30 November – And it's the year-end auction season, kicking off tomorrow with an auction in Brest at Thierry-Lannon & Associés ... let's visit the exhibit before the auction starts!
First, the important pieces. There are three vitrines of Quimper pottery, including a series of Sévellec plates, a number of figures, some platters, and a splendid collection of Porquier Beau botanicals, featuring several different birds.
During the visit, the exhibit hall looks very much like an elegant library in an old stately manor, with interesting paintings, old furniture, vases and sculptures, even old leather-bound books - of course, everything is for sale.
The sale starts at 14h00, and at 11h00, everyone has to leave so that the room can be rearranged for business. Everything in the forefront of this photo gets moved, and rows of folding chairs are set up. The counter in the back of the photo, with three vases and a sculpture, becomes the nerve center of the auction. The two auctioneers are on the right, and on the left, the staff records winning bids and prints out invoices (in my time, this has always been done with computers – I can just imagine how it was in the pre-electronic days). There is a red curtain behind the bookcase in the above photo; behind that curtain, pieces are stored after the gavel comes down. When you are finished buying, you go up front, you get your invoice, and then you go around to the back of the curtain to pick up your purchases. All of this has to be done without interfering with other people's bidding, which is sometimes tricky!
And there is a piece in the second vitrine that would fit quite nicely in my personal collection – if I get it, I'll let you know!
There are two more auctions in the coming week ... stay tuned.