Monday, 6 July 2009

On the run between auctions - judy datesman

Just a quick note after Adjug'Art at Douarnenez on Sunday and before Morlaix on Monday ...

At Douarnenez yesterday, a number of pieces of folk art (costumes, etc.) went to the Musée de Bretagne in Rennes - collectively, the audience is always pleased to hear that kind of news! The Villa du Moulin Rouge service was a big hit, and somebody who was bidding on the phone now owns a number of pieces of it. (Services are special: on the one hand, it would be nice if they would stay together. On the other hand, it takes a collector with a lot of space, and maybe money, to buy a whole service. It is the auction house's responsibility to try to earn as much as possible in the sale, which is generally why services are split up. But it also allows many more people to own at least an example of something that they could not own if they had only the option of the entire service. Sometimes to get around this somewhat moral dilemma, the auction house will do this: they will take the highest bid for each piece, but the price is provisional; after every piece has a provisional price, there will be the option to buy the entire service for more than the total of the prices of the individual pieces. At least that way, everyone gets a shot at what s/he wants!)

I've been going to auctions in Brittany for fifteen years now, and I think that the buying ambiance has changed thusly: it used to be that professional dealers would buy most of the best pieces, quantity and quality. Now there seem to be more and more collectors who are there to buy one or two pieces for their own collection, which I like to see because it reflects what is the essence of collecting, the judicious choosing of pieces to complement and enhance the pieces already owned.

On the way out yesterday, I managed to recruit a new member for the Club!! By the time we get to 2011 and a meeting in Quimper (I hope), there should be a number of interesting collections to visit in Brittany ...

I'm off to Morlaix - see you tomorrow with lots more details!


  1. Thanks again Judy, for updating us with a most interesting post. Look forward to more as the days go on.

  2. Sounds like you are having fun!
    Great news about the new member. Have you added to your faience collection yet this week?

  3. Judy, it is very interesting to learn about provisional bidding for sets. I had felt that a set that lovely might need to stay together, but then we would have no chance to own a piece. That the auction house sometimes adds the bids together is quite unusual, and I can imagine that price is rarely met by a single bidder, but never knows.