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Saturday, April 3, 2021

How an online auction works and the story of a beautiful French provincial chest

Wanting to know more about how to bid on an online auction?  We have information how you can get involved in the process. 

Remember when I said yesterday I would tell you the story of my most cherished piece, the French provincial chest?  Well, today I decided it was time to tell you her story... 

Mr. Vintage and I started watching online auctions several years ago, but we were new to the whole idea of it.  We would look, see really unique pieces and then never bid.  We had never heard of online auctions, until hubby found them, and were hesitant to try.  What if it was a scam?  Could we trust their photos?  What sorts of homes were these pieces coming out of?  I had a lot of questions... 

We would see these beautiful pieces and shake our heads at some of the prices they were selling for, but we were too chicken to actually make a move.  One evening we were watching an online auction where hubby showed me the most beautiful chest I had ever seen.  I was jumping for joy on the inside and he saw the huge grin on my face when he showed it to me.  I was so excited, and nervous at the same time!  I knew deep down in my big old mushy furniture lovin' heart I wanted that piece, but... you recall all of my worries from above?  

I had more worries... would it be in good shape?  Did the people who own it smoke?  Have you ever tried to get the smell of smoke from a piece?  It is terrible!  Was the piece clean?  So many questions... and I asked myself all of these questions and more... The pictures looked like it was in very good shape, but have you ever looked at homes for sale online?  The pictures make some of these homes look lovely and then when you show up for the appointment, you are like where did the home I viewed online go?

You can see we purchased it before we completed any updates in the dining room.

On this same evening, I was looking at a set of nightstands with the same auction house, but a different auction.  I decided I did not want to go any higher on them, and bailed (still chicken)... they were by a name brand, but newer and I decided name brand does not always mean quality since I could not see close ups of the nightstands.  We look for dovetail drawers, solid wood, something with age to it... so then Mr. Vintage said we are getting the chest, final decision...  You love it, and it is your style... the nerves set in... was this the right decision?   

I will give you a little background about online auctions.  In the past, they would give you information about the person's items being auctioned off. This particular auction indicated the woman was in her 90's and moving to assisted living... I actually felt bad about trying to buy her items, but then hubby said maybe she needs the extra money for assisted living, it is expensive so that lessened my feelings about it since I felt like I was helping someone.  

Do you recall me telling you how competitive Mr. Vintage is?  Well, he decided we would keep going until we won the piece, great plan, huh?  The bids are set in $5.00 increments, once it hits a certain amount (I have found it is usually $100.00), it automatically goes to $10.00 increments...  With online auctions, you typically pick up the following evening after you have won your item.  You will receive an email the morning of pick up directing you to the location where your lovely vintage finds can be found... 

Now, do you recall me saying I am cheap?  We passed what I was comfortable paying.  It was between us and one other person who continued to bid... did I also mention you can usually tell when you are bidding against someone who resells?  They are not always willing to go as high as someone who wants it for their personal collection.  At this point, we were still new to this whole thing, and had no idea who was on the other side of the computer bidding up my have to have it chest!

I was thinking we should bail, but of course, he said no... onward and upward...   I said nope, I do not want to go any higher... I'm out... Hubby decided he was not taking no for an answer!  He logged onto his computer and continued with the increasing of the bids...  I walked away, when I get nervous, I leave the room, this also is my go to for scary movies too... 

Mr. Vintage made this jewelry box, I added the mercury glass knobs.  

Well, obviously we ended up with the piece, finally!  The next morning, we received our email with the address we needed to go to to pick up my wonderful, vintage, French provincial goodness!  All day at work, I kept thinking about the chest and wondering if we made the right decision.  We were still wet behind the ears when it came to this sort of thing... we show up, saw the front door open, so we walked up to the home, and walked in... I looked around the living room and decided we definitely made the right decision and I wished I would have bid on more pieces... her home was spotless, well loved, and cared for! 

A guy yells, hey, you are not supposed to be in the house!  We were startled, we had never gone to a home for pick up before and were still new to this whole process.  We explained this to him and he said oh, well, you walk around the back of the house, get checked out on the patio, and we have movers here to help get you loaded.  Little did we know how awesome it is to have help to load!  

