Going to Topeka Sale

| 11/21/2013 10:37:00 AM

Country MoonMy husband Jim is a connoisseur of  – well, stuff! If it can be collected, he will find a place for it. He not only has his original sports memorabilia collection, but also marbles, wooden toys and figurines to name a few. That’s his in-house collection.

His outside collection consists of antique farm equipment and early farm tools that he displays around our yard. One of the places he finds such treasures is at the Topeka Livestock Auction, which is held in Topeka, Indiana, a few times each year. The original purpose was for Amish to buy, sell and trade horses, buggies and other equipment that they still use each day. However, it didn’t take long for collectors to discover the sale, and many antique dealers and store owners now come to see what they can find.

The sale usually runs three or four days with each day designated to sell mainly a certain large item. We like to go the day they sell the “junk” or, as they like to refer to it, as antiques. We are not being unkind by calling it junk because items run the gamut from butter churns, wooden and steel wheels, sausage presses, etc., to scraps of material, bent angle iron, cardboard boxes full of odds and ends – almost anything goes.

Steel Wheels Ready For Sale

The treasures that we have found include old milk cans, wooden carts that are perfect to use as planters, wooden wagon wheels that we fashioned into rails for the deck, and old horse-drawn equipment, to name just a few. The horses are separated according to breed between the barns, and the first building has the snack bar and rows upon rows of used harnesses. The rest of the stuff is lined up in rows outside, in no particular order.

It is not unusual to have five or six auctioneers “crying the auction” at the same time. This makes it particularly difficult if you are by yourself and there is something in a couple different places that you have your eye on. I think this is the sole reason Jim encourages me to go. My job is to watch an item for him while he is bidding on something else. Then I let him know when the auctioneer gets close to the other item he wants. I do not bid, that is a firm rule that we both agree on and live by. Usually I can bet that the thing he wants most will be close to the last item sold.

11/24/2013 8:19:37 AM

Lois, I was never an auction person. To be a good auction person self control has to over ride desire. Two bidders determined to have something can run the price too high for purchase. I always knew I would not know when to stop in the bidding war so I have staid away from the auctions. Some of those folks I know have found some real bargains from the auctions but they never talk about the bad purchases. My mind doesn't process fast enough to be a good bidder at an auction. I'm more of a methodical calculated thinker which is not good for quick decisions in the heat of a bidding moment. I have to be content with Craig's List type Websites that give me time to think about what I'm doing. ***** Have a great Antiques day.

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