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‘SOLD! To the lady with the crazy eyes!’

November 9th, 2013

barn 2

I did something a few months back that I hadn’t done in years, I hit up an auction. Every couple of weeks I start jonesing for an antique fix to appease this “junking sickness” of mine, usually I just hit an antique store or go to a sale. An auction is a whole ‘nother beast. I mean it’s a competition really. You’re competing for ownership and generally the one with the most money wins. And as someone who can never be called “the one with the most money” it can sometimes get downright depressing. To sit there and watch something you’ve been coveting go to someone else because they have more cash on hand… irritating. Luckily my taste runs to the cheap side and I’m usually looking for junky, small things that I can eventually fix up and turn into something else.

My other issue with auctions is, you kind of need to posses a poker face while bidding on an item. You know, you just want to look like, “Oh, I’ll bid a few bucks for that thing but I don’t really need it…” and on the inside you’ve got butterflies because you want it so bad you could scream. You see, I don’t posses a poker face, I have, like my best friend Ang always reminds me, the kind of face that reads like an open book. If I think something is stupid you will see it on my face. This is a troublesome trait when attending an auction.

Anyway, I came upon this particular auction thanks to my Design Assistant. As a dedicated reader of the small, local newspaper that I work for he had come across an auction ad that boasted the claim of “75+ picture frames” along with many other small collectibles. He knew I was always on the lookout for frames for the birth prints that I make or to turn into chalkboards (of course he knew this, he’s the one that has to cut the chalkboards) so he let me know about it. I debated about going to the sale because the word “Auction” usually means getting up early on a Saturday morning. And as everyone knows, I am not a morning person, I am particularly not a “Saturday” morning person since I generally work until Midnight or 1 a.m. every Friday night at my real job. Finally I decided I just couldn’t pass this one up.

So my intention was to get there early… ahhh, good intentions. Early ended up meaning I left the house at 9 a.m. and then had a ten minute drive to the neighboring town where the auction was being held. In my head I was already thinking, “Dang it, I can’t believe I didn’t get up sooner! All the best stuff is going to be gone.” And then I walked in the door and the first thing I saw was about six tables covered in picture frames. “Whew..” I thought, “There’s still some left.” So I hurried over to the trailer to get myself a number the whole time thinking, “Hurry up lady, get me my number, they’re going to sell all of my picture frames out from under me as I’m standing here waiting for you.” Once I had my number in hand I went over to calmly check out the situation. I did a quick scan of the tables and realized they hadn’t started on the frames yet they were in the process of auctioning off… what were all of those? Glass figurines? Oh, salt and pepper shakers. Uhhh, the Design Assistant failed to mention the over 100 sets of salt and pepper shakers included on the sale bill.

salt and pepper

There were flat, cardboard boxes full of ten to fifteen sets of shakers per box covering at least three tables. I stopped to watch the bidding for a bit. There was a small cluster of people furiously bidding on each box… or so I thought. Once a price was reached the auctioneer would then ask the person “Which ones do you want?” “What?” I thought, “They aren’t bidding on the whole box? We have to go through this process for every single set?” Holy crap, well that gives me some time to check out the rest of the sale.

As I walked through all of the tables I thought, “These people were my kind of people.” They were obviously junkers before being junkers was cool. Back then they were probably called “Pack Rats”. There was so much stuff that they had two auction rings going. Luckily the second ring had table after table of Depression glass to get through before they would get anywhere near the stuff I was interested in. After a quick walk-through I went back to check up on the “Shaker Sale”, uh yeah, it looked like they had made it through maybe two more boxes. I then realized that if they continued to move down the tables in the direction they were headed it was going to be a very long day. Because next up was two tables worth of textiles, old tea towels, afghans and the like. Then came probably six tables that had about 10 rows per table of plastic bags full of probably a dozen or so buttons and each row had at least 10 bags in it. Once we got through the sewing buttons we would be moving on to the advertising/political buttons.

buttons 2

These covered at least another five tables. There were some really cool ones that were tempting but I just didn’t know what I would do with them.

buttons

After realizing it would be a while before we got anywhere near my pictures frames I went to take another lap around the tables, and then another and then yet another. Progress was slow. I spotted a few things I wanted to bid on over by the other auction ring but they weren’t getting through that Depression Glass any quicker than the salt and pepper shakers. There were some bigger items lining the floor between the two auction rings that I would have loved to have, like this old toy barn.

barn 1

Wouldn’t it look cool on the top of an armoire or an old cupboard? But at the rate things were going that stuff wouldn’t be auctioned off until supper time. Finally I decided to go get a pop and take a load off, standing around at an auction was exhausting. While sitting there fiddling with my phone I got a call from Design Assistant No. 2 reminding me of “that auction Dad told you about.” I let her know I was already on the scene. I have such dedicated employees. I then watched from afar as they finally made it through the shakers and textiles and were now onto the buttons. I just about drained my phone’s battery while waiting for them to get through all of those buttons, but finally, my time had arrived, they were starting on the frames.

There were at least three fairly good sized frames that I for sure had to have and they were first up. The butterflies started. If these things go for a huge amount of money each then I have just wasted way to many hours waiting around to even think about. They started the bidding at $3. “What?!!” I thought, “Three bucks? Are they crazy?” No one bit for a while and it’s my strategy not to be the first bidder, tips your hat as to how much you want something. It went up to four bucks and finally six and I raised my number. Nobody else bid. SOLD! “Holy cow, I can’t believe I just got that frame for $6! I’ve seen frames like that at antique stores for at least $40 to $50 bucks.” I thought to myself. And then the auctioneer said, “How many of those do you want?” “What?!!” I thought (and I’m sure the surprise was showing all over my face) “I can pick more for that price?” I calmly and cooly said, “I’ll take this one and this one and this one and this one.” Yeah, I’m sure I looked calm and cool as my eyes darted around crazily. Success! All that waiting around had actually paid off. As I was basking in the glow of my accomplishment they simply moved on down the table. I soon realized all the frames were going cheap, this was a jackpot.

I bid on and got a few more frames and then looked up to see they had finally made it through the Depression Glass and were suspiciously close to the table that had some items on it that I wanted. Of course, I wait around all day and then the two things I want go on sale at the exact same time. I walked over to the other ring just in time to see a guy buy a box full of junk that included the two metal globe banks that I had hoped to buy. I don’t know what made me do it because it’s very out of character for me, but I went up to the nice man and asked him if he was overly attached to the globe banks in his box. If not, could I buy them from him? I was apparently brimming with confidence following my windfall of picture frames from a few minutes ago. “Sure.” he said, he would sell them to me for $2 each. “Two bucks!” I tried to arrange my face into it’s best impression of a poker face and said “Sold!” and handed over four dollars. Oh my gosh, if he only knew that I had just seen one of those in an antique store for $60! Which in my opinion is crazy. The most I’ve paid for one is $8.

my haul

I then bid on a few more things that were bundled up with a bunch of junk. I got a cool little wire basket that now holds all of my chalk, an old metal antique star that will look super cool at Christmas time, my globes, eight picture frames and an old tin match holder that I have since painted turquoise and hung up in my kitchen. All totaled I spent about $60 so a successful day.

Oh, and I just noticed the good ol’ boy in the background giving me the stink eye in the first photo I posted of the toy barn. He must have noticed my crazy eyes or something.

One Response to “‘SOLD! To the lady with the crazy eyes!’”

  1. ang Says:

    It’s really a good thing I didn’t come along, because those globe banks are awesome!!!!! LOVE everything in those pics!

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