Cincinnati has a surprising number of great local auctions selling everything from antique flags to Pez dispensers. Whether you’re looking for something specific or just out to browse, give one (or all) of these firms a try.
1. Cowan’s Auctions
Where Cowan’s has everyone else beat is notoriety. Exhibit A: Owner and Appraiser Wes Cowan moonlights as an Antiques Roadshow appraiser. Exhibit B: The former Curator of Archaeology at the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History is also just one of five “detectives” on the PBS show History Detectives. Visit Cowan’s for art, jewelry, and a fascinating stash of Americana and folk art. cowanauctions.com
2. Everything But The House
Enter the “Online Auction” portion of this company’s website and you may just fall down a browsing rabbit hole. Everything But The House specializes in estate sales, carefully cataloguing a home’s contents for online auctions and live “tag sales.” Visit the website often; amazing new items are added every week and you can often pick them up for a song. ebth.com
3. Auctions by Maggie
This longstanding local firm—started more than 25 years ago by bowler hat-wearing Maggie Beckmeyer—holds weekly auctions at a Harrison Ave. site along with a constant stream of online auctions. Pick up everything from cars to collectible toys. auctionsbymaggie.com
4. Main Auction Gallery
You may have seen live auctions going down at this gallery’s storefront on west Fourth Street. The space fills up fast and the auctions go by even faster, so grab a seat and let the people watching commence. Co-owner Jonas Karp does all the appraising with his dad, Jay, and the pair holds auctions every week. mainauctiongalleries.com
5. Mike Turmell & Co.
Owner Mike Turmell describes his estate tag sales as “garage sales on steroids.” Check the website for sale dates and locations, or visit the company’s Ebay store: http://stores.ebay.com/collector-gallerys-estates