…bad weather…good watch!
Lots to write about concerning the Feb 18 2012 auction!
Woke up early Saturday morning and all I heard about on the radio was the bad weather! Snow all around us, and in particular it seemed like Toronto was getting it fairly bad. It was a slower than usual drive for me from Barrie, and it seemed like the snow was all around us.
Highway 400 was blocked with an accident just south of us. It looked like anyone coming from Toronto was going to have a tough time even getting to the sale.
However, by 9:00 o’clock people started pouring in, and by day’s end we had 200 registered bidders!
Many people commented jokingly that they thought they would be the only ones there, but I know what auction goers are like. It was going to take more than some snow to keep the hard core buyers away!
The sale started early, at 9:30 so we could do the coins, and finally wrapped it up at 6:15. We sold 676 lots, plus over 100 lots of coins!
Prices were strong all day long, and even though furniture prices in general seemed a little soft, we made up for it on the offering of quality smalls.
So, now the big story of the day, and one that will be creating a little buzz in the local auction circles.
I had advertised an 18k gold pocket watch. It had the name of the store in Detroit that sold it on the dial, and an 1899 memorial inscription on the case.
Being 18k gold I knew it was a good quality watch, and during the setup on Friday, I asked Carol Beasley if she could check it over again to make sure of the gold content. Carol even went as far as to remove the casing on the back and she let out a gasp! She told me the works are signed Patek Philippe. Now that is about as high end a watch as you can get…most people would consider it better even than Rolex!
The dilemma now was what to do with such an unadvertised, high end piece. I couldn’t pull it from the auction and advertise it for the March auction. That would not be fair to anyone travelling for this particular watch.
So Friday night Carol sent out an email flier to the people on their email list, and I did the same with my email list. We also changed the website photo, and I made a few other phone calls and emails.
I was pretty confident we would have some serious buyers show up, and with the buzz about the watch during the preview, I felt pretty confident it would bring fair market value, taking into consideration that the watch was not working.
The watch went up at noon, and right from the opening bid I knew there was serious interest.
Final selling price….$3900 plus 5% premium.
Now there is even another twist to this story. The consignor placed the watch in the auction on behalf of a friend of hers. Because the watch was not working, the friend was going to throw it out! Fortunately the consignor realized it was gold and convinced her to put it in the auction.
So we had a watch that was almost thrown out, and almost went through the auction without anyone realizing it was a Patek Phillipe.
I was thrown off by the fact that the face was not signed Patek Phillipe, so I never took a closer look at the actual inside works of the piece. There is another lesson learned! Thank you again Carol!
Also we ended up having one of our best dollar value sales ever, so all in all, it was a pretty good day.
There are a few auctions I will always remember. The May sale in Cookstown where the grounds around the hall where a sea of mud, and I thought we would not be able to get anyone in or out of the hall. The nightmare first sale in Pottageville when we set up the entire auction and then were informed there was a booking mixup with the hall, and in fact we did not have the hall booked for actual sale day and would have to cancel the auction and remove everything that night. And now on a brighter note, the auction with the Patek Philippe watch that was almost thrown away!
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