I haven't done a Bench Monday in a long while, and ever since Alex and I found this treasure on the curb in our neighborhood, I've been itching to use it in a photo, so here it is.
I don't do this, that being bring home other people's junk, as often as I might have in the past, but sometimes something like this is just too cool to pass up. The wrought iron is stamped 1877 and it does make a handy little seat without taking up a lot of space. Piled on the curb next to the desk with a FREE sign tacked to it, was another little wooden school chair on an iron swivel base. We brought that home, too. Along with the desk and chair, and from the same period, was a hand-crank meat grinder and slatted wood steamer trunk--naturally we brought those home as well.
All the pieces are in remarkable shape and needed only a bit of cleaning. I like the warm wood tones, the rusticity, the forms and usefulness of each piece. I don't know what it's like in other places, but in Maine it's not uncommon to find useful and beautiful items on the curb, at the end of a drive-way, or in the front yard with a hand written FREE sign adorning them. Yes, we are big fans of Freecycle in Maine, but more often than not we have just as much luck either giving away unwanted items on the curb, or finding just the thing on our morning walks. We joke that my Dad lives in the wormhole of unwanted treasures and his tiny cottage is full of amazing items, cast-off by others. We've found vintage sofas, we've given away furniture, found vintage suitcases and other household items, and I know just the spot in the borderlands of my town if you are in the market for an antique toilet.
Though I'm not interested in collecting any old thing, sometimes someone else's junk is still junk, but once in awhile, when you least expect it maybe, you'll spot a purple crayon FREE sign on an antique school desk and think, I've been looking for just that. So keep your eyes open and keep the back of your car empty, it's the Maine way.