Saturday, 29 October 2011

Highlights

The Sage was having a drink with a friend, a retired auctioneer from Diss.  "Between a retired  auctioneer and a non-retired auctioneer," be said.  I said, "you could say, between an auctioneer with sense and one without."  "Ah, but which is which?" asked Geoffrey.  I gave him to understand that he was the one to be complimented.  "Still," I added, "I can't see the Sage ever quitting."  We decided that the perfect place for him to peg out would be auctioneering - I said, however, that he would have to hold on to the end of a sale, it would be most unprofessional to keel over until the last lot was sold.  "That's okay," said Geoffrey.  "I'll be his stand-in and finish off the sale."

A new customer came over from Brussels specially for the sale.  We had already spoken on the phone, so he introduced himself.  He collects sparrowbeak jugs; not Lowestoft ones in particular, but from all over Europe.  He spent several minutes telling me about his enthusiasm, he's got around 450 sparrowbeaks (these are little cream jugs, so called because of the beaked shape of the pouring lip).
He bought several jugs and came to pay at the end.  I passed him on to Susie, who is fluent in several languages and they chatted away for several minutes.  He speaks excellent English, far better than my French, so I wouldn't have ventured to inflict it on him.

The customer who bought the guglet and bowl left with it, without paying.  That the Sage knows he is as trustworthy as that will mean more to him than his successful bid, I should think.  He'll send a cheque within a few days, once he's transferred the money.  Another customer accidentally came without cash or chequebook - I similarly let him have the piece, but it was more like £150 - still, he was also pleased to be trusted.

Rog asked, was there applause at the end?  Indeed there was.

The photo doesn't indicate the size of the jugs - about 3 inches tall.

8 comments:

Roses said...

They are lovely. What a pleasure for you, to handle these beautiful things which have such history and to pass them on to people who will appreciate their true value.

Z said...

I suppose that's what drives the Sage - that and the showmanship!

63mago said...

There is a collector for everything somewhere in this world - even for Milchkännchen. The - at least for me - strangest subject of a collector's endeavour I saw were trays - these insets in boxes of candy made from plastics. He went lengths to get items from over the world and disliked chocolate (!).

Dandelion said...

Is it wrong to wonder where all this stuff comes from every time? And why would anyone want to sell it once they had it?

Z said...

Well, it comes from various people, usually between 15 and 20 or so vendors. In some instances, someone has had something for years, it's gone up in value a lot and they want to get their money back, with a good profit. Some people keep their eyes peeled on eBay, shops and auction houses and buy what's going cheap and sell it on - they aren't dealers but they enjoy a bit of wheeling and dealing. We rarely have any items from actual dealers. Sometimes, someone looks at their collection and reckons it's time to have a sort-out and make some space to buy more, or to specialise a bit more and get rid of some of their early random buys. Then there are those who have died and their stuff is sold, and those who get short of money and need to make a bit, and those who get bored with collecting and sell up.

That is the strangest, Mago. I thought the Sage was quite bad enough, but he doesn't do anything like that.

Mike and Ann said...

Collecting is a recognised mania. There is probably a long medical latin name for it. The only known cure for this mania is to become a dealer (or a specialist auctioneer).

63mago said...

You know what really astonished me: When I saw some of the items presented (in an exhibition my late friend Jeanne made), it was clear (at least to me) how close these objects are related to modern art, what is called in German konkrete Kunst (pics.

Z said...

You're right, Mago - interesting!