Game completed

In August I posted a challenge I had made to myself; to buy an item at auction and sell on for a profit.

Lot 436.. a set of mixed oils and watercolours, a nice little lot here, can we start at £20, (silence)… £10 then?, still nothing….£5 queries the auctioneer a little desperately, I hesitated, and some one started the bidding at £2, here we go, I bid $4 a counter bid, £6, I nodded, £8 a counter bid £10, I hesitated slightly, before bidding £12, but that was it… they refused, to the lady in the room at £12, looking for £14 is there anymore.. hammer held in the air, the auctioneer peers round the room, once more I’m looking for £14…. make no mistake I’m selling at £12…. the hammer falls, the price is set. I grin and show my number…. I am the proud owner of 4 pieces of art!

https://connects.live/2019/08/07/lets-play-a-game/

It has taken longer than intended – holidays in France, busy life and working on new material and new website (coming soon!) but I can now give you the result.

Water colour painting

local artist Eleanor Cowles (193 – 2006) of Isaac Lords, Ipswich.

Research informed me that the former Isaac Lords building was rescued by a local entrepreneur and turned into a bar, restaurant and events venue as part of the rejuvenation of the waterfront. Perfect. I think they should own this piece of their history.

One of a set of prints by John Ireland, commissioned to illustrate a calendar for Guiness advertising. 1981

Again research assured me that I would be able to sell this to a local pub.

Today, I can reveal the result. On a beautiful, sunny afternoon, a successful visit to Isaac Lords resulted in the sale of both paintings for profit. I was pleased with the result, and even more pleased that at least one of the paintings has found its way home and can be enjoyed by Ipswich locals in an Ipswich locale.

The oil paintings of camels I decided were not in good enough condition for me to sell. I took them to the St Elizabeth’s recycling shop in Ipswich where they were happy to take them, put a little work into them and hopefully sell them giving them much needed financial reward.

A fitting end to the challenge. It was not, however, an end game. To be continued….

Here’s Sue signing out for now. Thank you for reading and following. Comments and criticism are always welcome so that this can become higher, better, stronger.




Let’s play a game….

After a gentle drive along the A12, enjoying the beautiful Suffolk countryside take the B1078 signed to Campsea Ashe. Turn right following the B1078 towards Campsea Ashe, past the village shop turn left into the car park for Clarke and Simpson Auction

But wait, haven’t we been here before? Yes, of course, home of my local auction site; a cornucopia of antiques, collectables, curiosities and one-man’s-junk to my treasure trove.

After taking care of the business end, I enter saleroom 4 and take in the sights, sounds, aroma of history. Today, unusually, I’m on a mission. I am secretly taking part in my own, “Make me a Dealer” (BBC One) challenge.

Working with a small budget of £20 I aim to buy at least one lot that I can make a profit on. Armed with my camera, catalogue and buyer number I tour the room.

Lot 1: A collection of Del Padro figures in the form of Medieval Knights on horseback Estimate £30 – £50

I think that might be what is known as a “come and buy me” estimate. I would love them, but they are going to be too strong for me. My estimate £80-£100. This estimate was later to be proven correct, they sold to an online bidder for £95

This is a possibility. With a personal connection, as it is the year I was born, I would like it. Would it make a profit? Not unless I find the right buyer. Also it is one of several other plates and sundry items. Estimate £10-£20. A possible, but only at £15. Don’t forget the 18% buyers premium.

Lot 294: An oriental camphor wood blanket box – with key. Again above my budget, estimate £50-£80. But can I pause for a while and admire it’s beauty. Exquisite carving, the quality and detail of the lock, the deco style shaping of the rounded corners just the feel of the wood. Open the lid, and the camphor aroma plunges you into the orient, transporting you to far away places with stories of mystery, intrigue, romance and exotic nights. Dream but close the lid now, time to move on.

But the mood to travel afar lingers as I fall in love with these books. A beautiful set, with the original dust covers, and all in good condition. Inside, the text was illustrated with beautiful designs, calligraphy and pencil drawings of the places visited. I think I can honestly say, never was I so taken with the beauty, style and simple pleasure of holding a book and being privileged to enter into it’s story. I wanted them.

Lot 264: Ten volumes of The Silent Traveller by Chiang Yee. Estimate £150-£200

I hope the online buyer likes them. I wish them safe journeys.

Was I ever going to find something? Today, everything was too expensive, too big, or in job lots where I wanted maybe one or two items out of the box or boxes full.

Just recently my interests have been towards various art forms. Auctions can be good places to find that one piece of art you have been looking for to add interest to a blank wall, add a touch of culture to a clinical waiting room, or add colour, history or a story to your office. As usual for this auction there was a good selection. Some job lots of mixed styles, condition and interest. Some single pieces that required some knowledge of the artist before acquiring. But then, there it was:

Lot 436: Eleanor Cowles watercolour study depicting Isaac Lords near Ipswich Docks; together with a coloured print entitled “The Gentle Art of Making Guinness”. and a pair of oil studies depicting desert scenes and camels. Estimate £10 – £20

A small lot, within budget, hopefully, and with local interest making it easy to research and sell on. I set my price to within £10 – £12 pound, rewarded myself to a cup of tea, found a good seat in front of the rostrum and settled in for the sale. The clock ticked round to 11:00, auctioneer in place, the room is hushed with the rap of the hammer and we’re off…

Lot 1……

Auctions are unpredictable. Items of history, age and beauty may be sold for little money, or sometimes not sold at all if a reserve price is not met. Other items, which are damaged, mismatched or apparently of very little value, are sold above estimate. The lots I had circled as ‘interested’ went for more than I wanted to spend. Some started at above my price, others I had chance to bid on, but someone in the room or on-line wanted it more than I. Gradually, lot by lot, my chances of buying were dwindling until we reached that set of art work. My last chance.

