 Post subject: Re: from estate sale to dumpster, and few were saved
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 1:04 pm 
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Victor O
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"Don't Deny Yourself the Sheer Joy of Orthophonic Music"
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:46 pm
Posts: 57
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Don't feel bad about the less-than-stellar fate of the records that remained. You did the best you could within your limited availability of time to take what items you could, and this is the brutal reality of what hoarding is - not only does it create a living hell for the hoardee and those who love/care about him/her, but for the times when there are items of historical importance/rarity in the residence, the mess they leave behind makes it impossible for those items to be properly cared for and rightfully appreciated! Sure, we can blame the estate seller for being ignorant about 78 rpm records, but that is only because we few happen to be in the know about what recordings are collectible and what aren't, a feat which - let's be honest - is something requiring enormous time and devotion for (usually) little financial gain. How many of us, if faced with the task of removing a monumental hoard of, say, posters or antique beer bottles, would even know where to begin with a proper assessment of what is valuable and what isn't? Old records, sadly, are ultimately no different in that regard, and that is perhaps the biggest downside of our entire hobby.


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 Post subject: Re: from estate sale to dumpster, and few were saved
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 1:35 pm 
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Victor V
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Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:33 pm
Posts: 2521
Location: Near NY's Capital
jmad7474 wrote:
How many of us, if faced with the task of removing a monumental hoard of, say, posters or antique beer bottles, would even know where to begin with a proper assessment of what is valuable and what isn't? Old records, sadly, are ultimately no different in that regard, and that is perhaps the biggest downside of our entire hobby.


Interesting point, there. Sometimes, however, you can negotiate a rescue of sorts with the estate. More than once, I've been able to do that. Yes, it's an enormous amount of work and effort which requires storage facilities while you go through it all after removal. Every time I've done this, it's been well worth my while, and often the family involved is usually very willing to work with you. About 10 years ago, I got a tip from a dealer that a very large collection was needing to be removed quickly from a home that had been sold and the owner was a serious collector. That was all I knew, so I called the guy and made arrangements to take a look and see what was up. When I got to the house, I was in shock, overwhelmed and excited all at the same time. There were well over 30,000 records, 75% of which were classical / opera 78s. This was a carefully assembled collection and way too good to see get tossed. I made a deal with the executor who had rented a dumpster anyway for cleaning out the rest of the stuff, this house was JAMMED with stuff, the guy threw nothing out and it was quite an adventure. I ended up recruiting help and having anyone with a truck come and help. We had about a week to remove the collection and shelving. My end of the deal was to assist cleaning out the rest of the house (which I did) and in return could use the dumpster for anything I didn't want. While I tossed a small amount of common 40s stuff, I brought most of it home and struggled to deal with it. The family was delighted and so was I, my first Caruso G&Ts, several hundred Fonotipias, hundreds of early pre-dog G&Ts, and my first Edison 12 inch lateral came from that house. I still have unpacked boxes downstairs I'll get to at some point, but I pulled the good stuff immediately.

I did the same thing again last year and I'm just about caught up with that group.

If you can stand a little chaos and the people are willing to work with you, it can be a very rewarding experience!

I'll probably be disposing of records I don't want for the next several years because of this, but it's fun to dig through a box of unsorted stuff and discover something fun, but I admit, I'm a little crazy. :lol:

Sean


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 Post subject: Re: from estate sale to dumpster, and few were saved
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 2:05 pm 
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Victor O
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"Don't Deny Yourself the Sheer Joy of Orthophonic Music"
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:46 pm
Posts: 57
Location: Minneapolis, MN
OrthoSean wrote:
jmad7474 wrote:
How many of us, if faced with the task of removing a monumental hoard of, say, posters or antique beer bottles, would even know where to begin with a proper assessment of what is valuable and what isn't? Old records, sadly, are ultimately no different in that regard, and that is perhaps the biggest downside of our entire hobby.


...it's fun to dig through a box of unsorted stuff and discover something fun, but I admit, I'm a little crazy. :lol:

Sean


I'm a little crazy too, but nowhere near hoarder-level! And it IS fun to sift through unsorted boxes of records, I once found a box of rare New England label 78s (with labels like Triangle, Dandy, etc.) at an antique shop in Maine about 15 years ago that the owner gave me for $5 because I was the first person who ever looked through them! I also ended up getting a Rubbermaid tub (literally) stuffed full of 1950s-era doo-wop/R&B 78s and 1960s garage rock 45s that way at a flea market back in 2013 for about $20. Apparently the former owner was a radio station DJ and passed away before arrangements could be made to sell the records individually!


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 Post subject: Re: from estate sale to dumpster, and few were saved
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 6:26 pm 
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Victor O
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 3:57 pm
Posts: 64
As a postscript, in this instance there was no chance for a deal (let the records stay in the garage for a few days, or try and haul them out in the same night (had to work late)).
Not the same story, but I had another similar experience where I knew a hoarder, he died, relative was completely disinterested in all the stuff and would not let anyone touch it/look through it - orders were - "everything out of here by 5 pm, and I I even see a paperclip on the floor you guys don't get paid." Many nice items were trashed.


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 Post subject: Re: from estate sale to dumpster, and few were saved
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 6:59 pm 
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Victor O
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:21 am
Posts: 87
Geez, that hurts!!! Because you never know what is now lost.

Same situation with an estate sale near here a few years ago -- all cylinders. I grabbed all of them -- about 300 -- for a buck a piece or they would have been lost.

Here's the lesson in that bunch was: some 5000 series; Christmas cylinders and; a "Let Us Not Forget" with Star Spangled Banner!!!


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 Post subject: Re: from estate sale to dumpster, and few were saved
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 9:32 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:27 pm
Posts: 322
Location: Peoria, IL
I used to buy up lot stocks like this. At one time I had over 20k 78s & Diamond Discs. The real problem is warehousing space and a solid enough floor to support them. Unfortunately, about 2% are of commercial value. The rest would go a phonograph stuffing (I would give away 100-300 records with each phonograph I sold). I will still buy lots of up to 1000, but any bigger than that, my old back says NO :)


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