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Mon, 16 Oct 2006 16:17:00 +0000$5 Million in Prime Virginia Resort Properties to Hit Auction Block in Multi-Property Live, Internet EvenAtlantic Asset Management Group to auction Norfolk and Virginia Beach residential properties in simulcast international event. Norfolk, VA (PRWEB) October 13, 2006 -- Six prime Virginia resort properties will be auctioned in a multi-property, multi-day auction event that will be simulcast internationally via the internet, according to William J. Summs, President and Lead Auctioneer of Norfolk-based Atlantic Asset Management Group, Inc. We hadn’t thought of it much Auctions for all 6 properties will be conducted on site and simulcast internationally via the internet during a consecutive five-day event, October 25-29, allowing remote buyers to bid alongside on-site buyers."We are extremely excited about this auction event," said Summs. "These six properties are located in the prime Virginia resort areas of East Ocean View, Court House Forest, Baycliff, Chicks Beach and Croatan Hills."The event will kick off with two newly constructed, 4-story, single-family, detached condo units, selling separately on Wednesday, October 25. "These properties are only one block from the beach in the Ocean View area of Norfolk!" Summs noted. The condos will be followed on Thursday, October 26, by a newly renovated 2,700 square-foot brick ranch on a secluded half-acre lot in Court House Forest.The auction features a signature waterfront estate on Broad Bay in Virginia Beach, a beautiful 4,400 square foot home in the exclusive Baycliff community. Built in 1977, this property offers an in-ground pool, private pier and boat lift. Buyers will have the opportunity to bid on this property on Friday, October 27.The weekend will offer opportunities to own a Chesapeake Bay Home with two adjoining bayfront lots at Chicks Beach, plus a signature waterfront home in Croatan Hills with the best views of Lake Christine.Summs explained that there will be an auction buyers seminar and final open house 90 minutes prior to each auction.Going Once, Going Twice, SoldA signature Kingsmill property in Williamsburg, VA, sits on the market for over a year. Its 9,600 square feet of exquisite living space by the James River, overlooking one of the country’s premiere golf courses, eluded all buyers with its $2.9 million listing price. No reasonable offers were even made.Enter William J. Summs of Atlantic Asset Management Group, Inc. (AAMG), who introduced the seller to the power of real estate auctions. Working with Summs, the property sold for more than its original asking price.No longer are real estate auctions solely associated with foreclosures or distressed sales. High-end custom homes and new construction are now finding their way to the auction block. Incredible? "Not really," comments Summs "Our marketing campaigns are aggressive. We advertise extensively both locally and nationally for up to six weeks creating excitement among potential buyers."Auction works for all properties, consistently achieving real-time market values. This makes the sellers happy. But what about the buyers, does auction work for them? "Absolutely" Summs explains, "Our buyers are, in a sense, pre-qualified, and all the necessary closing documents are all pre-done by AAMG for a quick and satisfying turnaround. We provide full disclosure and all the buyer-seller negotiating is settled before the bidding even begins."AAMG also offers its own benefits to buyers through their affiliation with National City Mortgage (NCM). "We provide NCM with all of the paperwork ahead of time," Summs says, "and they provide buyers’ incentives. If a buyer goes through NCM, they can get approval in 24 hours."In 2005, the National Auctioneers Association reported $14.2 billion in residential and $13.7 billion in commercial real estate was sold successfully by auction. Auctions are definitely becoming the trend in real estate sale[...]
