The First Auction of 2013

It’s been a quiet few weeks on the auction front, as all the local auction houses close down for the Christmas/New Year break. I can completely understand this, but I miss the excitement of hunting for that next great thing even though I know that I am not missing out, just deferring the finds.

So it was great to go to the first auction of 2013 this week. “Yay!” for Bennicks for starting earlier than everyone else.

There was a treat in store for anyone who liked vintage toys:

Like this lovely tinplate car:

Tin PlateCar

Tin PlateCar

Or, for the more military minded, a tin plate tank:

Tinplate Tank

Tinplate Tank


And some other tinplate toys

Smaller Tinplate Toys

Smaller Tinplate Toys

A classic vintage train set:

Train set

Train set

For more active kids, how about this pedal car:

Pedal car

Pedal car

What about this lovely Mobo safety bike, such fantastic 1950s styling:

1950s Mobo Safety Bike

1950s Mobo Safety Bike


Or howabout the classic 1970s styling of this Chopper for a bigger kid?

Chopper Bike

Chopper Bike

Or, for the more domestically inclined (and notice that I’m avoiding stereotypes here) a 1950s doll’s house:

Dolls House

Dolls House

It will be a couple of weeks before the auctions settle down to their normal schedule. Until then, I will be trying to find forgotten gems in my piles of boxes and sharing them with you when I can.








A Nice Surprise

It’s been a busy few weeks auction-wise. Instead of leaving my other half to do the weekday sales, a gap between jobs means that I’ve been able to attend all of them. Unfortunately, I haven’t quite got the dispassionate approach off pat yet and I still buy with my heart as well as my head.

This was probably not a good idea last week when I got carried away at a sale of the contents of a house in St Ives. By the time I’d finished, it was a struggle to fit everything I’d bought into the car:

Looking through the car window

Looking through the car window

You can see my haul of vintage shoes  – still in their original boxes!

Looking into the boot (trunk)

The boot (trunk) was jammed full – this is with the seats down!

The eagle eyed among you will spot rugs, clothes, shoe boxes, material, and lots and lots of knitting wool.

I have to confess that I have always been a crafter, and I’m particularly fond of knitting and sewing. So when I found some of the auction lots were vintage wool and fabrics I went a bit over the top.

I’ll post more on my finds from the auction later, but I wanted to share what was sitting in the bottom of the box of knitting wool:

Velvet and mink hat

A ‘brand new’, vintage, never been worn velvet and mink hat!

I was so excited to find this hat, wrapped carefully in tissue paper amongst the packets of wool.

Front view, the fur is mink

Front view, the fur is mink

The label is sewn in, so it clearly hasn’t been worn.

Side view - look at the lovely sweeping curve of the mink

Side view – look at the lovely sweeping curve of the mink

Why would someone buy such (for the time) a lovely hat and then never wear it? I can’t help wondering if its original owner smuggled it home and hid it in her wool stash meaning to bring it out as ‘This old thing, I’ve had it for ages’.

I’ll never know, but at least now it’s out of hiding and will go to a new home where it will be seen and appreciated.

Box of Delights

I was a little sceptical when my beloved came back from the auctions with this box:

He told me that it was extra to the auction catalogue and he’d been the only bidder. “Well”, I thought, “There’s probably a reason for that”, there’s a good market in jewellry down in Cornwall, whether costume, quality or vintage, and although he has a great taste in jewellery when it comes to buying for me (although I have been known to plant the odd seed of an idea of what might be appreciated) I wasn’t sure his ‘bargain’ would yield anything saleable.

A first look under the lid was promising! Certainly the volume was there, maybe there would be some value.

And then I spotted these:

And these:

Two of this unusual brooch (in black and brown) which I think is made of bakelite

These fun floral earrings

A paste ‘diamond’ bracelet

This lovely sparkling ‘jewelled’ brroch

And more costume jewellery that I haven’t cleaned up yet.

So, I think I owe him a huge apology! His bargain is a real treasure trove, and the bits I can’t sell I’ll be happy to wear, so a win win situation all round.

Time for Tin

Down to the auctions again this week, and this time what a treasure trove! The sale included some private collectors’ collections, always better than a general sale, but of course it does attract serious buyers.

Here’s what I wanted to take home:

The wings on this cute tin plate hen flap as it is pushed along:

Fancy a job in the Navy? I am assuming that this lovely enamel sign would have hung in a coastal town:

I love a cup of tea, and I can imagine this sign sitting in a tea rooms (then again, I can imagine it sitting in my kitchen as well!).

Or if you fancy something stronger, what about some pale ale?

This rather tired tin cake is actually a display stand for Tala icing nozzles and shows the effects each nozzle would produce:

And when you’ve iced your cakes, how about displaying the in this fantastic antique cabinet?

Sadly, my budget didn’t stretch to all the things I coveted, but I could have spent a fortune on the things I loved. Of course, the problem is that it is easy to buy the things you want for yourself, but if you’re trying to turn this into a business, you have to look at things in terms of saleability and profit margins. I have to admit it is something I’m still trying to master and I do find that my heart rules my head more than my bank manager would like, but I am getting there!

Auction Finds

This past weekend revolved around viewings for auctions. There are four being held in the local area this week, so getting a clear idea of where to go and what to bid for (and how much) is crucial, especially as I have to rely on my beloved to bid for me while I’m doing the day job.

Here’s a few items that I picked out:

These enamel Butlin’s badges were mementos of someone’s 60s holidays:

Enamel badges from Butlins

This child’s garden roller has seen a lot of love, imagine the pleasure that it must have given a child back in the 50s:

Mickey Mouse Garden Roller

Mickey Mouse Garden Roller

This unusual green and white enamel kitchen scale uses weights sliding along bars to measure what’s in the tray:

Vintage Enamel Scales

Vintage Enamel Scales

This wonderfully retro radio in red and cream was once some teenagers pride and joy!

Fun Retro portable radio

Fun Retro portable radio

And finally, this fabulous fifties fridge has a snazzy red enamel top, just the thing for a retro kitchen.Enamel Topped Fridge

On the hunt for new old stuff

I have been buying stock from auctions for some time now, and thought that I had all the local auctions sussed. There’s a group of dealers in the area and they all tend to keep their sources close to their chests. So I was very excited to hear on the grapevine that a new auction house had opened locally. The only problem was that no-one could/would give clear directions to the place, and it was too new to be listed in any directories.

So, on the supposed date of the auction I went hunting. Armed with a set of instructions that said ‘turn right at Morrisons’ I drove round housing estates and dead ends until I was in danger of running out of fuel, but could not find the place.

Flash forward to this week and I went hunting again. And this time – success! I turned left at Lidl and there it was. Strange how the original instructions were so close and yet so different.

And after all that effort, there were only about 100 lots to chose from, and nothing I was intersted in.

But, I will persevere. It’s only their third auction so it should get better as they get better known. But of course, then the competition will be greater. I’ll let you know how I get on.