I had the opportunity recently to go to my first ever live auction. I know that may not seem like anything incredibly exciting, but this junk-loving girl was pretty fired up.

Larry R. Williams Auctions up in Northwest Arkansas holds an annual New Year’s Day auction, and from what I could gather, it seems to be the time when the auction house lets go of some of its best items.

 

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My family and I were in NW Arkansas over the holiday break visiting family, and as usual, I took the opportunity while up there to look around for some treasures.  I stumbled on the Auction House online and was so excited to see there would be a live auction held while I was in town.

Now Northwest Arkansas isn’t Dallas . . . so this auction was definitely a lively, country-affair.  I did get the chance to introduce myself to Mr. Williams and one of his workers on preview day, and when I came back for the auction I was labeled “That girl from Dallas.”  Not counting the teenagers who were dragged there by their parents, I was for sure the youngest person in the room 🙂

 

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So what types of things were there?  Well, there were lots of old advertising signs, a huge table full of vintage toys, glassware, art, primitives, and even a few furniture pieces.

Here are a few of the things that caught my eye . . .

 

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This celebratory banner was from the 1890’s–how cool is that?

 

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This is a cabinet that held different sizes of springs. The patina on the wood and brass was amazing.

 

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This feed trough was pretty incredible.  Imagine it filled with flowers out on your porch!

 

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There were a ton of great, old wooden crates, along with quite a selection of vintage hats.

 

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I was drawn to this giant cake tin hiding on the floor under a table.

 

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And if you’ve ever watched American Pickers, I’m sure you will know that the set of oil bottles with carrier next to the cake tin is quite a find!  I believe the set ended up selling for over $200.

I also loved this set of small cloissonne containers.

 

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Aren’t those colors stunning?

My father-in-law came with me to the auction, and he educated me on a few pieces.  This piece is a primitive corn sheller.

 

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I told him he could use my bidder number if he wanted to bid on it.  Since he grew up on a farm in Iowa though, he said he’s shelled enough corn in his lifetime and wasn’t interested in ever shelling anymore 🙂

I really enjoyed the auction itself.  I was a little nervous about not knowing all the right things to say and do, but it was a very friendly place and pretty relaxed.  There were obviously some people there who were “professionals,” and others like me just looking around for some neat things.  From what I could tell, the real, collectible pieces went for way higher than what I would expect–often two to three times more than what I see pieces like that selling for at my antique mall.  The things that were purely fun and decorative were much more affordable, and if you were a fan of any of those old hats I showed you . . . well, you could have scored any of those for around $.50 a piece!

I think my favorite part of the whole event though was meeting this couple from Virginia who has come to this New Year’s Day auction for 30+ years.

 

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And even more fun, they were celebrating their 63rd wedding anniversary 🙂

So what did I come home with?  Well, I only made it through the first half of the auction, and most of what I was interested in wasn’t going to come up until closer to the end. I did manage to win a few little treasures though, like this lot of vintage kitchen linens for $7.

 

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It was the little embroidered dogs that caught my eye.  It wasn’t until I got home and looked through the pile that I really saw rest of the embroidery work, some of it very delicate and dainty.

 

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And while I didn’t win the set of 3 small cloissonne jars, I did win this one, larger piece.

 

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My last win was the one thing I walked into the auction knowing for sure I wanted . . . the cake tin.

 

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It was a steal at $13.

While I don’t think hunting for finds at auctions will become a regular thing for me, I sure did have fun at this one. I was able to spend some quality time with my father-in-law, meet some very nice people, and see some really neat pieces. All in all, a great way to start off the new year.

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