03 May 2019

The Neighbor’s Auction

Welcome back. Welcome back to me, too. It’s been a while since I did more than tweak and transfer posts to this blog website from my other website, Warren’s Notice, which I’ll be shutting down.

Now that I’m back, I’ll continue to review research of general interest in a mostly non-technical way; but as in the past, I’ll also get into all sorts of other things that I hope you’ll also find of interest, like today’s topic.

A neighbor just held an auction. The only other auction I’d witnessed was nearly 50 years ago, and that was nothing special. This one was a big event. As an auctioneer website advertised, it offered the largest collection of beautiful carriages around, as well as many unusual items you will never see again on an auction.

A few of the antique horse-drawn carriages and sleighs being auctioned.
The Auction’s Background
The neighbor, Bernie, was a collector. He began planning the auction a year or more ago having decided that, on reaching his 80th year, he would clean house. Atop his and the auction list were about 30 antique horse-drawn carriages and sleighs, which he had acquired around the country, carefully restored and proudly showed at area parades.

Not being auction-goers, we wouldn’t have known about it if he hadn’t invited Vicki to add items for auction when she sought his advice about disposing of two old tractors and other farm equipment.

Although Bernie passed away several weeks before the auction, his family worked with two auction companies to pull off the day-long event in style despite the mud and chilly weather.

People started to gather early for the auction. Note the two white pickup truck enclosures. Each would house the auctioneer from one of the two auction companies.
Auction Logistics
Drive down to the church parking lot
or park on one side of any of the
roads around the auction site.
In addition to borrowing the neighborhood’s church parking lot, the family and helpers posted No Parking signs on one side of the road throughout the area. That would ensure space for two tractor-pulled hay wagons to travel a circuit, picking-up and dropping-off people wherever they parked.
One of two tractor-pulled hay wagons circling the area to pick up and drop off auction-goers.
The total attendance was likely around 600 people. Well over 300 registered to receive bidder numbers, and many bidders were accompanied by others. 
The Lions Club volunteers’ food stand.
I expect that a sizable number of people stopped by, as Vicki and I did, for a look at what was being auctioned. Still others brought their lawn chairs and made a day of it. To facilitate the latter, Lions Club volunteers erected and staffed a food stand and two porta-potties were available. Adding to the attendee list, of course, were Bernie’s family and helpers and the auctioneers’ staff.
A load of miscellaneous items ready to be auctioned off.
Auctioneer (in pickup truck enclosure on right) calling for bids on items shown by two men, one standing high in front and, off his left arm, the other standing in back.
Carriages and Sleighs
So as not to overload this blog post, I’ll illustrate a few more carriages and sleighs and hold examples of other auctioned items for a separate blog post. I’ll try to have that post ready by next Tuesday. I hope you’ll be back.

Horse-drawn carriages and sleighs on display.
Three horse-drawn carriages, including a U.S. Mail buggy (left).
Horse-drawn curved-glass hearse and sleigh and a junior Ford Model T.
Though not a carriage or sleigh, this horse-drawn dairy wagon was equally impressive.


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