Sat, 07 Oct 2006 21:16:00 +0000Auction Hammers and Gavels By Robert A. Doyle, CAI, ISA, CES, CAGA 50th President of the National Auctioneers AssociationPrincipal Auctioneer/Appraiser Absolute Auction & Realty, Inc. Robert A. Doyle CAI, ISA, CES, CAGA A symbol of authority, used to show “finality” to an auction transaction, the auction hammer, or gavel, has been a prized possession of the professional auctioneer all through history. In fact, during the late 19th century and early 20th century, auctioneers were referred to as “Knights of the Hammer.” The hammer is one of the oldest working tools used by man. This was illustrated by the Scandinavian mythological “Thor,” the principal god who wielded his hammer to destroy his enemies. According to the legend his hammer always returned to him without doing injury to himself. It can be said that the striking of the hammer is to destroy the enemies of all that is good or true. The origin of the auction hammer, or gavel, is not clear. Research shows that very little has been written on the subject. Even the historical derivation of the word “gavel” is unknown. Originally, the word “gavel” was used in Middle English to represent the payment of “rent” from a tenant to a superior, or landlord. If the payment was made by product the word would be shown as a hyphenated term such as gavel-corn, gavel-malt, etc. Sometimes the word was spelled “gabel.” Other words related to the early rent arrangements were “gavelman” (a tenant obligated to pay rent) and “gavelet” (Legal writ authorizing the payment of rent). It is very likely that the word “gavel” was applied to the hammer that had to settle rent disputes, as there is evidence that there were many unruly rent disputes in the English Court system. The generic word “gavel” came to mean many different objects from hammer, mallets, mallots, setting mauls and hammers. Perhaps the earliest users of the hammer were the Masonic Lodges which were known to exist in England dating back as early as the 1400s. Originally the masons used a setting maul as a symbol of maintaining order during their meetings. This maul would be placed upright when the meeting was in order and laid in its cradle when the lodge was recessed. In addition, during the middle ages “Mallets were thrown and all ground over which traversed were acknowledged to be possessed by the thrower. This practice gave rise to the symbolism of the mallet indicating the possession of his lodge.” (Hunt and Haywood). Further evidence is presented in an English ordinance enacted in 1462 that declared that “lewd women should remain as far from the Masonic Lodges as a hammer could be hurled.” The Masonic Order used the hammer or gavel for keeping order and punctuating actions in the lodges and meetings. Although it was permissible to strike the hammer to indicate finality, according to Roberts Rules, “It is a mistake for the presiding officer to try to keep order by pounding with the gavel.” A symbol of authorityThe gavel is a symbol of authority. The hammer symbolizes executive power, as this tool provides a striking blow. Ultimately, it is a symbol of authority without the use of force. Freemasons sometimes refer to this gavel as the “president’s hammer.” The gavel of the Master lodge was referred to as a “Hiram” as it keeps order in the Lodge as Hiram did in the Temple. (Mackey & Hunt). The word “Gavel” was a fairly late arrival. It is said to be an American usage for the words hammer and maul. The gavel is described in the English Dictionary of 1901 as a mason’s setting maul or a presid: hammer. The gavel represents the fo[...]
Sat, 07 Oct 2006 21:14:00 +00001892 U.S. land auction marketed by extensive foldout brochure By Robert A. Doyle, CAI, ISA, CES, CAGA 50th President of the National Auctioneers AssociationPrincipal Auctioneer/Appraiser Absolute Auction & Realty, Inc. Robert A. Doyle CAI, ISA, CES, CAGA It is my opinion that the auction method of marketing was the key to the successful expansion and economic development of America. The entrepreneurial spirit of early settlers coupled with the auction method of marketing allowed for fair and rapid growth and development of territories, states, counties, cities and villages. One example of such planned and rapid growth can be glimpsed by studying an original 1892 folded auction brochure that is titled “Sale of Lots in the Hot Springs Reservation.” Further, “Good Opportunity to Invest, Auction of City Lots at Hot Springs, Ark., By The U.S. Government April 12 th 1892 at 10 O'clock A.M. and continuing from day to day thereafter.” The 4” x 9” folded brochure opens to 27 x 28, being double sided. One side is a plat map of the entire city with shaded parcels indicating the 326 city lots that would be sold at absolute auction, no minimum or reserve. The other side has 18 panels providing a tremendous amount of information on the city, surrounding area, improvements, statistics, infrastructure, history, auction terms, benefits to investing and more. The information provided would rival any due diligence package produced by today's professional real estate Auctioneers. The brochure has only one advertisement. The single panel promotes the “ Iron Mountain Route ” trains that run daily from St. Louis to Hot Springs . The advertisement boasts “Solid Trains of Free Reclining Chair Cars and Pullman Buffet Sleeping Cars.” The ad refers to Hot Springs as “The Sanitarium Pleasure Resort of a Continent.” The map side of the document is titled “Map of the Hot Springs Reservation in the State of Arkansas as surveyed and laid out according to act of Congress approved March 3 rd 1877 . The map was completed in December of 1879. The scale of the map was 100 feet per inch. The bottom border of the map has large lettering “Unsold Lots Colored” and “Map of Government Property of Hot Springs to be Sold at Auction, April 12, 18 92 .” Each of the 18 panels of the brochure provides significant information for the potential investors. Overall, they provide much more information then would typically be presented today. For instance one panel reveals the acreage of each of the surrounding mountains, another panel provides a chart of the “Analyses of the Waters of the Hot Springs of Arkansas” with the breakdown by percentages of the various minerals in each of the known and named Springs. Information is provided on “Government Improvements,” “Reservation Improvements” and “General Improvements.” Further, the brochure provides information on the curative value of the waters, the names of all the bath houses and numbers of tubs in each, the numbers and names of hotels, churches, schools, banks, business houses, water works, street railway, roads and more. The terms for the Auction were simple, “Each lot will be sold separately. The purchase money must be paid at the time the lot is knocked down to purchaser, or the lot may be reoffered then or thereafter. For cause deemed sufficient by the officers acting for the Government at the sale, approved by the Secretary of the Interior, the sale may be discontinued or adjourned to another date.” Note: The Secretary of the Interior had the authority to direct a sale of any and all land that was n[...]
