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!

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.

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


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.