One of my favourite parts of being freelance is the unexpected mid-week days off that I often get to spend with my parents indulging in some of the much loved hobbies of the retired. I love nothing more on a Tuesday afternoon than meeting them at an auction house to pick out a beautiful antique at what I’ll hopefully get at a bargain price. Drinking watered down coffee from polystyrene cups and watching my dad excitedly jot down the selling prices of things that sell way below or above their estimate, it has always been one of my favourite ways to spend an afternoon.
Our favourite auction house to visit is Chiswick Auctions. Having undergone a bit of a re-vamp last year it still holds all of its original charm but has more of a showroom feel for viewing pieces before they go under the hammer. When my mum first suggested that we should check out their fashion sale I was quite reluctant, assuming it would be full of vintage shop rejects and trunks of bric-a-brac, but boy was I wrong!
On entering the showroom I was bowled over by the boutique feel of it all. Accessories were grouped in cabinets by brand. Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Prada to name a few and mannequins were adorned in Ossie Clark originals and Marni fur. There was an entire rail of Chanel boucle suits and more Louis Vuitton luggage than Kimye would know what to do with!
You have to get a top price decided on before you start to bid, keeping in mind that the auction house will add on a further 20% commission to the buyer on top of the final selling price. I also found that a quick scan of Vestiaire proved useful in establishing the items second-hand value. As long as you keep your head though and don’t get swept up in the excitement of it all there are some serious bargains to be had. I purchased this gorgeous Louis Vinton black epi bag and a 90’s Gucci bamboo bag for next to nothing. Unfortunately for me they’re now been tucked away for Christmas.
If you’re not free during the week to attend the sale you can also bid online or telephone. I’d advise attending one of their viewing days though beforehand to check the items condition. Their next fashion sale is on the 7th December just in time for Christmas. I’ll be seeing you in the front row.