my first auction

when i was planning my wedding in 2009 and 2010, i took a fair bit of guilty pleasure in shows like say yes to the dress; rich bride, poor bride; and wedding s.o.s. to name a few. and now that i’m no longer planning a wedding, but planning a house, i find i’m tuning in to some different tv shows, namely cash and cari, in which a woman named cari runs estate sales and also finds pieces to repurpose for her store somewhere in the states. i’ve kind of been combing the newspapers for estate sales lately, having seen some of the neat pieces and great prices on this show.

so not too long ago my nana called and asked me if i wanted to go to an auction in burlington on the weekend. not an estate sale, but i’d never been to an auction either, so my interest was piqued. all the proceeds from this auction were to benefit st. joseph brant memorial hospital and there were about 800 items up for sale — everything must go. my nana and i arrived early for the “preview” and there was lots to see: from boxes of junk to linens, china to figurines, musical instruments to paintings.

in the preview, i came across this walnut side chair, which looked exactly like the little side chair i bought from pied a terre in june! unfortunately, it was item #529 — not likely it would come up for auction until much later in the day than i was willing to stay. i left an absentee bid of $35, but they seemed a little disorganized at the auction, so i’m not even sure the bid was registered. all the furniture was going for dirt cheap, and i’m kind of kicking myself for not sticking around late enough to bid on this chair. i think it would have been fun to paint and reupholster!

side chair for $240 from pied a terre in leslieville.

i did bid on (and win) the very first item up for auction, which was a tray of junk that contained one gem. i paid $2 in order to scoop the perfect little jug with a ship on it (made in england). actually, one of the other jugs has pretty little birds painted on it and i might take it to my office, but the third jug has a giant moose on it and it’s fairly hideous, so it’s going right back to the thrift store.

according to my nana, this auction is a biannual affair and she’s been a number of times. i thought it was a fun little diversion, but i think an estate sale is still what i’m after. i think i’d like being able to browse and make an offer right when i see something i want, rather than sit through hundreds of items in catalogue order, only to get outbid. does anyone know where to find out about good estate sales?

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