GILBERT — Clover Sales Auctions and Antiques has opened in Gilbert and is making strides to offer nostalgic pieces to the public.
Rick Vanover and his wife Tara have been collecting antiques and picking for over five years but it wasn’t until Vanover ended up unemployed from the coal mining industry that he ever thought about taking his hobby further.
Like most men who find themselves unemployed, Vanover sought out the help of Workforce West Virginia to take classes so that he could provide for his family with another profession. There were several courses that Vanover was interested in but had already started which meant he would have to wait in some cases over a year before even beginning to take classes.
“I couldn’t wait a year,” said Vanover. “I needed something right then and that is when I found out about Menden Hall Auctioneer School in North Carolina.”
According to Vanover, Workforce WV refused to pay for the course which meant Vanover had to pay his own way. The course lasted two weeks with 11 hour days and after completion, Vanover passed his state boards exam. Vanover then did six auctions under Russ Davis in Pineville and was bonded by the state.
“I started out doing auctions in local fire departments,” said Vanover.
Vanover then acquired the building located beside Gilbert Town hall and opened Clover Sales where the public is free to shop in the antique section of the store and then gather in on auction nights to bid on items secured by Vanover.
“Usually with any auction we may have 200-250 items. Some of those are antiques and some are new. You walk in and you will acquire a bid number that you use to bid on items in the auction,” said Vanover.
Most of the items found in Clover Sales have been acquired from estates or other auctioneers. There are no clothes sold or auctioned in Clover Sales and as of now, only items that Vanover has purchased himself are available but he says that will change soon.
“In the near future, we will be taking consignments,” said Vanover.
Now Vanover works for a coal water testing plant and coaches middle school basketball at Jammie Darrian Christian Academy but says that Clover Sales is his passion. Items that are available include old currency, glassware, Nascar collectibles, furniture, primitives, cookware, household items and much more.
“We are planning on having our Christmas auction in the fall,” said Vanover. “We have so many Christmas decorations that we are planning an auction of nothing but Christmas themed items.”
Clover Sales goal is to host one auction each month with the times varying due to football season. You can visit Clover Sales Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on the weekdays and 3:00 p.m. on Saturday.
“I’ve worked in the coal industry for twenty four years,” said Vanover. “This is not my full time job but this is my passion and its family run. Some of this stuff in here is hard to get rid of. I know the story behind it all. I’ve seen the estates that it come from. When you do this business and you love it, it is because you love the stories that come with it.”
Madalin Sammons is a reporter for the Gilbert Times. Madalin can be reached at [email protected] or by phone at 304-664-8225.