Monday, August 22, 2011

at the auction!



Do you love a good antiques auction? When I dealt in antiques, I used to go to auctions all the time. I absolutely loved the hunt. Here's how it usually went down:

The preview: walk around and check it all out. Is there something here to snap up at a good price then resell? Is there something here that I just have to have for myself ?(the real reason for being here, after all.)

The crowd: who else is here? other dealers? friends? who is looking at what?

The wait: sit toward the back and watch the bidding. when that great thing comes up, bid just before the auctioneer cries "sold!" If you still have competition, re-bid fast like you're never gonna stop....(although sometimes you have to!)

I often had butterflies, especially over bidding on items I knew I wasn't likely to see again soon. And the adrenalin rush that came when I got a great piece for a song kept me coming back.

I've gotten some good things at antiques auctions through the years and I've recently started going again, just for fun. I'm a penny-pincher, so I've never spent a fortune on pieces but I've also never regretted any auction purchase I've made. I've only regretted the ones I didn't make. 


the enchanted home

You know me. I'm a mirror nut. I have a weakness for antique bamboo framed mirrors like this one, so when I had a chance to buy a lot of them a few years ago at an auction, I said, "baby, you're mine."


the center one with the crackled silvering is my favorite
I'd tell you what I paid for them, but then you'd hate me...

What have you scored at auction...?

18 comments:

Acquired Objects said...

God I love auctions and bid all the time at them, textiles and sometimes a little something for me. I love the way my heart races, the adrenaline starts pumping and then you bid…love it! I bid all the time at Christie’s live auctions overseas and it’s weird when the auctioneer speaks to me knowing he can’t actually see me in my pj’s but still. Yes, must always go after a little something for yourself!

Kathy said...

Donna....great post. My best get was an antique, pine, drop leaf dining table that sits in my hallway today....$50!!!....my children will fight over it one day..k

for the love of a house said...

loved bamboo framed mirrors too! I wish I hadn't sold some that I did; I would love to have them back;) great collection you bought!

happy week!
joan

Gretchen O. said...

You KNOW i am an auction girl! And we should definitely try to go together some time! Meet somewhere in the middle, say Newberry?

I have so many auction favs, but my funky wing backs take the cake so far, oh and my Parisian cafe chairs and table...oh and that mirror.......................

La Dolfina said...

I'm intimidated by auctions but your cache of mirrors for apparently a song gives me new found courage!

Dumbwit Tellher said...

Hi Donna; I am really hoping to attend some auctions in the U.K. once we get moved. I have not been to one here in the states since I was in my 20's when I purchased an antique Hoosier cabinet. I love your bamboo frames, wonderful find! Have a great week ahead.

x Deb

under spanish moss said...

We have always wanted attend an auction and have looked at the times of several. Just never followed through. Think we may give it a try.
Angela and Renee

SHERRY HART said...

Donna...I have never been to an auction! Can you believe that....I keep hearing about the deals you can get so I need to put it on my list. I have one mirror like yours...wish I had more :)

aBroad said...

Many ( lost count of them) things in my home are from Auctions. Large and small and tiny, they are scattered throughout our home..having traveled from the Northeast US to the Southeast US to the Northwest US to Argentina .. phew !
Chinese porcelains, a couple of pieces of large furniture ( a chest that is used for linens and a coffee table, a large apothecary chest that is used for our stereo equipment, lamps, paintings ... to name a few )

The Zhush said...

WOW, those mirrors are beautiful! I've never actually purchased any home decor items, antique or otherwise at an auction, but you make it sound so fabulous!

Sandra said...

I just scored a grandfather clock at the auction this past Saturday! The clock retailed for $1300+ and I got it for $95...the high end store went out of business and auctioned all their inventory.

Go check it out on my blog.

Barbara@HausDesign said...

I'd love to start hitting some auctions - even my husband said he wants to go. I have only been to a few so far, but once to Sotheby's in London as part of my study abroad program - and that was pretty amazing!

Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

Love auctions. My heart starts beating really fast from the sheer excitement of it. Unfortunately lots of shopping does the same thing to me. Ha! Love the bamboo mirrors.

Suzanne said...

Oh how I love a good auction! Especially on the "good" days--you know the ones, where, it's as if no one there is interested in the items you crave. Last Sunday was one of those days--scads of gorgeous antique french furniture to be had for a steal. I managed to swipe 3 chairs, an ottoman, four old luggage racks and a big box of old ironstone. Still basking in the glory of it!

Splendid Willow said...

Would love to join you one of these days. How fun would that be! I used to go to auctions every week in Stockholm. And some of my best finds are from there.

I agree with you, no regrets. Only regrets that I did not dare too!

Warm hugs to you.

Mon

3 Peanuts said...

LOVE those mirrors!!!!

classic • casual • home said...

We got a landscape oil painting over our bed years ago...I still love it ($150).

form&function said...

if you stay until the end, it's the best...many $5 deals (bowback upholstered chair, box lot of ironstone, lithographs, i could go on and on). stamina is the name of the game. my recent favorite was 3 lovely, floral oil paintings (large), all framed, from the 40s - $20. i love meeting fellow dealers and designers and chatting it up - after 6 hours together you become fast friends!