Serious Collectors Only

Dallas shoppers must attend the most curious estate sale of a lifetime

Dallas shoppers must attend the most curious estate sale of a lifetime

Lady head vases
A Curious East Dallas Estate Sale will feature many "lady head vases" such as these. Photo via eBay

Dallas-Fort Worth has no shortage of estate sales; they happen every weekend. But the one at 5946 Vickery Blvd. on January 29-31 stands out for its sheer obsessiveness. Called A Curious East Dallas Estate Sale, it's being coordinated by Jason Cohen, owner of vintage shop Curiosities, and represents the lifelong cache of quirky collector Maxey Smith.

Smith was a collector and bon vivant who filled his house to the brim with vintage purchases. It had been his dream to eventually open his own store, but he died in February 2015.

The inventory includes stained glass windows, lamps, statues, vases, glassware, occupied Japan items, religious mementos, and hundreds of pieces of cut crystal and china. Cohen says that entry will be limited, due to the high volume of breakables.

"Originally, the family contacted me to see if I wanted to buy some of the stuff," Cohen says. "It got to the point where they wanted to put the house on market and didn't know what to do with it all. The volume was tremendous. When I first came into the house, you couldn't even walk through it; there was barely a path."

There are vintage prints from the Victorian era, and century-old photographs, including some tintypes. There's stuff from the '40s and '50s, Fiesta dinnerware, oddball figurines, vintage kitchen gadgets, and old books.

"There's an obsessive amount of the 'lady head vases' that were popular in the '50s," Cohen says.

Toward the end of his life, Smith discovered eBay. Cohen found tons of boxes in the attic from eBay purchases that Smith had bought and never even opened or unpacked.

"It was in boxes and piles and covered in dust, the attic was filled, the garage was filled — it was like putting a puzzle back together," he says.

"I've done one or two other sales, but this has been the most challenging for the sheer volume, including personal effects you wouldn't want to sell. He kept everything."