(Donnie & Verna
Family owned and operated --
conducting auctions since 1975 throughout the Maritimes
(mainly in Nova Scotia)--over 2300
auctions in 29 year--for the first several years apprenticing with
of the Art of over 50 years experience and then operating under the firm name of
Cunningham & Pidgeon. In the early 80's when Jack Cunningham retired, we
continued under the name of Donald Pidgeon Auctions. Then in the early 90's,
when Donnie's wife, Verna (Sam), began auctioning, the firm was registered under the name
and style of "A & E Pidgeons Auctions and Appraisals".
We keep in contact with several major collectors/dealers throughout Eastern
U.S. and Canada, and now through our website and E-mails often acquire distant absentee
bids on prime pieces.
We believe our job is to get the best price possible for the Seller by
auction, yet at the same time, it is our responsibility to be "up
front" and honest with the Buyers. In this respect, we do not permit
"shilling" or "bidding in" at our auctions. We believe this to be a dishonest
practice. It is our policy to allow reserve starting bids on
items of higher value, and when there is a
reserve starting price on an item, we announce
same in advance of the auction so that a buyer will not
travel a long distance only to be disillusioned if he/she is not
willing to meet the reserve. However, we do
reserve the right to refuse a bid which is inconsistent with the value of
the article; but have never had to exercise this in over ten years.
Being open and honest with the Buyers is perhaps one of the reasons we get
a large following at our auctions and therefore, reserves are not commonly
NOTE: We are licensed to sell firearms
including restricted and prohibited guns.
We also BUY OUT estates, partial lots
and individual items.
We provide a 3-part sales slip for each item with individual sales copies for
buyer, seller & auctioneer and provide a simplified accounting statement.
Payment is available 15-20 clear business days after auction.
We conduct auctions of complete estates, antiques, households,
farms, commercial, partial lots etc. throughout Nova Scotia (including
Cape Breton) and the odd one in Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick,
running between 30 and 50 auctions a year.
Our main Appraisals are of Estates and Household Contents anywheres in Nova
Scotia, a service often called upon by Executors, Administrators, Lawyers,
***above photo taken at on-site
auction in Pictou 1997 - Collection of Archie Cameron (Donnie holding old
Micmac bird trap). We have fond memories of those avid collectors who
so commonly attended our auctions through the 70's, 80's and some into the
90's including Archie Cameron, John MacLeod, Herman Helm, Roy Kennedy (the
Currier & Ives Collector), Mr. Marshall (the Bottle Collector) and many
other familiar faces in the auction circles.
OUR VIEWPOINT ON AUCTIONS:
THE ODD TIME SOMEONE WILL SAY TO US,
"ISN'T IT A SHAME TO SEE DEAR MRS. _______ ITEMS GO UP FOR
AUCTION!" TO BE VERY TRUTHFUL, WE DON'T THINK IT'S A "SHAME".
DEAR MRS__________ OBVIOUSLY ENJOYED HER ITEMS FOR MANY YEARS AND HAD SHE
REALLY WANTED THEM TO GO TO SOMEONE SPECIFIC, SHE WOULD HAVE
WILLED THE SAME TO THEM. WE ARE IN A POSITION TOO, WHERE WE HEAR
PEOPLE SPEAK ABOUT THEIR ITEMS AND SAY THEY WOULD LIKE TO WILL THEM TO THEIR
FAMILY, BUT THEIR FAMILY IS NOT INTERESTED IN ANTIQUES. EVERYONE HAS
THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE....SOMETIMES, IF THEY'VE GROWN UP IN NOTHING BUT
ANTIQUES, THEY JUST WANT TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT.....AND SOME PEOPLE JUST
LIKE A SIMPLE UNCOMPLICATED LIFE WITH CONTEMPORARY FIXTURES. IF
THAT'S WHAT THEY WANT, WHY BURDEN THEM DOWN WITH BEQUESTS OF ANTIQUES!
SOMETIMES, IT IS AN OUT-AND-OUT IMPOSITION TO THEM TO KEEP THE ITEMS--THEY
WOULD MUCH RATHERED HAVE HAD THE MONEY. MANY TIMES WHEN ALL THE
HOOPLA IS OVER, FAMILY WILL PHONE US AND SEE IF WE WILL TAKE THE GOODS
AWAY FROM THE AREA AND SELL THEM PRIVATELY WITH NO NAME ATTACHED. THE
GOODS WHICH DO NOT SUIT THEIR HOME ARE A BURDEN TO THEM! WE DON'T
BELIEVE ANYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO LAY SUCH BURDENS ON PEOPLE. SO WHAT'S
THE BIG ISSUE IF
THEY DON'T LIKE ANTIQUES....ESPECIALLY YOUR ANTIQUES!
EVERYONE TO HIS OWN VIEW! AND THEN, THERE'S SOME PEOPLE WHO
DEARLY TREASURE THEIR BEQUESTS OF ANTIQUES--GOOD FOR THEM!
