Gretel's Treasures

Follow her hunt for vintage jewelry and other treasures

Gretel Misses the Boat at the Auction February 22, 2013

Carved bone flying sway or snow goose

Carved bone flying sway or snow goose

No, I didn’t miss buying a boat. And the auction isn’t on the water. I signed up on Tuesday to sell some jewelry. Last week I did really well selling som Star Trek actions figures (not dolls mind you)…I have tons of so so costume jewelry, so the tradition is to recycle it back through the auction. Unfortunatetly I took my sweet time getting out on Wed. morning. As an Ebay Powerseller (woo hoo) I have an obligation to profide great service to my buyers, and I really do want to make them happy. So I spent the morning packing up their treasures, to send them to the 2 corners of the world. (USA and Australia) Stopped at McDonalds for a latte (non fact sugar free vanilla) cause I had a coupon!…by the time I got to the auction all the cases were full. Miss H. (one of the auction support folk) said “Babydoll, you’ve got to be here before 10:00, we gave your case away.” (I’m special, she calls me babydoll)…Lesson learned, come before 10:00 or come on Tuesday to set up.

There just wasn’t much exciting stuff, I know I keep saying that, I’m waiting for the rhinestone motherload to appear. One week it did appear, but a dealer from NYC swooped in and outbid everyone. (things that would normally go for 30.00 sold for 300.00!)…Someone did dump alot of jewelry this week. There were gallon size bags (each weighing over 5 pounds) being offered. about 7 of them. I told my auction friend don’t let me bid on them. There is always the hope of finding some wonderful treasure in those grab bags. Do you think I bid on them? Read on.

In the last few weeks I’ve been selling my better sterling jewelry, after I decided to concentrate on Costume. I saw a few pieces I liked, including a sterling silver Tabra necklace with stones and dangles. (google Tabra to see what she designs, you either like it or don’t, I like it) Also saw a banded agate bracelet, carnelian bracelet, and some other goodies.

As you know I’m a cheap bottom feeder. I really don’t want to spend alot of money. Gretel’s Treasures is a one person operation, and if I buy alot of stuff, it sits around for a long time before I can play catch up. There’s more to that story at the end of todays blog. Things can move really fast in the jewelry section. Everything is laid out on black velvet trays, you get to bid on 1-4 trays at a time depending on what Miss H. decides. It can move really fast. There was one tray I wanted, got it mixed up and ended up bidding on the wrong stuff (which I also did last week)…Fortunately, I made a small scene and Auctioneer P. said no problem we’ll just run it again. Then when the tray I wanted came up full of hair ornaments, I got outbid….que sera sera….I did get a nice tray with a beautiful red german glass necklace and bakelite. (I don’t know anything about bakelite) Here’s the necklace and bakelite:

Ruby Red GLass Bead Necklace Made in West Germany

Ruby Red GLass Bead Necklace Made in West Germany

Some bakelite, a Coro blue bead necklace and other  items

Some bakelite, a Coro blue bead necklace and other items

Also got the nice carved bone snow goose up top in a lot of jewelry. I really like that. So did I bid on the 5 pound grab bags? Of course I did. Who wouldn’t, but I was only willing to spend 15.00 for them, so I didn’t get any. I had looked at them ahead of time, and they did have vintage jewelry in them, but I was penny wise and pound foolish and let them get by. I have alot of jewelry I’m already storing, there’s this old guy who buys up everything cheap. He outbid me. How embarassing. Whenever a tray has no bidders, they give it to him for 10.00. Then I guess he brings it back to the auction, sells it, and buys it back again. It’s a very inbred thing. I did however get a 5 pound box of jewelry for 15.00! In it I found a Mirium Haskell necklace and some lesser jewelry.

Mirium Haskell necklace found in a tangled mess in a box

Mirium Haskell necklace found in a tangled mess in a box

My smartest way to buy is to bid on things individually. That’s why I want to be up front fondling all the precious glitteratti as they come up for bidding. I’ve already scoped out the cases ahead of time and looked things over and flipped them over (to see if they’re signed and if they have their pin backs). And I lucked out. I found a large Hollycraft rhinestone necklace, I pulled it from the tray, and I was the only bidder! It needs a few rhinestones, but you all remember that I am now queen of loose rhinestones. I couldn’t believe no one bid against me.

Hollycraft rhinestone necklace

Hollycraft rhinestone necklace

There were some lovely things I didn’t get. An art nouveau sterling silver and peking glass bracelet, a carnelian bracelet, a banded agate bracelet. I did get alot of work done while standing around waiting for items I was interested in to come up. I sorted through that 5 pound box of jewelry, and picked out what to keep and sell online, what to resell next week at the auction, and what to put in grab bag lots for crafts (also available online)…There were tons of boring rings, and more rings and expensive gold jewelry, while I waited for the last item, in the last case. The Tabra necklace. My personal philosophy at the auction is never spend more than 40.00 on a bid. Well this poor necklace went up to over 100.00, and I hung in there. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. I didn’t get it. But what is worse is that I was bidding against an auction buddy, it’s hard to see who’s bidding because we’re all within 10 ft of each other, it’s a blink or a nod. Anyway, we laughed about it later, agreeing it doesn’t happen that often. I even told her to check out Tabra for the info.

Which leads me to a philosophical issue on my part. I spent 127.00. Another regular dealer checked out at over 5000.00. Is it fair for me to take up “front row” space while buying so little? I do try to hunch down so people can see over me (we’re only 2 deep, but I do have the prime real estate for watching)…I felt like I should leave because I wasn’t buying alot, wasn’t but the gold and silver, and the few times I did get into the bidding I dropped out at 30-40.00. I know I shouldn’t be feeling guilty about this. But I’m really feeling like I don’t belong with the big fish. I’m the catfish of the group. The one snuffling around the bottom spitting out gravel.

Vintage Steiff Grey Mohair Poodle

Vintage Steiff Grey Mohair Poodle

European Anri Style Handcarved Nutcracker

Let me leave you with a couple of cool things that found new homes this week. First is the jointed grey mohair steiff poodle. I found him last June, and it took till now to sell him. (I didn’t want to sell him)…the bearded gentleman next to him is a hand carved and painted nutcracker that I found in the field last fall at the auction. He is a very compelling figure, about 10″ tall. Very well made. Except that he got lost on Ebay. Okay maybe I lost him. I’ve noticed things seem to be disappearing from my Ebay store, fortunately I dug around and have found the missing items. (and there are alot!) So I relisted him this week after an absence of 2 months, and he sold the next day. Yay!

Thanks for listening to me. Hope you enjoyed this weeks edition. As you can see, I’m getting better with the pictures.

Please join me again next week, you never know what I will find.


6 Responses to “Gretel Misses the Boat at the Auction”

  1. Love this!!! Thank you!!! I enjoy reading your posts and adventures so much! Robin

    On Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 7:55 PM, Gretel’s Treasures wrote:

    > ** > Gretels Treasures posted: ” Carved bone flying sway or snow > gooseNo, I didn’t miss buying a boat. And the auction isn’t on > the water. I signed up on Tuesday to sell some jewelry. Last week I did > really well selli”

  2. Todd Hughes Says:

    Sounds like you did lots better then I did. I’m pretty certain that the Swan is carved ivory but of course can’t sell ivory on eBay …so maybe it really is carved Ox Bone …wink wink!
    Hey you deserve your space up front, you staked it out! Enough with the bottom feeder talk too, ; )

  3. […] Gretel Misses the Boat at the Auction. […]

  4. GT: a great post, and i’ve reposted…thx for sharing! RT

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