I had placed a number of my mother's more valuable antiques with Skinner auctions of Boston on consignment. They offer the items, market them to their established audience of dealers and collectors and then auction them for a reasonable percentage of the take. Last Thursday and Friday were days during which they held one of their "Discovery" auctions (translation: miscellaneous items, as opposed to themed items like an auction that was all Primitive Americana, for example. ) Anyway, while the auctions are going on in Boston, they are also being simulcast on the Live Auctions section of Ebay. While I did not want to attend the actual auction, I could not resist peeking in a bit each day and watched some of the items go.
I have been hearing a lot that the auction business, and the antiques business in general is not what it used to be, and that seemed fair as I watched item after item go for less than it had been appraised to sell for -- not just my items, but most of the items in the auctions -- with some exceptions.
Decoy ducks (of which I had none) seemed to do VERY well.
Then, Friday, the grandfather clock that my Mom had went up for sale. I had been promoting it independently by contacting various museums and historical societies that I thought might be interested. And -- holy moley -- am I glad I did. Suffice to say it came in way over its estimate, and would have made my mother giggle with glee. It took a lot of bids before the sale was final.
I do not know what the total amount for all the items was yet, and I do still have a number of items with them for future auctions through December, but I am happy that the clock's success will carry the load for other items that may not have scored so well. Skinner has been a very helpful organization and I am pleased that I selected them.
I will go check out "my" house again this coming week -- some people need to see it who will be doing some work on it, and I need to get some measurements. I'm looking forward to the move, as it is the culmination of such a very long search. There comes a time in all our lives when we need to just plain move along. The move won't solve every problem in my life, but that is not the reason to move.
I am moving in the direction of my bliss. And it feels great.
The sellers are being lovely, and since the home was most recently occupied by their father who is now in assisted living, and since they are all grown with their own homes, they have no need to keep many of the basic home gardening items like rakes, shovels, wheelbarrows, hoses, trowels, and the like, and have offered them to me for free as they know I am coming from apartment life. They also have said that if there is any of the furniture that they left to stage the house that I need to let them know and it is mine. There isn't a lot, but there are definitely things there that will make the transition easier, and I am very thankful to have encountered such considerate sellers. In return I have stopped them from sending professional cleaners into the house as it is fine as it is, and I am just going to have a ton of work done - painting, floor-sanding, roofing, etc -- so I will be making an immediate mess anyway. They have been very kind, and I am trying to think of a way to thank them -- there are two adult sons and a daughter. Any ideas?
I go back and forth in this stressful time, alternately wanting to jump for joy and throw up. I am 57 and buying my first home all by myself. It is just such a big thing, you know? Mostly, when I am not feeling anxious and flipped out -- and who wouldn't -- it is an exciting time, full of touching miracles.
I go to sleep every night saying "Thank you, God". I wake up every morning saying "God, where is the coffee!" :-)
Fortunately God has a sense of humor.