Auction Hunters visits Honolulu’s Storage Units
Auction Hunters is currently shooting in Honolulu for its third season on Spike TV. While the producers are keeping its high-priced finds under wraps for now, we were able to talk with the show’s cast, Clinton “Ton” Jones and Allen Haff, to give us a sample of what discoveries they are making in storage units around Oahu.
First up is a large tiki god, more than 12 inches in height. Haff says that he can easily tell that it was hand-carved by a woodsmith, which dates its creation to approximately the 1970s. He values it at $300, more than I was expecting. Along with the tiki god, they appraised a monkey carved from a single piece of monkeypod, also from the 1970s. Its intricacies make it worth about $120, says Haff.
Other items they shared were coins, including a 1924 Hawaii bus token, a dolphin carved into an Asian Water Buffalo horn, a nautilus shell (which are now protected) used as a candle, Mexican jewelry, a book containing all the artwork from Sailor Jerry’s Honolulu tattoo parlor, as well as military items, including service medals and a Merchant Marines badge, which is a rare find, they add. “We always try to return the medals to the owners if they are alive,” says Haff.
While storage auctions seem like a lucrative business, Jones and Haff say they go through eight to nine units per day while filming, and often find only a couple of interesting items for the show. But, they say, they’ve enjoyed their time on Oahu, have gathered numerous souvenirs via the auctions, and have met friends along the way that have been “more than family.”
On coming to Hawaii, Haff says, “I made a joke to Ton about maybe finding a unit with a Wyland in it.” Sure enough, he found a unit containing a print on which all he could see were the letters “land.” He took the risk, stuck it out through the auction and now has a signed and numbered print by Wyland.
Spike TV will be airing the episodes on location in Hawaii later this year. http://www.spike.com/shows/auction-hunters
For more coverage and video, visit Melissa Chang's blog.
Posted on Thursday, February 23, 2012 in Permalink