Last Saturday I had the pleasure of attending a lecture, the first in a new series, at Wright Auction. With a presentation by founder Richard Wright and a behind the scenes tour of the space, I gained an even deeper appreciation for mid-century design.
During the event we viewed pieces from the auction house's most recent sale, Scandinavian Design. To my surprise, I was most drawn to pieces from the '50s, like the leather chairs by Arne Jacobsen. It was a real treat to sit in the cozy swivel Egg Chair, and I fell in love with the feminitity of Jacobsen's Sevener Office Chair. The tour ended on a high note, walking us through areas where the employees were staging photographs for the gallery's next two auctions, Important Design (June 8) and A Private Paris Collection (June 24), which will include this pair of Italian lounge chairs and Puzzle tables.
Mr. Wright's talk, titled "The Art of Auctions" taught alot about the psychology of the dance between auctioneer and buyer. "Don't be afraid to scratch your nose," he said, dispelling the myth that buyers use codes to signal their interest in an item. It's best to be direct when placing a bid, which can be done live in the audience, over the phone or the Internet. For someone new to the world of auctions, I was surprised to hear that if your bid wins, you pay a "buyer's premium" on top of that. This is important to factor into your decision when figuring out your top price for an item -- which Mr. Wright said is essential to avoid getting swept up in the moment.
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