Saturday, June 5, 2010

Auction Fever

Due to circumstances beyond my control (crippling fall, lotsa pain) I did not get to the rodeo or the beach or even the grocery store today. Nonetheless, a friend drove me to Santa Margarita, which is not a pizza (as I had assumed) but a funky little California town south of Paso Robles.

We went to the viewing at the Santa Margarita Auction Barn; tomorrow is the auction. The barn is just that-- a barn, with several additions that are accessed through a small ramp or step (this great fun with a cane). The collection seemed to come from two specific estates: one with cowboys and Indians (the American Native kind) and one with more Victoriana than Queen Victoria and all nine of her children ever accumulated in her sixty year reign.

A few pieces could have passed for Burgundian, but there was nothing in fruitwood, which most of my French furniture is created from. The majority of the pieces were so old-fashioned I could only remember back to the late sixties when I thought a roll-top desk was a classic. Aside from the stuffed full sized black bear outside, there were sofas in pony skin, curio cabinets galore and my personal favorite, a Gentleman's Shaving Stand. I actually left an absentee ballot on this item, even though a Gentleman does not come included.

The stand has four bow legs that funnel into a central column, then reaches up to a height of four foot something where there is a square cabinet with shelves for shaving items, as well as a hidden drawer for jewelry. The stand continues upward another six- ten inches to balance a round mirror. The stand is walnut and would be the most perfect accessory for my guest room, which at this time only features an air mattress and two magazines.

There is no published catalogue or estimate at the SMAB, so a salesman made the rounds with me and mentioned some possible prices for a few of the items I was interested in. He said the Gentleman's Stand would go for $250-400. I low-balled it with a bid of $150 and left my chit. Tomorrow they will call me...or not.

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