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!