Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Tuesday, 9 July 2019
I was sent to a London auction house once, to buy these. Four cast copies of 'Terms' or 'Herms' in the classical style. The were described as 'reconstituted stone', which is auctioneer-speak for concrete.
They were quite large - about six feet tall. The estimate was £12,000 - £14,000 which I thought was about £7,000 more than I thought they were worth. Nevertheless I had a maximum budget of £40,000, which was about £33,000 more than I thought they were worth.
Within a few seconds, I had bid them up to £40,000 and I was out. You have to make quick mental calculations during fast auctions. The bids rise incrementally and it would be very easy to go over your client's maximum by several thousand pounds if you did not allow for the incremental rises.
I need not have worried about that however, as they eventually sold for over £90,000. With premiums etc, this means that someone paid over £100,000 for a set of modern concrete copies.
In under a minute, someone else made a killing. I later found out who that someone was and the scale of the killing. I could live very well on one sale like that every couple of years.