Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

auctions

Posted by nancy s. on 1/28/03 at 17:58 (107188)

writing a bit about auctions because pauline asked on another board about my experience at an auction today.

i do love auctions, although i notice i loved them much more when i wasn't counting on them at least partly for making my living! they can be very exciting. the different styles of auctioneers is a wonder to behold. some auctions i have never returned to because i couldn't stand the auctioneer's voice or attitude (usually both). one auctioneer here in southern maine, whose auctions i used to go to often, has twice disappeared into thin air. the first time it was all over the papers for months, till they found him in a homeless shelter in ohio, completely out of money because he'd been on a gambling spree. this second time, he's been gone now for at least six or seven months, and it's not in the papers anymore. they know he took consigners' money and is spending it somewhere around the country.

this auction i go to every second and fourth tuesday of the month is now an hour and a half away from me, but i can't stop going. it's like going to 'Cheers,' where everybody knows your name -- have been going for seven years. the auctioneer takes forever, they're the longest days of the month, but it's such a mixed and interesting crowd. and a lot of junk gets auctioned off, but there are treasures to be found, and the challenge is fun. (also, it's the only auction i've ever been to where the caterer is really really good.)

at this auction we regulars can bring consignments -- up to ten items or box lots -- and so make money before we even spend any. i always take stuff that's been in the shop too long, so i can keep the shop fresh for regular customers. it means spending the whole day before deciding what will go and how to present it, and then packing it, and then loading the van. and you have to arrive at the auction an hour and a half early if you're a consigner. but it's worth it to me.

today i came home with a van full of box lots, and i won't discover until tomorrow what i really have. it will be a big work day tomorrow -- have to unload, sort, clean off the good stuff, price it, and put it out at least half nicely for when i open the shop on thursday morning. one of my favorite purchases today is a nicely framed, with the original old glass, 1902 diploma from SUNY for -- get this -- a guy to practice medicine and surgery. i plan to hang it up and stick my name on there, over the glass with a removable label.

no, pauline, i've never been at an auction during a police raid. i haven't even read of any here in maine, though i guess they must happen at least occasionally. i will say that a co-op shop i was in five years ago -- pre-pf -- had a valuable civil war sword stolen while I was working the shop, right out from my under my nose. don't know how it happened (and it wasn't my sword!) -- i think some guy must have walked in with a stiff-legged limp and stuck it down there and walked out with it. i was mortified when i found out.

it turned up almost a year later at an auction in new hampshire, and it was identified as stolen only because a guy in virginia who follows civil war stuff recognized the description of it in a national antiques newspaper and notified the police that a stolen sword was to be auctioned off. so that auction got raided, but i wasn't there. i was in our co-op shop the next day, though, when the portland press herald called to talk about the case and quoted me saying some dumb things, in my opinion.

necee here actually works at an auction, for her regular job! i'd bet she has a lot of stories to tell....

nancy
.

Re: auctions

Kathy G on 1/28/03 at 20:01 (107199)

Nancy,

I haven't been to an auction since I was a child but I was friendly with a girl from the time I was 8 until about 14 and her family brought us to several auctions. I really enjoyed them! There's such a feeling of excitement in the air.

As a child from a lower-middle income family, I was amazed at what my friend's parents would bid on and often end up buying! One time they bought a lovely Parsons bench that they proceeded to leave, outside, on the dock on the lake! I can't remember how much they paid but I was just aghast! They also bought some other lovely things that they brought home to their year-round home and it was kind of neat seeing them, when I went to visit.

I know nothing about antiques and I have such a little house I would have no place to put them, but I like the idea of going to an auction again!

Have fun going through your treasure box tomorrow!

Re: auctions

nancy s. on 1/28/03 at 22:04 (107213)

kathy, they left an antique parsons bench on the dock by the lake? i guess they have money to burn -- and no soul, either! (spirituality for me gets tangled up with old things.... not that i think things should be treated as though they're in a museum. just the opposite -- i like to see them used and enjoyed and appreciated, and if it adds to the age you can already see on them, so much the better in my opinion. but i mean, let's not wreck things on purpose!) Ok, i just threw my soapbox out the window.

you were lucky to be introduced to auctions early. my family was middle class, middle income, middle everything, but tried to be ozzie & harriet i guess, and i never went to an auction in my life until 1994, when i started to tiptoe into the antiques business. i was looking for things to put in my very first antiques-shop rental space but don't even remember if i found anything at that first auction. that's because i went with a friend who had just bought her first house -- which was originally a one-room schoolhouse in the 1800s -- and this was her first auction too.

she had hardly any cupboards in the kitchen, and there was this piece for sale at the auction that we thought was absolutely wonderful. it was a huge oak thing (unlacquered!), maybe 8 feet by 8 feet, with square-foot numbered doors and space for storage behind each one. many many little cupboards all in one, top to bottom and left to right. we whispered through half the auction about how high she should go in her bidding; we finally decided she shouldn't pay more than $300 for it, since basically she had no money anyway.

