Top: Enamel pots, cookware, wash pans, and mugs; white and cream with red and blue banding. Enamelware is a staple of country auctions. In the foreground lies a box of butternut squash colored tableware, treated to appear as if iridescent glass.
Middle: Box lots of miscellaneous items, former possessions of the family, segregated in small groupings. The box lots, lying in shallow boxes which recently held cases of beer, are aggregated to speed up the auction process. Instead of auctioning off each item of little value, the household supplies are grouped, to be sold for a few dollars, up to twenty or thirty dollars, depending on what is contained in the box lot.
Bidders arrive early to inspect the box lots, noting on which they may bid on. A bidder with some knowledge of antiques may find what they see to be a hidden gem inside a box lot, and their bidding cards are at the ready when the particular box lot is auctioned. Occasionally, a bidder will win the bid on a box lot, pull one or two items from the lot, and leave the rest on the ground for others to pick through.
The box lots in the photograph feature one chock full of paperbacks. The other an interesting stack of newspapers, church bulletins, magazines, and advertisements; topped by the Fall and Winter 1964 Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalogue. The blond-haired, blue-eyed woman on the front cover models a white satin blouse and a red velvet skirt and coat set. Inside the catalogue it is noted one can buy the velvet ensemble in the store as pictured, or purchase the cloth and pattern, to be made at home.
Bottom: Boxes from the local Anheuser-Busch distributorship, stacked against the auctioneer’s supply trailer. Empty boxes are always availible near the bidding, free to bidders. A way to hold onto, and transport home, purchases made during the auction.