Bargain of the day

| September 2002

The three-wheel plow, above, and the wood standard plow. According to farm implement expert C.H. Wendel, Weir Plow Co. later became well known for its 'Wild Irishman' sulky plow.

Jim Piacenti, a life-long resident of Ladd, Ill., collects postcards, trade tokens and advertising items from his hometown. When he decided to walk across the alley to a neighbor's auction recently, he was hoping to find some nifty, old advertising items for sale.

'The people who lived there had farmed in the area for years before moving to town,' he explains, 'but disappointment set in when all I could find was a pen from a local business.'

Because he and his wife also are fledgling antique dealers, Jim decided to 'shift gears' and look for something they might resell. 'I decided to bid on a certain box lot after finding a small metal bowl from the 1933 Chicago World's Fair in it.'

He says he'd attended auctions before but never as a bidder, and when the lot he had his eye on hit the block, he got very excited. 'I ended up going higher than I had originally planned,' he says. 'Sound familiar?'

After carting his box of 'treasure' home, though, he discovered an 1886 Weir Plow Co. catalogue stuck in a farm records book near the bottom. After thumbing through it, he says, 'I decided I had gotten the bargain of the day!'