Sat, 07 Oct 2006 21:13:00 +000019th century record set at estate auction of Mary Jane MorganBy Robert A. Doyle, CAI, ISA, CES, CAGA 50th President of the National Auctioneers AssociationPrincipal Auctioneer/Appraiser Absolute Auction & Realty, Inc. Robert A. Doyle CAI, ISA, CES, CAGA The history of Auctions in America contains the stories of many memorable collectors, dealers and Auctioneers as well as the treasures that they accumulated and dispersed. However, one estate auction that occurred in the late 19th century was credited with the making of a major American auction house, setting world records and revealing the secret life and collecting expertise of a quiet, unassuming lady affectionately known as “Mary Jane.” Mary Jane Sexton was the daughter of a successful New York City merchant. She was one of eight children. She was well educated in a series of fine schools. She became a teacher in Greenwich Village of French and mathematics. One of her students was a daughter of Charles Morgan, a widower who owned a fleet of sailing vessels. Although Charles had a great respect for book learning, he himself was said to be practically illiterate. He was naturally attracted to Mary Jane and they wed in June of 1852. Morgan was 57 and Mary Jane was yet in her twenties. In fact, she was quite a bit younger then the sons of Charles. Charles Morgan was from Connecticut and of Welch descent. He was a strong willed, one-man show of entrepreneurial power. He did not have use for banks or lawyers, trusted few people and had no partners. He was very frugal with personal spending. However, he invested heavily into the transportation industries where he made his fortune. Charles passed away in 1878. Mary Jane was the only person that Charles truly trusted. There is a saying, “Where there is a will, there are relatives.” As executrix, she handled his affairs professionally and accurately amid tremendous criticism and pressure from greedy relatives and heirs. She avoided the press and continued to live her private life without fanfare. She was not into the high profile social scene that her neighbors enjoyed. What nobody seemed to know was that Mary Jane had copies of every issue of “The Art Journal” published since her wedding day. That she studied and invested in quality art, fine art, antique furniture and accessories behind closed doors at her home at number seven Madison Square. High Society had written off Mary Jane as the “poor, boring widow” of the late Charles Morgan. Investor in paintingsAfter the passing of her husband, Mary Jane increased her shopping sprees down Broadway. She shrewdly purchased paintings from Knoedlers, picking some of the best contemporary artists’ works. She knew art and would not purchase what they tried to “place” with her. Rather, she would peruse the inventory choosing the best examples. After finding what she wanted she negotiated hard to buy at a fair price. Mary Jane turned the big gloomy mansion into a museum filled with paintings, etchings, fine glass, porcelain, furniture and bronzes. She quietly beautified her home, one item at a time. Her home was not open to the public; there were no parties.Therefore, no one knew that “plain Jane” had built a larger museum then the public examples in the city of New York. No one knew what she had. She never went into the streets with any of her million-dollar cache of jewels. Even her relatives had no idea what she had accumulated. Mary Jane died in July of 1885 of Bright’s disease. It wasn’t immediately apparent that the once drab house would boast “the choicest collection of co[...]