but by the time the piece came up for bidding, it was late and half the people were gone, and i guess the piece was unusual enough that not many people thought they could use it (or sell it, if they were dealers, or get it home, for that matter, whoever they were!). my friend got it for only $140! we were SO happy -- i'm sure dealers there thought we were idiots, because we had no poker faces at all and remained obviously thrilled for the rest of the night. but who cares. i wouldn't have missed that for anything. she still uses it for her cupboards and loves it to this day.

i have learned, through much hard practice, to use a slight poker face about 1/100 of the time i'm at an auction! in other words, i'm not good at it! i don't really care; i get an idea of what might sell in my shop (also, i have to like it myself), and i try for it; if i end up with it, great, and if i don't, there's always a next time and something new & different to consider. i can now tell when people are at one of their very first auctions -- some were there at today's auction -- and i get a lot of vicarious pleasure from the novelty and excitement they're feeling.

nancy
p.s. five summers ago my whole extended family vacationed in maine (rented a house in bridgton for a week), and i took them to the auction that tuesday. they were bored stiff! i'm still not over it. :}
.

Re: auctions

Necee on 1/29/03 at 00:09 (107225)

Now your talking!!!

Being that I work at an antique auction co, this thread really caught my attention.

Yes Nancy, I completely understand what you're saying about getting hooked. At our auctions we have a large group of 'regulars', they are like family, I see them there every week, and if one of them doesn't make it to the next auction you can bet that we'll be calling and checking on them. Being able to visit and share a laugh, and just mingle with a great bunch of friends before the actual auction begins is something I enjoy greatly. I've made some wonderful friends since I began working there over 5 yrs ago. My coworkers are like best buddies, we get along great and work together as a team. Being the manager, and also in charge of the floor crew on auction night has its ups and downs, but it's my love of antiques and my friends there that keep me going.

We take consignments, and sell them on a commission basis, but our bulk of antiques comes on containers. We receive shipments from all over the world, England, Belgium, Denmark, even Egypt. Our main supplier is England, and everytime we get a container in, it's like opening up this huge Christmas package, you never know what your getting. Some of the antiques are really neat, and then some are rather ornate, not my style at all! I'm more into primitives, and American antiques. We do have American antique auctions, but it seems that it's getting harder all the time to find good quality American furniture.

One of the neatest things is.....my hubby is always finding things that people throw away, he will bring them home and refinish them, then we run it through the auction. It's amazing what people put in the trash! Like, right now, we are in the process of refinishing this oak clawfoot dining table that someone threw away.

Ornamental iron is very sought after right now. Old iron gates and fence panels are bringing good money. And shabby chic furniture is really hot, the uglier and more scuffed up it is, with peeling paint, the more people like it. And what's even more wild.......things that wouldn't bring $1 at a garage sale will bring $100 at an auction! Go figure!!!!!

Happy trails...

Necee

Re: auctions

Carole C in NOLA on 1/29/03 at 07:05 (107231)

Oh, Necee, those ornate European antiques may not be your style but they are sure are mine! I just love the beautiful old French antiques especially, even though I don't have any pieces like that yet. I am just beginning at this and I don't yet know enough to know exactly what period, but there's a certain type that especially appeals to me. The curved legs, the lavishly ornate design, with carving and gilded edges, are so beautiful to me.

Ornamental iron has always been big in New Orleans, and we have a lot of it here. I have some and like it, but you can keep the shabby chic! I have had enough shabby furniture in previous years for a lifetime.

What fun it must be to open those containers from Europe! I'll bet there are some real treasures in there.

It is such fun to walk through the antique stores in New Orleans. Now that I have my French writing table, it will be harder to think of something to look for, though.

I have never been to an auction in my adult life, though I would like to go to one some day. My parents also took me to auctions when I was a little girl. They taught me to keep my hands down and not twitch or say a word! Now that I'm older, I don't know if I could even follow the bidding much less figure out how to participate in it.

Do auction houses deliver one's purchases, or do you bring a truck?

Carole C

Re: auctions

nancy s. on 1/29/03 at 09:27 (107237)

necee, my only wish is that i had an auction nearby that runs every single week, like your auction place does. you sure have a variety of responsibilities -- you must work 75 hours a week! do you ever have to fill in as a runner too?

my favorites are american primitives too, mostly the smaller stuff though. of course, old tins are my very favorite thing, and i probably have about 80 in the house (only 20 or so in the shop, because i keep too many!).

i do love old iron gates and the like. old iron is big here also. with furniture, old paint is my style, age lines, all of it -- i like to *see* everything a piece has been through in its life! i've been this way my whole life, so whoever is getting the credit for 'shabby chic' ought to be sharing it with me, in my opinion! ho ho, that'll never happen.

you have a dream job. i know it can't always be easy, not by a long shot, but when you love old things and their history, and you get to work with long-term chums every week, how much better can it get?

nancy
.

Re: To Carole***Re: auctions

Necee on 1/30/03 at 00:36 (107308)

Well Carole if you like the ornate Country French style, then you would love the next auction. Check out the website and look at some of the pieces, http://www.auctionblocktx.com

We don't deliver, but can recommend those that do. It's always a good idea to bring a truck, especially if your planning on buying furniture.

