Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bargain Seating

I go to the auction to entertain myself.  It's a small town auction house usually selling off the wares of old estates and the goods range from really cool old stuff to cheap knick knacks, coins, and Dear God: the endless tool lots from old workshops.  If anyone wants a great wrench set for $3, this is the place to be.  But it's more the camaraderie that gathers us in an old air hanger on Saturday nights.  The smell of fresh popped corn wafting through the bid calls as we all wait for the auctioneer's expected price to trickle down to where the bidding actually begins.  One can never judge how an auction will go.  What brings top dollar one week falls flat the next.  The thrill is in the hunt and we have all gathered for the kill.
Sometimes what I have purchased isn't at all what I had planned to buy. Exploring the preview, I marveled at a Victorian chair that reminded me of my great grandmother.  Surprisingly solid for it's age but in need of a new seat cover-  easy peasey.  But in the auction world, furniture doesn't always go cheap and with the clean straw stuffing exposed, this baby was the real deal.  Original and intact. 
 By time the chair hit the auction block I had already been outbid on the items I really wanted.  Now it was time to play.  I love watching what people buy and auctioneers are comedians skilled at keeping an audience through the sale.  The auctioneer started the bid call at $100 noting the chair's curvy lines. 
 The crowd averted their eyes, checked their watches and continued doodling on their bid cards as the bid call lowered to $50- Very reasonable considering her tufts were firm.
 Small splinter conversations were on the rise as the disinterest plummeted the bid call down to $20. 
Raised eyebrows and disbelief, I locked eyes with the auctioneer.  Seriously?? $20 for this chair and no bids? She just needed a few cosmetic fixes!
 Then he did the unthinkable! He called out an all time low of $10 on a piece of furniture.  Maybe he knew I wouldn't be able to resist!  Maybe he knew I was losing faith after so many failed bids already this evening!  Or most likely, he knew I would take pity on a chair too beautiful to go without a bid.  I flew my card in the air before he even finished the word ten!  Certain I would be outbid I weighed how high I was willing to go to fight for the chair. After all, I was now emotionally invested.  The auctioneer's calls for $12.50 buzzed from his microphone like a swarm of flies ready to spoil my bid.  But nothing... my fellow bidders were still doodling, still chatting, still checking watches when the gavel came down in my favor!
This chair and I were meant for each other!  I am pretty sure I saw her smiling when I picked her up and hoisted her into the Element. Her delicately carved hands curling in a tight grip, her exposed stuffing gently tucked in place, as if she knew I had fresh fabric waiting for her.  As if she knew we were meant to be.  As if she knew she was finally going home.


  1. Cannot wait to see what you do with her and what she will be wearing next!! She is fantastic and fabulous!
    Enjoy your day Jacquie!

  2. Holy smokes, what a deal Jacquie! A wonderful vintage chair, I know you will do her proud! Deb