Christie’s Antique Show & Sale
Spring 2012

Armed with little more than backpacks, canteens of water and energy bars, a group of specially trained people woke early Saturday May 26th to finally accomplish what they’d been working towards for months.

After months of research, special training and practice, those who can only be described as the elite in their field, strolled, hopped, skipped and jumped their way through the Christie Antique Show & Sale.

It was a licensed event so there was a little crooked meandering as well.

I am proud to say that I, my sister and my mother were all part of Team Antique at Christie’s this year. We were joined by what is scientifically referred to as a “bunch” of other people. Scientifically speaking.

We were going to invite the fella but frankly, none of us thought he could handle it. Crossfit? Heh. Antiquers EAT Crossfitters for breakfast. On a Blue Willow plate.

If you want to get what you looking for you can’t be passive or indecisive.  I lost a beautiful pair of black iron candelabras that way.  If you want to be a successful antique show shopper you need to possess a combination of stealth, weaponry, charm and decisiveness.  Being a little shifty doesn’t hurt either.

It was a quick run through this year that left one of our team members down for the count by hour 4.  She received hydration and is expected to be out for the rest of the season.



The rest of us worked through the pain and pressed on.


Here’s  a little of what we saw.





A lot of people complain that Christie’s is overpriced. And indeed … some items are. You get that many people in a confined space, all frothing at the mouth for something unique, old and decrepit, there’s bound to be a little price gouging.

But there’s also a lot of opportunity to get some great buys. The smart dealers who go are set up at Christie’s Antique Show are also there buying.

The 6th or 7th picture down from the top shows my sister holding a bust. A bust. Not her bust. It was one of a pair. As are most busts. I thought they were hideous. She loved them. And I have to admit they’re very her and would look great in her house. After a bit of debating (she knew they were a bit odd looking but loved them anyway) she slapped down the $50 for the pair of them (a girl head and a boy) and continued to wander around. We bumped into a very knowledgeable antiques dealer we both know and showed him what she got.

Turns out … she did quite well for herself. They’re Victorian era (probably around 1890) bisque busts worth … about $450. So there are deals to be had at Christie’s. Another lesson here is to just buy what you love. Don’t worry about it’s value or sometimes even it’s cost. If you love it … buy it.

For those of you thinking of attending the fall show, I have 3 words of advice.  Drink plenty of water, get lots of rest and eat well.  If it doesn’t prepare you for Christie’s you’ll at least be fully prepared should you ever become a celebrity and need an acceptable lie for how you stay looking so good.

The fall Christie Antique Show & Sale is being held on Saturday, September 8th.

I’ve already begun my new training regiment.  This time I’m gonna do it Hunger Games style.


  1. Liz says:

    looks like the photos on this post are a little screwy? very small.

  2. Sandra M..... says:

    OH dear, i should not have read this post, because i was going to go this spring (had it written on my calendar, even!)and somehow forgot, (insert kicking of my ass here !!)I have wanted an antique Judy for ever-ish, and seeing the one in your pic ….well i just wanted to kick myself in the ass again but harder this time! I’ll bet it sold, but I should go in the fall to see if Judy pops up again, thanks Karen, now I will torture myself further, by checking out your other post about your Christie Haul..buh bye ;-(

  3. Sarah L says:

    I love Christies. I am not a morning person but for some reason the morning of Christies I’m up early with coffee and bagels in hand – at the gate at 8am! Eventhough I didn’t buy anything this year (loved the dogs though) I have bought tons in the past. As for the prices, just barter – at the end of the day I got a huge Pine cabinet for $200 (less than half of sticker) just because the dealer didn’t want to take it home. Can’t wait for September.

  4. Dawna Jones says:

    That looked like fun! I’m with you on the sister, bust one word UGLY! I don’t care how much their worth. Lol!