Sat, 07 Oct 2006 21:12:00 +0000The Civil War Period Kentucky Estate AuctionBy Robert A. Doyle, CAI, ISA, CES, CAGA 50th President of the National Auctioneers AssociationPrincipal Auctioneer/Appraiser Absolute Auction & Realty, Inc. Robert A. Doyle CAI, ISA, CES, CAGA A six-page handwritten estate settlement document dated December 11, 1863, provides a glimpse of life in the South during the Civil War and the workings of the auction method of marketing at that time. What is particularly interesting about this snapshot in time is that the auction recorded the sale of four slaves approximately 11 months after Lincoln’s issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation. This document was written and signed by the Auctioneer’s clerk, T. Stanhope Ellis. The Auctioneer was Coleman Covington. The clerked sheets provide the name of each purchaser of every described lot and the individual prices realized. There were 128 lots purchased by 34 successful bidders. The auction grossed $1,872.26 ($26,700 in today’s dollars, based on CPI) There is no indication that real estate was sold. The deceased was known as William Duncan, as witnessed by the “Sale Bill.” Interestingly, there are four successful bidders with the last name Duncan who purchased a total of 42 lots, approximately 34% of the auction. Does this reflect the strength of the immediate family at a local on-site estate auction in 1863? Another fact is that Mrs. E. Duncan purchased 19 lots herself, almost half of what the Duncan family bought. Was she William’s mother, wife or sister-in-law? I would think that the entry would have been “Mrs. W. Duncan” if it had been his wife. The other Duncans were Archey, William and George. By the way, there were at least six women that bought items at the auction. So let’s step back in time, get on the ground and in the crowd for the start of the auction sale on December 11, 1863. The first lot of the auction was a cradle and three blades that sold for ten cents ($1.46 today) to Emanuel Fritz, who was successful in purchasing a buggy and harness 21 lots later for 25.50 ($371), finishing out his purchases for the day. The second lot, off to a slow start, was a mowing blade selling for a quarter ($3.64 today) to the Auctioneer - Coleman Covington. Someone might cry foul at that in today’s world. However, Covington went on to knock down a total of 14 lots to himself over the course of the auction, placing him just behind Mrs. Duncan for the most lots bought. Perhaps this was a more acceptable practice in the mid 19th century. Did he just try to start items but ended up getting stuck with them? Did he have deeper pockets then the local buyers? How was the Auctioneer perceived? Low pricesLet’s pause in the auction action to summarize Coleman Covington’s purchases. He purchased a half-dozen miscellaneous lots for less than one dollar. However, he spent $8.00 for a barrel of salt ($116), $5.10 for an “Acorn Top Bedstead” ($74.30), $4.80 for six black chairs (.80 each, equal to $11.60 each today), $9 for a cow and calf ($131) and $6.00 for a stack of straw (four lots of hay straw sold for an average of $13 a stack before the fifth stack sold at $5.50, with the auctioneer purchasing the last stack at $6.00). His successful bids started with Lot 2 and ended with Lot 126. We know for a fact he was a buyer from start to finish. By the way, before the auction was over, the clerk would have also purchased three lots. Let’s go back to the action where Archey Duncan has purchased the third lot in the auction, the other mowing blade, for 90 cents ($13.10). Wow, I always thought Auctio[...]