There is a antique shop in Louisianna, not sure where exactly they are located, but its called Classic Designs, they are regular customers of ours. If they are located close to you maybe you could go check them out somtime, its always fun to look!

Happy trails...

Necee

Re: auctions

Necee on 1/30/03 at 01:04 (107309)

I knew we had similiar taste in antiques Nancy. I just love the American antiques!

Everytime I see those old advertising tins I think of you. A few weeks back we had a basket full of them, I think they sold for about $10. for the whole lot.

A friend who cleans the furniture at the auction gave me 5 pieces of salt-glazed pottery for my birthday last week. We were going to auction them off, and she knew that I liked that sort of thing. Sometimes things get rather hectic during the auction, we sell down the catalog in numerical order, and it's one of my jobs to see that things keep rolling along smoothly, he's a very fast auctioneer, and we better keep up. So when I get busy there have been times that I wanted to bid on some items, but got sidetracked, like with the pottery, I had no idea that she had bought them.

We don't have runners, all the items are taken to our smalls area, or into the back storage room. It's really fun to catch bids, and sometimes I wish thats all I had to do!!

I got an interesting offer by one of our customers, she wants me to become a buyer for her at other auction houses. She has several stores, and would pay me to travel to these other auctions and just sit in the audience and place her bids for her. I'm seriously considering taking her up on that offer. Just think, I could make good money and not be on my feet at all!!

Happy trails...

Necee

Re: auctions

nancy s. on 1/30/03 at 06:33 (107314)

that IS an interesting offer, necee. how tempted are you? i'd be very tempted!

i've been to, i think, only one auction that operates as yours does, and that one no longer exists, unfortunately. i buy lots of smalls, so by the end of the day or night i'm surrounded by my purchases on the floor, next to me, on me -- it drives me crazy. i wrap some things up as i get them, but i've found i often miss the next item when i do that, so i don't like to get too distracted that way.

a fast auctioneer would be nice, too! the auction i go to regularly, two tuesdays a month, is very slow. he'll get all caught up looking at every single thing in a box lot and trying to describe it. sometimes i get fresh and yell at him something like 'what time is it, jim?' or 'you're going to miss your doctor's appointment, jim!'

a whole basket of tins for $10??? i should have been there!

when i was starting out, i once bought a huge, wonderful lot of old tins for $150 at auction. had just bought my antique tins reference book, and very carefully tracked down almost every tin to price (most were in the $1-$25 range). one that i couldn't find in the book i priced $28 and stuck it in my booth. it flew out of there the same day! uh oh . . . i went back to the book, and finally found it not pictured but in a miscellaneous list. it was worth $150!

nancy
.

Re: To Carole***Re: auctions

Carole C in NOLA on 1/30/03 at 07:24 (107318)

Necee, those are beautiful! I have seen even more ornate styles of French furniture in someo of our local antique stores. If something says 'Louis XV' and has a lot of gold and carving on it I'm usually crazy about it, and it usually is way more than I can afford. LOL

I'll check out Classic Designs online, and see if I can find out where they are. You're right! It's always fun to look. I might go back to my favorite antique store on Magazine St. this weekend and look around.

Carole C

Re: About shabby chic and auctions

Kathy G on 1/30/03 at 08:39 (107325)

My son and future daughter-in-law just moved in together in September and are getting married this coming September. My son couldn't care less about furniture, etc. and she cares a great deal. She was rambling on about different styles of furnishings, etc. and he obviously wasn't paying much attention but when she mentioned shabby chic, he picked up on it immediately. He says that's the style of furniture he's always believed in! Now he claims it's the only style they can embrace if they ever want to buy a house! She's sorry she ever even mentioned it!

Re: auctions. Everyone knows the old cliche about buying something at an auction because you've gestured to someone and it looks like you're bidding Well, my aunt really did that. Back when I was a little girl, she and some of her friends went to quite a few auctions. She was a very animated person and was waving to someone who had arrived at the auction. Her friends tried to catch her attention to tell her that the auctioneer thought she was bidding but she didn't hear them. She ended up with fifty sap pails! She was so embarrassed that she pretended that she really wanted them. For years, it was a family joke!

Re: auctions

JudyS on 1/30/03 at 11:47 (107362)

Necee - I REALLY need to live next-door to you so I can try to nab some of your antique finds!

Re: auctions

JudyS on 1/30/03 at 11:52 (107363)

My favorites are the American classics also - I'm not a very 'ornate' person. One time my husband found, in a junkyard if you can believe that, a real Ben Franklin writing desk - circa late 1700's! What I'm seeing a lot of these days is white-painted, distressed wood dressers, desks etc. That seems to be something of a fad right now. But they are quite pretty. The iron is hot here right now also. In fact, I'm keeping my eye out for a narrow iron shelf which I'd like to mount on my brick fireplace as a mantlepiece. The great thing about the 'shabby chic' fad these days is that it is both cozy and bright.

Re: auctions

JudyS on 1/30/03 at 11:54 (107364)

NancyS - wasn't your original email name tin something?

