early birthday scavenging thrills

oats gave me an early birthday present!


it’s a reproduction antique compass in a brass pocket-watch-style case, and i LOVE it.  i didn’t own a compass before this… which is odd, considering how important it is to my mental health for me to know my bearings.  now i’ll always know what direction i’m heading, and have a something beautiful to look at whenever i’m fretting.

last night we went for a long stroll after dinner, down through the side streets to the ocean.  right after we turned homewards, we came across an absolutely incredible piece of furniture at the curb.  a quick discussion ensued, made urgent by the encroaching darkness and another passerby eager to check it out if we decided to pass.

the thing is, oats and i are suckers for anything made from solid wood, and we both love the lines of (most) old furniture.  aside from that, we’ve been talking about diversifying our income by turning our scavenging into a more lucrative hobby, by selling the pieces that we refinish.

so, i stayed behind to guard our new treasure, and oats took off to find a co-op car.  hooray for the car share:  the closest vehicle was available, and it just happened to be a minivan!  i’ll skip the drama of us trying to load, and simply tell you that i couldn’t even lift one side of this thing.  we got it up to our 2nd story apartment by taking advantage of the kindness of burly macho men from downstairs who seemed pleased to work for a 12-pack of sleem@n’s.

and now!  behold!












it’s true:  we don’t actually need an RCA Victor Magic Voice combination phonograph and radio cabinet from around the 1940s.  but it’s so gorgeous, and we got it for the price of some beer and a car booking (totalling ~$31, in case you were wondering).  my original thought was that we’d gut it, refinish the wood, and use it as a sideboard with storage underneath… perhaps making the speaker section into a glass-doored display shelf lit from above.  however, at the urging of the burly macho men downstairs, that thought is on hold as we try to suss out some more information about the piece.  maybe it’d be smarter of us to restore it to working condition?  we already have a functional and sexy record/radio cabinet, though very different from this one:  it’s more 1960s, but still solid wood, with a low profile, modern lines, and metal legs.  personally, i’d rather turn the Magic Voice into something that suits my more immediate need for attractive storage space.

or… sell it?  the old sticker on the back says $445 (8th photo from top of series), but who knows what the value is these days.  of course, any real value is dependent on what a person might actually pay, which is conditional on a few other factors that aren’t really in our favour:  the economy’s crappy, we live on an island, and this thing weighs a ton so is hell to move.  also, i like it, and i’m not desperate for cash at the moment.  i think my minimum selling price would be $500, because that’d pay for oats and i to each put together a touring bike (using my stash of cherry components, a couple 2nd hand frames, and some new parts too).  otherwise, i think i’d rather keep it.

all round, my birthday’s looking pretty great.


i’m having a bday bbq this upcoming tuesday!  it’s at oats’ place (now mine as well), above the square!  5 pm onwards!  there’ll be sangria and mojitos and sausages!  also, veggie stuff!  also, cake!  please come!


9 responses to “early birthday scavenging thrills

  1. Keep it! What a lovely bit of furniture. I am insanely jealous. Don’t refinish the poor thing either. I find that almost any horizontal surface makes a nice bar.

    • feralgeographer

      thanks! btw, you have GREAT taste in furniture: i was totally slobbering over that sideboard you were selling! that’s kinda what my other record player cabinet looks like, though a million times more pretty. vessel for junk? no way!

  2. feralgeographer

    hey! at the same time as i was writing this post, oats was writing her own account of our adventure… complete with more photos! read it at airbeans.

  3. Tracey (Coulter.. remember me?)

    That thing is freaking GORGEOUS!

  4. Tracey (Coulter.. remember me?)

    We are/were friends on livejournal, and you linked to this, and I check in on you once in a while!

    • feralgeographer

      riiiiiiiiiiiiight! i forgot that i did that! oh, the livejournal days… sometimes i miss the communities there, but at the same time i think this blog interface is much nicer.

  5. It’s beautiful!

    • feralgeographer

      thanks! it sure is… but i must say, i’m already nervous about what we’ll do with it when we move across town at the end of the summer… yeah, i’m still thinking of gutting it.

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