Sat, 07 Oct 2006 21:11:00 +0000Auctioning Abraham Lincoln memorabilia; Lincolniana By Robert A. Doyle, CAI, ISA, CES, CAGA 50th President of the National Auctioneers AssociationPrincipal Auctioneer/Appraiser Absolute Auction & Realty, Inc. Robert A. Doyle CAI, ISA, CES, CAGA Abraham Lincoln, America’s 16th president, born in 1809, is perhaps the most collected of all the past presidents. America’s founding father, George Washington is also extremely popular. However, in perusing early auction catalogs it is evident that there were more auction sales offering major collections of Lincoln memorabilia than those depicting Washington material. Is it a coincidence that Washington is on the $1 bill and Lincoln is displayed on the $5? Perhaps the answer is as simple as there was more Lincoln memorabilia available to collect then Washingtonia. Illustrated in this article are three samples of auction catalogs published by the Anderson Auction Company of New York City. The dates of the catalogs are 1904, 1907 and 1914. From these catalogs can be gleaned insight into the types of material collected and even prices paid. Of the three catalogs the most informative is the 1914 example containing the most complete collection of Lincolniana. This major collection was assembled by Major William H. Lambert (1842-1912). A personal friend of Abraham Lincoln, Lambert’s collection was considered one of the finest. Many of the items were gotten directly from the president. According to the catalog, “Major William H. Lambert was a distinguished veteran of the Civil War, a prominent business man, and well known in public and social life and as an historical writer, lecturer, and collector. He died in his home in Philadelphia, PA, which was his home for nearly 70 years. He received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his service during the Civil War. Knowing and admiring President Lincoln, he became a serious collector of Lincolniana. Lambert was the first president of the Lincoln Fellowship, formed in 1907 and based in the Fifth Ave. Hotel in New York City. This early collecting society was formed just two years prior to the 100th Anniversary of the birth of Lincoln. 1909 was to be a major National Centennial event to commemorate Lincoln’s Birthday. By the way, the first state to celebrate Lincoln’s birthday, declaring it a legal holiday, was Illinois (his home state) in 1892. Over the next 17 years many states followed suit. However, in 1909 it became a national gala holiday. This celebration was the largest since the 1876 Centennial of America’s birth. According to the catalog, “Major Lambert began collecting material related to Abraham Lincoln immediately after the Civil War, and it is generally conceded, by all who really know, that his Lincoln collection was the greatest in this country. Besides autograph letters and manuscripts, he owned all the Lincoln funeral sermons printed and accessible, many personal relics, such as Lincoln’s writing desk used in his law office in Springfield, all the known engravings and photographs, and many other items.” The 124-page illustrated catalog describes 1028 lots sold over five sessions in three days. Sales were in the afternoon, 2:30, and evening – 8:15 PM. It appears that sessions averaged about two hundred lots. The Auctioneer was George D. Morse. The terms were simple and fairly standard for the early 20th Century galleries. A few items worth noting: The cost of the catalog was $2.50 ($45.85 in today’s equivalent dollars). The preview/exhibition spanned nine days [...]
Sat, 07 Oct 2006 21:09:00 +0000The Livestock Auctioneers By Robert A. Doyle, CAI, ISA, CES, CAGA 50th President of the National Auctioneers AssociationPrincipal Auctioneer/Appraiser Absolute Auction & Realty, Inc. Robert A. Doyle CAI, ISA, CES, CAGA Featured this month are postcards from livestock auctions of the early 1900s. The cards show the scenes, the language and the advertising concepts that surrounded this type of auction in that period of history. Some cards were double sided, some were single sided. Some advertised not only livestock, but related equipment such as carriages and wagons. Some livestock auctions of that period drew very large crowds, as depicted in the photographs of that time. A large double-sided postcard distributed by Joseph B. Maher & Son from Alma, Michigan advertising a Horse Auction. The auction was “Next Thursday” which tells us the lead-time on their mailing. The auction took place at 1PM at the Marion Livestock Auction Co. Yards. Buyers were encouraged to bring all their livestock. The auctioneer offered “Nothing but a square deal to all.” In addition to being auctioneers they were also “Livestock Dealers and Breeders of Pure Bred Jersey Cattle, White Wyandotte Chickens, Poland China Hogs, Mules & Horses.” The postcard was mailed to “Rural Route Box Holders.” A 1913 photo postcard of a large crowd surrounding a couple of head of cattle is embossed “Going! Going! At a handsome price “Storm” the Auctioneer Sherburn, Minn.” 1912 color postcard is a very detailed scene of auction day at the “Kolb-Gotfredson Horse Co. from Detroit, Michigan. This appears to be a very well established facility with “Auction Sales Thursdays & Saturdays.” They also sold “Carriages, Buggies and Wagons.” Note the impressive lineup of horses and the large crowd. There is a red flag waving on the top of the building that has the company name on it. The writing on the postcard was meant for a person in St. Joseph, Mo. This 1905 black and white photo postcard depicts a large crowd surrounding a pair of horses. The photograph was taken and published by “E.W. Humphreys, Woodstown, NJ.” The card is titled “A Country Vendue.” 1906 cancelled envelope with two-cent stamp sent from “D.P. McCracken National Live Stock Auctioneer 607 E. Pells, Paxton, Ill.” The black and white photo shows an arm with gavel over the body of a standing hog. The title is “Under the Hammer.” This 1913 embossed aluminum advertising calendar is “Compliments of C.E. Luther & Sons Auctioneers.” The names of three auctioneers, all Luthers, is provided below thei[...]
