Monday, June 27, 2011

Auctioning with the pros

Just 20 short minutes from my Philly area home, there is what must be something of a Mecca for used, vintage, antique and MCM furniture dealers. I was turned on to this country block long strip with two auction houses and one vintage furniture store by Naomi @ Design Manifest. I’ve previewed and observed a couple of live auctions and was excited to be attending one again today. I did a quick run-through after spending 4 hours lurking on the fringe of the bidding crowd at the other one yesterday. Today’s trove, overall, seemed better to me and there were definitely more lots I could be enticed to spend my money on.
So, this morning I set off with Mr. Man, who had a day off of work, and was anticipating a fun-packed adventure at the auction. I will just say, it didn’t turn out to be as long a day as I had hoped and only slightly as much fun. Now, Mr. Man is a swell and usually game for new things, but he’s a guy who people like to talk to and it became quite a distraction. I was trying to pay attention to the fast-moving action, waiting for some Paul McCobb-esque etegeres to be on the block, while chatting up some local dealers and getting the scoop on furniture auctions. It finally became evident that the mister was annoyed and not enjoying the spectacle of an auction so we bugged out, but only after I watched the faux McCobbs fetch 450 bucks apiece!
There was a Pierre Cardin lamp I told my new friends I wanted to get in on (my dad repped some PC licensed home goods lines) and I watched it with one eye, while catching Man’s ‘get-me-the-fuck-out-of-here’ look out of the other eye. I snoozed and never even got my hand out of my pocket before it had sold for 240.
Of course, when we got home I waved a couple 1stdibs listings for the same lamp under Man’s nose and pointed out the 800 – 1800 dollar price tags.

Freakin’ non-bidding remorse – it’s real, people.

The best part of the day was running off some of my fave vintage dealers – Steven Sclaroff, Las Venus, ABC Home – and these dudes saying, oh yea, they’re one of my customers and even producing email proof on the smart phone. I was impressed and determined that I will go back at every opportunity. By myself or with a gal pal. It is for sure, my new high.

I’m warming up my right arm.

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