  5. Gayla T says:

    I so want to reach into my computer and move those door knob thingies so I can see that doll and doll buggy that’s just barely visible. And I about fell out of my chair, AGAIN, when I saw those darling busts your sister scored! I adore them. I would have bought them in a second. We have White Cloud the first weekend in May and the first in Oct. It started in this cute little town where the main street ends up running right into the Missouri river. It was originally just in that town but now all the towns along the way have joined in and it’s over ten miles long of one booth after another. Even when it was just at White Cloud it took two days so it’s not possible to see it all and it doesn’t cost to get in because when you are driving along, you are in. I have a friend who makes those baskets, Karen. It is very easy and I’ll be expecting a FYI the day after you show us what you bought. You know that Martha Stewart had a huge collection of Jadite. I wonder if she sold it. She is having big time money problems, you know. I got that from a blogger who was going to work for Martha’s show and then she laid off over half of her staff so the new hire never got her foot in the door. Now, aren’t you glad your staff wears running shoes and looks like a hunk? Speaking of eye candy, this is a great post! I think I’ll go look at all of it again.

  6. Pati Gulat says:

    Karen, not to change the subject or anything but how do I post my pic on here when I post a post ??? ;o)

  7. Jody says:

    What state/town is this held? I would LOVE to go there, but until then will drool all over my computer screen :)

    • Karen says:

      Well Jody … it’s actually in an entirely different country. Canada. :) I’m from Canada and the biggest antique show happens to take place twice a year just a few miles from my house. ~ karen!

      • Jody says:

        Ahh Karen, well according to Google its a 7hr drive from my house in Northern Indiana, and only a 4 hr drive from my daughters home in Michigan…I could drive to her house, spend the night and be fresh and ready to leave early in the morning! IS there a time when the line in is less imposing? My passport is ready to go :)

        • Karen says:

          Jody – LOL. Well since the event is only one day, I’d recommend just getting there whenever you can. The line is long, but it moves fairly quickly. Since it’s so huge and only one day you really need every minute it’s open to get through it all. ~ karen!

  8. kelli says:



    They’re some of the coolest chairs I’ve ever seen…can u send me a separate pic of them just so i can lust/drool over them, and maybe finding them as a worthy goal??? :)

    (p.s. I’m with you on the busts…fugly!) LOL

  9. Sarah Sargeant says:

    My mother has the Singer Sew Handy! It was her first sewing machine, and she taught me to sew on it back in 1983. It rests on the top shelf of her bedroom closet, in the original box, pristine condition.

  10. Barbie says:

    Yeah! I wanna know what you got!
    So many things in these pics that I want.

    We went to Farm Chicks this weekend and it is so fabulous that it make my head explode! Sensory overload for sure!

  11. Susan says:

    Oooh, the glass door knob canes, the silver, the greyhounds…guess I’ll go pull out my Havaheart (wire) trap and start to admire it. Somehow. ;)
    Love ya!

  12. Shauna says:

    Oh there’s just so much I would want to buy. I’m broke just looking at the pictures. The crazy chairs, the barstools, the first wire basket with the apples, the fiesta ware, the jade, the pillows and the red cart, those jars you didn’t buy, the dress form, those metal looking pan thingies, the wooden boxes, the metal watering can, the white porcelain watering jug, the rolling pins. I could probably go on, but you see, I’ve already spent all my pretend money.

  13. Lauren from Winnipeg says:

    I agree with Michelle. I want those greyhound statues to go with the 2 live ones I have. They wouldn’t look ostentatious outside my modest bungalow, would they?

  14. Bols says:

    My plantar fasciitis prevented me from attending. Otherwise, I would have had a hard time leaving without those greyhound statues.

  15. jojo says:

    Oh, those chairs… totally not my style, but I’m now totally willing to change styles. They are gorgeous!!

  16. Jan says:

    I an a book collector.anyone know about a good book on organizing home libraries? Karen, do you have tips for this? Ironically, I know of no book about it.

    Relevant to nothing in today’s blog post, I made your guacamole for the mother of a newborn, her first and possibly only child ( he isn’t sleeping) and she nearly wept in gratitude.

    I have jade plates, etc. Has jade gone up in value? I took a basket weaving class once and have the scars to prove it. The teacher said all baskets are handmade. Is that untrue? Will have to research that.

    What I forgot to take into account as a book collector, not that it stops me: the small print in some books becomes an issue with SOME people with age ( raising hand). Reading glasses don’t help so I forge on.

    I could write a book about caring for books properly.
    Save the dust jackets!

    Always, at least to preserve value. check them regularly for bugs, keep them out of the sun and bright light ( still surprised by how many book collectors forget this) , dust them, etc.

    Unless you are famous- or strongly believe you will be famous- don’t stick bookplates in them, no matter how pretty.

