I spent quite a bit of yesterday at a local auction. They are held periodically in the local community centre and are a one day only event. You drop your lots off in the morning, viewing is from 12.30pm and the auction starts at 2.00pm. It is usually all over by about 5.00pm depending on the number of lots, which is usually around 300 or so. The best bit about it, is never quite knowing what you are going to find!
This time, I was selling as well as buying. I had a few handbags which hadn't sold, as well as a large box of linens I didn't need, so decided to try my luck with them in the auction. I dropped off my items at 10.00am and took a crafty sneak peek at some of the other lots whilst I was there.
I was quite surprised to find not only another box of linens but also a lot of three vintage bags. The bags were really interesting, one was a small beaded Art Deco purse in very good condition. The other two were more modern but one had a very unusual frame at the top which folded in on itself to open. I was quite excited to be going back later for the actual auction.
After waiting for just over an hour to get to the linen lot, bidding was quite fierce. I had had a bit of a rummage in the box during the viewing and one item had really caught my eye. I set my highest price in my head and hoped for the best! Luckily the bidding stopped with me, at my maximum bid of £20. Adding commission, the lot was going to cost me £22.
A short while later, the three bags went under the hammer. I had set a price of £10 in my mind, which would have been £11 with commission. The small Deco bag I probably would have sold for about £14 and the other two bags were a real risk. Unfortunately, the seller had place a reserve of £15, so the bags went unsold.
My lots came up about an hour later. The handbags and linens raised £16 in total, which wasn't brilliant but it got rid of them, so I was happy. Having settled up at the desk, I took my new box of linens home for a good sort out which is always the best bit!
Whilst three quarters of the box was of no interest to me whatsoever, there were some really good items amongst it. There was a large piece of net curtain, which is an essential tool when making felt with soap and water. I needed a larger piece so that was a real bonus. There were a few linens with wide lace edging which will be ideal for turning into lavender bags and there was a set of four table mats with very pretty embroidery which will also make good lavender bags.
The star of the show though was the embroidered jacket that I had spotted. You couldn't really miss it as the fabric is so striking. It is embroidered all over in the most gorgeous and elaborate pattern. The jacket is old, possibly homemade, and I would guess it dates from around the 1930's but I could be wrong.
The base fabric feels like a fine wool and judging by the moth damage on the collar, I think I am probably right. It is fully lined in a salmon pink satin and has two handmade buttons at the front.
Overall, the jacket is in very good condition, apart from the moth holes and some small yellow marks. Having said that, there is plenty of usable fabric remaining. Part of me thinks it is a shame to cut the jacket up, but to be honest, it is not wearable as it is due to the moth holes.
I am certainly not going to rush into making any decisions. I will probably take the jacket apart to start with and see which bits are usable. I will then decide what to make, whether it is a whole handbag or just use parts as features on different bags. It really is a case of watch this space!