Re: To: Kathy*** Re: auctions

Necee on 1/30/03 at 13:49 (107373)

Hi Kathy,
I enjoyed reading about your aunts sap buckets!! One thing about our auctioneer, he really watches the crowd and can usually tell if someone is bidding, or just waving to someone. If there was a bid caught, and the person didn't mean to bid, then he always backs up and starts over on that item, he never forces a person to buy something if they had no intention to.
It's always funny to see people who have never been to an auction before, they can really get caught up in the action, some get very excited about their purchase, and others show no reaction at all.

Happy trails....

Necee

Re: To: Judy:***Re: auctions

Necee on 1/30/03 at 13:57 (107377)

Judy if you lived next to me, we'd have a ball together!! I can just see us getting in the pickup and searching the alleyways! There are so many treasures to be found there. You just can't imagine what all we've found and brought home. One time my hubby was driving down the road, he came upon this sofa that someone had thrown out, he stopped and for some unknown reason decided to look under the cushions, well.....he found this womens watch! It's an Omega, 18K gold, I took it to the jewelers and he valued it at $1,800.00. I was totally shocked. As you can imagine, I wear it all the time.
We have a metal detector too, and over the years have dug up lots of rings, coins and other interesting things. I just love doing that! It's such a thrill when you detect something in the ground and start digging! You just never know what's going to pop up!

Happy trails...

Necee

Re: auctions

nancy s. on 1/30/03 at 16:41 (107395)

right you are, judy: i used to be (email removed) before some angels swept in with my computer.

until people understood why i used that name, a few coarse jokes were made! maybe you made one of them! no, it was probably john!

i seem to have more spice tins than any other kind; at least that was true then; the collection is probably more mixed now. i love all the old kitchen tins, which is strange for a nonkitchen person, but that's the way it is. the colors, the shapes . . . i have old ritz crackers tins, biscuit tins, sugar tins, cocoa tins, coffee tins, tea tins. then there are the pretzel tins AND some wonderful old baking soda tins. and tobacco tins, plus some odd nuts & bolts types of tins. i also have a couple that say right on them 'Household Nails.' i mean, nails used to come in tins! almost everything used to, i think.

a few can only be called 'miscellaneous.' one black tin with a hinged lid and a couple of deco-like white lines on it says 'Black Magic.' i don't know what was kept in there but would love to know. i also have cellophane tape tins and typewriter-ribbon tins (love office supplies), as well as a very old and beautiful ink-stamp tin.

one of my favorites from the miscellaneous category is a yellow box tin with 'THE NUGGET' in a black-letters semi-circle on top. then it says 'Brown Boot Polish' and then boasts 'AS USED IN THE ROYAL HOUSEHOLDS!'

there you have it, a little bit about my tin collection, more than you ever wanted to know, and all from one simple question!

oh, y'all haven't heard enough? ok -- i use a lot of my tins. they hold my supplies of ink cartridges, post-it notes, rubber bands, paperclips, coins, stamps, you name it!

thanks for the excuse to write about tins. as you can see, i don't feel neutral about them. they make me passionate.

nancy
.

Re: About shabby chic and auctions

nancy s. on 1/30/03 at 16:51 (107398)

kathy, that's hysterical about your aunt and the 50 sap pails. i mean, so often you see 5 or 8 sap pails being auctioned off, but your aunt had to get animated when 50 were being auctioned off!

i like sap pails (they're made of tin, after all!). did she stick them out in a barn where i could buy them from her? i know this was 45 or 50 years ago, but you never know.

that's magnificent that your son likes shabby chic. what a wonderful job you did raising that boy! now is it the kind that's distressed on purpose, or the kind that's the way it is just because of the life it's had? old color, that's what i like. nobody wants wooden footstools these days, but i keep buying them and sneaking them into the house. some of them have extremely old and beautiful paint on them, like the old salmon color from way way back. (that's one i have hidden behind the counter in the shop right now and am waiting for the right moment to sneak in to the house.)

nancy
.

Re: For Judy - - photo of my antique desk

Carole C in NOLA on 1/30/03 at 21:28 (107427)

Judy e-mailed me and asked if I had put up a photo of my new oak antique desk. Here it is:

http://www.geocities.com/CLCinNOLA/desk.html

Just remember that I was told it dates only back to the 1940's or so, and it cost less than most new fiberboard desks at cheap furniture stores, ok? Most antique tables that I saw cost at least ten times as much as this one.

I think that for the price it is so beautiful for that room. The graceful curve of the legs really goes with the lovely flower wallpaper in that room. Notice the carved feet on each leg, and the carved medallion on the front center of it, a slightly ornate touch which I think is pretty too.

Anyway, I thought you all might like to see what all the anguish was about. LOL Oh, and the spot with the slight water stain is on the right side that's not in the photo, under my printer which is not shown.

Carole C

Re: For Judy - - photo of my antique desk

Carole C in NOLA on 1/30/03 at 22:58 (107445)

Just to show you the kind of ornate French furniture that I like (which usually seems to be Louis XV), here is a photo of a writing table that I think is outstanding:

http://rauantiques.com/moreinfo.asp?InventoryID=40771&InvCategoryID=15

Of course, I can't afford it! It's $38,500 which is more than 77 times what I spent on my French writing table. But I think that mine is almost as nice and probably sturdier.

