June 26, 2014

Auction Blues

I unexpectedly went to an auction Thursday. I had received the catalogue and glanced at what was on offer, so when pal David texted to say he was going, I decided to go to.

The lots that I was interested in were at the end of the auction – starting at number 414. The auctioneer can do about 100 items an hour, so with a 5:00 start, that meant my items wouldn’t even come up until 9:00. Luckily, he was a bit quicker, and after we zipped out to grab a bite for dinner, we got back at around number 360.

Just for practice, and to see if the auctioneer was paying attention to me, I bid on a lot. When it only went for $5.00 more than I bid, he chided me to keep on going. After several no’s from me, he moved on.

Lot no. 414 soon came up, and after some fast bidding, I was the proud winner of 89 +/- pieces of Booth’s Old Willow with Gold. I’ve always loved Blue Willow and really loved this set.

There are some fun pieces in this set, like the tureen above, which I just found on-line for more than $1,000!

I love the sugar bowl and its lid and finial… The gold accents really elevate the Blue Willow pattern to something special.

Lovely small platter.

Creamer or gravy boat?

I love the cups – they have the Blue Willow pattern at the bottom!

This set has at least two different marks on the bottoms. I need to check my handy-dandy source to find what years these are.

The piece on the left is from Thomas Goode in London, which still exists. All of the china desperately needs a good scrub, so when I am doing that, I will make note of the marks.

I took a short video of the auctioneer with his distinctive sing-song auction cadence. Click here.

39 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. It was a great score, especially at the price!

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  2. oh my. Never have seen this pattern! Despite the inline info I found, and the different marks on your set it is charming. You shall enjoy many a repast with your Willow. Cheers.

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    1. It's an elegant twist on the classical pattern.

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  3. What a super lot! I love willow, and you're right - the gold just lifts it. BYW, it's a gravy boat - the cream jug is portrait rather than landscape - if you get my drift!

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    1. As soon as I posted, I realized it was a gravy boat and the oval platter is the saucer.

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    2. As soon as I posted, I realized it was a gravy boat and the oval platter is its saucer.

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  4. Love the atmosphere of an auction. Truly fantastic entertainment.
    -A

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    1. It is great entertainment, and free - unless you buy something. There was a desk last night with an estimate of a few thousand. It went in a long bidding war for about $25k!

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  5. Hi Meg, I LOVE THESE PIECES! Super score.
    xoxo Mary

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  6. Good job, ma'am. That is one of my favorite patterns of long standing, so please pack up all the pieces and send them to me right away. Thanks.

    Pats to Connor.

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    1. Ha! if you weren't anon, i'd do it right away!

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  7. How does one keep gravy warm/hot in a gravy boat? Is there a trick? Do many meals these days demand gravy? A good Yankee Pot Roast I suppose. Any tips to a mouth watering Yankee Pot Roast?? Thankx.

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    1. Heat the gravy boat by filling it with hot water, and then dump the water and fill it with hot gravy. It should stay warm through much of the meal.

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  8. I love the Booth's Real Old Willow. I use mine frequently. Did you know that William Randolph Hurst used his mother's Real Old Blue Willow exclusively at his "Hurst Castle"? Thanks for inviting us for a peek. Sarah @ Hyacinths for the Soul sent me to visit. Cherry Kay

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    1. Wow! That's a great story to know. I worked at Hearst's castle in Wales.

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  9. Elizabeth SpeicherJune 27, 2014 at 10:11 AM

    Lovely purchase! And a bargain to boot! That trick with the gravy boat always works for our family with the turkey gravy at holiday times.

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    1. The gravy trick is always what our family's done. It's all in the laws of physics!

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  10. Well done. Ain't nothing like a good auction for fun and bargains. Enjoy the spoils.

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    1. There weren't a lot of bargains at this auction, but we stuck it out until the end when most people had already gone!

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  11. A fabulous score Meg! The gold makes the blue willow so so special! How fun to go with your pal David, did he make any purchases/

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena

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    1. David managed to get out of there unscathed, aside from helping me carry the items. We decided not to wrap everything, so had three boxes of china in the back of the car. Each bump made us cringe!

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  12. I, too, enjoy Blue Willow, but I've never seen it with the gold trim. Beautiful.

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    1. It really takes it up a notch, doesn't it!

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  13. Wait, Meg you went to the auction hoping to win the bid for the china and you chose not to wrap the pieces--- because you did not bring paper to wrap with or it was too late or or ???? Are you planning to love it or list it in your esty shop??

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    1. We honestly didn't think we'd stay as late as we did, and I was just going to leave a bid. Then we changed up our plans, went out to dinner and came back. I still didn't think I'd get the lot, as prices were way high. Once I won, it would have taken a while to pack it all up. It was late and we wanted to get back home, so we just chanced it.

      Listing most and keeping some!

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  14. give me a good auction + anytime + you got some great dishes xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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  15. PS -i'm not much of a gravy user -but for parties I use the gravy boat for blue cheese or ranch dressing -works great for the cruditee platter!

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  16. I guess my first comment didn't go through (so ignore my PS) - We keep a big bag full of newspapers & bubblewrap in the car for our estate sale finds. Once too often those potholes have created broken glassware (and tiny shards in the car!)

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    1. Stefan... that's a great idea. If we'd had my car, we could have wrapped it all, no problems! But we had David's Honda Element which did not have wrapping. And it's a much harder ride than my Volvo.

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  17. Delightful, Meg! I especially love the shape of that gravy boat and sugar bowl. I could never participate in a live auction without losing my head -- I get myself into enough trouble when I dabble on eBay. I get that must-win-at-all-costs brain sickness, and then when the package arrives I feel foolish for having bid so high just to win. I admire your ability to keep your cool under pressure!

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    1. Luckily, I am cheap and know when to stop!

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  18. You have excellent taste - you always find the best things!

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    1. As, shucks. You always say the nicest things!

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