Sunday, 28 June 2009

Nelson's hair makes £2,500 at auction.

A lock of Lord Horatio Nelson's hair has been auctioned for £2,500 in Lincolnshire.

The hair, which is encased in a brooch, is thought to have been cut from Lord Nelson's head after his death at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

It was sold to a private buyer at the auction held at Brown & Co in Brigg on Saturday.

The lock previously belonged to a woman from Worksop in Nottinghamshire whose family had links to the famous admiral.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Billionaire Buffett auctions off another lunch

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Last year's winning bid for lunch with legendary investor Warren Buffett topped $2.1 million, but given the economic turmoil, it's questionable this year's bidding will approach that level.

Yet Buffett has built a devoted following, as demonstrated by the crowd of 35,000 people at his recent Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting, and he offers only one lunch per year.

The online bidding begins at $25,000 Sunday in a charity auction that benefits the Glide Foundation, which provides social services to the poor and homeless in San Francisco. The bids will likely escalate significantly before the auction closes Friday evening at 10 p.m. EDT.

Glide's founder, Rev. Cecil Williams, said last year's big bid arrived just in time because demand for Glide's programs jumped roughly 20 percent in the past year with the recession. Glide relies on donations for most of its $17 million budget, so Williams is hoping for another big bid.

"We depend greatly on these people and their bidding," Williams said.
Buffett's late first wife, Susan, introduced the billionaire investor to Williams and the Glide Foundation. Buffett says he enjoys being able to help Glide with the lunch.

Buffett, who is Berkshire's chairman and chief executive, is primarily known for his investing success. Berkshire owns more than 60 subsidiaries including insurance, furniture, clothing, jewelry and candy companies, restaurants, natural gas and corporate jet firms and has major investments in such companies such as Coca-Cola Co. and Wells Fargo & Co.

But Buffett is also known for his philanthropy.
In 2006, he announced his long-term plan to give away the bulk of his roughly $36 billion fortune. Most of his shares of Berkshire stock will go to five charitable foundations, with the largest chunk going to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The auction's winner and up to seven friends will lunch with Berkshire's chairman and chief executive. The owners of the Smith and Wollensky restaurant in New York contributed $10,000 to Glide and will again host the lunch.

Last year's winner, Zhao Danyang of the Hong Kong-based Pureheart China Growth Investment Fund, is scheduled to collect his prize by dining with Buffett on Wednesday.

"I am looking forward to enjoying lunch with Warren Buffett," Zhao said. "This is truly the chance of a lifetime."

Last year's winning bid on lunch with Buffett was the most expensive charity item eBay had ever sold.

Previously, the most expensive charity item ever sold on eBay was a letter from Democratic senators blasting conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh for using the phrase "phony soldiers" on his program. The letter signed by 41 senators sold for $2.1 million on eBay in October 2008.

The proceeds from Limbaugh's auction went to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, which provides scholarships to children of Marines or federal law enforcement personnel who were killed while serving their country. And he matched the bid.

Buffett has been auctioning off lunches online for seven years but began auctioning the lunches for Glide off-line in 2000.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Lack of posts.

Readers will note the lack of posts over the last few months. That was because, as Coordinator of the London Green Party, I was deeply involved in the Euro election campaign.

We were pleased with the result. We held our seat which had been under attack. It was also pleasing that the fascist BNP fell back, in London, by over 50,000 votes on last year's election.

Nationally, the Green Party vote was up by 44% beating Labour in the South East and South West regions. Our vote in Brighton and Norwich were particularly exciting as it is in those areas that we expect to make breakthroughs in the next General Election.

Now back to auctions......

'Peanuts' strip sells for $17K at auction

LOS ANGELES, June 15 (UPI) -- A 1983 Charles Schulz "Peanuts" comic strip has sold for $17,080 at an entertainment memorabilia auction in Los Angeles, Bonhams & Butterfields said.

The pen and ink illustration, which shows Sally asking Charlie Brown to help her with a report on Charles Dickens, was the top-selling lot at Sunday's auction, the memorabilia dealer said.

The comic strip had been expected to bring between $10,000 and 15,000.

The sale also featured rare photos of Marilyn Monroe, in addition to a contract she signed; the handbag Estelle Getty carried as her character Sophia on "The Golden Girls," as well as the Emmy and Golden Globe awards she won for the role; and costumes from the private collection of actress Debbie Reynolds. Original works from The Peter Golding Collection of Rock 'n' Roll Art were also sold at the auction.
"It was a fun summer sale that showed the strength and continuing interest in animation, Hollywood and music memorabilia. We saw strong participation from around the globe," Margaret Barrett, department head of entertainment memorabilia at Bonhams & Butterfields, said in a statement.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Elderly left at risk by NHS bidding wars to find cheapest care with reverse auctions

Top story in Community Care mag's online round-up of today's newspapers:

Elderly left at risk by NHS bidding wars to find cheapest care with reverse auctions

An online auction system developed for councils to buy cheap wheelie bins and stationery is being used to buy end-of-life and dementia care for vulnerable elderly people.

The NHS in London has held a series of 30 “reverse e-auctions”, where bids are driven down instead of up, for £195 million worth of contracts for palliative and dementia care for patients leaving hospital.