Hey, Y'all! A Couple Of Add Clicks Would Be Much Appreciated.
It'll Put A Little Jingle In Mr. Modtomic's Pocket, Making The Publication Of This Blog Feel
Appreciated While Costing You Zip, Zilch, Nadda, Nothing!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Jere Birds For $50 Anyone? No, Not Anyone...Apparently Everyone....And No One. Status: Don't YOU Wanna Know!.

Jere Birds $50

I'm sure at least a few local readers must have seen this ad on craigslist yesterday before the "seller" pulled it down.  Wanna know why you didn't get it?

I was SO hoping this was going to be a different kind of post. So here's the skinny. Last

night at 8:09pm a nice lady in Chesterfield (west St. Louis County for you out-a-towners)

posted an ad to craigslist.

Wall Hanging Contemporary Brass Birds - $50 (Chesterfield, MO)

Date: 2012-02-21, 8:09PM CST Reply to: qcdwf-XXXXXXXXXX@sale.craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

Very Unique Brass, and easy hooks to hang although it is heavy because of the Brass. You need to see it to appreciate it. It will really dress up a room or wall. Purchased new at Dolnick Interiors.

Sacrifice for $50.00 cash.

I shot off an e-mail ASAP offering $100 (double the asking "sacrafice" price) for the Jere

sculpture if the seller would let me pick it up after work at about 10:30pm and included my

phone number. Mine was the first e-mail to get through and I got a call back about 9:15pm.

The seller and I struck a deal. I was to meet her at her home at about 10:35 and pick up the

sculpture for the aforementioned offer of $100. She gave me her home address even after I

suggested since it was night that she might be more comfortable meeting me in a public place.

Sweet, right! Well, apparently between the time the seller and I struck a deal and the time I

was to leave work to claim the item, the seller got a TON of other e-mails. So many so that

she got cold feet for selling the sculpture. She called me back just seconds before I left to tell

me that she couldn't sell it because she thought that maybe this "Jere" fella might be something.

Well, with that...the jig was up and I went ahead and spilled the rest of the beans. She was

going to find it on the net anyway so I directed her to look at eBay for comparables. Better

than 1stDibs, right? She said that her and her husband were going to look into it and would

call me in the morning to "let me know". Let me know what? I'm not sure. Doesn't matter, the

call never came. I e-mailed again today to ask if they had decided to back out of our deal and

got the same run around. So, it looks like None of us are going to get a deal on this Jere Birds

sculpture. Juuuuussssttt like the auctions.


Oh well, I'll keep plugging along and SOMEDAY I'll find one at a reasonable price.  It happens. 

Look at Dan's score.  I think he told me he got his for something stupid like $35 from a

co-worker.  Ooohhh...and I've tried and tried to snag his.  Not gonna happen.  I gave up.


Then there's this one that popped up at a weekday auction.  I attended the auction thinking that

because it was a weekday and there was absolutely NOTHING else at the auction in the same

vein that there might not be a bunch of other buyers there to jack up the selling price.  Nope...

that was a pipe dream.  I left when the bidding topped $275.


And at yet another auction (I HATE auctions) on New Years Day a few years ago there was

yet another Jere Birds available.  I left this auction well before it even got around to selling this

one.  The prices were going stupid nuts on everything.  Well above what the same items were

selling for on eBay!  Once I figured that out...well, what's the point of sticking around?  It's all

good though.  Just like I finally found my Eric Buck barstools, I'll eventually get my Jere Birds. 

I thought this might be the day but looks like I'll just have to be patient.


  1. Man, that sucks. Sorry to hear that you missed out, but maybe they'll get back to you later.

    I'd love to have a "Birds in Flight" of my own some day.

    1. The lesson we've learned here is: In addition to offering them a bundle more than their asking price, you have to convince them to pull the ad too. You could pull this off.

      "I'll give you your asking price plus X if you'll pull the ad off of C's list right now. This is because blah, blah, blah . . ."

      It sounds crazy, but it just might work.

    2. It sounds like a good idea and might work sometimes, but in practice it can backfire. "...if you pull the ad of Craigslist right now," might end up sounding like, "I really don't want other people making offers so that you get an idea how much this thing is really worth." That's happened to me more than a couple times, unfortunately.

