I'm always looking for new adventures to share and this weekend I found a great one in Canton. Every Saturday evening, the Canton Barn holds antique auctions, starting at 7:30pm. Now, this isn't some high-brow, snooty affair. It's downright low key and a darn good time.
The item preview begins at 5:00pm. Grab a pillow at the back of the room to hold your seat. Then get a slice of homemade pie (they usually have 8-9 different flavor selections) and wait for the fun to begin.
Richard Wacht, owner and auctioneer, does a great job quickly moving through items, in language everyone can understand. None of the garbled, fast-tongued guess-speak that usually is associated with auctioneers. If you want to bid on something, you just raise your hand during the bidding and throw your hat in the ring. Runners on the stage will acknowledge your bids and it goes back and forth until the highest bidder wins. Your name is taken down and you pay with cash or check at the end of the auction (no credit cards accepted).
Here are a couple of observations...
- The majority of the crowd (about 100 people) appeared to be "regulars" and known by the staff. As first time visitors, and about 20 years younger than most of the patrons, we felt welcomed and comfortable with participating in the bidding action.
- Several items went for, what I would consider, super deals. There were several items that had a "Pottery Barn flair" that went for well less than what they would cost at an actual Pottery Barn store. It was easy to feel losers remorse when you didn't participate in bidding on an item because you felt it would go for far more than it did. I missed out on a nice dresser that went for $35 and a beautiful settee that sold for $40 because I assumed the bids would go much higher. They didn't, so I lost out on those pieces. Fortunately there are unique things available each week.
- There were collectibles and large pieces of furniture. If you look to collect certain items, or just need to furnish certain rooms of your house, you can find it at the Barn.
- Buying a piece of pie was a good investment. My tummy thanked me.
- Showing up to preview items around 6:45-7:00pm should allow enough time. We got there a little too early and had too much time to kill.
The hubby and I had a fun evening and will probably now make this a regular event. It easily beats staying home and watching a movie on the couch. Over the next couple of weeks I'm going to check out the Hartford-area auctions to see how they compare. Stay tuned...