Carole C

Re: Spice-tin

Julie on 1/31/03 at 03:02 (107451)

Nancy, I loved your spice-tin email address - thanks for the memory! And I'm happy to know why you chose it.
:)

Re: For Judy - - photo of my antique desk

JudyS on 1/31/03 at 12:02 (107480)

A mere $38K, Carole? What's stopping you? ;)
I know! John h will buy it for you - he's a very generous spirit!

Re: For Judy - - photo of my antique desk

JudyS on 1/31/03 at 12:05 (107481)

Hey everyone - look at Carole's beautiful new desk. What a perfect selection for that pretty wallpaper. Also, take note of the pristine cleanliness of her work surface...........what's wrong with that picture? :)

Re: For Judy - - photo of my antique desk

Carole C in NOLA on 1/31/03 at 15:02 (107499)

Oh John, oh John.... my FRIEND.... I really NEED that Louis XV table to lift my spirits and soothe my soul, don't you see? :)

(psst... how'd I do, Judy? think that might work?)

Carole C

Re: For Judy - - photo of my antique desk

Carole C in NOLA on 1/31/03 at 15:03 (107500)

LOL.. Judy, you notice the right half of the desk is not in the photo; that's where my scanner, printer, two speakers, mouse, mousepad, phone, three books, paper, and pencils are ... :)

I've only had this table a few days and already I need to clean it off! LOLOL

Carole C

Re: auctions

Kathy G on 1/28/03 at 20:01 (107199)

Nancy,

I haven't been to an auction since I was a child but I was friendly with a girl from the time I was 8 until about 14 and her family brought us to several auctions. I really enjoyed them! There's such a feeling of excitement in the air.

As a child from a lower-middle income family, I was amazed at what my friend's parents would bid on and often end up buying! One time they bought a lovely Parsons bench that they proceeded to leave, outside, on the dock on the lake! I can't remember how much they paid but I was just aghast! They also bought some other lovely things that they brought home to their year-round home and it was kind of neat seeing them, when I went to visit.

I know nothing about antiques and I have such a little house I would have no place to put them, but I like the idea of going to an auction again!

Have fun going through your treasure box tomorrow!

Re: auctions

nancy s. on 1/28/03 at 22:04 (107213)

kathy, they left an antique parsons bench on the dock by the lake? i guess they have money to burn -- and no soul, either! (spirituality for me gets tangled up with old things.... not that i think things should be treated as though they're in a museum. just the opposite -- i like to see them used and enjoyed and appreciated, and if it adds to the age you can already see on them, so much the better in my opinion. but i mean, let's not wreck things on purpose!) Ok, i just threw my soapbox out the window.

you were lucky to be introduced to auctions early. my family was middle class, middle income, middle everything, but tried to be ozzie & harriet i guess, and i never went to an auction in my life until 1994, when i started to tiptoe into the antiques business. i was looking for things to put in my very first antiques-shop rental space but don't even remember if i found anything at that first auction. that's because i went with a friend who had just bought her first house -- which was originally a one-room schoolhouse in the 1800s -- and this was her first auction too.

she had hardly any cupboards in the kitchen, and there was this piece for sale at the auction that we thought was absolutely wonderful. it was a huge oak thing (unlacquered!), maybe 8 feet by 8 feet, with square-foot numbered doors and space for storage behind each one. many many little cupboards all in one, top to bottom and left to right. we whispered through half the auction about how high she should go in her bidding; we finally decided she shouldn't pay more than $300 for it, since basically she had no money anyway.

but by the time the piece came up for bidding, it was late and half the people were gone, and i guess the piece was unusual enough that not many people thought they could use it (or sell it, if they were dealers, or get it home, for that matter, whoever they were!). my friend got it for only $140! we were SO happy -- i'm sure dealers there thought we were idiots, because we had no poker faces at all and remained obviously thrilled for the rest of the night. but who cares. i wouldn't have missed that for anything. she still uses it for her cupboards and loves it to this day.

i have learned, through much hard practice, to use a slight poker face about 1/100 of the time i'm at an auction! in other words, i'm not good at it! i don't really care; i get an idea of what might sell in my shop (also, i have to like it myself), and i try for it; if i end up with it, great, and if i don't, there's always a next time and something new & different to consider. i can now tell when people are at one of their very first auctions -- some were there at today's auction -- and i get a lot of vicarious pleasure from the novelty and excitement they're feeling.

nancy
p.s. five summers ago my whole extended family vacationed in maine (rented a house in bridgton for a week), and i took them to the auction that tuesday. they were bored stiff! i'm still not over it. :}
.

Re: auctions

Necee on 1/29/03 at 00:09 (107225)

Now your talking!!!

Being that I work at an antique auction co, this thread really caught my attention.

Yes Nancy, I completely understand what you're saying about getting hooked. At our auctions we have a large group of 'regulars', they are like family, I see them there every week, and if one of them doesn't make it to the next auction you can bet that we'll be calling and checking on them. Being able to visit and share a laugh, and just mingle with a great bunch of friends before the actual auction begins is something I enjoy greatly. I've made some wonderful friends since I began working there over 5 yrs ago. My coworkers are like best buddies, we get along great and work together as a team. Being the manager, and also in charge of the floor crew on auction night has its ups and downs, but it's my love of antiques and my friends there that keep me going.

