It was a very sad, shabby cabinet that had been propped up in the dirt. Almost an afterthought. Neglected, it looked like it had all but given up being noticed, much less purchased. No one even stopped to think of the possibilities. In all fairness, it had lots of competition in the acres of treasures at Renningers Antique Market in Mt. Dora this past weekend. But this was its lucky day and mine.
The nice vendor said that it was a very old medicine cabinet that he had taken out of a farmhouse in Alabama that was facing demolition. He was only asking $30. We did not try to deal. We knew we had something special.
My husband, a miracle worker at bringing old pieces back to life, could restore this primitive piece back to its earlier days. Inside there were marks from medicine bottles. Upon cleaning off the layers and layers of dirt and taking it apart, a label on the back of the mirror revealed that it was over 100 years old. After some minor repairs and cleaning up the original hardware, careful not to remove any of the remaining paint, it almost beamed with thanks for saving it.
It now hangs proudly on the cottage bathroom wall of a collector of all things shabby and primitive (me). Someone who appreciates its peeling paint, distressed wood and deep nooks for treasures. It is a treasure itself. Purchased from the nice vendor who did not recognize the gem that he brought from Alabama to Mt. Dora so we could take it home and give it a new life.