March 23 2013 Auction

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March 29, 2013
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…March is always a good month and this was no exception!

I am a little late in writing this, but it has been extremely busy since last weekends auction. Beginning of the week I was helping friends set up at the “One Of A Kind Show” in Toronto, and then several pickups, plus over 12 hours of paperwork, but it is all done now! First I would like to thank everyone who attended the March 23 auction, and once again a very large crowd! 235 registered bidders, and that make it one of the largest crowds we have had…second only to the auction in Feb! (243 bidders) January auction was over 200 bidders as well, so it has been a very good first three months of the year. There are some challenges when you have crowds that large, and I do appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding.  We do our very best to keep the sales moving quickly and believe it or not, with some semblance of planning and order.  It may seem somewhat chaotic, but we really are following a plan! The crowds are always largest during the winter months, but they do taper off somewhat for the rest of the year.  We still have large, well attended auctions, but probably 20% fewer registered bidders for the rest of the auctions this year, so that gives everyone a little more breathing room. A big part of my business  involves dealing with people who are settling estates. I find it very interesting what some people put great value on, and then I have to unfortunately tell them their mothers prized possession really isn’t worth that much.  One such case I am dealing with, the late mother told her children about the value of these two very old, painted chairs.  The daughters told me they were  not allowed to even stand on them, because mother told them they were very old and valuable.  I had to break the news to them that indeed the chairs are very old, but as far as value…less than $5 each. The same with the jug and basin set (basin cracked), the child’s chair with the missing rung, assorted plates, the collector spoons and the silver plate casserole stand. However, when we went to the top floor I spotted a very nice hall tree, told them what I thought it might bring, and they looked at me in amazement.  One sister told me she was going to throw it out! So then we check out the basement for crocks, sealers, old wooden boxes…the stuff that brings decent money now, yet these were the items held in very low regard. There is a generation that placed a great deal of value on some types of antiques, but many of those items just do not bring the money they would have 30 years ago.  Of course if you own these types of items, but are not actively following the antique market, it can be quite disappointing when you find out what they are currently selling for. Many people will then assume there is no value to antiques anymore, and that is where I have to explain that we are getting record crowds to our auctions, and in some cases record prices for some items. The demand for antiques is still there, but the market is changing.  Remember, about 80% of the antique market is decor driven.  Some items are hot for decorating with, and then in a year or two, the demand changes.  There are not many young couples looking to fill their homes with Victorian parlour furniture, large spinning wheels, wash basin sets etc.  However, when you offer a good piece of advertising, art deco lighting, teak furniture, original artwork, cast iron and primitive items…it is a different story! I do not have an auction booked in April, because I could not get a hall booking, but I will be back May 11, and then every month until December.  That gives me a little time off, and I must admit I have been looking forward to it.  There are still pickups to do, photos to work on, and everything else that goes with putting together our auctions, but it also gives me some time to do some renovation work around the house.  I don’t do the renovations personally, but it gives me time to hire people, and watch them do the renovations! So to summarize, we have had a good first quarter of the year. Crowds large, prices of course up and down, but the good and unusual still selling very well. The quality of the items coming our way just keeps getting better and better. I have a few “adjustments” and issues I have to deal with concerning our business, but overall it looks like 2013 is going to be another great year! Rob
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