Thursday, September 3, 2015

Some Auction Finds -

Face Jugs
Hand Carved Rabbit


One of my all time favorite things to do is go to auctions. My love first developed when I was in college and living 
on a bare minimum. I had to find ways to make everything stretch. I bought dishes and glasses, linens and quilts, artwork and pottery all for pennies. Most of it I still have.

Auctions really speak about the people who live in the area. Each one is different. Each one is always filled 
with amazing things. They might not be something you want to take home with you but they are definitely worthy of your consideration.
I have seen so many different things at auctions. Whole houses broken down and sold in a weekend. Owners and relatives gathered round watching as their lives are scattered in moments. I have to tell myself that these things have found a new home, a new life. That is not something to be sad about. 

This is a place where deals are made and people get 
carried away. You always hope that you will witness a 
minor feud over something. One person always leaves with the spoils. You can spot the different people pretty quickly. 
The young couple looking for a few things to make their home theirs. They want a story to tell their friends. The dealers - the women who collect glass or dolls, the 
sisters or friends that run a very profitable shop, the older men who look at the tools, the clocks, the way a piece of furniture is made then swoop in and buy.

These people are great resources. They can help you with the lay of the land. They often know whose belongings are up for sale, who is interested in what. I try to get there early, look everything over, get a good seat, talk to as many people as possible. You can figure out who and what 
is going on pretty quickly. 

The food at these auctions is usually pretty good. I usually eat before and have dessert there. The desserts 
are usually homemade and delicious. Exclaim when you eat them. Let people know you enjoy the whole experience. Make some new friends. Even if it is for just a night. If you keep going you will run into a lot of the same people. 

Some auction advice -
Decide what you what to buy, how much you are willing to pay and stick with it. 
Do not go with any preconceived ideas about what you are looking for or want.
Yes, you can think I need a dresser, or a chest or maybe a table. Think vague. 
Don't let what you think you want get in the way of the possibilities. 

Sometimes auctions will be selling someone's collections 
or a antique shop, or a household. It is ever changing. 
The last auction I went to was selling a dealer's collection and shop of primitive antiques. The face jugs and hand carved rabbit were just a few of the things there. The prices were high. He was a well known collector and he had great taste. He bought authentic things and had been 
in the business long enough to have a reputation.

I was fortunate enough to buy two of those face jugs. (the three sided blue jug on the bottom left and the large 
brown and round face jug next to it)I also bought two beautiful paintings by an Atlanta artist I was familiar with and a Texas artist I was not. I had no expectations when I walked in.

The hand carved rabbit and several other hand carved pieces went for several hundred dollars. The clocks were sort of sad. They went below prices I had seen years ago. I bemoaned this with one of the gentlemen there. He told me he thought it was because there are no longer that many people who can fix clocks. The young people do not want clocks anymore. They all use their phones. True, I thought. It is an ever changing world. I hope you will get out and experience an auction or two. Let me know what you think. 


Beverley Baird said...

I've missed visiting! Love your piece on auctions. I have only been to a couple and did come away with one item. Great advice. Hope all is well with you.

Janet Ghio said...

The face jugs are fabulous--lucky you for having the winning bid. We used to have some auctions around here-but now many of them are now online auctions and the few Estate sales we've been too -it's obvious that anything good never made it to the sale but is probably being sold on ebay instead. Glad to know that dthe "old fashioned" auctions still exist somewhere!

Andi's English Attic said...

My favourite stall at the car boot sale is the house clearance man. I have often thought how sad these items just a short time ago made up a person's household, but now I shall view it as if I'm rescuing these previously loved items from landfill. They will be valued once more. Thank you. xx

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth..thanks for posting the auction story.... I, too, love auctions, but no place to stash new old stuff these days.
As to the clocks, it's not just clocks people don't want or want to repair anymore. Most of what I have collected and held onto for years is just detritus to those who live in the moment with their Ikea and electronic goods.
My books are my brain, which doesn't hold onto much lately, but which depends on looking things up that i remember but imperfectly, and those hundreds of books are just so much waste paper to most people. If I had to depend on the internet, I'd be in tough shape for the realities of the days when people did original research and labored over presentation and indexing was an art form.

On the other hand Skype would keep me in touch with scattered family members...if I could figure it out. And e-bay would help me find people who value my collected items..if i could figure out this now (always new, newer, newest in the computer world....while I'm still stuck in the old ways)

If I had a warehouse, I'd stock up on old(er) clocks and will them to some young person who will sell them to museums for her retirement income in about 50 years! It'll take that long for another generation to come along that values the old! Oh, wait, in 50 years we'll all be global toast anyway and none of it will matter. See, I try to look on the bright side. Thanks for your words that remind me it's not all futile......
M in WNC