Going Once, Going Twice…Auctions Going on Weekly in Mechanicville
Keith Grayson is the owner of Saratoga Auction & Consignment, located on Saratoga Avenue in Mechanicville. While the store and auction house may have been in Mechanicville for a year and a half, Grayson has been in the business of finding, buying, and selling unique items for 25 years. Grayson can even recall picking as child, long before the show American Pickers made the act of digging through barns and garages in search of antique items popular. From those early days Grayson remembers an old grandfather clock being among his first big finds.
Spending 25 years in the business means Grayson has seen his share of unique as well as odd items. When asked if there has been anything that has stood out or stayed with him over that time, the answer was simple, “a lot.” He did, however, recall one item which he remembers as a personal favorite. That item was a relic of the Ringling Brother’s Circus from the 1930’s which depicted a clown holding himself up on a ball using only his finger, and there was a motor which moved the clown in a circle.
As for the auctions themselves, they take place weekly on Friday nights, and Grayson says there has been a positive response and that each week the event attracts “good crowds.” Attendance can vary and often will depend on what items are being offered that night. Some of the items which Grayson sees as continually popular no matter how many people are at an auction are gas and oil collectibles, old toys, and trains and items associated with trains.
After speaking with Grayson, I attended that week’s auction, what he calls an “Anything and Everything” auction, which certainly lived up to its name. The auctions take place at the far end of the store, where rows of chairs are set up, with Grayson standing behind an elevated podium from which he controls the action. Items up for grabs that night included pool cues, antique Coca-Cola bottles, automotive memorabilia, old toys and a basket of hand sewn stuffed chickens and roosters which, after going unsold, Grayson proclaimed would be donated to The Ugly Rooster.
The Anything and Everything auctions certainly offer something to pique the interest of just about anybody, made evident at the end of the night with almost everyone in attendance leaving with a newly won treasure. More specific and specialized auctions are held as well, with one upcoming auction focused on trains which will have over 700 pieces, some dating as far back as the 1920’s. In the near future there will also be what Grayson is calling a “Man Cave” auction, at which all the items for sale will be geared towards helping guys decorate their manly sanctuaries.
Aside from hosting auctions, Saratoga Auction & Consignment is open seven days a week as a store and people are encouraged to stop by and have a look around. You may also drop in if you have an item you want to see if Keith Grayson is interested in either buying from you outright or, for a small commission, putting up at auction. Almost anything will be considered. Anything except for televisions and Beanie Babies, which Grayson gave as the answer to one of my last questions seeing if there were any items he wouldn’t buy or sell. So for those of you waiting for Beanie Babies to go back up in value, you’ll just have to keep waiting.