Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Auction Fever

MB spied in last Saturday's (29 March 08) Adelaide Advertiser an article noting that a collection of memorabilia belonging to the Australian artist Pro Hart was going to auction in Adelaide. Further investigation revealed that Pro Hart was quite an avid and eclectic collector, especially of matchbox cars, glass paperweights and antique furniture. On perusing the catalogue MB spied an interesting Huon Pine chest of drawers, MB being a fan of huon pine furniture decided to inspect the piece and subsequently attended the auction (her first auction ever) on Sunday 30 March 08.
After a browse through the auction room with PTA, MB took a seat to await the auction which began at 12 noon, she then realised that with over 700 lots she was going to get hungry as she hadn't had any lunch. PTA kindly ducked over the road and picked up a bag of nuts to keep the old girl sustained.
Seated next to MB was a Chinese lady who pointed out two lots in the catalogue that she was interested in, her English was practically non-existent and she eventually communicated to MB that MB was to tell her when these lots came up for bidding. MB obliged and ended up writing down the bid amounts on paper as Mrs Chinoise didn't understand when the numbers were pronounced in English! She successfully bid on a large oak dining table and seemed very happy with her purchase.
MB had set a limit on her bids for the chest of drawers and is happy to report that she succeeded in the bidding which came in just under budget. Some of the collectibles seemed to sell for very reasonable prices and there was some spirited bidding for many items. The most notable item probably was one 1930 penny. MB asked the auctioneer the next day how much it went for and was told "18 plus 20% buyer's premium", MB asked if that meant 18 hundred dollars, wrong, it was $18,000.00. By the way the auction house was also the British Consulate office for Adelaide.
MB rather enjoyed the auction and would like to do this sort of thing more often.

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