Going once, going twice…

We got back in the auction action last week and went along to check out a new local auction house in Lurgan.

Auctions (much like Gok Wan’s advice to wobbly women everywhere) are all about the confidence. If you walk into an auction with a weak posture, you’re going down. You’ll walk out of that place with jack-all or even worse, you’ll get outbid on a teapot by a 60 year old man because your wave wasn’t strong or you held back at the wrong time (all of which have happened to me). I learned all this from Dave. He used to be an auctioneer back in his long line of random careers – he totes knows what he’s talking about.

We arrived about 40 minutes into the auction so needed some time to peruse the stock in the warehouse. It really is SO exciting to hunt around and see what treasures have appeared for the taking that week. The rest of the bargain hunting crowd were already poised – sitting down on whatever second-hand fringed three piece suite they could put their bum on so I had the awkward pleasure of weaving in and out of their view of the auctioneer so I could check out the goods. This was my key moment for injecting my auction confidence. Not too much apologising, keep an air of ‘I’ve done this before, it’s my right to look around – you’re actually in MY way’, and make sure you pick some items up checking for weight, sturdiness and general showing-off that you mean business.

After surveying the goods, I picked some items that I thought I had a chance of getting and ended up getting pretty much all of them!

First off – a crate of vintage tins!

These tins were my first pick. If I left with nothing else but these I would have been so happy. They came in a crate with a few other stupid things like half burnt votive candles and most of the tins were full of bits of stuff you would keep in the garage – out of date silver shining solution, hardened glue pots, nuts and bolts etc. It’s funny to think that what someone thought was only good enough to keep in their garage now is pride of place on the dresser in my entrance hall! The whole crate of them was ours for £14. One mans trash eh?

I love that most of these are local Northern Irish tins too. How beautiful is this orange Ormeau one?!

I also LOVE this Treasure Island one and hope to one day give it to Levi or display it in his room. At the minute, I’d rather keep him away from them because they still smell slightly petroly (even after a thorough scrubbing and vinegaring) and he’s got a bit of a thing for putting things in his mouth these days.

We also nabbed these flower boxes – a fiver for both. I’m planning on not using them for flowers but maybe giving them a lick of paint and using them for book storage for Levi. He’s also at a ‘ripping everything he can get his hands on’ stage, which makes me slightly edgy when it comes to books. Especially because I spend a lot of time seeking out cute little vintage books for him and well…I won’t even start to tell you about what happened to the poor vintage pop-up ‘Little Boy Jesus’ book. It’s still a sore point.

I have a whole host of these little shot glasses already but at £2.50 for these six I couldn’t resist. Anyway, I like collecting them because Jill (of lovely house Jill) once made some AMAZING chocolate brandy pots in these and I’m hoping to have a go some time for a dinner party. In fact – if I was to make them – I’d go with this stonker of a fairtrade recipe.

I also scored a wooden standard lamp and cream lampshade for my office for only £12 at the auction – completely over the moon about that one. And that was my lot.

It can be a real thrill when you get your wanted items for a good price. It can also be a drag when you want an umbrella stand that is numbered lot 515 of 650 and wait around all that time to get outbid.*

Are you an auction frequenter? What’s holding you back? Fear not, Dave Wiggins is available for Auction Etiquette 101 if you are worried about making a muck of it.

Today’s post of auction wonders is a link up with the ever thrifty Miss Lizzie B & her Magpie Monday crew – Hi Magpies!

*Disclaimer: We didn’t actually wait around this week – cheeky, I know, but we had to get back home to the boy. One of the young people from Dave’s work was there for the night so he was left in charge of our lots & did us proud.


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