Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My First Auction

Harrogate has a well-known auction house that runs auctions every Friday.  It's different each week but usually contains around 600 lots of everything from rugs to glassware to jewelery to furniture.  Thompson's puts the lots online on Wednesday night and you can go to the warehouse to view the items on Thursday.  The auction starts at 11:30 on Friday morning.

I've been looking at the website for a few weeks now and this week's lots looked really interesting.  I'm still looking for a coffee table, some nightstands, chairs for the living room, and a couple other odds and ends.  I saw some things online this week that looked really promising, so I asked around to see if anyone wanted to go with me.

My friend Alisha and I made a day of it and had a blast!  We had no idea what to expect, but it was so different than I thought it would be.  It was a completely packed house...packed with both people and things!  You could hardly even move with all of the items stacked around!

Alisha surrounded by auction items

Can you spot the auctioneer?
The auctioneer was hilarious.  Each lot took no more than thirty seconds; it was so fast!  It was really fun watching people bid though.  Alisha was nervous that we were accidentally bidding while scratching our faces or picking up a pen.  People really were bidding by just a quick nod of the head, so you had to be careful or you'd end up with something you didn't want!

Initially I was interested in a pair of nightstands and a trunk, but both lots went for a lot more than I was willing to pay.  Alisha was eying a corner cabinet and a bookshelf.  She got really into the bidding process and ended up with the corner cabinet (for only £18!!), a rocking chair, a bread box and two giant boxes of records. All of those items were less than £60.  

Although I didn't get the trunk I wanted, I did get a really fantastic pine box!  I saw it online and was intrigued, and in person it looked great too.  It is huge!  I thought I could use it as a coffee table.  When the auctioneer started the bid at £12, I was in.  I won at £18!  Such a bargain for a huge piece like this!

My giant pine box!

Alisha has some experience in woodwork, so she's going to help me finish it in a gorgeous antique varnish.  It was too big to use as a coffee table, but it will look great as a side table in the living room.  It's going to take some hard work to get it looking the way I want it to, but it should be a fun project.  I'll update you on my progress.  In the meantime, I'm just loving the way it looks in the raw :)

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