About Cast Iron Auctions
For the enthusiast and collector, a large vintage and antique cast iron cookware auction is akin to a chocoholic diving into a pool of dark chocolate. I’ve been to a number of these auctions over the past 10 years, but I still get glassy-eyed and start breathing faster when I walk into the room and see all of those gorgeous pieces of iron on display. My resolve to buy just one special piece wilts as I examine the splendid collection before me.
I’ve blogged before about the large cast iron cookware auction. These auctions are particularly fun for me because the selection of iron is typically very special and in clean condition. Sometimes the amount of iron auctioned off is so large that the sale is spread over two or three days.
On February 22 and 23, many pieces of cast iron were auctioned off in Montgomery, Indiana – “The Heart of Amish Country.” Linda flew in from Minneapolis with my camera, and I flew in from Texas. We had quite the weekend!
Friday’s Cast Iron Auctions
Weekly auctions are held Friday nights at Dinky’s Auction Center. I went to the auction on February 22, 2019, as I knew that about 125 cast iron pieces would be auctioned off. These pieces were ones that were “less than perfect,” or considered less collectible than those that would be sold the next day.
It was a pretty amazing event. There were 7
I previewed the iron pieces to be auctioned before the auction started. I wanted to buy just one pan: a number 5 pan for a friend who wanted a pan in which to cook her morning eggs. There were a few that looked like good candidates.
My resolve melted, however, as soon as I got into the pace of the auction. Before you know it, I had purchased two number 6 Wagner pans. They were both beautiful, but I wanted a number 5. I jumped back in and bought a small logo Griswold number 5 pan. I’ve learned that most people know the Griswold name. That’s the name they’ve heard and that’s what they want. When I give a gift of iron, I usually give Griswold.
The main event – the reason why we came – was the auction of 500 beautiful pieces of vintage and antique cast iron cookware on Saturday, February 23. The auction was also available to online bidders via auctionzip.com.1
When I arrived at about 7:00 a.m. on Saturday to preview the pieces before the auction and to take photos, the building was quiet. As it grew closer to the start time of 9:00 a.m., more and more people filed in and began examining the tables of iron.
I saw collectors I know carefully studying some of the higher-value pieces. Sellers looking to buy inventory were perusing the pieces; some carrying a flat edged ruler so that they could see whether the pan was warped. I also saw and greeted some fellow members of the Griswold & Cast Iron Cookware Association.2 Of course there were also people who were curious, or just wanted a piece or two of cookware for their kitchen.
What was up for Auction?
Just about anything you could possibly want.
- Skillets of all sizes
- Dutch ovens, oval roasters, and trivets of all sizes
- Lids and more lids
- Waffle irons
- Cake, bread, gem, and muffin pans
- Bowls and kettles
- Ovens, including miniatures
- Utensils and miscellaneous
Levi Raber, Jesse Raber, and Calvin Raber worked as auctioneers.3 Bids came fast as we listened and grew accustomed to the chant of each auctioneer. As they worked, other workers carefully watched the crowd, calling out as people raised their bid cards. A woman worked nearby at her computer, monitoring online bidding and making sure that the online bids were also counted. It was very intense; particularly when some of the big-ticket items came up.4 Photos were taken with permission.
The auction continued at a fast pace without a break until a bit after 2:00 p.m. 500 pieces were sold. As one sale ended, the piece was brought over to a cordoned-off area, where a woman carefully placed each purchased item in a pile alongside other iron purchased by the same bidder.
Prices were about as I expected. There were some good buys, and some rare items brought high prices.
Immediately after the main auction ended, a “lot” auction was held for a table filled with rusty, crusty, cast iron pieces. It sold for $600.
Of course, people always hope that they will find a gold mine of iron in Grandma’s cupboard. Here are the top prices realized at the auction. Go look in your Grandma’s pantry!
Top Prices Realized
Listed below are the items that brought $400 or more.5 With the two exceptions noted below, all of the pieces are Griswold.
