Friday, May 18, 2018

Book cover: "Sold to the Lady in the Green Hat"

  • Title: Sold to the Lady in the Green Hat
  • Author: Emma Bailey
  • Illustrator: Doug Anderson
  • Publisher: Dodd, Mead & Company, New York
  • Printer: Vail-Ballou Press, Binghamton, New York
  • Year: 1962
  • Original price: $3.95
  • Price these days: Used copies can be found for about $4.
  • Pages: 213
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Dust-jacket blurb: "Have you ever attended a bang-up country auction? Even if you haven't you can hardly resist entering the bidding as Mrs. Bailey places a locked trunk on the block. Does it contain things of great value or is it filled with just plain junk? Emma Bailey needed spirit and character to enter a field long dominated by men. Fortunately she also had the faith and active support of her husband and two daughters. So nothing stopped her — shady competition, social criticism or lack of funds. Her account of her adventures is most intriguing. In addition Mrs. Bailey shows you what to look for in furniture, glassware and other desirable items, how to bid like a professional and ways to outwit sharp traders. She tells her story with high good humor."
  • First sentence: "Ladies and gentlemen," I began, "welcome to the first auction at the Bailey place on Black Mountain Road."
  • Excerpt from last paragraph: In closing, both Jack and I want to extend a welcome to you, should you ever be in this vicinity [Brattleboro, Vermont]. ... Drive for a mile until you come to a red colonial house with white trim. Our mail box has our name marching across the top.
  • Random excerpt from middle: If Bibles cannot be bid on, then what can be done with them? To destroy them would compound the desecration. And yet every home in these parts has a Bible. The problem is solved without offense to even the most saintly by leaving the Bible with the other books and selling them as a lot. If a Bible is already in a trunk, it is left with whatever else is there, and the trunk is put up for auction.
  • Goodreads rating: 4.13 stars (out of 5)
  • Goodreads review excerpt: In 2012, Phyllis wrote: " was interesting reading about the whole auction scene, types of bidders, and some of the problems of being an auctioneer. A real grandma's house type read, seemingly lost in the mists of time."
  • Amazon rating: 4.7 stars (out of 5.0)
  • Excerpt from Kirkus review: "This account of Emma Bailey's move to Vermont, where eventually she became Brattleboro's first woman auctioneer overcoming the resistance to her sex, the doubts of her husband and the suspicions of the natives, provides a catchall of experiences, people and of course things — and it has a genuine human interest."
  • Note: Emma Bailey, who died in 1999, has her own Wikipedia page, so you don't have to take her book's word that she was famous.

Bonus: The bookplate

Roberta Swann was born circa 1925, graduated from Camp Hill High School, received a scholarship to study journalism and art at Pennsylvania College for Women (now Chatham) in Pittsburgh, at some point became Roberta Swann Tipton, and was involved in some community theater in southcentral Pennsylvania circa 1970. That's all I have at this time.

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