Sunday, November 13, 2011
Went To The Modernism Auction And Did Not Come Home Empty Handed! Status: Pleased As Punch!
I went to the Modernism auction this morning not to buy but more to see how the Ivey Selkirk auctions happen. Maybe buy something next time maybe even include something to be sold. Somehow I still managed to bring home this stunning Eames designed La Fonda side table.
I wasn't trying too hard to buy anything. Oh, I threw my hat in the ring on a few items but was
quickly dispatched by the more aggressive buyers, but there was only two bids on this beauty...
and the last one was mine. It wasn't cheap but it was mine.
Yup, still has the sticker on it! Hammer dropped at $125 on this. Then there's that pesky
buyer's premium...oh, and don't forget tax. Ouch. Still...not too shabby for realz. I don't
know if maybe the Eames La Fonda style is just not appreciated or if the other buyers just
didn't know much about it. The Eames Shelf Units sold for a combined (all three pieces
together) $9050...and it was not in great shape. They said it was found in a garage. Then
again...the white reproduction shell rocker sold for only $50. Go figure!
Some of the other surprises was the hammer price on the tulip dining table: $275. Yikes.
I'll have to find some more of those! This one was not a Knoll or anything too special in
my humble opinion but enough bidders wanted it bad enough to slug it out and get that
price up there. The pair of Barcelona chairs got sold for $3500 for the pair. Nice to see
they were appropriately valued. I found it kind of unnerving that bidders were sitting in
and on these and other auction items both before and after their sale. Am I the only one
who sees this as disrespectful?
The Le Corbusier Lounge went for an even $1000. I'd love to drop some cash on one of
these some day but this was not that day. $1200 (buyer's premium and tax, remember)
doesn't seem unreasonable to me. I just can't do that right now. Truth is I don't even know
where I'd use it! The pair of Lane Acclaim tables went for an even $100 which I found a
little surprising. A pair of Acclaim tables in rough shape almost went for as much as I paid
for this Eames designed table! Am I being a snob? Maybe, I guess. But I own examples of
both so I get to be!
It was a fun afternoon. We didn't have to get out of bed at the crack of dawn and the
Girlfriend got to come with me. She actually took the notes on selling prices for me so I
could concentrate on bidding. Ivey Selkirk knows how to whip through an auction too.
They didn't spend an unnecessarily long time on any of the items and the auction didn't
become boring or tedious. I guess it helps that I would have been happy to take home
just about anything that was available. One thing that kinda bothered me, which was a by
product of their efficiency, was the bidding increments. Seems to me that if something
starts at say $50 and the next bid called for is $75 and there are no bidders...wouldn't it
be prudent for the auctioneer to call for a bid of $60 before striking the hammer? there
were a number of items that I was willing to bid more than the opening bid of $50 on but
not $75! Really, this happened maybe 4 or 5 times this afternoon. I didn't hear anybody
else calling out a bid so I didn't do it. It didn't seem appropriate but would have made the
seller and the auction house more money! We came to the conclusion that Ivey Selkirk
had to strike a balance between efficiency and selling price and they probably know what
they are doing!