Gretel's Treasures

Follow her hunt for vintage jewelry and other treasures

Gretel Goes Mudbogging February 8, 2013

Trunk shot

Trunk shot

No, not really, just trying to come up with a catchy title, though I did come home covered in mud, my black leather shoes caked in brown. It seemed like perfect auction hunting conditions. Tuesday had been dry (good for people laying out their things the day before). Wed. was sunny, a bit on the cool side (30s and 40s) and I was up early good to go. As you may remember, I have a few different auction options on Weds, the field, the building and jewelry. I hadn’t been out to the field since Jan. 9th, and my supplies were actually running low. I needed to find something, unfortunately, I can’t set out looking for anything specific. I never know what will be available.
I’ve been selling online full time for over a year now. I’ve had a chance to see what is most and least profitable. (unfortunately, jewelry is least profitable) For now, here in Maryland in the winter, the auction field is my best and very good option. I’ve sold a lot of the stuff I bought back in January, so I arrived early, 8:30 before the auction started and wandered the field, up and down aisles looking for things that seemed interesting. Things I’m really interested in now are needlework kits, furs, figurines, and art glass. I also am looking for anything weird, vintage, or item specific, an item that someone is searching for everyday on ebay. (I have about 15-20 searches for items on ebay every day at any given time)

Lefton Bunny, Italian Hedgehog, peacock glass compote

Lefton Bunny, Italian Hedgehog, peacock glass compote

There was lots of great stuff this week . What I am looking for is a long line of odds and ends that I can put together to create a lot. I found a vintage straw bag I liked with bugs embroidered on it. That is a fantastic starting point. So I carried that and came across a pair of new purple reptile skin boots made in Argentina. Woo hoo. To that I added some glass canisters, a snow globe, a pretty peacock blue glass compote, some cruets with stoppers, and a bunch of odds and ends. This was a pretty large pile, but I was happy with it (I was feeling rich and willing to spend more than 10.00) Left the pile (the auction hadn’t started remember) and continued stalking my prey.
I found a cool metal cable car (1970s sculpture) and started walking with that looking for more items to add to it, found some hand made soap, and bamm, the owner of the items came down on me hard for walking around with them. Well. Some of the sellers don’t know how this auction works, but also, I might have left his lot and moved on to the next one not knowing where one stopped and the other started. I apologized, and gave them back to him (not enough to create a lot for me)…I continued in this manner, making little piles as I went along. I often forget where I have left the little piles, and sometimes I just decide I found something more interesting.
Going back to the first lot, with the straw bag and boots, I got that for 30.00. I was happy with that. I’ve learned, in general I should never pay more than 40.00 for something. Don’t know why that’s a magic number, but whenever I pay more than that I end up getting stupid stuff.
Found a cast of pelvic bones, some Holland wooden clogs, and a bunch of glasses, but I bailed out after 10.00. It was stupid stuff. I found a large box of carefully wrapped ??? somethings. I unwrapped 3 and found them to be owl figurines. People really like owls. All over the world. I assumed the whole box was someones owl collection and put the box aside. (there were actually 2 boxes of owls, but someone else wanted the other one, I pick my fights)…The first box of owls sold for 50.00, my box was up next, and I got it for 30.00. When I got home I unwrapped one to find it was a Boehm porcelain from England. (pretty good stuff)

Purple boots, straw bag, aqua owl

Purple boots, straw bag, aqua owl

My last lot in the field was definitely putting me in hog heaven. A long line of vintage trinkets. Imagine a flea market, where you walk down the aisle, pick up everything that you like, and then get to take it all home really cheap. I started out with a lart chalkware French Bulldog bank (around 15” high) I put him in a box and walked around looking for other goodies. Lots of figurines. Blown glass paperweights. A covered glass duck dish with glass eyes, dog figurines, my weakness. I looked at other peoples piles of stuff and had stuff envy. One person had a large box of just blown glass paperweights. The rule is, once someone has made a pile, you are not allowed to take stuff from their pile, unless you bid on it individually. Fights have been known to break out over this rule. I’m a big rule follower, so I don’t mess with other peoples lots, though you are allowed to poke through them and bid against them. I’ve never done that before, but it could be a pretty good strategy, let other people do the messy hunter gathering thing, then you cleanly swoop in and out bid them. I got this third lot for 30.00. I do well selling small items in lots online, this way my price is higher than selling each little dustcatcher by itself. In general, I won’t sell an item/lot online for less than 20.00

jewelry haul for the day

jewelry haul for the day

But Gretel, what about the jewelry? Yes I made it inside in time to go grubbing through all the cases, seeing what was broken, what was great and what I could live without. Remember, there is no logic to me selling jewelry, it’s not that profitable, but what girl doesn’t like diamonds, er rhinestones? Remembering that I said I should stay away from the precious stuff, I was going to concentrate on costume jewelry. There was some really awful stuff. However I saw a few things I loved, a large rhinestone pin from Austria (got it), 3 rhinestone cat scatter pins (got it). And a large sterling Trifari pin with colored glass cabochons (along with a sterling crown pin and another pin) I dropped out at 150.00. Didn’t I tell you I get stupid over 40.00. Granted the trifari pin was worth more than 150.00, but I didn’t know how high this other person would go. I really wanted that pin. (and the crown, I should have pulled the crown out separately, I might have gotten that, but they don’t sell for that much and it was not a trifari crown)
I still got to be stupid. I bid on 2 lots of sterling jewelry. I think they both went for 50.00. And I was stupid. I walked out of there, called my hubby, and said I was stupid. This is all a learning experience. At least with the silver I can take it back next week, and get most of my money back. I got a fantastic silver pin/pendant with a turquoise seahorse in it, turned out the seahorse’s tail was broken. ACH! I also bought 4 bracelets for 50.00, one was broken (it needs a jump ring but I don’t have the right size), one is stupid (word for the day) and one was muddy. I don’t know.

Jewelry Keepers

The great news is that in the costume jewelry lots I got a 14K necklace stamped Italy. 14k. Doesn’t seem right that they can stamp that on a piece of jewelry and lie. No it’s not 14K, it just says it is. Unless 14k rubs off on the edges revealing a lighter shade underneath. Maybe it really is 14k.
Thanks for reading my blog, please recommend it to your friends. I’m trying to keep it fun and informative. Gotta go and clean those shoes now.


3 Responses to “Gretel Goes Mudbogging”

  1. Todd Hughes Says:

    Sounds like you did pretty good! I think I did too. Missed out on a few things because I couldn’t be in two places at once but that’s how it is. I thought prices were pretty reasonable for a change

    Really enjoy your blog ….think I might buy something from you soon! ; )

  2. Robin Wood Kurowski Says:

    Thank you! I really enjoy reading your posts and look forward to getting them!


    On Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 10:25 PM, Gretel’s Treasures wrote:

    > ** > Gretels Treasures posted: ” Trunk shot No, not really, just > trying to come up with a catchy title, though I did come home covered in > mud, my black leather shoes caked in brown. It seemed like perfect auction > h”

  3. I am living vicariously through your blogs Gretchen…Many days I am unable to stalk with wild junk in the fields of Crumpton… I feel in the loop reading about your adventures… Only the strong survive.

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