Since we can’t swap stories with you at the auction house every other Friday, we want to hear your stories! Tell us about a great auction adventure you have had, or an unusual item you bought that might still be sitting on your shelf today. Tell us a funny auction story that will give us all a well deserved chuckle. To share a story, leave it in the comments and we will add it to our story blog here!
We will get it started with a story or two from Greg and Elizabeth’s days of auction hunting….
A Giraffe? Really?
– Greg & Elizabeth
“One of my favorite auction purchases to this day is a 1950’s Steiff Studio Giraffe. It stands a little over 7’ tall and resides upstairs in our house. These Steiff studio animals were used in stores like FAO Schwarz to catch attention and draw in buyers. Our giraffe is visible from our great room, when you look up over the balcony. Whenever we have company or an event at our house our giraffe catches people’s attention. Especially children, somehow they always look up and they are immediately drawn to the giraffe. They begin looking around trying to figure out “How do I get up there?” Often times I will watch a 4 or 5 year old quietly slip away from mom or dad and bravely start making the trek upstairs to visit the giraffe.
Our Giraffe had the same affect 25+ years ago, when Elizabeth and I saw this him coming up for auction in Boston Massachusetts. As soon as we saw him, we knew we had to have him. We placed a bid and won, then made another crazy overnight trip in our GMC pickup. With the giraffe riding comfortably in the back we made it back to the valley safely and we found a new home for this fun addition to our home.”
“How do we get this thing home?”
– Greg & Elizabeth
“This photo is of a horse drawn water wagon that we purchased in upstate New York back in the early 90’s. A farm museum was selling out and they had a two day auction with loads of great stuff. I had a 1988 GMC 1500 pickup at the time and didn’t even think about how we were going to get this wagon home when I bought it. Fortunately one of the guys from Martin Carriage auctions from Pennsylvania was there and offered his expertise loading. He assured me that he had moved plenty of wagons on the back of a pickup and that we would be fine. They helped get it loaded and strapped down and sure enough we didn’t have any problems during the 8 hour drive home. It wasn’t until a week or so later when I had the truck at the shop that I found out we had ruined the shocks because we so overloaded. That is when I first realized that there was a difference between a 1500 model and a 2500 model truck.”
One day he called me from an auction and told me to bring him a 1,000$ check
– Geneva & Robert Toth
“My husband loved to go to auctions. One day he called me from an auction and told me to bring him a 1,000$ check to pay for a combine- a big red combine! I asked him why since we lived on a one acre lot. He said it was for my brother in Virginia. We lived in Ohio. I mentioned the cost to take it to Virginia would be more than the cost of the combine. That didn’t bother him at the time. The next day we had to bring the combine home. It was 15 miles away. We got the okay from the police and took our truck, car and 16 year old son to bring the combine home. He took the lead with the truck, then our son drove the combine and I followed in the car. However, the combine would only go 5 miles an hour. After about an hour at that pace my husband worked on it & got it up to around 10 miles an hour. People and dogs came out to watch this parade all the way home. We parked it in our back yard for 3 months. He put ads in all the farm papers & eventually sold it making a $300 profit. However he earned the money- suffering all the laughter from the family & neighbors & a few rather upset remarks from me!!! Didn’t stop him from going to auctions!!”
“It’s still my favorite piece in my home!”
– Michaela Bragg
“I bought an original painting from a GV auction (I was totally drawn to it the instant I saw it during Preview!), and when I went to load it in my car, I found an artist’s note on the back—we share the same birthday, almost 100 years apart! It’s still my favorite piece in my home!”