$2700: Griswold no. 13 Tite-Top Dutch oven p/n 2635, with lid p/n 2637. 6
$2400: Griswold no. 12 Dutch oven p/n 2634, with lid p/n 2636.
$2200: Griswold large block logo EPU no. 13 skillet p/n 720.
$2000: Griswold large block logo EPU no. 2 skillet with heat ring, p/n 703.
$1400: Griswold loaf pan lid, p/n 859.
$1000: Griswold no. 3 low dome fully-marked skillet lid, p/n 463.
$950: Griswold large block logo EPU no. 20 hotel skillet, p/n 728.
$900: Griswold no. 12 Dutch oven trivet, p/n 210.
$800: Griswold “All in One Dinner Skillet”, p/n 1008.
$800: Griswold cast iron indestructible mailbox (ironically, the lid has a repair) p/n 71, lid p/n 72.
$650: Griswold slant “ERIE” no. 2 skillet, p/n 703.
$600: Favorite Piqua Ware skillet broiler.
$575: Griswold “Iron Mountain” line no. 14 skillet, p/n 1085.
$550: Griswold no. 8 French waffle iron with the base.
$550: Griswold no. 10 flat bottom kettle lid, p/n 883.
$525: Griswold no. 12 hotel waffle iron.
$500: Griswold slant logo “ERIE” no. 2 skillet p/n 703.
$500: Griswold no. 11 low dome fully-marked skillet lid, p/n 471.
$500: Griswold loaf pan, p/n 877.
$475: Griswold no. 5 oval roaster p/n 645 with lid, p/n 646.
$450: Griswold no. 5 oval roaster trivet.
$450: Griswold low dome no. 5 fully-marked skillet lid, p/n 465.
$450: Griswold large block logo EPU no. 11 skillet with heat ring, p/n 717.
$450: Martin Stove & Range no. 8 cabin stove.
$425: Griswold Dutch oven no. 6 p/n 2605 and lid, p/n 2606.
$425: Griswold no. 15 oval fish skillet, p/n 1013.8
$400: Griswold no. 12 low dome fully-marked skillet lid, p/n 472.
$400: Griswold no. 14 large block logo EPU skillet in superb condition.
$400: Griswold slant logo no. 3 oval roaster p/n 2627 with lid, p/n 2628.
$400: Griswold no. 9 oval roaster p/n 649 with lid, p/n 650.
$400: Griswold no. 2 large block logo EPU smooth bottom skillet, p/n 703.
$400: Griswold no. 14 large block logo EPU skillet, p/n 718.
$400: Griswold Santa mold, front p/n 897, back p/n 898.
$400: Griswold no. 11 Dutch oven p/n 836 with lid p/n 2553.
$400: Griswold mortar and pestle.
Would you like to check out one of these cast iron auctions for yourself? Dinky’s next cast iron auction will be held at Dinky’s Auction Center in Montgomery, Indiana on August 24, 2019. I had the chance to see two beautiful sets that will be part of that auction: a full set of Wapak Cast Iron “Indian Head” skillets, and a set of Griswold Flat Bottom Kettles with usually-impossible-to-find lids and trivets.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to be placed on the list for the auction catalog.
- I’ve written before about some special considerations for online auctions; factoring in shipping expenses and buyer’s premium are just two considerations.
- The Griswold & Cast Iron Cookware Association is one of the two national collector’s groups. You can find them here. The other group is the Wagner & Griswold Society. You can find them here. Both groups are valuable resources for collectors.
- You can reach Levi at Dinky’s Auction Center at 812-486-6197 or email at email@example.com.
- I have posted a few videos from the auction on my youtube channel, if you care to take a look.
- Thanks to Linda for keeping track during the auction, and to Doug Madden for the help with finding the final realized prices.
- P/N refers to the pattern number marked on the piece.
- I have uploaded a video of the auction for the number 13 Dutch oven, as well as a few of the other sales, to my YouTube channel.
- I was surprised that the number 15 skillet brought more than the number 13 skillet ($375), as the 13 is harder to find.