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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Sunday, April 21

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It's summertime in Chicago and there's a ton of antique shows and auctions out there to choose from. I had a hard time deciding which ones to write about. There's just so much going on right now, how could I decide? As I was looking at all the different sites, I had an idea.

This week's featured auctions and antique shows all have websites with issues. By issues, I mean each site has what I like to call the "Why the hell did they do that" factor. They all have a "special" design element or simply no design element whatsoever. You'll see what I mean in just a minute.

Wednesday, June 1st, 6pm

RPN Sales
4451 N Milwaukee Ave.

Website issue: Arguably the best of the three this week. Except for the balloons. Balloons do not belong on your site unless you're actually selling balloons. Even then I'd have to think twice about it. Even better are the toolbars featured on the auction and store pages. Zoom in! Zoom out! Fun for everyone!

RPN Sales is a family run auction house located on Milwaukee avenue just north of Montrose Avenue. Once a month they have a big old auction featuring items they get from local estates. I took a trip over there yesterday to take a look around and it looks like it's going to be a good auction. They've got a ton of furniture and plenty of other crapola. There's an old wine press I'd like to try and bid on if the price is right.

(I have to learn to keep my mouth shut. Last month I went on and on in this column about how I was going there to bid on an orange Herman Miller chair I had my eye on. Well, one of you evil bastards showed up and outbid me on the damned chair. Sheesh).

Saturday, June 4th, 10am

Lake County Municipal Vehicle and Equipment Auction
600 Winchester Road, Libertyville

Website issue: Make sure your speakers are turned up before you click the link. If you can find a way to get that song out of your head please let me know. I've been hearing it for days now.

This auction will feature excess vehicles and equipment from municipalities around Lake County. Along with the used bulldozers and tractors for sale are Chevy Impalas, Ford Crown Victorias and many other good used vehicles. You can sometimes pick up a good cheap car at an auction like this. It sure beats chasing classified ads.

Saturday June 4th, 12am
Sunday June 5th, 7am

Kane County Flea Market
Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles

The website issue: Would someone tell me what that spinning red triangular chiclet is? And what's with those those zippy multicolored dividers? I've seen Livejournal sites that look better than this.

"Kane," as it's known to the antique dealers (you doin' Kane?), is the largest antiques show in the Chicago area. Other shows may claim to be the biggest but none come close to the number of dealers who set up at Kane each month. The quality of merchandise is outstanding. If you're a dealer, it's where you bring your best stuff.

You're not going to find many amateur sellers at Kane. For one, it costs 115.00 to set up at an outside space. At that price, you're not going to find many flea market type guys selling here. Most of the dealers are pros who know their antiques inside out. That's not to say you can't find a bargain or two here. You just have to dig a little harder than other places. There's a good amount of older dealers who really aren't hip to the more modern pieces. I've bought some great Eames pieces at good prices at Kane. Admission is $5 and parking is free.

As you can see, finding a good website designer can be difficult. I hope these fine design elements I've featured here inspire you and find a special place in your heart. They did mine.

If you have any questions about antiques or auctions you'd like answered, please email ron<bighappyfunhousecom and I'll be featuring your questions in future columns.

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About the Author(s)

Ron Slattery is a collector of interesting junk and other wonderment. You can visit him at and

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