Tuesday, 6 March 2012

auction style

Plant stand bought at auction £5
Blue glass jars from antique fair

I love to visit auction houses, car boot sales, antique fairs and charity shops, mixing the vintage finds in with more modern furniture, invariably from IKEA or wherever. I'm not a fan of identikit houses which all look the same because they have all bought items from the same store.

Local vintage bottles from auction

As a child I remember visiting auction houses on their preview days with my mum. I used to follow her around the dusty old room as she poked around the furnite and nic nacks. We didn't have a great deal of money but in my bedroom I had an Edwardian gentleman's wardrobe and antique Victorian shelf edge lace along the cast iron fireplace. My mum also handstitched a hexagon quilt made from my old clothes. It must have taken her hours to hand sew all of the hexies! I loved that quilt and would spend ages looking at all the different fabrics and remembering what clothes they had been cut up from. Unfortunately, my mum isn't around now and I have no idea where the quilt went.

I always thought I was nothing like my mum, maybe I'm more like her than I'd like to admit!

Pine table £2 at auction 

When I look around the house I see more and more old and vintage items sneaking in. Each piece tells a tale; a car boot find, charity shop visited on holiday or a hard fought auction bidding battle. For instance, the table in the above photo came from an auction for the princely sum of £2. It is really rough looking and needs a good sand and repaint but the husband snaffled it straightaway and it is now covered in papers in his office. One day it might get painted!

Oak cupboard from auction £36

Here is my supplies cupboard which I bought at auction. It is an oak glazed bookcase with drawers underneath. One of the doors needs new glass but apart from that it is perfect. I'm undecided whether or not to paint it so for the time being it is dark oak. I think pieces like this are lovely but then again I keep looking at Expedit bookcases at Ikea and nearly ordering one of those. Mix and match maybe?

Bakelite rotary dial telephone bought at an antique fair

I need to get braver at auctions though. I keep missing out on things because I'm too nervous to bid or stop bidding because I think the item is too expensive then kick myself when I get home. I have got some of my best buys from auctions: vintage leather suitcase, stoneware jar with local brewery names printed on it, plant stands, display shelves for use at craft fairs, etc. I even bought my car at an auction. Now that was scary bidding!

Although I have a love of auctions I don't really get much from Ebay. I never seem to find those 99p bargain pieces of furniture or vintage goodies. I have a wish list of things I'd love to get (red fire bucket, shop scales, Singer table, etc) and every now and then I'll see if there is anything I like for sale but not much turns up locally. I'll keep looking though.

I think my ultimate buy at auction would be a house. How scary would that bidding process be?!

Do you go to auctions? Tell me your best buy!


  1. I love auctions but haven't been to one for ages. I want to go right now though, having read this! My best buy was my kitchen dresser. I've also had gifts bought from auctions by mum's late partner - a gorgeous lidded bowl with a spoon in the shape of a goose and a Chinese silk embroidered picture of a hawk on a cherry blossom branch.

    1. It is amazing what you can pick up. You just have to be lucky!

  2. I must check out the auction rooms as we are after a hard wood table for our garden table, really fancy the rustic french garden style table.

    1. Get down to your local auction houses. I've seen some great garden furniture, statues, etc.

  3. I haven't been to any auctions (although my mom and I are planning to soon) but I love finding old stuff in charity shops. I can't believe you got a table for £2!
    Loppy x


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