This antique punched-tin pie safe has always been one of those pieces I just didn’t want to let go. I purchased it a few years ago from an antique store in Maryland with the intention to sell it, but I decided to keep it for myself. I put it in the family room in our last house and we stored movies and games inside. When we moved to Minnesota, I wasn’t sure where I would put this piece or how it would work in our new house, but I just wasn’t ready to let go.
We hauled it over 1,000 miles and, as I suspected, I struggled with where to put it in our new house. Not only did I struggle with where to put it, but I struggled with how these tall ceilings and new finishes made the piece look grubby instead of chipping and charming. It just didn’t feel right in this house.
I ended up using it in our foyer and I’m glad I did because I learned that it was the perfect size and that we really needed a cabinet there for backpacks, hats, gloves, etc. Sometimes using what you have helps you learn what you need. It enables you to use experience to make a better decision for the long-term. I find if I dive right in to find something to fill a hole, I am more likely to miss the mark or settle.
I had a very clear picture of what I wanted and I’ve been looking for it for over a year. I finally found it at Gold Rush. Initially, I admired this antique jelly cupboard, but I didn’t think about it for my foyer. As soon as I opened up the doors, though, I had this image in my mind of putting backpacks and lunch boxes inside. I turned to my friend, “Cheri! I think this piece is perfect for my foyer!!” I had three hesitations though… One – Was the tone of the wood too orange? Two – Would it be too wide for my space? Three – It was a bit more than I wanted to pay. I was hoping I could buy something that would be a pretty even trade when I sold the pie safe. This piece was more.
I decided the tone of the wood would work with the stairs and railing and I trusted my eyeball estimation of the width. I was pretty sure it would fit and look good.
The last one was the sticking point and kept me pondering for several minutes. The vendor dropped the price by $100, bringing it down to a price point that wasn’t an even trade, but it was doable. And it was still dramatically less than any comparable new piece of solid wood furniture. I also felt like this is a piece we’ll own for decades.
With our breaths held, Jeff, Cheri, and I moved the cabinet into position and it fit with just a couple of inches to spare. My eyeballing skills proved their worth. The wood tone also looks beautiful and warm against the cool walls and slate floor. It adds the richness that corner needed.
Interestingly enough, this piece was purchased from Pennsylvania! It had been owned by a woman who had a massive antique collection and the pieces, including this one, were sold after she died. She had used this piece in her office, so she installed a pencil sharpener inside on one of the shelves. I’m planning to remove it and mount it somewhere in my office.
The piece has been painted, stripped, and refinished, at various times in its history, so I feel like I have the freedom to refinish it or paint it again if I ever want to. For now, it’s just right.
It’s also very sturdy and the doors are in perfect working order. I have a tendency to fall in love with problem pieces, but this one doesn’t require any fixing, adjustments, or improvements. I could tap dance on top of it.
I found it just in time to fill it with backpacks and lunch boxes for back to school.
Also, I was able to find a buyer for the pie safe through craigslist! I wasn’t sure how a primitive piece like that would move around here, but a former primitives antique dealer spotted it and scooped it up, so the bulk of the cost of the jelly cupboard was offset by that sale.
When I listed the pie safe, though, I learned about a new craigslist scam. Within 30 minutes of listing it, I received 4-5 texts from different people asking if the piece was still available and then following up by asking if I would confirm I was real by sending them a Google verification code. It smelled scammy, so I said they could just call me and we could talk and they will hear that I’m real. Well, that wasn’t enough. They needed the code right now and that was the only way I can prove I’m real. So, of course, I didn’t send them the barrage of codes that were texted to me. Apparently, they are trying to use your phone number to open a new craigslist seller account and they need a Google verification code to do it. They will then sell any manner of spammy and potentially illegal stuff using your verified phone number.
So, just be aware. Don’t ever send a verification code to anyone else unless it’s your husband and he’s trying to buy something on Amazon and it always texts you a code to confirm he can use the account, even though he’s used it for years. Jeff and I just love it when that happens. (Can you hear my sarcasm?)
Anyway, I’m sure you noticed Sebastian getting in on this photo shoot. He waltzed over as soon as I started taking pictures. Maybe he’s catching on…
PS – Today is the last day to bid on the current grouping of oil paintings for sale! Just a head’s up if you’re interested. You can find my paintings HERE and I have active listings in the animals and landscape categories.