    3. Hi Nick. Wow, I thought FOR SURE that I would be reading about "the Jere that disappeared" on Your blog!

      Hi Dave. What Nick said. I just can't think of a way to ask someone to pull an ad without it sounding weird. Actually it's only been an issue ONE other time. This exact situation happened to me before! It was over a set of three Paul McCobb tables. The seller backed out after answering other e-mails to let them know the set was (ostensibly) sold (to me) and then received replies letting him know what he was selling and how much it was "really" worth.

      What is the word for someone who breaks a deal or contract? I'm having a hard time coming up with the term...if there even is one.

    4. Man, I wish It would have been me. "Birds in Flight" is one of my absolute favorites. right up there with Brasilia.

      And in my case, I believe that the name for someone who breaks a contact would be "home inspector." After all these months, this guy is still being a huge pain in the rear.

  2. That would kill me! You can add me to a long list of people who have this piece high on their wish list. I did see a really nice ship at a sale a couple days ago - unfortunately in the hands of a dealer.

    1. Hi Vintage H. I was VERY disappointed Tuesday evening when they called to back out of the deal. I was bemused but not surprised that they didn't call the next morning. Now I'm just shrugging it off. Nothing to be done. You can't compel these people to stick to their word, right?

  3. I got birds just like this for my husband for Christmas- no label though... I wonder if they are Jere? Either way this post makes me happy I splurged on them! http://www.modsville.blogspot.com/2012/02/for-birds.html

    1. The signature on mine is in black ink near the base on the edge of one wing. Look closely.

  4. Oh so close! Dang it! Eventually, your Jere will come around.

    1. Hi Rachael. Thanks for the word of encouragement...or are you an enabler?! 6 of one...half dozen of the other.

  5. Your frustration here is a little misguided, imo. I know that everyone is looking for a bargain, but in complaining about people upping their price and things going for "ebay prices", aren't you basically just expressing the same frustration that people have about you? There are people who troll craigslist, and attend these sales and auctions who aren't looking to flip, just to furnish their house on the cheap. And then they miss out on a score and see someone else selling it for much more (ie, you).

    What I see in this is sour grapes from the perspective of someone just wanting to get well designed furniture on the cheap. Hey, I feel your pain. Personally, I've been looking for a great vintage sofa (for my living room, not to flip), and I'm always a second too late on the draw. Why? Because I go up against pros like you who snatch this stuff up before it's even put on sale.

    I'm not against having a middle man like you to make a few bucks by getting well-designed furniture in people's hands (after all, we're still capitalists, right?), but it rings a bit hollow when you go off on people having the audacity to sell things for what they're worth instead to you for a pittance. This post more than anything illustrates why I prefer auctions to sales. It evens the playing field so people like me can get what we want without having to deal with the markup of the middleman.

    1. It isn't the asking price that is the issue--it is backing out of a deal. If I agree to buy or sell something and arrange for the sale without any qualifiers and THEN I decide to back out because someone else made me a better offer, I have just broken trust and a contract of sorts. On top of that, it sounds like the seller wasn't even completely up front about why the sale wasn't going forward. Seriously, if you have gotten a ton of emails, you have already looked up this "Jere" fellow on the internet. Maybe the seller was trying to be "nice," but instead it seems both insincere and kinda dishonest. Research before you advertise and commit or honor the deals you make--otherwise, you probably deserve the vitriol that comes your way. Color me an idealist, but I do not think you have to be a jerk to be a capitalist.

    2. The thrill of getting a good deal is what is being lamented here. Flip or keep, the reward of diligently pursuing awesomeness is what makes a score a score. Furnishing a house on the cheap is a weak motivation by comparison.

    3. I don't see anywhere in Mr. M's post that he is "complaining about the seller upping their price" or "going off on" anyone. He does question items at auction going for "well above eBay prices", but I think the prices that he charges for the items that he "flips" are quite reasonable and well below eBay prices. The only thing that I read about was a fellow collector just missing out on a great deal for a piece on his wish list. Sour grapes indeed.

    4. Hi Dean. The three replies above pretty much sum up most of what I might say here but I do take exception to one statement in particular. Please don't read this as a rant, it's not intended to sound pissy.

