My First Auction

Sharing is caring!

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.




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 🙂




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 . . .




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




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




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




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




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




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.




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.




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.




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.




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.




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




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




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.





the gleason board. | q is for quandie.

Friday 22nd of January 2016

[…] and Found Decor (the blogger who spearheaded Monday’s Fusion giveaway) recently wrote about her trip to the auction house.  Reading it reminded me of one of my favorite auction stories, so I decided I should share it […]

Linda from q is for quandie

Monday 11th of January 2016

I have an auction house just a couple of blocks away and they hold auctions every Monday evening. The auctioneer is incredibly entertaining, so it's worth going just to enjoy his banter. But I learned early on that I have two problems with auctions. The first is that things tend to go for more money than I want to spend (and then you have to also add in fees and tax), and the second is that my right arm has a mind of its own. It just flies up on its own accord and before I know it I've purchased something that I really am not sure about. You really have to be careful with things being sold in 'lots' too or you might end up owning an antique embalming table without realizing it (true story).


Monday 11th of January 2016

That is so funny Linda! And yes, I agree that most things tended to sell for more than what I wanted to pay.

Karen Hallmark

Saturday 9th of January 2016

I live in Dallas, but am from AR. WHERE in NWA is this held? I may travel up there next New Year's Day. BTW, I love your newsletter.


Sunday 10th of January 2016

Thank you Karen :) The auction is right outside Springdale, AR. He has other auctions throughout the year. Google Larry R. Williams auctions and you can see all that he has going on. It was really fun!

Sherry Stuifbergen

Saturday 9th of January 2016

I love the cloisonne piece! I buy any I can find. I think the piece is valuable that you bought...


Sunday 10th of January 2016

Really Sherry? How can you tell? I don't know much about cloisonne, so I would love some education.

Rebecca m

Saturday 9th of January 2016

I LOVE auctions! It's fun, exciting and very interesting and also educational! Great way to spend a few hours. Your treasures are wonderful and I hope you have fun figuring out where and how to use them. That's the most fun!!


Sunday 10th of January 2016

I agree Rebecca, it was all of those things! I wish there were more close to me that I could go to more often.

Get These 5 Furniture Painting Secrets

to help you love your next project