Sat, 07 Oct 2006 21:08:00 +0000The Auctioneer's Business CardBy Robert A. Doyle, CAI, ISA, CES, CAGA 50th President of the National Auctioneers AssociationPrincipal Auctioneer/Appraiser Absolute Auction & Realty, Inc. Robert A. Doyle CAI, ISA, CES, CAGA Since the late 1800s Auctioneers have utilized printed business cards and trade cards to solicit business. Below is a sample of some early American Auctioneers’ business cards A C-1900 photo postcard of H. Fortney of Sterling, Ohio literally on the block. The card states, “Ask for dates.” Col. W. H. Knolla was “The Leading Auctioneer” of Villisca, Iowa, says so on the back. Sam’l Porter was an Auctioneer and Insurance Agt. From Beverly, Mass. H.C. Oliver had his office at City Hall Lynn, Mass. Wheeler, McElveen & Co. from Boston, Mass had accommodations for over 800 horses. Capt. Tim Lowery from Greeley, Kansas specialized in Thoroughbred stock sales. C.H. Yost had an Auction House at 33 Front St. Rochester, NY. A.C. Cole of Cherryvale, Kansas provided a dozen hints for farmers on the back. “Auctions Every Monday” at the Omaha Horse & Mule Co. F.T. DuBois of Warsaw, Illinois operated from Hotel Grant and guaranteed satisfaction. H. Shartle was from Ruthyen, Iowa states “No sale cried less than $10.00” on back. Oakland, California was the home of the New York Auction House. Smith & Pannill from Norfolk, VA sold stores, dwellings, farms, timber lands, wharves, building lots, factory sites, etc. C.S. Detwiler & Pete Folkenroth from York, PA want to be “Your Sale Cryer.” “Honesty is the Best Policy” for Carl Banta of Walhalla, N. Dak. 2006-05-25[...]
Sat, 07 Oct 2006 21:07:00 +0000A revealing look at an 1871 estate settlementBy Robert A. Doyle, CAI, ISA, CES, CAGA 50th President of the National Auctioneers AssociationPrincipal Auctioneer/Appraiser Absolute Auction & Realty, Inc. Robert A. Doyle CAI, ISA, CES, CAGA Collecting auction-related memorabilia and studying the history of auctions is very rewarding. Each acquisition provides a snippet of historical information that reveals or reinforces data on how auctions were conducted in earlier times. One such artifact is a complete packet of 1871 documents assembled by the executor on the settlement of a modest estate. This packet of material was all stored in a folded cardboard envelope tied with pink material. The front and end of the envelope are titled in pen “Estate of Israel Tolman. 1871” The contents include handwritten documents from the Probate Court, letters regarding a real estate transaction, a list of expenses of the executor, a small string bound book with “Appraisement & Inventory,” a sample of the auction notice broadside, and other correspondence pertaining to the settlement. Israel Tolman of Sharon, Massachusetts passed away on July 24, 1871. I’m certain he would have been surprised to know that anyone would be writing about his modest estate settlement 122 years later! Nonetheless, the information contained is original, complete, concise and accurate for the time and therefore is of great interest importance. His Estate was probated on September 20th 1871 at the Norfolk County Court in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. At that time the Will was probated and Ruel Richmond from North Bridgewater was named the Executor. It is obvious that this packet belonged to the Executor and that he was very thorough in his dealings. In the handwritten book titled “Inventory of Personal Estate. Israel Tolman” and dated September 26, 1871 is a list of items “Given under the Will to Mrs. Susanna P. Tolman, Widow.” The list includes an appraisal of the itemized items under the name of the room that housed the personal property. For example in the “Parlor” there was a “Looking Glass” (wall mirror) valued at $2.50, a bureau - $5., 3 rocking chairs - $1.50 and a sofa - $10.00. (Note: Upholstered furniture and textiles were much more expensive in the 18th and 19th century compared to hardwood furniture and other household items. The 1871 appraisal values a “Pie Closet” at $5., 4 Bedsteads at a total of $10, compared to “Sheets, coverlets & blankets” at $75, and 4 “featherbeds” at $60. The total of the list bequeathed to Susanna was $399.95, which included “Garden stuff” and “Crops not harvested.” Additional assets in the estate include a $100 note with $3.60 interest, a US Bond valued at $360 and $142.90 in cash. Outside the “Personal Estate for Payment of Debts and Administration” was a list of the items that sold at the auction of October 20th 1871. The cow fetched $46.50, 3 tons of hay - $90. 9 hews - $4.50, 1 hog - $15. and 11 “Bunches of Shingles” - $8.25. An open wagon went for $7 while a sleigh only brought $2. A few of the lowest clerked items were “Hammers - .10, “Peat cutters-.25” and hand rakes fetched a total of fifteen cents. The appraisal of the Real Estate included, “Homestead – 30 acres with building - $4,250., a 2 acre woodland - $70., 10 acres woodland - $150., and 1 ½ acre meadow - $60.“ The Executor listed expenses for services including the cost of the “Appraisement” at [...]