We take consignments, and sell them on a commission basis, but our bulk of antiques comes on containers. We receive shipments from all over the world, England, Belgium, Denmark, even Egypt. Our main supplier is England, and everytime we get a container in, it's like opening up this huge Christmas package, you never know what your getting. Some of the antiques are really neat, and then some are rather ornate, not my style at all! I'm more into primitives, and American antiques. We do have American antique auctions, but it seems that it's getting harder all the time to find good quality American furniture.

One of the neatest things is.....my hubby is always finding things that people throw away, he will bring them home and refinish them, then we run it through the auction. It's amazing what people put in the trash! Like, right now, we are in the process of refinishing this oak clawfoot dining table that someone threw away.

Ornamental iron is very sought after right now. Old iron gates and fence panels are bringing good money. And shabby chic furniture is really hot, the uglier and more scuffed up it is, with peeling paint, the more people like it. And what's even more wild.......things that wouldn't bring $1 at a garage sale will bring $100 at an auction! Go figure!!!!!

Happy trails...

Necee

Re: auctions

Carole C in NOLA on 1/29/03 at 07:05 (107231)

Oh, Necee, those ornate European antiques may not be your style but they are sure are mine! I just love the beautiful old French antiques especially, even though I don't have any pieces like that yet. I am just beginning at this and I don't yet know enough to know exactly what period, but there's a certain type that especially appeals to me. The curved legs, the lavishly ornate design, with carving and gilded edges, are so beautiful to me.

Ornamental iron has always been big in New Orleans, and we have a lot of it here. I have some and like it, but you can keep the shabby chic! I have had enough shabby furniture in previous years for a lifetime.

What fun it must be to open those containers from Europe! I'll bet there are some real treasures in there.

It is such fun to walk through the antique stores in New Orleans. Now that I have my French writing table, it will be harder to think of something to look for, though.

I have never been to an auction in my adult life, though I would like to go to one some day. My parents also took me to auctions when I was a little girl. They taught me to keep my hands down and not twitch or say a word! Now that I'm older, I don't know if I could even follow the bidding much less figure out how to participate in it.

Do auction houses deliver one's purchases, or do you bring a truck?

Carole C

Re: auctions

nancy s. on 1/29/03 at 09:27 (107237)

necee, my only wish is that i had an auction nearby that runs every single week, like your auction place does. you sure have a variety of responsibilities -- you must work 75 hours a week! do you ever have to fill in as a runner too?

my favorites are american primitives too, mostly the smaller stuff though. of course, old tins are my very favorite thing, and i probably have about 80 in the house (only 20 or so in the shop, because i keep too many!).

i do love old iron gates and the like. old iron is big here also. with furniture, old paint is my style, age lines, all of it -- i like to *see* everything a piece has been through in its life! i've been this way my whole life, so whoever is getting the credit for 'shabby chic' ought to be sharing it with me, in my opinion! ho ho, that'll never happen.

you have a dream job. i know it can't always be easy, not by a long shot, but when you love old things and their history, and you get to work with long-term chums every week, how much better can it get?

nancy
.

Re: To Carole***Re: auctions

Necee on 1/30/03 at 00:36 (107308)

Well Carole if you like the ornate Country French style, then you would love the next auction. Check out the website and look at some of the pieces, http://www.auctionblocktx.com

We don't deliver, but can recommend those that do. It's always a good idea to bring a truck, especially if your planning on buying furniture.

There is a antique shop in Louisianna, not sure where exactly they are located, but its called Classic Designs, they are regular customers of ours. If they are located close to you maybe you could go check them out somtime, its always fun to look!

Happy trails...

Necee

Re: auctions

Necee on 1/30/03 at 01:04 (107309)

I knew we had similiar taste in antiques Nancy. I just love the American antiques!

Everytime I see those old advertising tins I think of you. A few weeks back we had a basket full of them, I think they sold for about $10. for the whole lot.

A friend who cleans the furniture at the auction gave me 5 pieces of salt-glazed pottery for my birthday last week. We were going to auction them off, and she knew that I liked that sort of thing. Sometimes things get rather hectic during the auction, we sell down the catalog in numerical order, and it's one of my jobs to see that things keep rolling along smoothly, he's a very fast auctioneer, and we better keep up. So when I get busy there have been times that I wanted to bid on some items, but got sidetracked, like with the pottery, I had no idea that she had bought them.

We don't have runners, all the items are taken to our smalls area, or into the back storage room. It's really fun to catch bids, and sometimes I wish thats all I had to do!!

I got an interesting offer by one of our customers, she wants me to become a buyer for her at other auction houses. She has several stores, and would pay me to travel to these other auctions and just sit in the audience and place her bids for her. I'm seriously considering taking her up on that offer. Just think, I could make good money and not be on my feet at all!!

Happy trails...