Stained glass lamp my Mom purchased for me one year as a birthday gift. 

Not every auction has movers available, but this one did which was a blessing in disguise because this baby is HEAVY!  Oh, I failed to mention the chest also came with a nightstand too!  Good thing the movers loaded, because we were unsure how we would be able to get both pieces in the car.  Both the chest and nightstand have curved sides, something you do not see much of these days... so it is difficult to fit curves in square areas (back of our SUV).  

An hour later, we were home with our lovely French provincial chest and nightstand!  Here is where the real work started... we both looked at each other and were like okay, now what?  We were able to unload the nightstand, no problem.  Despite it's size, it is still a heavy piece, but nothing in comparison to the chest!  Mr. Vintage slid out the chest and was able to get it upright with a little help from me.  

Moonlight path candle and candle stick from my dear friend Sarah.

We began by pulling every drawer out and carrying it inside and placing them on our dining room floor.  Then the actual bones of the chest was next.  We decided it would be best if one of us carried the bottom and the other the top.  Not so bad... we got it to our dining room and stopped there. 

We decided we had enough excitement for one night and would wait until the next evening to tackle getting her upstairs.  We carried all of the drawers up to our bedroom, easy peasy... then came the actual chest...  Mr. Vintage took the top and me, the bottom, he thought it would be best for him to pull and me to push.  We get half way up and he looses his grip, the chest comes down and hits my head.  It was one of those Tom & Jerry cartoon moments when you see stars and shake your head... I was a little star struck... but couldn't stop there and had to keep moving...  finally, this beautiful, piece was up the stairs!  The rest was smooth sailing afterwards... thank goodness for that!  

Christmas ornament with eucalyptus leaves 

You know I love sprinkling all sorts of details throughout our home, it is what makes it ours and have found we really enjoy being surrounded by items that have meaning to us.  I used the Christmas ornaments as décor at our wedding reception.  I still find them every now and then at Hobby Lobby and continue to pick them up.  If you have seen other photos of our home, you will see I use them all over.

The candle and candle stick seen above was gifted to me by my dear friend Sarah, she has since passed, but I will always hold onto these pieces.  Since the day she gave them to me, they have been displayed in my bedroom.  Who knew all these years later, I would have lavender accents in our bedroom? 

My Mom has always known my love for stained glass.  She went on vacation one year and brought back that piece for me.  I was over the moon when she gave it to me, again, who knew lavender would be in our bedroom years later?   

The painting I found while visiting a friend in North Carolina, it also has lavender in the painting.  Isn't it funny how everything comes together with no planning at all?  I am a collector, and I never know how a room will come together until I begin placing pieces in our home.  I sprinkle a little of this, and a little of that... I am not one for matchy, matchy... it is not my personality and I love having a more curated look.

Sometimes when I make a purchase, I have no idea where it will go in our home, I only know I love the piece.  I am also not one to follow trends.  I just know what I love and fill our home with it.  If you follow this advice, you will enjoy being at home and never want to leave. 

Dog mom... always having a sidekick who wants to be in the thick of what I am doing.  I sat on the floor to take some photos of the details of this chest, and he decided he wanted to be in the pictures too.  So nice of him to put his rear up right at the time I snap the photo.

Another photo bomb by peanut... 

Beautiful escutcheon on every drawer

Are you as smitten as I am with this piece?  You can also see I have a vintage suitcase by our chest, and added architectural details to our wall.  

Have you ever purchased from an online auction?  What was your experience?  I would venture to say we are near experts at it.  A lot of our furniture has come from auctions.  I do love the thrill of bidding.  I start to get excited like I am vibrating on the inside... with online auctions, no need to wear your poker face, you can let all of your emotions go... kind of nice for me.  My emotions are typically written across my face, unless it comes to certain situations, then I am the best poker player ever!  Can't show your cards too early in the game.  

I hope you all enjoy your Easter weekend!  We will be making a small dinner for the two of us and peanut. 

If you would like to read more about other furniture pieces you can click links below. 


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