...when in hindsight you know you should have stayed in bed with the covers pulled up over your head!
Sales of antique furniture have been smokin' hot this month and in the last week I've been to two auctions trying to rebuild stock. Apparently Yuppies are starting to stalk out auctions as well. Because they buy for themselves, they always bid way past what's profitable for a dealer....so while I got some good deals on bone handled & french ivory handled silverware, I came up empty furniture handed.
Friday evening's auction had so many items listed that there were 2 auctioneers working. Unfortunately I wanted to bid on items in both auction rings. The sale itself was held at a curling club arena & every foot of floor space was used. Viewing started at 4pm & I didn't leave until way after 11:30. It was a looong day!
I'm only a small player in the antiques game so I'm not always able to bid on big ticket items. I stayed with the 'as found' items but stood on a very nice pressback chair....that I later bought!....to enable me to see what was on offer in the 'fine furniture, china & glassware' ring.
If you've ever been to an auction you know how much noise there is. Now imagine that noise doubled....and try hearing where the bidding stands...and try seeing what's on offer at the far side of an arena. Not easy! At one point, my daughter-in-law & I were bidding against one another. Luckily the auctioneer knows me and so informed my daughter-in-law sitting in front of him, who the other bidder was. I was the winner of the Royal Albert jardiniere but it cost me extra because of it.
My son & his wife got some lovely things. It was their first auction & they were having trouble making out where the biddings stood. It's takes a couple of auctions to make out what an auctioneer says. Each one speaks differently and each one strings his words together until it's one long unending sound. Ken stayed with them to offer his help.
First let me say that Friday evening I was very happy with the auction outcome. I got but overpaid for a Queen Victoria commemorative pitcher & jardiniere, the above mentioned Royal Albert one; in total 7 pressback chairs & one pressback rocker; a number of bevelled glass mirrors and a beautiful old brass hanging lamp. But then...
...now remember I'd spent an hour previewing everything. At one part of the evening, I was actually bidding on items in both rings at the same time. I was sure that the table I was bidding on at the far ring was a lovely console table that needed very little work to the finish in order to get it into the store & make a quick sale. What I ended up getting was a hall table, that was not worth the price that I paid and to which I will have a lot more restoring to do. I was not to discover that until I arrived back the next morning to pick up my big furniture.
The reason for my staying so late was a gorgeous walnut Deco secretary/bookcase with leaded glass doors. It needed some minor refinishing and 3 hinges to reattach the front drawer. But I could have it out for sale within a week. In good shape worth $2-3000CAD easily!
It's the end of a long auction; we're all tired. The auctioneer is cranky; he's no longer getting the bids that he wants. My item is up...no one bids on it. I offer $100. The auctioneer is insulted & moves to the next item and so on until again my item is the only one left. He asks for a bid of $200; I raise my hand. No one else bids. After numerous times asking for another bid, he looks at me & says "I guess you have it" and in that same moment, someone else raises a hand. He opened the bidding up again until I finally got it for $400. It wasn't right but I'm still happy.
I came back the next day to pick up my big secretary. The guys placed the bookcase top next to the secretary bottom in the pickup truck. That's when I noticed that the top seemed loose. Didn't think to tie it down!! Because the front was off, I took out the 4 little drawers & set them under the bottom piece so they wouldn't fall out in transport.
I also picked up some old LPs and an empty mantle clock housing that I can use as a roombox.
It was a windy day and I had quite a distance to travel. Can you guess the rest? My four little drawers disappeared somewhere along the way. When I looked at home, half my LPs were only empty sleeves....I'm assuming they'd become frisbees somewhere as well. But I knew none of this until I heard a loud noise, stopped the truck and looked at my load. You can't imagine how I felt when I realized my secretary top had blown off & smashed on the highway 500 yds back. Luckily the road wasn't busy so at least I was able to go back & pick up the pieces. Luckily it didn't smash into another car!
Then a police car stopped as well. The nice policeman was the one who told me about my smashed drawers. He must have seen all too well how I felt because he could've given me an unsafe load citation...max fine $4000. I think he was afraid I'd burst into tears if he did...and I would have! He stayed with me until I had retied my load and as I drove off, I saw that he'd stopped someone else. As Ken says I was lucky with my bad luck. But still and all, I should've stayed in bed Friday and gone nowhere! It'll take me quite some time to hunt up a large piece of walnut planking and more money to have it reshaped into my damaged top. At least what wood I did salvage off the road, is solid enough to make 4 drawer fronts. But don't talk to me about profit....there won't be much.