Necee

Re: auctions

nancy s. on 1/30/03 at 06:33 (107314)

that IS an interesting offer, necee. how tempted are you? i'd be very tempted!

i've been to, i think, only one auction that operates as yours does, and that one no longer exists, unfortunately. i buy lots of smalls, so by the end of the day or night i'm surrounded by my purchases on the floor, next to me, on me -- it drives me crazy. i wrap some things up as i get them, but i've found i often miss the next item when i do that, so i don't like to get too distracted that way.

a fast auctioneer would be nice, too! the auction i go to regularly, two tuesdays a month, is very slow. he'll get all caught up looking at every single thing in a box lot and trying to describe it. sometimes i get fresh and yell at him something like 'what time is it, jim?' or 'you're going to miss your doctor's appointment, jim!'

a whole basket of tins for $10??? i should have been there!

when i was starting out, i once bought a huge, wonderful lot of old tins for $150 at auction. had just bought my antique tins reference book, and very carefully tracked down almost every tin to price (most were in the $1-$25 range). one that i couldn't find in the book i priced $28 and stuck it in my booth. it flew out of there the same day! uh oh . . . i went back to the book, and finally found it not pictured but in a miscellaneous list. it was worth $150!

nancy
.

Re: To Carole***Re: auctions

Carole C in NOLA on 1/30/03 at 07:24 (107318)

Necee, those are beautiful! I have seen even more ornate styles of French furniture in someo of our local antique stores. If something says 'Louis XV' and has a lot of gold and carving on it I'm usually crazy about it, and it usually is way more than I can afford. LOL

I'll check out Classic Designs online, and see if I can find out where they are. You're right! It's always fun to look. I might go back to my favorite antique store on Magazine St. this weekend and look around.

Carole C

Re: About shabby chic and auctions

Kathy G on 1/30/03 at 08:39 (107325)

My son and future daughter-in-law just moved in together in September and are getting married this coming September. My son couldn't care less about furniture, etc. and she cares a great deal. She was rambling on about different styles of furnishings, etc. and he obviously wasn't paying much attention but when she mentioned shabby chic, he picked up on it immediately. He says that's the style of furniture he's always believed in! Now he claims it's the only style they can embrace if they ever want to buy a house! She's sorry she ever even mentioned it!

Re: auctions. Everyone knows the old cliche about buying something at an auction because you've gestured to someone and it looks like you're bidding Well, my aunt really did that. Back when I was a little girl, she and some of her friends went to quite a few auctions. She was a very animated person and was waving to someone who had arrived at the auction. Her friends tried to catch her attention to tell her that the auctioneer thought she was bidding but she didn't hear them. She ended up with fifty sap pails! She was so embarrassed that she pretended that she really wanted them. For years, it was a family joke!

Re: auctions

JudyS on 1/30/03 at 11:47 (107362)

Necee - I REALLY need to live next-door to you so I can try to nab some of your antique finds!

Re: auctions

JudyS on 1/30/03 at 11:52 (107363)

My favorites are the American classics also - I'm not a very 'ornate' person. One time my husband found, in a junkyard if you can believe that, a real Ben Franklin writing desk - circa late 1700's! What I'm seeing a lot of these days is white-painted, distressed wood dressers, desks etc. That seems to be something of a fad right now. But they are quite pretty. The iron is hot here right now also. In fact, I'm keeping my eye out for a narrow iron shelf which I'd like to mount on my brick fireplace as a mantlepiece. The great thing about the 'shabby chic' fad these days is that it is both cozy and bright.

Re: auctions

JudyS on 1/30/03 at 11:54 (107364)

NancyS - wasn't your original email name tin something?

Re: To: Kathy*** Re: auctions

Necee on 1/30/03 at 13:49 (107373)

Hi Kathy,
I enjoyed reading about your aunts sap buckets!! One thing about our auctioneer, he really watches the crowd and can usually tell if someone is bidding, or just waving to someone. If there was a bid caught, and the person didn't mean to bid, then he always backs up and starts over on that item, he never forces a person to buy something if they had no intention to.
It's always funny to see people who have never been to an auction before, they can really get caught up in the action, some get very excited about their purchase, and others show no reaction at all.

Happy trails....

Necee

Re: To: Judy:***Re: auctions

Necee on 1/30/03 at 13:57 (107377)

Judy if you lived next to me, we'd have a ball together!! I can just see us getting in the pickup and searching the alleyways! There are so many treasures to be found there. You just can't imagine what all we've found and brought home. One time my hubby was driving down the road, he came upon this sofa that someone had thrown out, he stopped and for some unknown reason decided to look under the cushions, well.....he found this womens watch! It's an Omega, 18K gold, I took it to the jewelers and he valued it at $1,800.00. I was totally shocked. As you can imagine, I wear it all the time.
We have a metal detector too, and over the years have dug up lots of rings, coins and other interesting things. I just love doing that! It's such a thrill when you detect something in the ground and start digging! You just never know what's going to pop up!

Happy trails...