    And then someday you may be able to look at the Bauman Rare Book site and say, “Hey, I have that book!” and gasp :

    Another great site for vetting books :
    but be sure to hit the box for Used books.

  17. So what did you get? I’ll show you mine (my one, little, mini purchase):

  18. Beth says:

    I am not allowed to attend anything like that Antique Show — ha ha ha We have so much “stuff” that I am banned from bringing anything else in the house. And based on my reaction to your pictures – my hubby would throw me out for spending every cent I could get my hands on!!!! I almost fell out when I saw those rolling pins, and almost got my magnifying glass out when I saw the silver – and without any thought to size or what I’d do with them, I would have bought ALL of those glass jars and of course enough baskets to haul them all home with!!! Honestly – I just need a bigger house – or a new one to start a new collection in – that’s it, a place to start over!!!! Ha ha ha see – it’s an addiction!!! Thanks for sharing your adventure = now I want to go to our nearest facsimile to that — First Monday in Canton, TX. Acres of everything you could think of…. wonder if I could sneak out at the end of the money I mean month!!!! Well maybe I should have a chaperone – any volunteers??? ;-)

  19. Dava says:

    Love the jadite table. Also wish I had one of those door knob walking sticks. I’m having knee surgery next week. I would really be stylin’ if I had one of those.

  20. Tess says:

    I’d go broke, spending the mortgage money for the next 3 months. Would it be possible to camp out along side the road the night before? That line of traffic was amazing.

  21. Brie says:

    Why don’t I live in Canada? My mother is Canadian, yet I am stuck in Ohio and she’s moved onto North Carolina….. Not fair on a number of levels.

    I want to go to the show. I think a road trip is in order this fall. A road trip with a UHAL trailer…. Yes.

  22. Tigersmom says:

    Okay, that ended up sounding way creepier than I intended.

    The picture I came up with is of the two of us (fully clothed) each seated on a side of your sister’s (also fully clothed) chest with our knees up at our chests holding onto reins like we were first timers riding a camel.

    I only hope this image is not worse than the one I conjured up with my previous comment.

  23. Janet says:

    Well, Karen…with all of us dying to see what you fought over and purchased, I’d say the pressure is on….but, go ahead, keep us in suspense until text week…Wow! This is like a book. I love a good suspenseful book….Blog suspense? I think I like that too. Sure wish Ontario wasn’t so far away. Thanks for sharing!

  24. Tigersmom says:

    I’m with you on your sister’s bust.

    Wait. That could be taken wrong in more ways that I can count without having had my normal full pot of coffee yet today. ; )

    But seriously, can you picture the two of us there on your sister? Of course you can’t! You have no idea what I look like. : D

  25. Ruth says:

    The chairs! The rolling pins!

    The bust(s)?’am.I.just.can’t. *smh*

    I wish we had something like this here. I had really wanted to see your ‘haul’ though. :)

  26. Sherri says:

    I know you’re a forward thinking woman of action so can I assume that you’re going to show us tomorrow what you brought home from Christie’s? The answer I’m looking for is a resounding YES!

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Um. O.K. The truth is I totally forgot in this post to do that! So next week … I’ll show you what I got. ~ karen

  27. julie says:

    GREAT STUFF! Woulda wanted to buy everything in your pics. Well, except the bust. Fall vacay in Ontario???

  28. Emi says:

    Wait, wait a minute there! You’re not going to tell us/show us what you took home. Egads, I’m so bummed now.

  29. Debbie says:

    oh I am so drooling over all that Jadite!!!!!! <3 in love!!!! Just curious – why can't I see the other comments? They're just as much fun to read as your posts!!

  30. Meagan says:

    While viewing those baskets (the first in your series of basket pictures) I actually thought to myself that you could find a cheaper way of making a modified version. They really were rather simple looking…it’s just a matter of attaching the side pieces together with…something? Thoughts?

    • Karen says:

      Meagan – If they aren’t old enough that they’re handmade, the baskets are pretty affordable. For now. Give it a year or two and they’ll be hundreds of dollars. ~ karen

  31. Bonnie says:

    I also love your sister’s bust.


    Actually, I think I have seen something very similar at one time when I was a kid. I am old.


  32. Langela says:

    Some of those wire baskets would make awesome light fixtures. I have been looking for some myself. I could never go to something like that because I would cry when I ran out of money in the first booth. There are so many neat things just in your photos. I can only imagine how overwhelming the rest must be.

