I'd Rather Be Lucky Than Good...

Late in September Cindy and I drove down to Georgia to visit our dear friend Berenice Wilson.  We call her house "The Wilson Gallery" and love to see her wonderful displays of folk art throughout the house.  The trip was timed to coincide with the annual "When Pottery Comes To Town" show in Cleveland, Georgia. Cleveland is the home of the Maeder family, potters since the 1880's and most famous for their face jugs.

Friday afternoon we all drove up to Clayton, Georgia to poke through the antique shops to see if we could find some treasures to bring back to Pennsylvania.  Pickings were slim but on the drive home Cindy spotted an auction sign for the following day.  We checked it out on line and found they had 75 lots of collectable tools that would be selling first up in the auction.

The 5 o'clock start fit our schedule so off we went.  The tools had come out of a local collection of mostly Stanley, metal woodworking tools.  There was a good crowd and the first few lots confirmed there were enough tool collectors there to keep the pricing honest.  I had hoped otherwise.

Early on I ended up with a few lots of tools, nothing really special, and then the Stanley #1 came up.  For those of you who are not into tools, the Stanley #1 is the holy grail of Stanley's line of bench planes. Manufactured from 1869 to 1943 it is the smallest plane in the line and the most sought after by collectors. And this one was extra special because it came with a receipt from Roger K. Smith who had sold it to the Georgia collector in 1980.  Roger is the dean of woodworking tool collectors and the foremost authority on transitional metal planes, having written the two volume bible on the subject.  You just can't beat that kind of provenance.



Well, the short story is I bought that plane.  Now I can be considered one of the "serious" collectors, as opposed to the "all other" category.

So, what are the chances that we would be 750 miles from home, on a personal trip, fall into an auction, that fits our schedule, that just happens to have a tool collection, that just happens to include a Stanley #1? Hence, the title of this blog, I would rather be lucky than good, any day.  But, then again, luck can be defined as being prepared for opportunity,  And I was.




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