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A friend of mine has just bought a pair of perfectly serviceable table lamps from an online retailer. They will be delivered within the next week and should fit in with the interior décor of their house nicely. They look fine for what they are, but if I’m honest they are made out of fairly cheap materials and I suspect will have a fairly short shelf life, despite actually being rather pricey, to my mind.

I know I’m biased, but I would argue that with a little bit of patience and the help of a free online auction alert service, my friend could have found a much better pair of lamps of classic design and more solid materials in a saleroom like mine. Recycled, well designed, long-lasting, chic and almost certainly a great deal less expensive than the repro versions they have just bought, antiques like these are the ultimate ‘green’ must-haves that everyone keeps saying they want.

It’s still not too late to find that special something for your loved ones this Christmas at auction, and it’s as easy as browsing online and registering to bid. What’s more, it’s an exciting and enjoyable process. Why not give it a go.