Gretel's Treasures

Follow her hunt for vintage jewelry and other treasures

Gretel Loves Scarabs April 18, 2013

A Day in the Auction Field

So this is what the auction looks like! A few weeks ago I finally figured out how to download pictures from my phone, and I had the brilliant idea to actually show you, so you could get an idea of the “field” experience. It was rather warm (not HOT yet) on Wed, so people were sitting around on the furniture waiting for their turn at bidding. The auctioneer drives up and down the aisles in a tricked out golf cart (might be more of a John Deere gator), with an assistant logging the sales into a laptop, and a few other assistants pointing out who is bidding on what.

There wasn’t really much of anything I was interested in, I found one owl figurine, I’ve been doing really well with owls these days, so I wanted it, but not for 10.00. I threw together some vintage clutch handbags, that I’ll sell as a lot, a couple of chef’s knives, an old tray and coasters and a bunch of stained glass suncatchers (another lot I’ll put together)…funny thing is, that’s all I wanted, but nobody would bid on the rest of the stuff lying around, so the auctioneer threw in a whole bunch of junk. I don’t take junk. (I have enough already, thank you). There are a lot of Amish at the auction, one gentleman came up and offered me a dollar for some kind of wrench. “T” was with me and authorized the sale of said wrench. Another person started asking me if I was interested in this or that? (no,please take it). “T” started poking around the tool looking stuff and picked out 3 locks for me to sell, and a bunch of hose clamps to give to my husband. (When I told DH about extras, I couldn’t remember what they were called, then I woke up this morning and told him here are your hose clamps! Where’d that come from? He also could use the locks)

That was it for the field. I had stopped in the jewelry on the way and saw a few things that interested me. So I went back in for a closer look. No rhinestones. Jewelry is getting very hard to buy, and I’m bummed out about it. As the reigning rhinestone princess I really wish they would accommodate my addiction, er interest, by having more. There were a few scarab bracelets, so I decided to stick around for them.

Wandering around the building I found the cutest ceramic dog. One of the things I collect, little dogs (also little horses and little glass animals) Particularly smoosh faced dogs and Staffordshire poodles. (not usually the ‘real” ones)…so look at this darling little poodle I acquired:

Ceramic Poodle

She kind of has an odd expression on her face, but she’s mine! I was almost run over by the auctioneers cart (actually I was hit) trying to get her. Inside the auctioneer sits on this little truck that gets pushed around. And when they say watch out for the cart they mean it. Unfortunately, I was next to the cart and had no where to go when it started moving. That’s okay, a few bruises were worth it to acquire this puppy.

Back at the jewelry counter, I got my phone out and took more pictures for you. First up is a picture of the “cases” that you can bid on. They go for anywhere from 10.00-150.00 depending on who wants it. This is one example, unfortunately I don’t remember what it went for:

Example of Jewelry Case

I think it went for about 25-40 dollars. There was one I was interested in but I dropped out at 50.00. You tend to accumulate a lot of junk jewelry when buying these cases. The one I was interested in had a lot of decent vintage jewelry, some thermoset and beaded necklaces. But I just can’t deal with more stuff right now.

Here’s an example of one of the cases with the “precious” jewelry in it. This case is where I stood during the auction. They slide small black velvet trays of costume jewelry along on top of this case. When they’re done with the costume jewelry, they then sell these items individually or in small lots:

Precious Jewelry Case

I didn’t get a lot this week, not in quantity. I got a Karu rhinestone set, earrings and a pin:

Karu Rhinestone Set

I was standing next to a couple and heard a funny story. (Remember I wasn’t there last week)….She said she came last week and was told by Miss H (who runs the jewelry auction section) not to stand in a certain spot, because that’s were Gretel stands! LOL…I have arrived in the auction world. I have an assigned spot.
Anyway, back to reality, I was bidding on a sterling scarab bracelet, older, and she outbid me. I was bummed, but this is business. (they were buying up tons of silver, like all the silver rings) And she offered to sell it to me for 30.00 when she realized I had wanted it. (at 30.00 I’m pretty much past the profit making part, but I really liked these scarabs)….so I accepted and quickly gave her the 30.00

Sterling Scarab Bracelet

These are really nice older scarabs, hand carved with lots of detail. I’ll probably put a high price on them, in case a collector wants them but otherwise keep them for myself.

Here’s a nice art glass bracelet I got:

Art Glass Bracelet

I like the way they swirled the colors so consistently. These are pretty large cabochons.

Finally I got a small lot of gold filled scarab jewelry. Yay. 2 were signed symmetalic, which was made by WE Richards. symmetalic jewelry was the better end of the company, making sterling and gold over sterling jewelry. Probably during WWII. WE Richards is another type of jewelry I collect. Here is the scarab bracelet and pin I got. (also another gold filled scarab bracelet)

2 scarab braceletsSymmetalic scarab pin

Why do I like WE Richards jewelry so much? Years ago (like 20!) my husband gave me a WE Richards scarab bracelet from a local jewelry store in Delaware County PA. It was really unusual, banded agates (possibly dyed?), the following year, he gave me another WE Richards scarab bracelet, this time in sterling, from the same store. I don’t know why but the name stuck in my head. Now I have quite a collection I’ve acquired from antique malls and Ebay and Etsy. Just one of those things. So now, I can pretty much look at a piece, the way the clasp is and recognize it. Cute story.

I’ve come to the end of my report. Hope you’ve enjoyed this weeks installment, and I’ll see you next time!

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4 Responses to “Gretel Loves Scarabs”

  1. Todd Hughes Says:

    I really think we should of held out for $5 for that wrench but those Amish are so cheap… Except when they are selling it to you!
    I should have taken all the screws and hardware but I didn’t want to fool with it
    Oh, Thanks for the Pearls!

  2. Thank you! This brightens my day …. I really enjoy reading this…. especially the scarabs! xoxoxo Robin

  3. Susan Harris Says:

    interesting blog..have you check out vintage and antique tools lately..omg!! I bought a book at Christmas and I was shocked..picked it up at Barnes and Nobles…unreal prices…before you give them away better check them out.. Susan, Jewels by Design

    • Todd Hughes Says:

      I’ve sold several Patented wrenches in the past for over $1,000. While some wrenches can be worth some bucks most are not, you want to look for ones that are unusual or very small, can be a difference of several $100 between a 4 inch and 6 inch wrench. The one at the auction was a pexto “monkey” wrench pretty common and probably a $5 wrench on eBay. At the flea market $5-10


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