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!


  1. Many times an auctioneer will accept half-bids if you don't want to bid the full increment. A half bid is usually indicated by holding your hand flat with the palm down. For example, if an item was at $50 and the auctioneer called for $75, that gesture would put your bid at $62.50.

    Glad you had a good time and came home with something you love!

  2. wow, glad u liked being at the auction...i m intimidated with just the thgt...and its an exquisite table..:)

    hey Dana, thanks for sharing that info...never knew we could do that

  3. How's that new couch working out for you? I'm looking for something just like that, but in a slightly more traditional color (moss green, grey, black, brown, etc.).

  4. i really like that table the base sets it off,i seen that on there page and thought is was taller.
    is it appropriate to ask what you got it for
    9not asking to get so as to buy,wondering

    lg washington

  5. Dana - Thanks so much for that valuable tidbit of bidding info! I'll ask about that next time. It would have come in handy (get it?).

    Sudha - This is the kind of auction that I can handle. Not having to wait around for a bunch of stuff I'm not interested in made it a lot easier!

    Nick - The blue sectional is probably a temp. I'm not entirely sure I'm going to keep it.

    Anonymous - With tax and buyer's premium it was just under $160. Maybe not the greatest bargain I've ever managed to acquire, but I doubt I'd ever find one any cheaper!

  6. I agree about being disrespectful of something someone just purchased...

    Heck, i even saw a handful of ladies eating food at a table someone just bid on.