Monday, November 7, 2011

I Took A Little Time Out Of Our Day To Stop By The Ivey - Selkirk Modernism Auction Preview This Afternoon. Status: Swoon...Sigh...My Oh My.

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For years (yes really YEARS!) I've been trying to get to an Ivey - Selkirk Modernism auction. Not really to buy since I've always assumed everything will sell for much more than I'd ever hope for, but to just SEE this stuff and learn more about it and how an auction like this goes down. Truth is...I've always been intimidated by the whole deal.

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I've been so intimidated by the idea of attending that I've gone through the whole planning

stage of putting it in the calendar of my phone and going through the online catalog and

everything...everything but actually going to the sale. Well, intimidated I am no more! This

time I heard about the auction and preview on the piped in music station at the Goodwill

over in St. Charles on Saturday. Then again minutes later when we were in the car headed

to an antique mall. Seems like the Gods were being a little less than subtle. "GO TO THE


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Then it occurred to me that I could to a blog post of the Preview and serve a public purpose!

That sealed it. Not only would I get to see some really neat stuff (TONS of great artwork!),

but get a blog post out of it as well??? Sold. So after we hung out with friends this early

afternoon having a Dim Sum lunch we headed back down to Clayton and to the Ivey - Selkirk

auction house. I asked at the front desk if it was OK to shoot photos and got the "go ahead".

I've come to find that it is better to just ask even if it seems like it would be OK so as not to

have an embarrassing encounter later. Still, I always seem to get a concerned employee

inquiry before I wrap up whether at an estate sale or thrift store. It's all good. It gives me an

opportunity to tell another person about my blog!

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We got there a little later than I had hoped and only had two hours (much to the Girlfriends

delight!) to look around and take pics. Sorry for the less than stellar quality of the pics. I

would have like to experiment a little to get the color and light right but time wasn't on my

side. It's amazing how much time it can take me to set the tripod at the right height and get

just the right angle on the subject. Then I try to be very courteous of anybody who might be
wandering into frame. Not everybody wants to have their likeness on the web. Sometimes it

can't be helped.

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I was surprised to find a wonderful mix of what I consider High End pieces mixed with Lower

Medium End pieces as well as items I could easily identify and stuff I knew little or nothing

about. It's good that Ivey - Selkirk puts out a catalog with the sale to help people like me who

have just enough knowledge to get themselves into some trouble.

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I was also surprised by the auction house itself. I was always under the impression that this

would take place in a warehouse with concrete floors. I'm not sure were that idea came from.

Perhaps a combination of the Antiques Road Show and the Barret - Jackson classic car

auctions I've seen on TV. Did you check out the outside of the building? Pretty cool! What a

perfect place to buy some Vintage Modern morsels for your digs!

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See what I mean. These tables are just your run of the mill Lane Acclaim living room tables.

The finish on the three sided end table is pretty bad too. Yet here they are in with Marcel

Breuer Wassily chairs! Love it. Something for any budget it would seem. I guess it's up to

who's bidding though, right. It is an auction and one never knows. Maybe a buyer or two from

out of town (who don't know that Lane Acclaim is pretty easy to find here in StL) will want

these madly! I'm planning on going if only to see what things sell for...and maybe see if I can

sneak a bid or two in on this and that.

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So this is only Part 1 of a 3 part posting on the Ivey Selkirk Modernism auction preview. Tune

in tomorrow and the next to see more. I just had too many photos to cram all into one posting!

I hope to see lots of Modtomitrists (you guys) out there. If you recognize me (or if you think

you do!), come up and say "Howdy"!


  1. I have always been to chicken to go to an auction too. But I think that will come to an end. I met a couple while at their yard sale who had the same passion for mid-century as I. The woman was also an interior designer, with impeccable taste I might add. She encouraged me to go to a specific auction house just beyond my neighborhood. My budget is pretty low, but she said not to worry, that I would be surprised as to how low things go for. Now after reading this post, the next auction will go on my calendar!!

  2. I've been eyeing the Ivey Selkirk modernism auction for a while as well. They posted the "sold-for" prices after last years and there was some reasonable prices (not all). It's definitely closer to or above a retail price but the items have been well curated and documented so it seems to help weed out the riff raff. Enjoy!

  3. Auctions are definitely intimidating. At time though i have heard, things go for real cheap if you ae lucky to be at the right place with stuff but the wrong crowd :)

  4. FYI, I won the Lane coffee table and triangular end table above for what I would consider a reasonable price (about $125 for both). They might be run-of-the-mill but they look perfect in my 50's ranch house. As far as the finish, yes they were pretty rough, but I sanded them down and re-finished them and now they look good as new. They ended up in a good home!

  5. Dean - I'm happy to hear that they got the love they deserve! Would you be interested in having them featured here? I'd love to see what they look like now. Did you buy anything else at the auction?

  6. I still need to put another coat or two of oil/finish on them, so it might be another week until they're picture-ready. But I'd be glad to send some pics your way when they're done. I don't have any "before" shots, so you'd have to use yours. I can't find an email link for you...where can I reach you?