We did, however, look at the on-line catalog and decided to bid on several lots. The estimated prices looked so good that we decided to take a chance with absentee bids even though we couldn't see the lots in person. I don't like the Stair absentee bidding set up, but we set our top price and went with it. Most other auction houses will sell you the item at an increment above the last bid, but at Stair they will sell it only at your full bid, even if it was a lot more than the last bid from the floor at the auction.
This was one of their 'Exposition' auctions which is for items typically ranging from $25 to $2,000. They don't accept phone or on-line bids for these auctions. This auction was titled "AMERICAN, ENGLISH AND CONTINENTAL Furniture, Silver, Glass, Porcelain, Fine Art and Decorations."
We bid on 3 lots:
- A Louis XVI style brass and marble stand that we gave a low ball bid on. A very decorative item that we figured could go almost anywhere as a display stand.
Stand: Est. $150 - $175
- A pair of directoire style steel and brass gueridons (small tables) that would make great end tables. We bid at the low end of the range.
Gueridons: Est. $200 - $300
- Four deco style window grills. It's not clear from the description if they are a set, but we guessed that they were not. We bid above the top end of the estimate range because we liked the one pictured quite a bit, and would pay that much for the one. The other 3 would be a bonus. I could see using these as wall decoration on our new house.
Four Window Grills: Est. $200 - $300
We were hopeful enough of winning at least one bid that we arranged to drive up Saturday morning. You have to pick up your 'winnings' by 1pm or pay a storage fee.
The result of this experiment was.....!
We got an email from Stair at about 10pm Friday night telling us that we were successful on the window grills with our bid of $425 ($536 with buyers premium and tax). Now we just had to drive up to Hudson to see what we actually bought.
The other items went for:
- Brass and marble stand: $300.00
- Directoire-style gueridons: $550.00
A good experiment, and we'll definitely be watching out for future 'Exposition' auctions at Stair.