Saturday, 25 December 2010

Christmas Greetings - two auction films to bring a smile

Fools and Horses: Auction Scene.
To many fans of ‘Only Fools and Horses’, the final auction house scene was the best ever. Here it is again on You Tube:

For really black humour have a look at the following short video on You Tube:

Called ‘Everything is for sale. It's just a matter of price’ it shows firefighters auctioning off the only available landing net to people trapped in a burning building.

Wishing all my readers a safe, happy and peaceful festive season.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Lee Harvey Oswald's coffin sells for $87,000


LOS ANGELES — The coffin in which Lee Harvey Oswald, the man charged with shooting president John F. Kennedy, was buried went under the hammer for over 87,000 dollars, the auction house which organized the sale said.

The pine coffin is partially water-damaged by the 18 years it spent in the ground before Oswald's body was exhumed in 1981 to lay to rest rumors that a lookalike Soviet agent was buried in his place.

The body -- confirmed as genuinely his -- was reburied in another casket, and the original was offered for sale for the first time Friday, by the Nate D Sanders auction house in Los Angeles.

A spokeswoman declined to reveal the identity of the purchaser who paid 87,468 dollars for the casket.

According to the Dallas News, the coffin was sold by Allen Baumgardner, a Fort Worth funeral home manager who had kept it after being present when Oswald's body was exhumed.

Oswald, charged with killing Kennedy on November 22, 1963, was himself shot two days later and buried on November 25, fueling conspiracy theories which still rage to this day.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

'Candle Auction' takes place in Berkshire.

An age-old tradition of a candle auction has been held at a Berkshire village.

The ceremony, which is held every three years, sees people bidding to lease a local meadow while a candle containing a horse-nail burns.

The person with the bid when the nail drops out of the specially-made tallow candle is declared the winner.

The event, which originates from the early 1800s, was being held at Aldermaston Parish Hall from 1930 GMT.

'Frantic bidding'

The local vicar was the auctioneer for the night and church wardens, in-keeping with tradition, were given pipes, although they were not be allowed to light them.

Councillor Dave Shirt, Aldermaston Parish Council chairman, said: "[Bids are] initially at a leisurely pace, and tension increases as the flame approaches the nail and the wax around it begins to soften.

"At this stage the bidding becomes frantic, and the bid that is live at the time the nail falls out wins the auction.

"Candle auctions have a long history.

"It was traditional to hold ship auctions at Lloyds Coffee House at Tower Hill in London and Samuel Pepys describes the sale of three hulks in his diary entry for 3rd September 1661."

The piece of land up for grabs this year is called Church Acre in Fishermen's Lane.

Organisers believe Chedzoy in Somerset is the only other village in the country which still holds the tradition, although only once every 21 years.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Shakespeare's First Folio sells at £1.5M

Also at the Sotheby auction:
Lord Hesketh's collection also included a rare copy of Shakespeare's First Folio, which Sotheby's said was "the most important book in all of English Literature".

Of the 750 that were probably printed, only 219 are known to exist today.

The copy, which dates back to 1623 and has three pages missing, sold for £1.5 million.
It is one of only three textually complete copies to exist in private hands in a comparably early binding.

In the Green Room we have a copy for £85 - it's the Norton Facscimile, but in better condition than the Sotheby copy:-)

World's most expensive book sells for £7.3m, Tuesday 7 December 2010 21.56 GMT
John James Audubon's Birds of America at Sotheby's in London before its sale for a world record £7.3m. Photograph: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters
A copy of John James Audubon's Birds of America tonight became the most expensive book ever sold when it went under the hammer at Sotheby's for £7.3m. The auction was a rare chance to own one of the best preserved editions of the 19th century masterpiece, with its 435 hand-coloured illustrations, seen as a key volume on US natural history.
It was sold to an anonymous collector bidding by telephone, the auction house said. Each individual picture is so valuable there have been some fears the volume could be broken up and sold as 435 separate works of art. Experts believe that unlikely: the tome is probably more valuable intact.
And collectors hold Audobon in such reverence that the notion of ripping apart a perfect copy would be akin to sacrilege.
"Audubon's Birds holds a special place in the rare book market for several reasons," said Heather O'Donnell, a specialist with Bauman Rare Books in New York. "The book is a major original contribution to the study of natural history in the New World.
"It's also one of the most visually stunning books in the history of print: The scale of the images, the originality of each composition, the brilliance of the hand coloring."
The Birds of America plates were printed in black and white and hand-coloured afterwards, and made from engravings of Audubon's watercolours. The book measures more than 3 ft by 2 ft (90 cm by 60cm) because he wanted to paint the birds life size.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Queen's knickers for auction.

A pair of underpants once supposedly owned by The Queen are to be sold at auction.
Hanson’s Auctioneers are selling the yellowed knickers on behalf of the estate of a notorious American playboy who was dubbed ‘Miami’s Hugh Hefner’.
He was given them by a friend after the Queen is said to have left them on a private plane during a visit to Chile in 1968.
Following the death in June of ‘Baron’ Joseph de Bicske Dobronyi, or Sepy as he was known, his family found the knickers among his belongings and are now auctioning them off.
They hope to get the same price as a pair of Queen Victoria’s giant bloomers, which went for £4,500 during a 2008 auction, also carried out by the Derbyshire-based auctioneers.
The latest pair of Royal pants are cream coloured with a slightly darker pattern on the bottom lining of both legs.
They have an ‘E’ stitched into the side, more than likely a reference to Elizabeth, but a departure from the ‘ER’ which is used on official insignia.
At mid-thigh length, they are also far more conservative than women’s underwear of today.
It is not entirely clear if the underwear were indeed worn by HRH, although she and Prince Philip did indeed make an official visit to Chile and Brazil in 1968 where they went to a football match in Rio and were cheered by crowds in Santiago.
The auction of Queen Victoria’s bloomers attracted interest from around the world and the garments were eventually sold to an anonymous Canadian.
The 50-inch waist knickers, which dated from the 1890s, had been expected to fetch just £500 but went for £4,500.
Auctioneer Charles Hanson said he could not say for certain if the underwear does belong to the Queen.

Read more:

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Oswald's coffin coming up for auction.

The original coffin of Lee Harvey Oswald -- the man who assassinated President John F. Kennedy -- is going under the hammer this month, auctioneers said Wednesday.
Los Angeles based dealers Nate D. Sanders Auctions will start the bidding for the gruesome souvenir at $1,000. But it is expected to go for much more at auction on Dec. 16.
Oswald, who was arrested about an hour after President Kennedy was murdered in 1963, was later shot and killed by Jack Ruby before he could stand trial.
He was buried in a simple pine coffin, but his body was exhumed in 1981 after his wife won a legal battle to identify him amid theories a Russian agent was buried in his place.
The heavily water-damaged casket was replaced with a new one when Oswald was reburied at Rose Hill Cemetery in Texas.
The auction house website added that the coffin was "accompanied by a letter of authenticity by Funeral Director Allen Baumgardner, who assisted at the original embalming of Lee Harvey Oswald and later purchased the Miller Funeral Home along with all of its property."
The auction also includes a blood-stained piece of the leather seat Kennedy was sitting on when he was killed.