Years ago, while attending one of my very first Estate Sales in the Buffalo, New York area, I remember walking around the home in awe, as obvious Antique Dealers rushed past me, almost literally knocking me down as they rushed from room to room. Once I realized the Dearly Departed's "Boudoir" was "on" limits and not "off" limits, I made my way there. Once inside, I took a second to relish in the fact that I was the first and only one there. :) I walked towards her huge walk-in closet and as I slid the glass paned pocket doors open, it was almost as though a choir of angels began to sing...Not only did she have a closet packed with designer and couture gowns and dresses, but it appeared that she had kept "every" single dress she ever wore, from the 1950's on up!
As I stood there admiring her things, a noticed a bit of tulle "poofing out" from the back of the closet. My heart started racing - compounded by the fact that I could now hear a herd of footsteps behind me from others who now realized "Milady's Boudoir" was a "go" and there were treasures to be found there. I made my way to the back of the closet and pulled the piece up off the rack. To my amazement, I was holding a pristine, creamy off-white CEIL CHAPMAN Strapless Tulle & Lace Gown! At that point, everything else in the closet became a blur, and all I remember at that point was clutching it to me as firmly as I could and backing out of the closet - It's skirt was quite full so getting out of their in the middle of a now "pack of wolves", was quite a feat!
As I made my way to where the cashier was, I heard many a heavy sigh from Admirers over it's sheer beauty, and the "Dealers" that wished they had found it first. ;) As I stood in front of the cashier, my heart began pounding almost out of my chest as I worried the price would be waaaay out of my reach. Before I could utter a word in question, the lady cashing buyers out said "Whaddya got?" I took a breath to speak, but she quickly cut me off and said "Oh, a dress. $10.00 please. Cash or check." I don't think I could pay fast enough! As I left the home, and walked down the street to my car with my "Creamy Cloud of Tulle & Lace", I was approached my at least 3 different people with offers to buy the dress from me right then and there. All offers were politely declined of course. :)
I owned and enjoyed the Ceil Chapman Gown for a year or so before finally deciding to pass it on to another collector who "needed" it for their collection. :) Today, this particular sale has been one of my biggest regrets, though it's profit was quite "tidy". ;) To this day, I have never, in all my travels and hunts ever come across a Vintage Piece quite so beautiful. I only wish I still had photos of it....Though I can see it clear as day in my dreams....:)