My Day At Auction……

First and foremost, I owe you peeps a winner for the Pier 1 Gift Card Give Away. Through a random drawing via, congratulations are due to Alison M., our winner who wrote…….

I’m torn.  Been dreaming of a new bed & the metal Rings one would be perfect! BUT I also need a chair for my desk so I can sew, that ottoman is getting old. The gift card would be great to go towards either of these.

Honestly I could use the gift card on anything. Just a bit of retail therapy in Pier One would be bliss right about now & anything I can get there would brighten up my world.

Thanks for doing this.

Allison, check your inbox for an email about further steps.  Thank you to everyone who entered and check back in February for an equally awesome give away!

So last Saturday I went decide to spend the day at Clars Auction House in Oakland, CA.  The auction is the one of the few auction houses in Oakland and the only one to hold regular monthly sales.  If you have never been to an auction, the premise is simple…….

  1.  You arrive ass early, sit around and wait for what seems like forever until the lot you want to bid on is up
  2.  You frantically wave your bid panel in the air to purchase said lot, all the while trying to mad dog the fat dude with a beanie on who keeps outbidding you.
  3. Should you win your lot, you pay pretty much a 20% auction surcharge for the privilege of buying someone else’s curated cast-offs….
  4. You fight off remorse and start process over again.

Okay, it wasn’t that bad but there was a fat dude in a beanie with an awful case of dry scalp who kept swooping up with last second bids.  I, however, stood strong on three lots and were able to snag them –one for a song and the other for a ransom.

I ended up purchasing four things, two African masks/figurines, a Chinese calligraphy brush and a 1960s silkscreen.  So working backwards, the 1960s silkscreen is a present to a friend that I was able to score for $20.  Unfortunately, they read the blog and I want it to be a surprise when I present it to her.  And yes, I know I mentioned the price of her present on here which may seem gauche but she knows I am a cheap skate…..

The other pieces may go to clients or may take up permanent residence in my house.  However, if the pieces did find sanctuary in my living room, I would not mind one single bit…….

The carving is West African in origin and is believed to be a Mali antelope sculpture.  It is actually quite large at about 2.5 feet.  There is some damage to the antlers and a crack in the frame, but nothing that can’t be repaired in due time.  I was $100 due to the damage.  The calligraphy brush has a stone handle and is thought to be turn of the century.  I thought it was a steal at $20 also.

However, the thing I was most excited to win at auction was this mask:

It has been confirmed to be a Bamana ceremonial mask.  What looks to be a broken horn at top actually would have held feathers and shells.  Unfortunately, they don’t know what ritual(s) the mask would have been used for, but it is an amazing piece especially considering it was carved from stone.  I also think that its price tag of $125 was a steal for the quality of the piece.  I am absolutely in love with it and I think the client will be too (sadly).

It’s a bit of an occupational hazard that I get to go shopping for clients and end up wanting it all for myself.   So have you ever been to an auction?  If so, did you buy anything?  Leave a comment and tell me!

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7 thoughts on “My Day At Auction……

  1. Big congratulations to Alison M.!!! She’ll have a good time at Pier 1!! Your auction experience sounds crazy!!! I have only been to one in my lifetime, and that was enough for me! My patience doesn’t run that long. I would have had to slap Beanie Boy! Glad you got some cool pieces out of it, though!

  2. I have to admit that I am glad that I get to play kid in a candy store at Pier One rather than the auction. Sounds stressful, but really glad you got some good finds. Thinking thrifting is more my style. Less drama!

    BIG THANK YOU! You know I had to do a double look at that email & a happy dance when I opened it. Big smiles all around looking forward to spending some money at Pier One on myself – guilt free.

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