      "Personally, I've been looking for a great vintage sofa (for my living room, not to flip), and I'm always a second too late on the draw. Why? Because I go up against pros like you who snatch this stuff up before it's even put on sale." - Dean

      I'm not a "pro". I'm just like you. I have a job. I don't make much money but because I'm VERY GOOD at my HOBBY of sussing out the goods on craigslist and going to estate sales early enough to be first in line, I get first shot at what Could be expensive items but aren't because the seller hasn't done as much work at research as I have. I Pay for this stuff, just in a different way. I pay in time and energy rather than my hard earned cash. I am CONSTANTLY (from the first thing when I wake up to the last thing I look at before drifting off) sifting through c-list ads and estate sale pics. Then, with estate sales, I might spend two or more hours (sometimes MANY more) waiting for the sale to start. Others (including you) are welcome to snuggle in their nice warm bed (while I shiver on the front porch of an estate sale) and then spend more money at a shop or getting bid up at an auction on the same type items as I find, but I'll gladly pay the difference with my time and hard earned knowledge. Pro? No. Idiot? The jury is out.

  6. Wow---makes me so happy that we were able to get out three sets of birds. And, for a fair price. I also love that we knew where the birds had been displayed for the last 40 years---in a restaurant near us---where my husband went growing up. Also nice that I bought it from a dealer where I've bought lots of goodies. So, the owner is always more than fair on his prices with me.

    1. Hi Lesley. You so lucked out getting a Trio of the sculpure! AND you know the provenance of the set AND you have a good story to go with them! It's so funny that in that one blog post you cover the Jere Birds (like this post), the Hardoy Butterfly chairs (that I covered a few days ago) and mention Eric Buck barstools (that I covered just about two weeks ago!). Plus I have (and have covered) a big starburst clock just like yours in the post and have covered how to put a battery powered mechanism into one! Spooooooky.

  7. Man, has this post created a buzz! I wouldn't ever offer more for a piece than the asking price and would just jump on this quick! If the seller has quoted a price they should stick by their original deal and first come first served. I would pass along the savings to my customers and still make some to cover expenses. As a dealer I have overhead that needs to be covered and a deal is a deal...period...Seller beware!!

    1. Hi A Mod. Just on a lark I googled Jere Birds Craigslist while at work today and guess what came up at the top of the results list.

      ...And dude! You are hard core! I like your attitude, but I don't mind throwing a little more money at a buy sometimes. Just today I offered a seller $30 for some barstools (after buying a coffee table for $25) that he wasn't even selling. He agreed but all I had was a couple of twenties and he didn't have a ten ( forgot about the $5 from the $25!). Oh well, what's ten bucks. He got $40 for the set. They are flips so it'll all come out in the wash.

  8. this is one of my fav wall art!! owning a Jere end up as a dream :)..i dont get to see...such sacrifices on Atlanta c-list..lol

    1. Hi Sudha. Yeah, we don't see such "sacrifices" around here much either! Unfortunately, people who will break a deal are a dime a dozen just about anywhere.

  9. i purhased a jere "raindrops" at a garage sale for $5 and then i was able to buy a jere "urchin" from a dealer who had no idea what they had for $45. The deals will come, you just gotta wait for the one that was meant to be yours:)

  10. While out of state for a wedding in spring 2011, I ran across the flock of birds sculpture in an antique store for $125. ONE HUNDRED TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS. In a dusty basement. They obviously had no idea what it was. It was a holiday weekend and everything was closed until our flight home, so I foolishly thought "Oh, the owner's not in the store today but I'm sure she'll ship it to me if I offer to pay her like $100 over the asking price." I was thwarted. The owner was evil and would not even consider shipping it. And I still think about that damned bargain every few days!!!

    So I totally understand how you feel.

  11. I have to tell that I obtained a c jere "birds in flight" but it is signed 1981. It is huge and heavy. I found it at Goodwill last year for $2. It is signed but the date is throwing me off. Is it a fake?

  12. It's not fake. "Birds in Flight" was produced well into the 80's.

    1. Actually that link says retired in 2011, the picture is copyrighted 2003. Good thing, just discovered this piece on craiglist for $550 but since they're clearly not that rare I might luck out and find one much cheaper in the future.

  13. Looking for some insight if this post is still being followed. I bought "birds" at an estate sale yesterday and I want to know if they're still valuable if I can't find a signature anywhere. Full story: This homeowner had TWO sets. Each one is in three sections. So does that sound like a Jere piece? The guy that bought the other set claimed that his were signed by Jere and was so excited about what a deal he got (I found this out AFTER I got home with mine). I've looked all over the three pieces I have and don't see a signature. Could it have been one very large piece that the homeowner divided to display in separate rooms and he got the signed piece? (mine was off the wall when I arrived so I don't know where it was displayed - the other one was hanging over the fireplace). I believe it to be Jere after looking at several pictures of other Birds in Flight, but afraid that without the signature it won't have the same value. ??? Thanks for any advice.