Monday, 8 September 2014

Buying at auction (new chairs!)


On Saturday morning I persuaded my dad to drive me over to Wandsworth to pick up these two beauties, which I won at an auction on Monday. He told me not to use the phrase 'won' but instead to refer to it as 'paying more than anyone else was willing to' (!) but acquiesced anyway - given all my family have been obsessed with auctions all my life he had only himself to blame for my addiction!

Growing up most of my parents' and grandparents' furniture was picked up at  local auctions and house clearances. My mum's first introduction to auctions was aged 14 when my grandfather sent her to a farmers' auction to get a good price on some wood! I do use ebay but I prefer to go to local auctions if I can - so you can see the pieces ahead of time and it's not such a hassle to get them home.

These are two reproduction Eames style office chairs, which I've been hunting for ages. I actually have a similar one covered in a yellow linen fabric, which the cats have taken over as their chair (and scratched to pieces) - so I am looking at getting all three recovered at some point in a matching fabric. Any tips for cat proof upholstery let me know! James and I have one long white desk from ikea for both of us, so I like the idea of having matching chairs to make our study area look a bit more cohesive.

My favourite auctions in London are Greenwich Auction and Criterion Auction (based in Wandsworth and Islington). They are both weekly slightly junky auctions, with a total hodge podge of stuff. You never know what you will find, and they are really fun to browse. A bit further afield is Woolley and Wallace in Salisbury, which are a bit posher. The online photos are really good quality, and the auctions are usually themed. Every so often they do a 20th century design auction, which is where my coffee table was purchased last year.

I have to say I don't often attend the actual auction, as they are usually long and at inconvenient times. I tend to place an absentee/commission bid where you give your maximum bid and the auctioneer executes it for you, at the lowest price possible. It's good because you set your maximum and can't be lulled into upping it in the heat of the action, but the downside is I have missed things I really wanted because they have gone for slightly over my maximum.


Anonymous said...

Those chairs are very stylish, what a find at auction! I'd love to go hunting for furniture at auction houses - just need to wait til I move to somewhere more permanent to buy some pieces!

Saskia /

Matthew Pike said...

i have never been to an auction, closest i've come is watching bargain hunt. i'd love to experience it though, and these two chairs are just lovely.

Buckets & Spades

Jane said...

Haha @ your dad'd definition of auctions! These chairs are a great find. I've never been to a real life auction either.

little henry lee said...

auctions sound like such a fun way to buy furniture & art and things like that, maybe it'll be something i'll get more into when i have my own place. i've only ever been to one auction before and it was an estate sale on my street but i picked up my first record player there (i was the only bidder) so i have fond memories!

little henry lee

Abi said...

I love the colour of those chairs! They look so nice! Abi :)

Maria Fallon said...

Those chairs are beautiful!

Maria xxx

Jana | One Drawing A Day said...

I'm in love with those chairs!