Another man’s treasure…

one man's treasure...

She was born Lydia Myrene Henderson. She was my grandmother.
And, in all my life, I’ve never known anyone who appreciated a bargain any more than she did. She lived in a constant state of believing that some object she picked up somewhere would eventually be recognized by one and all as immensely valuable and quite possible The Greatest Thing in the History of Time and Space.
She is the reason I smiled this week when Rae Gremillion, director of community development at the Hospice of Acadiana, called. Gremillion told me a story about a big find at their upcoming Hospice Garage Sale, scheduled for 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Nov. 22 at the Hospice of Acadiana offices at 2600 Johnston Street.
Hospice of Acadiana has been accepting antiques, glassware, artwork, household goods and unusual treasures from throughout the community. They will continue accepting decorative items through Nov. 14 and furniture until Nov. 21.
Just from the general description of the event, my grandmother would not have been able to sleep in anticipation of such a feast of items up for grabs for pennies on the dollar. However, there was much more to the story than just the allure of rooms full of one man’s potential treasure. Gremillion connected me with Cheryl Cockrell of Cheryl Cockrell Estate Sales who Hospice asked to help price the items for the Nov. 22 sale.
“Man, was I surprised when I was walking around and right smack in the middle of the coffee cups was this pre-1930 Steuben blue Aurene Tumble up pitcher. It’s worth hundreds of dollars and was sitting on the .25 table!” Cockrell explained to me.
After some research, I learned that Steuben Glass, founded in 1903, created some of the most iconic glass pieces of the Twentieth Century.
According to Collectors Weekly, “When collectors think of Steuben glass, two distinct styles come to mind. The first was pioneered by Steuben co-founder Frederick Carder in 1903. As Steuben’s chief designer, Carder created a new form of iridescent glass called Aurene. Unlike Tiffany’s dense and dark Favrile line of iridescent glass, which was introduced in 1894, Carder’s Aurene pieces were luminous and lustrous, seeming to radiate more light than they absorbed. So distinctive was Aurene from Favrile that Steuben was granted a patent on the technique in 1904, the year after the company’s founding. That did not stop Tiffany from filing a lawsuit against Steuben….”
But Steuben prevailed, and the company’s early years were devoted to making Aurene glass, with blue being one of the most popular colors. The little Tumble Up pitcher was donated anonymously by someone here in the Acadiana region. Perhaps they knew its value and perhaps they didn’t. Cockrell has placed the item on eBay. Bidding ends Tuesday, and profits will go to benefit Hospice of Acadiana.
“I saw many more fabulous items including real oil paintings, a French tapestry, an Asian inlaid table, two old John Deere children’s tractors, Magnalite, a huge collection of 1960’s Swanky Swig juice glasses and many more vintage finds,” Cockrell said. “This event will be a virtual treasure hunt, and I encourage people to get out there and dig through the rooms and rooms of things.”
Despite some misconceptions that Hospice of Acadiana is an umbrella organization for all area hospices, it is not. It is a non-profit dedicated to enabling persons with life-threatening conditions to live as fully and comfortably as possible. Their mission is to emphasize quality rather than length of life. They also help people deal with grief.
According to Gremillion, thus far in 2014, Hospice of Acadiana has given more than 600 days of care to indigent patients. Their Center for Loss and Transition has served 280 patients this year, with a total of 1,000 client visits. More than 1,700 people have participated in educational programming, and 25 campers, ages 7 through 11, participate in Camp Brave Hearts two-day camp for grieving children.
Twenty physicians and 375 community volunteers have donated more than 5,350 hours of time to Hospice and the people the organization serves.
The only thing that could make this event more fun for me would be if my grandmother were alive to go with me!
For more information about Hospice of Acadiana and their upcoming garage sale, call 337-232-1234 or go to www.hospiceacadiana.com.

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