I squirreled away a few garage sale buys from last fall, holding them for my post Christmas eBay sales. With the slower winter months, I take my sweet old time getting them ready for auction. They may need to be cleaned up, repaired or require some Internet research. One of my stockpiled finds was this cowboy lamp made by the McCoy Pottery company. McCoy made all kinds of pottery: statues, dishware, lamps and more. A brief history on McCoy pottery including their maker marks can be found here:
I am not a pottery expert, but when I spotted this lamp I recognized that it dated back to either the fifties or early sixties. I could almost picture this bedroom lamp sitting on the Beaver's night stand back in 1957! My hunch on it's age was confirmed when the sellers, who looked to be in their seventies, told me the lamp was in their son's bedroom when he was a kid. I picked up the lamp and gave it a close look. Surely something that old and sitting in a boy's room must have a chip or two? After a careful examination, I was surprised and even a little shocked to find no flaws whatsoever. I then took a close look at the lamp shade. Once again, no flaws...this lamp was a real fifties era survivor! The sellers were asking a firm eight dollars for the lamp. I didn't want to offend the nice folks with a low-ball offer. So I saved my hard-boiled negotiation skills for another day and gave them their full asking price. Once I got home to my cowboy ranch, the lamp went on a shelf to await my post Christmas auctions.
After the holidays I focused again on the lamp and did some research. I found that there were quite a few McCoy cowboy boot lamps for sale. But more interestingly, none came with the shade still intact. I briefly thought about selling the shade and base separate, reasoning I could get more bang for my buck with two auctions. But after some more thought I decided against it. There were already plenty of the lamp boot bases selling for ho-hum prices. Why add another? What made my lamp unique was the shade and the base were complete and in excellent condition. So the lamp stayed as one complete piece for the eBay auction.
Things started out slow on the cowboy lamp auction, but when the "watchers" started to pile up, I knew I had something special. As the days progressed, the boot lamp galloped past 30, 40, 50....then over the 100 dollar mark. What price did the auction stop it's gallop? How about one hundred and thirty seven dollars?! Giddyup Cowboy!
After the auction, the buyer e-mailed and informed me that it was the beautiful lampshade that drove up the price. Just as I surmised from my earlier research, the lamp boot bases are a dime a dozen. But an original lampshade in pristine condition is much harder to find. The seller asked me to "please, please, please" double box the lamp shade to protect it in shipping . I happily obliged him. The shade had survived fifty years, no way I would let the post office ruin it now ! I sent it on its way fully protected in two boxes. A few days later the buyer told me the shade arrived intact. We were both relieved!
It was a nice winter eBay sale and well worth waiting a few months to sell. Subtract my original eight dollar purchase and I made $129. I reckon that's enough to buy a real pair of cowboy boots!
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