Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Lot number 1618 . . .

Well here we are at Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers, this their new auction house – it's built from straw bales, yes – it really is!

And, no, that's not my red jag!

Apologies for the fuzzy photos - I took them furtively with my phone.

I had been told that the auction proceeds at a pace of 120 to 150 lots per hour, so doing some maths I was aiming for 3pm-ish to see the oil painting come under the hammer. Something made me set out early, I had to put petrol in the car and there might be hold up on route; I arrived at about 2.10pm and lingered in the car to listen to the heated row at the end of The Archers on Radio 4.

When wandered in to the auction room the bidding had already reached Lot 1575! So I settled down on a chair in the corner and waited as the hammer went down over and over again.

I tried to record a little movie of the moment the bidding got to Lot 1618, but the camera in my phone cut out too early, so this is roughly what happened . . .

Auctioneer: "Lot 1618 an oil painting by Elena Gaussen Marks of two standing nudes . . . I'm starting at £200 . . . Any bids in the room? . . . Sold for £200 (bang!) Lot 1619 . . ."

So that was that, the auctioneer didn't say he had a commission bid and I'd put a reserve on of £200 . . . had it really sold or not?

I queued up and asked at the kiosk (I was beginning to assume it hadn't and was ready to carry the painting to my car and bring it home) – but it had! Hurrah!

So I've just about got my money back and have a framed Sheila Robinson linocut for free! Result!

Now I have to get down to work – after I've made a cup of tea of course!


  1. Great result - if nerve-wracking!

  2. That sounds really exciting but a bit nerve-jingling! Great outcome.


  3. Our only experience with an auction room was when we sold a whole lot f old furniture and they took the cost of transportation plus the commission out of it and we made a grand total of £7! Mind you it was a long time ago.
    So...you did well! Congratulations.

  4. Oh bravo to you for courage! Wonderful that you have allowed someone else to have that picture, and that you will have your wonderful print.


  5. I think that was a good result, well done!

  6. Well done, what a triumph! Nail biting stuff, I bet your adrenaline was rising! Love Vanessa xxx

  7. congrats on the sale! i've read that hay bales make for great insulation.

  8. Well done! I haven't been to an auction in ages.. must get back into the habit again! Thank you for you blog visit. Have a lovely evening.

  9. I love auctions! Sounds like you made out on the deal! And you should have a red Jag!!! Have a nice weekend, I'm off to the ocean!

  10. great blog, so insightful and up to date


  11. Auctions are such an interesting process. So often its hard to keep up with whats going on! At least it is for me. Thats great that it sold!

  12. Brilliant, Celia. What a great result :)

  13. What great news! I work at an auction house and I'm still learning how it all works! Lucy x


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