Sunday, July 3, 2011

Unit 14: Boomer Collectors

Stoneware bottles - the left and right ones are from the mid-1800s and held ginger beer. Not sure of the age or use of the middle one.

Some of those boxes sitting in my garage.

Most of the games from the unit. These will be perfect for our booth at "the flea."

This bottle is from 1963. The labels were wrapped in cellophane for protection and the bottle itself was wrapped in newspaper from 1976, as are all the other bottles I've seen so far.

On the 4th Friday of each month, there are a set of 6 successive auctions pretty near each other and 3 of them work very well for me time-wise and location-wise. On June 24th, my brother, his friend BW and I headed out to those 3 auctions. The first location only had one unit and it wasn't too appealing. The second had 2 units and we bid on one but hit our price limit before a fellow bidder so we walked away with nothing. At the final auction, I was beginning to think we wouldn't get anything. Few units and about 20-30 competitors at each auction wasn't a fruitful situation.

We found out at the third spot that there were 2 units but they were both owned by the same person. It's best in this situation to pick up both units in case, say, a set of furniture has some pieces in each. So, we all traipsed up to the second floor of the warehouse and they opened the first unit. Pretty small, I think 5' X 5'.

Looking inside, I was very interested. You could see lots of games and paintings and lots of smaller boxes that had been packed up long ago. We couldn't see too many descriptions on the boxes, but what we could see suggested the contents were not housewares like furniture or kitchen stuff. In fact, the unit was very appealing because it looked like there was no furniture, no personal items, only collections and collectibles. And, all the stuff we could see looked like it was collected by baby boomers. To me, that means these items were older and would be desired by 50+ folks with some disposable income who wanted to reclaim their youth.

Then they opened the second unit. Similar in contents, but very little stuff was actually inside. Only maybe 15 boxes and a few paintings.

I wanted this unit and fully intended to pick it up. It seemed tailor-made for us. Plenty of collectibles to sell on eBay and also to put in the booth we rented June 1 at a multi-dealer location connected to a flea market (more on this in a future post). There were only a few others interested in the unit so we were able to pick it up for a decent price.

I paid up and the clear-out commenced. As we emptied it out, we kept ooh-ing and ahh-ing. It was like Christmas. After going through the games, we found a miniature, antique printing press in one box. Then we started finding boxes of bottles. Lots. of boxes. of bottles. Christmas stuff. Antique books. Lionel trains in their original boxes from 1952. Track for the trains. Milk glass. China. Paintings. It was a lot of fun to empty the unit so we could see what the next box held. I kept calling Skip to tell her about the things we'd found.

I can't wait to find out what's in the rest of those boxes!

I walked away from this unit knowing we'd recoup our money by quite a bit. But, the reality is that there are so many individual items, such as the bottles, that it will take quite a bit of work to sell it off. Over the last week, I've learned a lot about antique beer bottles and began listing them for auctions starting today. I expect it will take a number of weeks to get them all listed. Crikey, I haven't even made it through 10% of the boxes yet!


  1. and she scores! Bottles old bottles are so neat. Wonder what else you are going to find?


  2. Nice! You'll let us know what else was in there, won't you?

  3. Jan and Zoomer - I am pretty excited to find out. I'll do another post about the stuff that's unearthed. Personally, I'm hoping there's an antique book or two with value.

    - Cranky

  4. I hope there are some great finds in there! I await the list of good stuff.


  5. Jan - sorry no update on the contents yet. Still trying to get thru all those boxes. Will post this weekend. Thanks for checking in!

    - Cranky