It’s amazing to find that so many Hawaii people are such huge fans of the wildly popular Spike TV show “Auction Hunters,” starring Allen Haff and Ton Jones. This show, now in its second season, follows two artifact buffs as they bid on abandoned storage lockers around California. Buyers have a minute to survey the contents from the outside, then bidding ensues. They then go through the contents of the lockers they win and show the valuable and/or quirky items that they take out for resale.
Both men are lifelong enthusiasts in antiques, memorabilia, weapons, and other collectibles, so their expertise is head and shoulders above the average auction hunter. “There are some people out there who spend six figures each year on storage lockers,” Allen said. “But if they’re spending that kind of money, they’re making six figures as well. They’ve gotta be good.”
They’ve taken their show on the road and just wrapped up two weeks of exploring storage lockers on Oahu. We got to sit with them yesterday to go over some of their finds — the ones they could haul down to the Marriott Waikiki pool, anyway — and talk story with them about the magic of Hawaii.
Here are some photos of a few of their finds:
Meeting the Auction Hunters (2 of 8)
This is rare not just because it's hand-carved, but because it's made of Asian water buffalo horn — Ton says there are only two kinds of water buffaloes, and the Asian horns are shaped this way. It blew me away that these guys could store so much information in their heads that they can spot such an item. "We love what we do and have been enthusiasts in our specific areas all our lives," Allen said. "Ton loves animals and runs an (animal-related) organization back home. He knows his stuff."
This is Ton’s favorite find from Hawaii, a giant conch shell.
We took a lot of exclusive video yesterday, but will show the rest of it in another blog post just before the Hawaii show airs (we’re not sure, but they think it will be in April — stay tuned). If you want to get a preview, you can check out the clips as Russ Sumida (@Parkrat) uploads them to our YouTube channel. You can also check out Christine Hitt’s (@ChristineHitt) blog about it today at HonoluluMagazine.com.
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