Monday, January 9, 2012


Today is auction day and my blood is starting to run a little quicker. Just by chance, I checked one of my auction house postings last night and discovered that they were having an early January auction! Now the work begins: previewing what has been posted on-line;  researching those items that seem interesting; deciding ball park bidding limits; actually previewing the auction in person; timing when I will get to the auction or if I will leave an absentee bid........

So many of my friends have said to me over the years: "Wow, auctions must be so much fun--please take me." The truth is that auctions are fun; but they are also a lot of work and huge amounts of patience are required just waiting for your items to come to the block (not to mention the little fact that many auctions are held in warehouses without the benefit of air conditioning or heat==torture). Preparation and knowledge are key--but timing and focus (things go really quickly--before you know it, the item is bid and gone) are just as important (perhaps more). There is also the element of pysching-out other bidders. Body posture, expression, subtleness and operating under-the-radar are all valid tactics. I have to admit that I'm not very tall (used to be 5' even) and I firmly believe in the practice of true humility (which is unusual in Los Angeles and sometimes is taken as weakness); therefore, I choose both subtleness and to operate under-the-radar and it usually works for me (except when the auctioneer doesn't see me--oooops).

I'll be taking and posting photos of the items that I'll preview later this morning. (Wish me luck)

.......I'm back. Well, it was a very interesting (as in complex) auction as I decided to phone bid. The proxy bidder calls me to bid on the first lot (lot is the auction term for an individual item or group of items up for auction) on my list, for some crazy reason beyond my control and comprehension, the telephone proxy bidder didn't raise her hand to get my bid in???!!!! I have been to hundreds, maybe I'm starting into my second thousand auction and this has never happened to me. For the second item, the bid went too high. I was really focusing on the 3rd item (lot) on my list-- a grouping of 4 framed sets of antique 19th c. Grand Tour intaglios: the caller must have misdialed by number--I never got the call (by now my feathers are definitely getting ruffled), I don't think that I was overly nice to the proxy bidder (perhaps a little bitchy describes my communication style more appropriately). And finally the 4th lot on my list comes to the block: I'm on the phone with the proxy bidder and things are looking good.  After the bidding starts, I realize that I have another inexperienced proxy bidder; I become pretty forceful. The bidding gets to where I want to stop, but I realize that there is just one other bidder; so I keep going to see if I can psych him out--no go. But at this point there is NO WAY that I am going to loose this lot: four bids later (the increments were pretty high at this level) and... I bring my baby home.


And this lady is PERFECT--no extensive restoration or even polishing necessary--I'm IN LOVE. I'm naming her "Madame Victoire" after one of the daughters of Louis XV.

I hope that you got a glimpse of what auction buying really entails. By the way, this auction lasted from 5:30 pm til 10:30 pm with no food or heat. Torture if you ask me.

Note: I still need to work through the bugs in this blogging business--I can't seem to be able to insert text along side the photos or to change the fonts, etc. Hang in there with me....  MARY



  1. Mary she is indeed gorgeous. Thank you for the glimpse into auction houses and bidding, etc. Very interesting!


    Art by Karena

  2. auctions are a lot of fun but when you run a business, you have to treat the auction as another facet of your business...some people don't understand that but it doesn't mean you don't enjoy what you do...and just look at that fabulous chest of drawers!!
    for me to add text beside an image-I have to right click the image and an icon pops up that I click on that gives further instruction..but that's wordpress, not sure about blogspot...
    soon you'll have it all figured out...
    love the background peachy-pink pattern...

  3. Hi Maureen and Karena--It is the next morning and I still love her. Thank you for commenting: Makes a girl feel good. Be well, Mary