Feeling Blue

I have yet to win anything at auction since I started bidding back in November. I bid on an antique Soumac carpet, 6’5″ x 4’5″ via absentee bidder at Pook & Pook’s July 29th auction. I lost. I bid $400–estimate was $200-$400–the rug went for $1659. Yikes, I have great taste!

It would have been perfect in my soon-to-be office/sitting room we’re renovating on the first floor of the house. I’m thinking of painting the walls Farrow & Ball’s Light Blue. The color feels soft and pretty against more masculine pieces like an antique rug and a chest of drawers. The hunt continues…

Have you had any good luck at auctions or flea markets lately?

Inspired by Nightwood: Two-Tone Linen Sofa
My First Auction
Rug Obsession: Big & Coral

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  1. I too aspire to own such a Persian rug – preferably a silk one – many moons may pass before I get one but I will. Your blog is a delightful dream to read – the bohemian look is so enticing – thanks – Alison


  2. Hi Katy! Have you ever looked into the Landry or Blackwood March auctions in Essex, MA? I haven’t been to them personally but my family goes regularly and my aunt and uncle just bought a couple of rugs that they thought were really affordable.

    Also, I was in Rockport this weekend and bought some placemats from the Sarah Elizabeth Shop. Thanks for the recommendation…I’m in love!


  3. I’ve just painted our office in F & B Light Blue (22). It’s a great colour with enough grey in it to stop it being pastel.


  4. Last year i painted my room in light blue and it’s a very lovely color to live in, peaceful and calming! It took me ages to pick only one color from Farrow and Ball because all the colors are absolutely beautiful! I’m leaving the link below of the picture of my light blue room if anyone is interested because when i was trying to pick one color seeing “in situ” pictures really helped me!


    Charlotte (french reader, sorry about possible mistakes)


  5. As a former auction house specialist… please keep in mind that the number you see is only an estimate and at that said number is usually low in order to encourage bidding…. Everyone loves a deal; however, with individuals bidding live, absentee, over the phone and the internet the auction market has became much more competitive, thus driving realized prices up.

    With that being said… you may want to keep a few things in mind… check P&Ps unsold lots… your rug could have sold to a “house paddle” or “ghost number”… this is an old auction house trick which gives the appearance of the auction doing very well, but the lot was really unsold!

    If a lot was unsold via ghost paddle or in general many auction houses will allow for purchase after the auction… simply contact the auction house, ask for a list of unsold property and begin alerting the Specialist of what you would like to purchase outright. The auction house will often times contact the consignor and act as broker… allowing for a much better “deal” for the buyer in the end!

    Also, rugs are typically a hard sale for auction houses… an old rule of thumb for the auction world… the smaller the rug the higher the hammer price… I once had a large Persian (120 feet x 80 ft) sell for $500.

    Hope this helps, good luck and happy bidding!

    P.S. Always remember the BP is factored into the hammer price!!!


  6. On my first auction I lost everything I bid on. An antique french aubusson rug was supposed to go for $400 and I bid up to $1000 and then quit. The same thing with two painted french provincial cabinets. I had to stop myself at $800. I was devastated afterwards and still think about them.


  7. Keep bidding! I have a houseful of old, tattered beautiful
    rugs I got mostly for a “song.”

    They aren’t perfect–ask your local dealers for the worn and forgotten rugs in the lunchroom or forgotten in a storeroom.
    Attend auctions on rainy, inclement days and bid at the very end.

    The more that you look, the more beautiful ones you’ll see.

    Good luck! Any F&B color is right by me. Love the blue–it’s so pure w/o any of the muddy greyness. So fresh! Happy 4th!


  8. That’s a beautiful rug – sorry you didn’t get it. I love it with the blue though. Good luck next time…


  9. that blue is going to look great! it looks different in the little sample square but great on the wall. good luck on your future rug, they get crazy expensive fast.


  10. Sorry about the rug. Pook & Pook have amazing auction items, but their estimates seem to be consistently a fraction of the sale price. I guess they like to stoke the bidding that way, and I fall for it every time. Don’t give up, though, something will fall between the cracks eventually!