  33. gogothrift says:

    tell me you didn’t leave those orange and pink mod chairs there…..I’m drooling

  34. nicole d says:

    oh my goodness, i had those exact little house books when i was little… NO CLUE where they have ended up! perhaps next time i find myself in my parent’s basement i’ll take a peak and see if i can find them. :) …. they’re bound to be down there somewhere!

  35. marilyn says:

    what did you get karen? next time we can take the back way in by foot..we will be commandos and your training will really come in handy!!

  36. Michelle says:

    I SOOOOOOoooo want those greyhound statues!

  37. Pate says:

    Just read about Christie’s antique show. What fun! Where is it held, sorry…….I’m still asleep and I probably missed it. We idiots in Connecticut (well, I’m actually in Maine right now) can
    not remember anything.
    By the way, you should really be writing memoirs and books. You are so #$%^ing hysterical. I really look forward to reading you every day.
    ps Do the girls get mites?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Pate – Thanks! No books for me. More people read blogs now than books anyway, LOL. The girls have never had mites, but I *do* add diatomaceous earth to their bedding, nesting box and dust bath. That helps to kill mites. ~ karen!

    • Laura says:


      You should check out the Brimfield Antiques Show along Rte 20 in Brimfield, MA. It appears similar to Christie’s in size and scope. It’s simply MASSIVE. It runs 3 times / year for 5 days each. It could easily take you 2-3 days to see all of the booths. The next one is in July. Here’s the website:


  38. Elizabeth says:

    Yes, you should have bought some of that glass. My heart skipped a beat at the jade ware.

  39. Beckie says:

    the hot pink/orange/chrome chairs made me squeal out loud…like…for reals

    all that beautiful flatware and Fire King ~thud~

    Christie’s looks awesome!

    your blog is Awesome!

    YOU are AWESOME!

  40. Susan says:

    I went to Christie’s…..I never saw any of what you took pictures of! Of course there is a lot to see and I saw lots more! I also sweat my ass off cause it was so humid and warm. Therefore the beer tent was very much appreciated! I did come home with a couple of prized possessions though. I have been successful there many times before but this time I was looking for a screw into the wall type bottle opener. I found one original never been used virgin like in the original virginal box. The dealer wanted $75 for it. I just about had to have mouth to mouth! He said the box alone is worth $30! I told him he could keep the box……I guess I’ll keep using my Betty boop opener. BTW poor Betty! I’d kill you!:-)

  41. Phyllis says:

    Damn you! I have successfully avoided going to Christie for years, I have convinced myself there is nothing there that I need or want. Well now…you did just a fine job in letting me know I have been seriously mistaken. As said before..Damn You!…the game is on Hunger or otherwise! Thanks!

  42. Looks like a great time. I would not have been able to get past the silver. Love those dog statues.

  43. Deborah says:

    ARGH!!!!!!!!! I WANT THOSE ROLLING PINS!!!! OMG! The one with the picture indents so your dough comes out with designs! (the one with the yellow handles pictured next to the hideous fuschia and orange 60’s chairs – WHO buys those?!) Dammit ~ I SHOULD have gone!!! GRRRR…Now I am totally pissed at myself… I shall have to make an effort this September and HOPE to heck they are there again! (BTW – NICE find on the pair of busts your sister bought…but I agree, they are hideous) :D

  44. Shannon Clarke Devine says:

    It makes me want to cry that we have nothing like this in South Africa – which is probably a blessing as I would be broke and living on the street amid my Antique treasures!!!

  45. Amanda says:

    I LOVE that you wanted the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. My daughter is reading them right now… well she is asleep right now… but it is her current reading selection. However, we live in Kansas… and I think its illegal to be a girl here and NOT read them LOL. Ya know we still have the Little House here its a historic site! Then in Wichita we have Cowtown which is a living museum about the old prairie days and it has a perfect replica…

    • Gayla T says:

      Howdy Amanda, I live in Topeka. I’ve already invited Karen and anyone else interested to come to Kansas and I’ll show them around. Now, I’ll have a side kick, huh? I live two blocks from a historical site called Old Town with all the old restored buildings and homes. Lot’s to see here if you love the era like karen does.

  46. Trysha says:

    All that Jade! I just died and now I’m dead. So beautiful.

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