Saturday, 31 March 2012

News From The Sale Room

Whether its an auction, a charity shop, a car boot or jumble sale, I can't resist a poke about for anything that takes my interest. Needless to say, I am always hopeful I might find some long lost treasure that no one else has noticed but for me treasure comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. With a few auction houses locally, most weeks I am either viewing, bidding or collecting something or other.

This week I have had mixed fortunes in the sale rooms. I left a number of bids at one general sale, mainly on textiles and managed to have the highest bid on one box of textiles. I was quite pleased as it included an old patchwork quilt which I thought would be good for cutting up and using for some bags. When I went to collect the lot, the auction house were slightly embarrassed to admit that the lot had gone missing. Someone had obviously taken it with lots they had purchased and who knew who that had been. Very annoying to say the least!

Thankfully at a local fine art and antiques auction, I viewed and left 8 bids and managed to win 3 of them. And what an eclectic mix of items I have ended up with! The first lot was an Art Nouveau beaded handbag with a faux tortoiseshell Bakelite frame. The frame is marked made in France and the bag probably dates from around 1900-1910. It is in remarkable good condition for its age with only a small amount of bead loss for the fringe. The other item with it is also beaded and was described as an offertory pouch, presumably from a church.

The next lot I liked because it also included a vintage petit point handbag as well as a small petit point coin purse with an expanding metal top. The lot also included a petit point card case, petit point powder compact, a powder compact in a leather case and about 10 pairs of vintage gloves, mainly leather. Slightly more oddly, the lot also came with various old envelopes containing foreign stamps. Not quite sure how stamps fit in with handbags, gloves and powder compacts but that's auctions for you.

The third lot I was actually after a large box of vintage buttons. I have an absolute weakness for an old button tin. The sound the buttons make as you run your hands through them reminds me of the sea rushing over pebbles on a beach. Fabulous! I can spend hours sorting through a button tin I have just purchased finding all the ones I like and cleaning them up for use on sewing projects such as my peg bags.

As well as the hundreds of buttons in a box, the lot also came with some old jigsaw puzzles, dominoes, chess pieces, a building block set, some of which was in an old chocolate box and the most random item of all. The final item was described in the catalogue as an old electrical item. A bit of googling revealed that it is a Victorian electric shock treatment machine! Just the sort of thing you would expect to find with lots of old toys really. And that is precisely why I love auctions, until you walk through the door of the sale room, you never know what you are going to find. No two auctions are ever the same, something will always catch your eye and surprise you. Who can resist taking a look?

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