This past Saturday I went to a local estate auction to see what treasures might be up for bid. It turned out that the house was the real treasure, a beautiful big old bungalow with gorgeous woodwork & cabinetry all throughout… but enough drooling, I am not in the market for a house. What I did stay to bid on, however, were the old wooden chairs that were in the backyard.
When it comes to auctions, it seems like the things I want are the last items put up to bid. That almost proved true again this time. Let me take you through the play by-play on how the assortment of 15 or so chairs went to bid. The auctioneer opened up the chairs at choice bid; this means the winning bidder takes his or her choice of chair or chairs, then the remaining ones get auctioned off again and again, until all they are all taken. As the auctioneer went from $10 to $5, trying to get a first bidder, the crowd was unresponsive. I casually raised a peace sign on one hand, mouthing $2 to the auctioneer.
“I have $2, looking for $3; $3, who’ll give me $3; $2, going once, going twice, anyone,” the auctioneer kept trying to get someone to outbid me. But luck was on my side as no one would give the auctioneer $3, so I got my choice of chairs at $2 a piece.
“Sold. Take yer pick, what one ya want,” the auctioneer asked.
“How about these 4…
…and these 3…
…and this rocker,” was my reply.
“Well folks, you just lost your chance at half of these chairs just like that,” replied the auctioneer. The remaining chairs, another 7 or so but all mismatched, were all taken by the very next high bidder; he had to pay $6 each.
I felt good. I had done it. I bought all 8 chairs (for a steal!). But if you remember one of my earliest posts when I replaced my car mirror, you will know I drive a small compact automobile. How in the heck was I going to get all of these dirty, lead (probably) paint chipping chairs back home. And where am I going to put them until I am ready to refinish them?
Thankfully my sister & brother-in-law were also at the auction, along with his mother who drove her pickup truck that day. They were gracious enough to help me load all the chairs in to the back and drive them to my garage where I’ve piled them in the corner for the time being.
I simply cannot wait to begin taking them apart, stripping off paint, sanding, and gluing; I simply cannot wait to begin restoring. So there is a sneak peek at some future projects and, undoubtedly, future posts.