: views from the Hill

Friday, November 17, 2006

Nosh and wine at Bonhams & Butterfields

We were down on San Bruno Avenue last night for some nosh and wine and a preview look at the goodies going on sale at the Bonhams & Butterfields' Fall 2006 Fine Asian Works of Art auction.

Interesting collection of stuffs -- new stuff, old stuff, really old stuff, stuff that's going for such extraordinary amounts you just have to go, huh?

Dessa Goddard gave her spiel about the coolest objects up for bid and gave a pitch for the modern paintings that have such high estimates.

(We noted that she'd also made sure that this time one of the high-estimate, breakable items not only was on a pedestal, encased in Plexiglas, but also was surrounded by a cordon so no one would plop themselves and their glass of wine down anywhere close enough to bump the pedestal.)

Loved the story behind that vase:

Provenance: Ashley Park House, Lough Ourna, Tipperary, Ireland

Built in 1770 by John Head, this famous 18th century home with its magnificent gardens was first recorded in Taylor & Skinner, Maps and Roads of Ireland, in 1777. Sold to George Atkinson in 1824, the family enlarged the gardens, added a north wing and the Chinese Reading room. The house remained in the family until it was sold to the present owner's family in 1983. This vase was found among the effects in storage.

"Found among the effects in storage." So, was it found in the Atkinson family's storage shed where they stashed everything as they were moving out or did they leave it behind?

My favorite lot was this one.

Apparently someone down in Florida had it sitting outside in their garden for years until a small bird told B&B that they might be able to talk the owners into selling it.

I love this lot.

Sweetie pie, I said to his nibs. Wouldn't that just be perfect to have in the garden area down by the walk? Everyone walking by could enjoy it. I'd enjoy it. I'd do more than enjoy it, I'd love it.

(I can dream can't I?)

He played along, but turns out that even if he didn't have problems with the price it'll go for once the bidding starts, there are issues with the weight (est. 800 lbs), the size (5'7" tall, about 4' deep and 5' wide), the installation construction needed (excavation, concrete pad, retaining walls to keep the hill from slipping down on it) and the high probability eventually of either theft or graffiti, being as it would be on the public walk.

I think he's being extraordinarily growly and grumpy.

Let me dream a little, will you? It would be perfect for the spot I already have picked out.

The sale is Monday. The next Lotto drawing is tomorrow. I'm sure if I win the Lotto, he'll change his mind. ...

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