Necee

Re: auctions

nancy s. on 1/30/03 at 16:41 (107395)

right you are, judy: i used to be (email removed) before some angels swept in with my computer.

until people understood why i used that name, a few coarse jokes were made! maybe you made one of them! no, it was probably john!

i seem to have more spice tins than any other kind; at least that was true then; the collection is probably more mixed now. i love all the old kitchen tins, which is strange for a nonkitchen person, but that's the way it is. the colors, the shapes . . . i have old ritz crackers tins, biscuit tins, sugar tins, cocoa tins, coffee tins, tea tins. then there are the pretzel tins AND some wonderful old baking soda tins. and tobacco tins, plus some odd nuts & bolts types of tins. i also have a couple that say right on them 'Household Nails.' i mean, nails used to come in tins! almost everything used to, i think.

a few can only be called 'miscellaneous.' one black tin with a hinged lid and a couple of deco-like white lines on it says 'Black Magic.' i don't know what was kept in there but would love to know. i also have cellophane tape tins and typewriter-ribbon tins (love office supplies), as well as a very old and beautiful ink-stamp tin.

one of my favorites from the miscellaneous category is a yellow box tin with 'THE NUGGET' in a black-letters semi-circle on top. then it says 'Brown Boot Polish' and then boasts 'AS USED IN THE ROYAL HOUSEHOLDS!'

there you have it, a little bit about my tin collection, more than you ever wanted to know, and all from one simple question!

oh, y'all haven't heard enough? ok -- i use a lot of my tins. they hold my supplies of ink cartridges, post-it notes, rubber bands, paperclips, coins, stamps, you name it!

thanks for the excuse to write about tins. as you can see, i don't feel neutral about them. they make me passionate.

nancy
.

Re: About shabby chic and auctions

nancy s. on 1/30/03 at 16:51 (107398)

kathy, that's hysterical about your aunt and the 50 sap pails. i mean, so often you see 5 or 8 sap pails being auctioned off, but your aunt had to get animated when 50 were being auctioned off!

i like sap pails (they're made of tin, after all!). did she stick them out in a barn where i could buy them from her? i know this was 45 or 50 years ago, but you never know.

that's magnificent that your son likes shabby chic. what a wonderful job you did raising that boy! now is it the kind that's distressed on purpose, or the kind that's the way it is just because of the life it's had? old color, that's what i like. nobody wants wooden footstools these days, but i keep buying them and sneaking them into the house. some of them have extremely old and beautiful paint on them, like the old salmon color from way way back. (that's one i have hidden behind the counter in the shop right now and am waiting for the right moment to sneak in to the house.)

nancy
.

Re: For Judy - - photo of my antique desk

Carole C in NOLA on 1/30/03 at 21:28 (107427)

Judy e-mailed me and asked if I had put up a photo of my new oak antique desk. Here it is:

http://www.geocities.com/CLCinNOLA/desk.html

Just remember that I was told it dates only back to the 1940's or so, and it cost less than most new fiberboard desks at cheap furniture stores, ok? Most antique tables that I saw cost at least ten times as much as this one.

I think that for the price it is so beautiful for that room. The graceful curve of the legs really goes with the lovely flower wallpaper in that room. Notice the carved feet on each leg, and the carved medallion on the front center of it, a slightly ornate touch which I think is pretty too.

Anyway, I thought you all might like to see what all the anguish was about. LOL Oh, and the spot with the slight water stain is on the right side that's not in the photo, under my printer which is not shown.

Carole C

Re: For Judy - - photo of my antique desk

Carole C in NOLA on 1/30/03 at 22:58 (107445)

Just to show you the kind of ornate French furniture that I like (which usually seems to be Louis XV), here is a photo of a writing table that I think is outstanding:

http://rauantiques.com/moreinfo.asp?InventoryID=40771&InvCategoryID=15

Of course, I can't afford it! It's $38,500 which is more than 77 times what I spent on my French writing table. But I think that mine is almost as nice and probably sturdier.

Carole C

Re: Spice-tin

Julie on 1/31/03 at 03:02 (107451)

Nancy, I loved your spice-tin email address - thanks for the memory! And I'm happy to know why you chose it.
:)

Re: For Judy - - photo of my antique desk

JudyS on 1/31/03 at 12:02 (107480)

A mere $38K, Carole? What's stopping you? ;)
I know! John h will buy it for you - he's a very generous spirit!

Re: For Judy - - photo of my antique desk

JudyS on 1/31/03 at 12:05 (107481)

Hey everyone - look at Carole's beautiful new desk. What a perfect selection for that pretty wallpaper. Also, take note of the pristine cleanliness of her work surface...........what's wrong with that picture? :)

Re: For Judy - - photo of my antique desk

Carole C in NOLA on 1/31/03 at 15:02 (107499)

Oh John, oh John.... my FRIEND.... I really NEED that Louis XV table to lift my spirits and soothe my soul, don't you see? :)

(psst... how'd I do, Judy? think that might work?)

Carole C

Re: For Judy - - photo of my antique desk

Carole C in NOLA on 1/31/03 at 15:03 (107500)

LOL.. Judy, you notice the right half of the desk is not in the photo; that's where my scanner, printer, two speakers, mouse, mousepad, phone, three books, paper, and pencils are ... :)

I've only had this table a few days and already I need to clean it off! LOLOL

Carole C