Lot 436.. a set of mixed oils and watercolours, a nice little lot here, can we start at £20, (silence)… £10 then?, still nothing….£5 queries the auctioneer a little desperately, I hesitated, and some one started the bidding at £2, here we go, I bid $4 a counter bid, £6, I nodded, £8 a counter bid £10, I hesitated slightly, before bidding £12, but that was it… they refused, to the lady in the room at £12, looking for £14 is there anymore.. hammer held in the air, the auctioneer peers round the room, once more I’m looking for £14…. make no mistake I’m selling at £12…. the hammer falls, the price is set. I grin and show my number…. I am the proud owner of 4 pieces of art!

Game on……………………….home to research and sell them on for a profit.




Bookshelf: the beginning

The auction.

I was with my father, I was about 12 or 13 and we were at our favourite auction house. It was love at first sight. This bureau and I were meant to be together. My hands caressed the wood which felt warm to my touch. Slowly easing out the drawer revealed a former life with aged newspaper lining. I dared to turn the key and unlock the case to reveal the compartments for letters, pens, the tiny draw for those precious items that I would stow away. I loved the smell of the wood and the fragrance of the lingering memories of previous owners.

Thankfully my father recognised my longing for this exquisite piece of furniture and he did what only a father can do and opened the bidding. I don’t remember much about the sale, but I do remember the feeling of gratitude, recognising that this was a gift of love.

It took pride of place in my new bedroom and slowly began to hold my treasures. My first attempts at writing, short stories and fumbling verses I called poetry. Later, it held letters from special people, including the Canadian boyfriend, later to become fiancee and husband….

.. but that maybe another story.




One man’s trash…

……is another man’s treasure.

 

One of my ‘forbidden’ pleasures is to go to auctions.  Walking into a room containing a myriad of items displayed on tables, hung on walls, hanging from the ceiling and secretively hidden in  those delicious under the table boxes   gives me goosebumps.  Why forbidden?  Well these days I’m supposed to be getting rid of stuff not buying…. but that’s another story.

This story is about yesterday and attending the Clarke and Simpson auction specifically, as the T.V. programme “Bargain Hunt” was filming there for three future shows.

Bargain Hunt and an auction?  Irresistible!

There were some subtle and some not so subtle changes to the usual Monday sale; firstly the slick new haircut boasted by Geoffrey, chief auctioneer, just a coincidence?  The auction room was busier with both  a whisper of whimsy  and a pontificate of  professionalism breathing through the atmosphere.

After a quick peruse of the fine items on offer for the day, I decided I would break the rule and register to buy.  That done, with my catalogue and voting card in hand, I intended to methodically work my way round the room, following the usual pattern of lot numbers.  Another change, they didn’t go in the right order, and lots seemed to be mixed up a bit.

Ha! because they will have to space the B.H. lots according to filming.  Got it!

This initiated  another game.  Could I ‘spot’ the B.H. lots?  Well as it turned out, the miniature chairs I had marked as ‘interested in’  was a case of great minds think alike it being one of the programme lots.  Unfortunately for me but good for them they  went for more than I wanted to pay;  perhaps to an online bidder.  Oh well.  At least they gave the contestants a profit.   I wondered about the modern, ikea chair and stool, another profit and really hoped that the ugly “wooden model of a horse” was not a lot, but rather feared it would be.  It was.  No profit.  What was that I was saying about one man’s trash and treasure?

Other classics included a waterford crystal  clock and gavel ,  a marcasite brooch, a ‘mouseman’ ashtray, and a silver vinaigrette circa 1815.  All going under the hammer.

As the lots progressed we were  the lively ‘audience’ warming to the occasion, even helping out by bidding on lots as encouraged by the contestants and ‘experts’.  We groaned with the losses and cheered with the profits;  even choosing  to be amused by the auctioneers witty remarks and sales patter.

As a keen viewer of the programme, (thank goodness for ‘catch-up t.v.) I often wondered how ‘staged’ the auction was.  Now I know.  Yes, some parts are, and of course, there is the presence of the film crew and technicians and prompters etc.  But in between the programme lots, the auction progressed as usual.  It was lovely to see the contestants chatting amicably with the experts and show presenter when not ‘on air’ just like old friends sharing a common interest.

Then, when the filming within the auction room was all over,  the exit out of the room was impressive, efficient and seamless whilst the auction continued.  However not unnoticed  was  the almost audible sigh of relief from the ‘regulars’ and some comments of ‘well now we can get on with it!’

Now with a spoiler alert for readers that might be avid Bargain Hunt viewers I managed to capture these moments.  Apologies for the quality of the photo’s but…

 

And for my ‘non British’ readers…. here’s a recent episode for you to enjoy

 

https://youtu.be/v_2StG_15XA

 

But now, if you’ll excuse me, I just have to go watch the latest show, and perhaps fill in that form to ‘be on a show’  a golden gavel awaits me.