Saturday, November 27

Daniel Cabal, the king of second-hand treasures in Asturias: “Where people see trash, I see bills”


Daniel Cabal, the king of the "treasures" second hand from Lugones.  / ANDRÉS ILLESCAS

Daniel Cabal, the king of Lugones’ second-hand “treasures”. / ANDRÉS ILLESCAS

In front of a shop window in Lugones, for more than a decade, dozens of people have stopped every day. They go in and browse and find both rust and relics. Daniel Cabal, a most eclectic globetrotter, set up his second-hand establishment as a natural evolution of a life that led him through car washes, printing presses and countries like Switzerland or Germany. He repairs everything and knows how to appraise every last of the thousands of objects that he has between the walls of the establishment. “I recycle more than Cogersa”, He says that the same thing takes things from the garbage, that he acquires other pieces.

“I’m ordering”, she comments to the overwhelming scene her store presents one morning in August. Listen to the news on a radio from the beginning of the last century, which runs “while the right customer arrives.”

Much of your job is about that, about being patient. “People see things rusty and think they have no value. Here are very expensive things that would lose their meaning if you paint them. If I see that someone is going to do that, I will not sell it to them ”, asserts.

He learned this teaching very young, when he was barely twelve years old, when he took the bus with his brother, aged nine, to go to sell at the El Fontán market, in Oviedo. “To get some dogs was what there was. Of those, everything was liberalized, you arrived with a plastic and you put on ”, Explain. He grew up in that culture, which makes a difference, “as in jewelry”, between what is gold, silver and tin. Among collectors and hustlers he acquired the ability to value, accept and discard, but did not use it immediately.

He set up his establishment as a natural evolution of a life that led him through car washes, printing presses and countries such as Switzerland or Germany. He repairs everything and knows how to appraise every last one of the thousands of objects that he has between the walls of the premises.

He first lived abroad and when he returned he set up a car wash. “At that time I’ve already started selling some things online ”. In the end He was encouraged to take the place with his wife, Sandra Fernández. Little by little he was filling it, with things that his friends gave him, acquiring others and, above all, taking from the garbage: “Where people see garbage, I see bills”, recognize.

Paintings that exceed a thousand euros, discs of unique editions, original clothing from the Civil War or World War II and even a copy of Hitler’s book, the “Mein Kampf” in Spanish. “There are real wonders, but I reject almost nothing. A cable, itself, can be used for the repairs that I do ”, points out.

That’s another side of him, the handyman. “The same is a chair, a car remote control, a TV or a computer, whatever they ask of me”, assures. That takes him to spend many hours in the store, from morning until night falls.

Unfortunately, in recent times, not so many people come to buy. “This pandemic has killed us. Thank goodness that in summer I am the king of tourists. It is the time when I sell that mother or that memory of Covadonga that otherwise I would not sell even as a joke, ”he says.

Although he does not sell, many enter and he is lucky that part of the material is out. “Yielded for a movie,” explains Cabal, a regular person to lend things to the world of show business for video clips or films. Lhis is an interesting film that still lacks part of the knot and the ending. While to repair and sell, at the right price.


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