After her children grew up and moved on, empty bedrooms in Helene’s home played into her joy of buying costume jewelry. She purchased a variety of organizers – jewelry trees, velvet lined drawers and armoires – that through a number of years, allowed her to amass what can only be described as an awe-inspiring collection of all things shiny.
But every “collection” becomes an “estate” in that moment we all have coming at any time – death. Hers was fairly unexpected and left her family focused on managing their emotions and transition to understanding life without her. Focusing on all the jewelry seemed an unimportant task. After the family selected a few items they would enjoy, her daughter mentioned they didn’t know what to do with the rest of this accumulation. I heard only “lots of costume jewelry” and acquired the estate in my next sentence. Unimportant task solved.
Because of Helene’s age – later seventies – I had in mind a box of old cameos and pearls, clip-on crystals and funky 1970’s stones that marked the decades of her life. I was wrong. Helene’s fascination grew later in life it appears, as a full portion of her collection are still perfectly new items living in their original boxes, with tags, still clipped to store packaging. Most purchased likely in the years from the 1990’s to 2015, with some of the items in the same style, name brand and color you’d find in a department store today. It’s a reminder that Estate doesn’t always mean Old.
The collection is massive, delivered by oversized sport utility vehicle in two trips out of state and back and another still in the works. I have only been able to sort through it in portions. The first of which will be featured at a Pop-Up Sale held this Saturday, October 1st from 9 am to 4 pm on the Grand Porch of Galleria 126, 126 South Chestnut Street in Historic Bath, PA 18014. But this won’t be the last you hear of Helene. We are just at the start of sharing one lady’s quite sparkling story.