Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Auction Room Thrills From Your Living Room

I bid..
I absolutely love attending auctions. I was always a little bit intimidated at the thought of going to them until I was creating items for my wedding crafts book.I needed to lay my hands on various bits and bobs to “make over” including a standard lamp stand and after fruitlessly searching attic sales and the classifieds found myself in a local auction house bidding on a few items.
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the experience, the thrill of seeing the item you want in the auction room waiting to be taken to a new home, the tense wait until your lot comes up, the fear that someone else will outbid you and (if you are lucky) the smug joy of winning something you really love (often at a knock down price)
Part of my new found love of auctions was my slight disillusionment at some of the established online auction sites which saw people passing off Primark jackets and two year old pieces of furniture as “vintage”
Auctions should offer the rare and wonderful, like a treasure trove and increasingly I found little of that on the web.
I was very intrigued then to discover Barnebys, a new website where users can search among more than 10 000 ongoing auctions from the best auction houses in the UK which includes a huge range of vintage items (and its real vintage, not four year old tat)
This is such a fabulous idea. It includes items from the best auction houses in the land including Sotheby’s, Christies and Bonham’s so as you can imagine features everything from art, furniture, clothing you name it, its on there.
Now this is another world in terms of online auctions. The pieces on this site are rare, beautiful, and often very old.
It’s akin to an online museum but if you have the money to spare you can buy the items. If you are a lover of the old and the unique it’s a total joy fest.

I could so see me wafting around in this silk robe

I spent a very happy few hours oohing and ahhing at silk robes from the 12th century (a snip at £2000) and if I ever win the lottery there is a RenĂ© Lalique Perfume Bottle and Stopper from 1919, which would look rather fetching on my dressing table (sadly the £8000 price tag made it slightly out of my league)

This would look rather fetching on my dressing table

What was interesting though was that there were some things I could afford and if I was looking for a particularly special gift such as a wedding present I would definitely have a mooch.

Oh yes perfect for those all important make up touch ups

I’ve fallen quite hard for an Elgin Art Deco Sterling Silver Compact shaped like a scallop shell which has an estimate of £70 on and as I’m on the lookout for some interesting ornaments for my garden I’ve bookmarked a set of metal railway oil lamps which are on at a starting price of £50.

I would love to hang these from the trees in my garden

If you are on the hunt for unusual collectibles, an investment piece of furniture or genuine “vintage”  jewellery its definitely worth a browse. Not a Primark dress in sight.
For more information visit
Written In collaboration with Barnebys


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