Monday, February 3, 2014

Estate Stories: Neiman-Marcus Assistant Estate brings Dallas out to shop

OH. MY. GAH.  This is one of those estate sales that makes you think everything else you see for a while will be crap.  For this is the estate of one Alice Snavely, the personal assistant of Stanley Marcus, of Neiman-Marcus, for over 40 years.  This one made the news and several blog posts, and we got to go! Adventure time!

We had to park one street over and several cars down....too many people.  Dang it! It's going to take longer to get in there than just parking out front.  Run!

Hurry up, ladies...get in there!!!  
There has to be a reason the police have been guarding this place for three days!

The landscaping was gorgeous out front.  Wait, no more time for landscape, hunters, we've got treasures to find!  I'm not here for the bronze Buddha...or a lawn chair.

Bedrooms! In this one there were old photo albums that were not used, her bridge notebooks and score pads, some miscellaneous desk findings, and a few pieces of furniture.
Isn't this day bed fabulous??  I loved it.  I would have probably bid on it and the gold chairs in the master had they not been sold already. 

I wanted the yellow chairs and the ottomans that you see below.  They were gone.  There were lots of purses and hats and accessories in this room.  In the main bathroom, there were boxes and boxes of makeup, eyelashes (100s!!), and little travel size pouches of laundry soap and lotions.  We got tickled because there were vintage turban towels by the dozen new in the box and some pretty rad curling irons and mirrors.  She must have dressed to the nines all the time, I'm sure.  

Here are some of the many perfumes she had: 

My friend, Katie, wanted this leopard and scenery bedspread with curtains and fabric to go with it.  Isn't it cool? I bet she had all of her bedding custom made.  

Katie coined this room below the "bargain basement."  Haha!  Well, yes it was! I found most of my goods in this room in the far left corner.  It was full of her office supplies and personal stationery and enough kitchen appliances and serving dishes for all kinds of parties.  I found some vintage plastic ware in pink, blue, and yellow...probably from the 1970s...several boxes...but what would I do with them?

Those couches were in pristine condition.  I can't tell you how immaculate every piece of furniture was. And look at all that stuff!  There was a mountain left even when we got there a day late!

I asked one of the ladies at the sale if they had found any store receipts when they cleaned out...she said they probably did but they probably got thrown away..they filled a 40 foot dumpster.  My next question was, "Where's the dumpster?"  I was hoping to find store memorabilia more than anything, but the few things that were listed already found homes, of course.  

In the end, my little Katie and my friend, Katie, her Maggie, and I, all came home with things we love. Here's what we got! 

Katie's finds:  her vanity stool, sewing box, pin cushion, silk purse (she was really hoping it and the canisters would still be there, and they were!) her canisters, and her little Maggie found quite the blingy ring! 

Now, who goes to these kind of treasure trove estates and looks for paper?  ME!  Here's what I found: 
Two old Steno pads that she had written Bridge strategies in, and a few of them in cool! Her personal stationery with her name in watermark on vellum, a new box of Swirl desk pens by Richard Best Pencil Co. (I love these kinds of pens, and I'm hoping I can get the ink flowing in these to use at my desk at school--the company sold out quite some time ago), an old box of new Ticonderoga pencils (another favorite I'll keep), and a cute little serving tray to be a new home for paper bits on my desk.  

This is some of her shorthand, I believe.  Isn't that cool? Although I wish I had some store notes! 

And finally, the little mid-c serving tray.  It's melamine.  And so cute. I'll use those freezer boxes to send paper packs. They'll make cute packaging! 

And my little Katie found a stuffed kitty.  But, it's not just any stuffed kitty...I had one of these when I was little!  It's a kitty AM/FM radio from Radio Shack that was in perfect condition!  I can't believe the battery wasn't corroded and the radio still works.  She loves it, and she's blaring Disney Radio on AM right now! The find of the trip, I think. 

I have to admit, we were a bit disappointed that a large part of it was gone before we got there.  But it was still fun to hunt and it will always be fun to say we went to the estate of someone so close to the Neiman-Marcus clan.  We have bragging rights.  

A few fun facts/observations from the sale about Ms. Snavely: she shopped at Tom Thumb, and Neiman-Marcus, of course; she must have had shoes and false eyelashes for every outfit; and she must have hosted the best bridge parties ever and been an expert at her game! I've never seen so many notes on strategy. 

There you go!  A peek into one of the biggest sales in Big D in quite some time! What would you buy? 


  1. Dayum the way the rooms are staged is incredible, love her ostentatious, rich, cozy style and how she stuck to an era throughout. Great ephemera scores, too. Love the freezer box idea for packaging. I'd have bought everything I could that was affordable, haha. How were the prices?

    1. Haha! Yes...and I believe her things have been mostly untouched since she died in 2012. All kinds of stuff there. The prices were really reasonable, actually. I paid $17 for all we got (including the radio cat!). I probably could have spent a lot more.