I went to a house auction yesterday. I have to say that it was a very well run event. The auction was held in a large marquee adjacent to the house and there was the now obligatory ability to bid by phone or on the internet. A catering company was in attendance to provide sustenance for the assembled bidders and in case too many cups of coffee were imbibed a potaloo was positioned in a secluded corner.
The bulk of the auction lots came from the estate of the late owner of the house, but there was also a large number of clocks and watches from another estate.
I do find it slightly sad that someone's affects should be sold like this, but I suppose it is inevitable. The children have their own houses and their own tastes and they don't necessarily have the room to accommodate all of the parental ethemera. It would however be wrong to describe and dismiss the auction lots in this instance as ethemera. The owner of the house, (a grade B listed building designed by Alfred Forman), had been a GP and clearly had an eye for antiques. One of his younger ex colleagues used to accompany him to auctions and that ex colleague was present to pick up a few items in remembrance as clearly were several friends and former patients.
There were quite a few paintings by, 'known," Irish artists included among the lots. I know very little about Irish art, but one of the in vogue names is apparently, Basil Blackshaw. I was appraised of this by a friend who has dabbled in art investment over the last thirty years. There were three Bradshaw's up for grabs and they all went for in excess of £4000. I was not tempted!! Definitely too rich for my blood and I have to say that I didn't even like them.