I enjoy participating in the antique and collectibles auctions. It was fun furnishing the Convent with quality and distinctive furniture and items of interest as well as finding lovely fittings for the shop which suited the heritage building.
Now G and I are searching out interesting items for the shop. We particularly love finding vintage buttons and other trims which also go hand-in-hand with personally knitted items.
This week I was pouring through a mixed box of buttons I had picked up at a recent auction and was delighted to find a hand-written note in a plastic bag mixed with a few different beads. It was exciting to discover that the bag appeared to contain, amongst other things, a note explaining that the red bugle beads had been used in the 1800s to decorate the bodice of gowns and belonged to the note-writer’s husband’s great grandmother’s dress. The great grandmother would have been 150 at the time the note was written and the note was written on a page from a 1976 diary. I’m pretty sure these beads will never make it into the shop for sale and we’re already planning something special in lace to do justice to them.
Additionally the writer pointed out that the amber crystals in the bag appeared to be part of a necklace. Anyway, the little bag contained delightful treasures, but none so much as the handwritten note itself.
In the meantime, we are having a great time packaging up the various buttons for the shop and imagining some of the garments that might suit these individual buttons and do them justice.
As I mentioned previously, I’m having a short break from the Convent as the floors get sanded, polished and carpeted. I’m using this time to tidy up the Sydney home to get it on the market, as well as attend some auctions to find suitable items for the Convent.
Auctions are a great way of getting quality pieces at much lower than in the shops. I love antiques (or at least vintage) pieces but the antique and collectable shop prices are often prohibitive. I follow a number of Sydney auction houses that have regular auctions. Usually around Thursday they send an email with a link to their online catalogue of sales for the weekend. The catalogue usually lists, with a picture, each item, sometimes with an approximate anticipated price range. The auctions themselves are usually held in their auction rooms on Saturday and Sunday with viewings of the items on Friday or just before the auction. You can leave an absentee bid (either at the auction house or online) if you can’t attend. I’ve been doing the occasionally during the year with some success but I’m very cautious if I have only seen the item online.
This weekend I went to viewings on Friday at Vickers and Hoad and John Williams and attended a site auction with Lawsons, with more success than usual. I’m also keen to start furnishing the Convent and I don’t have a great deal of items here.
I was thrilled with this lounge which was exactly what I was after. It is scrunchy, comfortable and generously proportioned. Whilst looking much loved, I was also pleased with how well it came up after a bit of TLC. After some quick internet research, it seems that lathering with moisturiser soap (Dove) and buffing with a dry cloth (just like washing a saddle with saddle soap) was the best approach and it’s made a huge difference. Eventually this lounge will be destined for the Chapel but in the shorter term is likely to go in the lounge room instead of the old cane furniture which was always planned for the outside porches.
One of the other big successes was a nineteenth century French brass and iron half tester bed which should look stunning on one of the guest bedrooms. Getting a mattress with it was a bonus. I’m now thinking of an interim furniture delivery to Kandos asap.
A large building such as the Convent lends itself to having a few more whimsical ornaments. This week a few beauties came my way. These two little cherubs on marble bases plus the larger work of entwined cherubs on a base.
The other success was a small but pretty one – a berry spoon and sifter to support the produce from the berry bed.