Thursday, 12 July 2012
Auction Day !
Well today I indulged another of my hobbies............buying at auctions. One of the first things I did following my retirement was attend an auction. It was something i'd always wanted to do but never had because auctions are nearly always held on weekdays and holidays were too precious to give up for such events. Anyway, I never had that much spare cash in those days, not that I have now mind you. The first purchases I made were lots involving pottery of various sorts. Job lots, boxes of miscellania, etc., mainly from house clearences. Anyway, I got lucky. I resurrected a seven year old ebay account and some innocuous pieces I bought turned out to be worth "a few quid" . I realised there was money to be made.
The interest in pottery of all types developed. The more auctions I attended, the more pottery I bought and the more I had to research it before I sold. Profits I made I ploughed back into not only buying more pottery but into expensive reference books to further my knowledge. I got good at identifying makers marks from memory, particularly studio pottery marks. This led to my starting a studio pottery collection with a focus on pottery from Devon & Cornwall. And so now my collection is valued at well over £1,000 and growing. Today I acquired another eight pieces. most of which will be sold to recover their cost but I think a couple will be finding their way into my collection again.
Inevitably the temptation has been to buy other items at auction apart from pottery. Thus I have gradually found myself bringing home antiques as well. Miners lamps, treen, Newlyn copperware, ships lamps, brass clocks, soda syphons, cloisonne vases, razors, powder flasks, cigarette boxes, an atoscope (you'll have to look that one uplike I did !) , a plessor (and that one !) have all featured as purchases.
Auctions alone were not enough and so I progressed to boot sales as a source of goodies to be sold at a profit or in the case of pottery to be added to my collection. There really is some good stuff to be found at boot sales. Trench art pieces have featured twice as purchases that have produced handsome profit. I have found that where pottery is concerned, joe public either as a buyer or a seller does not have a great knowledge where modern contemporary ceramics or studio pottery is involved. This has been greatly to my advantage. One piece I bought for £1.20p for example is worth between £90 -£120 !. Long may this situation remain.
I found that I was building such a surplus of funds that I was able to finance the purchase of all the equipment I needed to start my most recent hobby of canoing.
I started the buying/selling with a £100 float, now long since repaid and so it turns out that both my pottery collecting and canoing have in effect been self financing. Not only that but i'm having a lot of fun on the way.