ON THE OTHER HAND, WE SEE
PEOPLE COMING TO AN AUCTION AND JUST LITERALLY FALL IN LOVE WITH CERTAIN
ITEMS. THEY WILL PAY GOOD MONEY FOR THEM AT AUCTION AND TREASURE THEM
FOR LIFE. ISN'T THAT A MORE APPROPRIATE PLACE WHERE THE GOODS SHOULD
GO IF FAMILY IS NOT INTERESTED....SOMEPLACE WHERE THEY ARE APPRECIATED.
AN EXAMPLE RECENTLY IS
WHEN WE MET A BUYER WE HAD NOT SEEN FOR SOME TIME AND THEY SAID THEIR HOUSE
WAS FULL SO THEY DIDN'T COME TO AUCTIONS MUCH ANY MORE. ANY THEY WERE
SO SPECIFIC ABOUT ITEMS THEY PURCHASED AT AUCTIONS THROUGH THE YEARS--FROM
WHICH HOUSE, FROM WHICH ESTATE, IN WHAT YEAR AND SOMETIMES EVEN WHAT ROOM IT
WAS LOCATED IN IN THE HOUSE. THAT IS IMPORTANT TO THE COLLECTORS--THEY
LIKE TO RELATE THEIR GOODS TO SOMEONE OR SOMETHING OR SOME AREA.
AND, YES, THERE ARE
DEALERS WHO BUY AT AUCTION! WE DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THEM.
EVERYONE HAS TO EARN A LIVING. AND THE ITEM EVENTUALLY STILL ENDS UP
IN THE HANDS OF SOMEONE WHO WILL LOVE IT, ALTHOUGH IN THE PROCESS, IT MAY
PASS THROUGH SOME MIDDLE MEN. THAT'S A PART OF LIFE--WHEN WE BUY A
QUART OF MILK, HOW MANY MIDDLE MEN DID IT GO THROUGH? BUT IT STILL GOT
TO THE PERSON WHO WANTED AND NEEDED IT.
ONE-OF-A-KIND PRESENTATION THINGS, FOR ONE REASON OR ANOTHER THEY ARE
SOMETIMES NOT WILLED. COULD IT BE THAT THE OWNER KNEW THESE WOULD NOT
BE APPRECIATED BY FAMILY, WHEREAS SOME "OUTSIDER" MAY DEARLY TREASURE THEM.
WHAT WE FIND TOO,
IS THAT REAL COLLECTORS LOVE TO SHOW THERE COLLECTIONS. WE ARE SO
PLEASED TO SEE THAT MILITARY COLLECTORS WILL OFTEN OFFER TO TAKE THEIR
MILITARY PICTURES, MEDALS AND OTHER MEMORABILIA TO SCHOOLS AROUND
REMEMBRANCE DAY FOR STUDENTS TO SEE AND BETTER UNDERSTAND HOW OUR
FOREFATHERS PLAYED SUCH A PART IN OUR INHERITANCE OF FREEDOM TODAY.
UNFORTUNATELY, NOT ALL TEACHERS WILL ALLOW SUCH AND SOMETIMES THE COLLECTORS
DO NOT KNOW WHO TO APPROACH ABOUT SUCH SHOWINGS.....BUT WHEN SUCH DOES
OCCUR, KIDS REMEMBER FOREVER.....WHEREAS A STUDENT WILL NEVER GO INTO A
MUSEUM TO SEE THE LIKES!
WE ALSO REALIZE THERE ARE
SOME PEOPLE WHO FIRMLY OBJECT TO THE
SALE OF NAZI ITEMS. WE FIND THAT KIDS TODAY CANNOT REALIZE HOW
HORRIFIC THE TIMES OF HITLER WERE & HAVE FOUND (THROUGH OUR YOUNG STAFF)
THAT SEEING SOME OF THESE ITEMS WITH THEIR OWN EYES (ESPECIALLY THE PHOTOS)
CAN FIRMLY IMPLANT THE REALITY OF THOSE TIMES IN THEIR VERY BEINGS. WE
BELIEVE EVERYBODY SHOULD BE MADE ACUTELY AWARE OF THOSE TIMES, WHATEVER IT
TAKES, SO THAT NOTHING LIKE THAT WILL EVER BE REPEATED. AND THEREFORE,
WE HAVE NO PROBLEM SELLING NAZI ITEMS.
WE ARE THOROUGHLY IN
AGREEMENT WITH MUSEUM DISPLAYS, BUT IF WE DONATED SOMETHING, WE WOULD
CERTAINLY WANT SOME AGREEMENT THAT IT WAS TO BE SHOWN. IT TRULY
SHOCKED US WHEN WE SPOKE WITH A PERSON IN CHARGE OF A CERTAIN VERY LARGE
MUSEUM (NOT IN THIS AREA) WHO INFORMED US THAT APPROXIMATELY 70% OF THE
GOODS DONATED TO THEM WAS NEVER EVER SHOWN. IT WAS PACKED AWAY IN
STORAGE ROOMS FOR YEARS....IN THIS PARTICULAR CASE, SOME SINCE THE 70'S.
AND SO WE FEEL THAT AN
AUCTION IS NOT ONLY A WAY TO CONVERT GOODS INTO MONEY , BUT A WAY TO LINK
PEOPLE UP WITH SOMETHING THEY WILL CHERISH.