EAST WINDSOR, CONN. — “My mother actually cried when I opted for the antiques business rather than college,” Patrick Soucy said, when reflecting back on his teenage days. At age 13 he worked for an antiques dealer in his hometown, got hooked on the business, and opened his own shop in Stafford Springs, Conn., at age 18. In 1990 Golden Gavel Auctions was founded, and today, at 149 North Road, an auction takes place every Thursday evening, year round, except for Thanksgiving week when the sale slips to Friday night.
On May 9 the gallery was a hive of activity. At 5:30 pm the walk-around sale started, with a sizable group of people outside bidding for various lots, including a large selection of poured cement garden figures (a large dog brought $150), a lawn mower, sprinklers, 22 wagon wheels and some household lots. “These are things that are salable, but really not worth moving inside to the auction,” Patrick said, adding that “the pile of things brought in $8,200 for our client.”
At 6 pm the indoor auction started with the offering of a large collection of doorstops and sadirons. The doorstops, “old, new and in-between,” were sold both individually and in box lots, with a large seated bulldog bringing the top price, $100, and the same bid bought a stop featuring three kittens in a basket. The selection of sadirons was also sold by the piece and box lots. The gallery has a 15 percent buyer’s premium, which is not included in any of the numbers mentioned in this article.
The sale continued with a real mixture of turn-of-the-century oak and some Victorian furniture, paintings, more box lots and a couple of Tiffany items, including a fire screen and fender that brought $27,500, and a Tiffany lamp that went for $25,000.
In all, not counting the early bird items, there were 1,067 numbered lots. “Two hundred, sixty-seven bidding numbers were handed out that evening and we had 230 left bids,” Patrick said. He also mentioned that “we have only four online auctions per year, as we like to favor those who come to the sales and we have built up a good customer base that way.”
Proof of that came from a man seated in the last row who said, “I come every Thursday to the sale, sometimes to buy and sometimes for the entertainment.”
For additional information, www.goldengavel.com or 860-623-2100.