An Auctioneer's Lot
by Damien MatthewsEntries Posted Prior to Each Auction
Just returned from a short holiday in Malta. Churches a bit of a let down, interesting on the outside but full of gaily painted trash inside. Did however have the honour of seeing Caravaggio’s spectacular ‘The Beheading of St. John The Baptist’ in the sacristy of the Co-Cathedral of St. John in Valetta. His largest [...]
Before I write this it has to be stated that it is actually true. To a word it is true, this I promise you.
Or is it? You decide.
He may have been a priest but the devil danced in Fr. Brian. His seven years in the seminary were to stand him in good stead [...]
That fine spell of weather has broken today. While the sun shone above it was very hard to keep motivated, we didn’t have an auction in June but we were organising three for July, as well as totting up the dreaded housekeeping accounts. A shocking fact, turnover doesn’t equal profit! One hears chief executives on [...]
The American investor Wilbur Ross didn’t become a billionaire by being stupid. Selling part of his shareholding in Bank of Ireland a couple of months ago, equivalent of the buy-in cost of his original investment, had the rub of a man hedging his bets on Ireland. But now his selling, just a couple of months [...]
Roebuck Hill House, our next clearance, is a property that dates to the 1790s and while it retains many original features it could now be fairly described as careworn. Back in 1962 a neighbour agreed to buy the property privately for five thousand old pounds from the elderly spinster who owned it, a Miss Orme. [...]
A few years ago while waiting for an aeroplane to take us to India, Thomas, whom I had met only briefly once before, casually asked me, ‘Are you your own man?’ Answering, without really thinking about it, I said that I was. We continued on chatting. It was only later that I realised what a [...]
The rarest stamp in the world comes up for sale in New York this June, the 1856 British Guinan One-Cent Magenta, estimate $10,000,000 – $20,000,000. Printed by Guiana’s postmaster after a shipment of stamps from its colonial ruler England was delayed, it features a ship on red paper with the surrounding Latin motto: Damus petimus [...]
News comes to me via The Financial Times of a grisly souvenir from the French Revolution that went up for auction last week; a working guillotine. Offered in a Nantes salesroom it fetched €40,000. Not a bad price but considerably less than what was paid three years before at Drouot in Paris where it fetched [...]
Another delicate aspect of the business is non-brides, or rather refused proposals & broken engagements. My role as comforter is key before the unwanted ring can be sold. This task sometimes rests uneasy but again, business is business, my job is to get the lots in for sale. Staying emotionally detached is vital. In some [...]
Another amusing recollection from my old actor friend. The great stage actor Christopher Plummer was booked to play the lead in a London production of Shakespeare’s tragedy Coriolanus. Cast rehearsals began. Plummer, albeit one of the greatest actors of his generation had a bit of a problem – he was prone to arrogance. Frustratingly he [...]
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