The auction business is never boring. There’s always an unexpected treasure around the next corner. But with time, what interests us can and does, change. I married into the auction business in the late 80’s. The intrinsic value of antiques and the excitement certain rare pieces created made me an instant fan. Every piece had it’s own story and more than once I’ve imagined what that story could be. Intricate small glass drink ware or elaborate porcelain china sets would bring hundreds of dollars. Today, with a faster pace of living and a society that demands instant response, information and service, the days of valuing a leisurely drink with your best glassware or a fancy formal dinner with the entire china set on display is a thing of the past. So it should not be surprising that those items in particular aren’t the most popular in today’s auctions. What is the future of all the beautiful treasures that represent hours of skilled artisans talents?
Recently, we held an auction for a family who obviously had a good eye for beautiful and unique items. One table in particular was loaded with a collection of cranberry glass. Beautiful? Yes. In high demand? Lately, no. Once the auction got started, the first item was a heavy cranberry glass cruet set and it soared to $300. “Smalls” as we call them did very well that day. My heart was happy that for one sunny afternoon in a backyard in Idaho, people were there to appreciate these old treasures once again, just like the good old days.