Whitby Furniture Auction

By Wendy the Other Half

We have recently returned from the first part of our summer “holiday”. Obviously, getting my priorities in order, the first outing with the youngest two was a visit to the local auction rooms (it was the last few hours of viewing before the sale!)  Among the things of interest was a pair of books entitled “Images of Whitby” I had a quick look but they were limited editions so I thought they may be a little beyond my purse. Trying to be methodical, I look for all the lots I had highlighted in the catalogue but youngest child is pestering for me to come and look at a piece of furniture. Before I’ve looked at all the bits I was interested in I eventually relent and have a look. It was a rather spectacular gothic lump, exactly what we’d always envisaged in our Victorian dining room at home, but we’d never managed to find without a matching lumpy price tag. We return to the cottage and youngest drags Stuff Doer off to view the sideboard and I’m hopeful her enthusiasm is infectious. Thankfully, this worked and Stuff Doer returns with a shopping list of his own (he’d found a telescope). So just enough time for a trip to the beach before tea time and a bit of beam stripping before sale day.

I leave everyone snoring in their beds/mattresses and head off to Silver Street. My instincts about the affordability of the books proved correct, as they flew away at £700. A plastic pineapple ice bucket I had an eye on as a joke for a friend proceeded to sell for £32.!!! Things weren’t boding well, but I did manage to get the Stuff Doer’s telescope for a reasonable £18. I buy a couple of other interesting but inexpensive purchases and wait for the big one to arrive. I am successful so rush around the corner to tell everyone at home. The youngest is elated, Stuff Doer thinks I’ve paid too much, then I point out that it’s an auction, so you can only pay one bid more than everyone else thinks it’s worth and ,anyway, I was bidding against dealers. Mollified he accompanies us to pay for our purchases. I then realise I’ve managed to buy the biggest thing in the sale room!

Oh well, my Stuff Doer is nothing if not resourceful. He borrows a sack barrow from the obliging auctioneers (Richardson and Smith) and proceeds, a little percariously, down a steep ramp and then a rather steep hill to the cottage, with second youngest in tow (in case of incident) with the top half of the sideboard. I now have some serious doubts, without the top the sideboard looks much wider than it did. I wonder aloud if it will be too big for the space we have, the porter informs me that I wouldn’t believe how many times he’s heard that and it’s too late now. I reply that I’m not too worried as I’ve three reception rooms so I can make it fit somewhere. The delivery must have gone ok because Stuff Doer arrives back for the bottom half! He expresses similar doubts but trundles off with the, undoubtably much heavier, bottom half. Myself and children then take down the drawers, the telescope, a piece of jet and a small collection of dolls house furniture.

Now for the difficult bit, getting a Victorian side board of rather showy proportions into an old quaint and quirky cottage is never going to be easy but the Stuff Doer works out the angles and we somehow manage it. The top even fits on (if we position it just so between the beams) Thankfully our doubts about size are dispelled as, if it fits in the cottage dining room, it’ll definitely fit in it’s intended home even if it may cover the light switch! We’ll have to wait to find out as the sideboard is far too big to come home in the car when we’ve got the kids with us, so in Whitby it waits. Unless I can persuade the Stuff Doer to take his sack barrow with him when he goes on his own next. I can probably manage that as I’m certainly not messing around with varnish stripper on the beams when my new sideboard is sitting underneath them!

Sideboard - biggest thing in the auction

Now how to get this sideboard back out and home?

4 Responses to “Whitby Furniture Auction”

  1. Sorry Dear, I think I may have ommitted to mention there’s another sale on next time we’re there

  2. Well OK but this time SMALL and CHEAP!

  3. Is it called an ‘armoire’ or something ? No idea why and I might very well be wrong. Where was it made ?

  4. Not sure where it was made Miles. It was listed in the catalogue as an Edwardian sideboard. I think I have an armoire/converted wardrobe in my kitchen (I’ll have to ask stuff doer to take a photo)

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