A Night at the Auction: by Michelle Brand (10 photos)



Around thirty-five years ago a young teenager attended a auction with her family. She nervously waited as the auctioneer slowly made his way towards a beautiful horse painting that was on the ground leaning up against a table.

She won the bid for only $3 and paid for it with her own money. The large work of art was proudly hung up in the barn loft with her other horse-related treasures of a horse shoe, bridle, saddle and brushes.

The painting of a sorrel stallion proudly sniffing the wind with his head and tail held high, was a symbol of a dream to own a horse in the future. Because at this time in her life, she was too busy with school activities, church and a job. But every time she would look at the painting her heart would soar and she knew that someday she would own her very own horse again.

That young girl was me and I still have that painting!

This past Friday night I attended the Union Depot Auction just three short miles from Grayson on Hwy 60. My husband and I attend together when we can get away for a date night. He loves the concession stand snacks (Cheese sticks and nachos are his favorites) and hot coffee. We enjoy discussing all of the treasures that are there that night.



I usually walk around the room checking out the pieces that interest me. I just love being surrounded by all of that history. I like to imagine who owned the item, what time period it was from and where it was found before it came to the sale. Then I like to think about if I would like to bid on it and what my budget would be to buy the item.

(This is very important. Because once the bidding starts it is very easy to get caught up in the excitement and go higher than you were planning! Although sometimes it is totally worth it! )


This night was so much fun! I found a huge antique gold-framed mirror that I fell in love with. It was in a big stack of framed art by the auctioneer’s desk. Well, about three hours later I was able to bid on the item and won it for only $22 – “Whoo-whoo!” I was also looking for a cast-iron skillet and was able to buy one for $4. Yes, that’s right. Only $4!


So…why do I have such a passion for the auction? Here’s a few reasons:

I have furnished our homes throughout the years with beautiful solid wood antique furniture. One of my favorite sets was a camel back couch, queen anne chair and a rocker. They were at an estate auction, and covered in glittery silver slipcovers with heavy fringe. I went over and peeked under the slipcovers and saw a pretty blue upholstery and that they all matched. No one bid on them and I won the whole set for $2.50.

I had to get help loading them into my truck as they were really heavy! When I got home I took off the slipcovers and placed them in our farmhouse living room. The set was very old and made with wood legs, real springs and stuffed with horsehair and straw. I loved that set.

Another reason I like going is the history. I love history. Sometimes the auctioneer will tell a story about an item up for bid. Once I heard about a piece that was from a railroad tycoon’s estate overlooking the Ohio River in Greenup County.


Walking into the auction house is like seeing a museum of our country’s past. Spinning wheels, a plantation desk, military items and uniforms, butter-churns and blue canning jars, feed-sack quilts, guns, baskets, trunks, tools, fine china and more. Any item that someone used in their home, barn, garage, garden, field or business. It can all be found at the auction.

Collecting is another great reason to attend. If you are on the hunt for a favorite item to add to your ever expanding collection, you can probably find it at the auction. I collect crock bowls and pretty ironstone pieces. Both men and women collectors can find a variety of goods. Tools, salt and pepper shakers, quilts, carnival glass, art, luggage, dolls, chairs, lamps, enamelware, toys, and trains. The possibilities are endless.

Need decor for your man-cave, log cabin porch, she-shed, breezeway or barn? You can find what you’re after by attending a sale!

And last but not least, my favorite reason for going to the auction: The people! Auctions bring people together. Discussing the weather, the prices, the items, how harvest is going, gardening, and hows the family? Good friends can be made here. It’s all part of the experience.

So, what are you doing this weekend? How about you and the missus and the kids hop in the truck and head to your hometown auction-house for a night of good food, entertainment and neighboring. You might just find the exact treasure you have been looking for!






For more information check out Union Depot Auction, Rush, KY and auctionzip.com


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