Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My First Auction and Found Treasures

Since having my booth for exactly 28 days, I must say I love it. It's not an entire store {which I dream of doing in the future} but it is something I get to take care of, buy for and make pretty. I love being a buyer and having the discretion of what to buy (or not) and what I think is a great find and then the thrill of when someone else thinks it's a great find too.

I was able to do some buying this weekend and I went to my very first auction ever!! I was nervous, of course, I am always am, doing new things, but my trusty sidekick aka my Mother in law was with me. She had been to a couple of auctions before and sorta knew the ropes, so we selected a local auction to go to and arrived right as it was getting started.

{Found Treasure: Crystal and brass Chandy, real crystals, not acrylic. Happy! I haven't cleaned it yet.}
{Brass and glass candle lamp (above) and nesting birds from Italy (Below)}

I had no idea what to expect so I thought of this as my 'learning' auction. I watched what other people were doing, learned what 'choice' was real quick, learned to speak up if I wanted to get heard, and dealt with the disappointment of losing out on something I wanted.

I bought boxes of books. Some of them will be donated, because I didn't get to pick and choose what was in the boxes, but among the books I found some hymnals which I think is pretty cool.

If you know me in real life...I'm a little introverted, quiet, and crowds? No way. This weekend was not only a learning experience, but I stretched out of my shell a little too.
While the bidding was happening on things like guns, deep freezers, and national geographic magazines, I used that time to scope out what I wanted in the next rows of stuff.

I spied a huge wooden box and went over to investigate. It was closed and when I opened it and found out what was in it, I immediately wanted it. A huge set of brassware with beautiful wooden handles, three trays of this and the lid was full. I tried to stay very calm. It was hard. I slowly closed the lid and hoped no one would see them.

I haven't done the research on them yet, but just by looking at the set, I knew it was pretty special. They have this exotic, traveled feeling about them, and I love them.

A close up of the handles.

{Found treasure: Heisey "Will O' the Wisp" tall sherbet cup}

I quickly learned that you don't want to speak very loud, or huddle over a certain area too've got to have, well a poker face, is how I would describe it. If you get too excited about something, it draws attention and then all of a sudden, people are wanting to know what you are looking at!

{Found treasure: 4 Crystal goblets, I haven't been able to track down the pattern...If you recognize it, let me know)

I started liking the auctioneer, with his grey hair, pot belly and microphone. He was very experienced and had a sense of humor and sort of reminded me of my father, some of the 'one-liners' he used through out the day....oh yes, it's an all day affair. I thought we would be there a few hours, oh no. Several hours. After I scoped out what I wanted, I was thinking he'd get to it pretty quick and then I would be out.

It never failed, they would do all the crappy stuff first and then my stuff. :) Of course it dawned on me later that's how you get the people to stay through the whole auction.

I was amazed at some of the stuff that people were bidding on, like bobble-heads, plastic duck decoys, and happy meal toys (no kidding). I had my eye on a few pieces. A silver vase, a huge set of brass and wood utensils (above), Mexican folk art pottery, an aluminum desk chair, brass charger plates, an old metal tool box and a red wagon. I missed out on the chair to a lady that had three pairs of reading glasses on her head, the brass chargers to a man I was sure I could take out in the parking lot, and the wagon got away too. It got pretty close on the utensil set, but I won. I was thrilled that I got the Mexican pottery. It was in a dilapidated box and had at least an inch of dust on it...they caught my eye and luckily no one else's. Later, after doing some research, I found out that the nesting bowls are "Tlaquepaque Mexican folk art" and highly collectible. Hand made and painted, I think they are one of a kind and fantastic.

{ Found Treasure: Green and gold pitcher, sugar dish and 3 cup set. I love the orchid pattern. 2 leaf plates and a pair of nesting birds, so cute!}

I quickly learned which 'numbers' to watch out for, number 72 bought nearly anything and everything and didn't display any sort of pattern in his he made me a little on edge that he might get what I wanted! But in the end, I won some and lost some...que sera sera.
It was a great day and I can't wait to go to another auction!

So tell me, have you ever been to an auction? Got any tips for me?

*EDITED* Well, I've done the research on the tableware set...Turns out the set is not brass, but bronze with teak handles. Sets like these were popular in the Vietnam Era. American Soldiers routinely sent sets like this home or brought them back when their tour ended. Because they say 'Thailand' and not 'Siam' (Siam was changed to Thailand in 1949) that puts the date to around the early 1960's. Insert Romanticisms like from ' The King and I ' here....:) Cool! I love finding out the history on things, don't you?

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  1. I love this post! Remind me of my first auction... I was so desperate for this vintage leather sleepy hollow chair that I about jumped out of my seat when he started bidding! I probably would have gotten it for less, had I shown an bit of patience & caution :) Such fun, its amazing the stuff out there in this world... boxes of stuff.

  2. Best advice i can give you is I too, LOVE LOVE LOVE auctions. Here is a post about some of my auction finds: I hope you keep up the streak of great finds!

  3. I have to be careful at auctions and not be caught up in the bidding competition. Great finds!

  4. Michelle: I grew up going to auctions because my Godfather is an auctioneer! When I was two years old he "auctioned" ME at a livestock sale (very flattering, I know!) in Joplin, but fortunately my parents were the highest bidders. :) I'm glad that you had fun and found so many treasures! Tricia

  5. You found some great things! Before kids my husband and I used to go to auctions all the time. They are always so much fun as you just never know what you will find.

  6. The first auction I ever went to, I saw a red ceramic umbrella stand decorated with white koi. Love at first sight. I bid on it, and bid again, again. Finally the auctioneer told me to stop bidding, I had already won it. Giggle.

  7. I go to auctions all the time with my mom and SIL. I think it's terrifying. I am amazed at what some people will bid on. My mom buys a lot. She has a thrift store and does well. I just go and bid on a few things and i seldom win. It seems like everything I want everyone else wants too. But it is so addictive and fun.

  8. I'm loving reading all of your auction stories and making me laugh!


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