St Patrick’s Day Auction….

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I think the luck of the Irish was with us!

A very interesting sale again! No doubt this has been a good winter for us.  Great items coming through…big crowds…fair prices…can’t ask for much more! We had 218 bidders register, and some from as far away as Sudbury, Hamilton, Niagara Falls, and some places in Ontario I have never heard of.  Scotland Ontario? We were running in two rings for a fair part of the day, sold 840 lots, and yes I know it gets pretty noisy and for some a little confusing, but that is the only way to handle a sale this size. However, I am attempting to scale down the sales a bit.  Ok, you have heard that before.  I wanted to do large, good sales in the winter months, and now I will try and make them good, slightly smaller sales, for the spring and summer months. I have a large backlog of smaller items to take care of, and I will work them through the sales along with the quality pieces coming in.  I am very fortunate that the phone keeps ringing, the good stuff keeps coming in, and I am trying very hard to accommodate everyone.  This last sale we had 35 different consignors, so at times it is a bit of a juggling act! This past sale we had some highs and lows (as always).  I was very pleased to sell the rare Mickey Mouse book for $1500.  Primitives were mostly strong in price, and the glass and china was doing much better this sale.  Nice Aladdin lamp sold for $575.00  Some of the large furniture pieces did fine, but then a few went flat.  Did we really sell a nicely carved oak sideboard with high back mirror for $150?  Yes, unfortunately we did, but that is what auctions are all about. This being a St.Patrick’s Day auction we adorned ourselves accordingly, and Donnie and Charlie went all out! (photo above for Donnie). Also it was two days before Mom’s birthday, so we sang happy birthday and presented Mom with a nice pot of flowers.  Thanks Dave and Carol Beasley for the flowers!  Hard for most people to believe, but Mom is now 82 and still working as hard as ever with us.  She works a ten hour day doing the setup and another ten or twelve hour day on auction day.  She has clerked every sale for the past 16 years!  I keep telling her she should slow down a little, and she keeps telling me she will let me know when she thinks it is too much, and that ends that discussion! So here is the info on the Mickey Mouse book. A book that created controversy when it was first published, and is controversial to this day! The book was the 1932 Mickey Mouse Annual #3, printed in Canada in 1933. When it was released in England in 1932 it was banned due to racist language. That’s right, Walt Disney banned!  There were only a few copies that made it into circulation, and it is reported that one sold recently for 54,000 pounds. Ours was the Canadian version, and I could find very little info on it.  It’s as though the Canadian version did not exist… but we had it! The opening chapter had Mickey and Minnie in Africa, in confrontation with the natives.  The first chapter is laced with racist comments, names and descriptions of the native Africans.  That’s about as much as I am going to say about that. So the question is…was Walt Disney racist?  You have to look at the book in the context of the times, but even by 1932 standards,  I am sure the language would have been offensive to most people.  It was offensive enough to have it banned in England.  It clearly states that the book was “authorized by Walter E. Disney”.  So I would leave it to you to draw your own conclusions. The book was complete, in good condition and sold for $1500.00 That’s what keeps this business interesting! To View A Video Presentation Of This Auction Click On This Link Rob

Feb 18 2012 Auction

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…bad weather…good watch!

Lots to write about concerning the Feb 18 2012 auction! Woke up early Saturday morning and all I heard about on the radio was the bad weather!   Snow all around us, and in particular it seemed like Toronto was getting it fairly bad.  It was a slower than usual drive for me from Barrie,  and it seemed like the snow was all around us. Highway 400 was blocked with an accident just south of us.  It looked like anyone coming from Toronto was going to have a tough time even getting to the sale. However, by 9:00 o’clock people started pouring in, and by day’s end we had 200 registered bidders! Many people commented jokingly that they thought they would be the only ones there, but I know what auction goers are like.  It was going to take more than some snow to keep the hard core buyers away! The sale started early, at 9:30 so we could do the coins, and finally wrapped it up at 6:15.  We sold 676 lots, plus over 100 lots of coins! Prices were strong all day long, and even though furniture prices in general seemed a little soft, we made up for it on the offering of quality smalls. So, now the big story of the day, and one that will be creating a little buzz in the local auction circles. I had advertised an 18k gold pocket watch.  It had the name of the store in Detroit that sold it on the dial, and an 1899 memorial inscription on the case. Being 18k gold I knew it was a good quality watch, and during the setup on Friday, I asked Carol Beasley if she could check it over again to make sure of the gold content.  Carol even went as far as to remove the casing on the back and she let out a gasp!  She told me the works are signed Patek Philippe.  Now that is about as high end a watch as you can get…most people would consider it better even than Rolex! The dilemma now was what to do with such an unadvertised, high end piece.  I couldn’t pull it from the auction and advertise it for the March auction.  That would not be fair to anyone travelling for this particular watch. So Friday night Carol sent out an email flier to the people on their email list, and I did the same with my email list.  We also changed the website photo, and I made a few other phone calls and emails. I was pretty confident we would have some serious buyers show up, and with the buzz about the watch during the preview, I felt pretty confident it would bring fair market value, taking into consideration that the watch was not working. The watch went up at noon, and right from the opening bid I knew there was serious interest. Final selling price….$3900 plus 5% premium. Now there is even another twist to this story.  The consignor placed the watch in the auction on behalf of a friend of hers.  Because the watch was not working, the friend was going to throw it out!  Fortunately the consignor realized it was gold and convinced her to put it in the auction. So we had a watch that was almost thrown out, and almost went through the auction without anyone realizing it was a Patek Phillipe. I was thrown off by the fact that the face was not signed Patek Phillipe, so I never took a closer look at the actual inside works of the piece.  There is another lesson learned!  Thank you again Carol! Also we ended up having one of our best dollar value sales ever, so all in all, it was a pretty good day. There are a few auctions I will always remember.  The May sale in Cookstown where the grounds around the hall where a sea of mud, and I thought we would not be able to get anyone in or out of the hall.  The nightmare first sale in Pottageville when we set up the entire auction and then were informed there was a booking mixup with the hall, and in fact we did not have the hall booked for actual sale day and would have to cancel the auction and remove everything that night.  And now on a brighter note, the auction with the Patek Philippe watch that was almost thrown away! IF YOU HAVE ANY COMMENTS ABOUT THIS OR ANY OTHER ARTICLE, FEEL FREE TO EMAIL ME AT  ALWAYS NICE TO HEAR FROM YOU!