Sat, 07 Oct 2006 20:51:00 +0000Auctioneers Like Large Crowds By Robert A. Doyle, CAI, ISA, CES, CAGA 50th President of the National Auctioneers AssociationPrincipal Auctioneer/Appraiser Absolute Auction & Realty, Inc. Robert A. Doyle CAI, ISA, CES, CAGA The larger the crowd of anxious bidders that assembles before the auction begins, the more comfortable an auctioneer feels. Auctioneers want to feel the energy produced by a swarm of eager bidders at the start of the auction. A large crowd endorses in everyone’s mind that they are doing the “right thing” by being in attendance. A new “reality” is created by the active participation of all in attendance. Even before the auctioneer provides the opening statements and calls for the first bid on the first lot, the stage has been set for action. A large crowd can create some logistical nightmares such as not enough parking and long registrations lines. Issues regarding “security” and “viewing” of items may be a challenge. However, these “problems” can be wonderful challenges to have. All of the logistical issues add to the positive image that all participants are in the right place; the place where the action is going to be. In sharp contrast to the large crowds that auctioneers love, are the events where only a few participants show up, or worse yet the scene where the auctioneer is chanting to his or her self. I believe that one of the areas that causes pre-mature aging for auctioneers is the time where the auctioneer is waiting for a crowd to assemble. You know, 15 minutes before the auction and no one is registered. This is the time that the seller wants to know what went wrong and the auctioneer is second-guessing the marketing strategy. Interestingly enough, the good news about a poorly attended auction is the fact that there were very few witnesses! Furthermore, the auctioneer is not going to be talking about it. Historically, auctioneers have always boasted about their auctions with record high attendance. How often we hear about the hundreds and even thousands of participants and from how many states or countries they traveled from to attend the auction. Today, the numbers are getting larger by adding all the Internet bidders to the count. The fact is, it is not the “quantity” of bidders that counts it is the “quality”. Auctioneers need to attract serious buyers for the product they are offering, bidders qualified to buy. I once attended a seminar where the auctioneer explained how to conduct an auction in a high-rise apartment building, in the actual apartment of the seller. The auctioneers in attendance immediately focused on the large crowds that attend their auctions and therefore concluded that this on-site, apartment auction plan could never work. The instructor raised several questions. How many good “buyers” attend your auctions? Further, how many people does it take to get the fair market value for the contents of a linen closet? The presenter went on to show that you could have a successful auction by doing an “Invitation Only” auction to your best 100 buyers. The on-site apartment auction plan works well, and by the way, 100 people in a two-bedroom apartment is a crowd. The auctioneer benefits from the same positive energy and feeding frenzy with 100 people indoors that the auctioneer with 600 people generates outdoors. I believe you should always have a crowd. We always have a crowd at our auctions. Remember, the auctioneer is in charge. If only 6 people show up for an on-site real estate auction conduct the auction in the kitchen. [...]
Sat, 07 Oct 2006 20:50:00 +00001842 Catalog Auction of the Contents of Horace Walpole's “Strawberry Hill” CastleBy Robert A. Doyle, CAI, ISA, CES, CAGA 50th President of the National Auctioneers AssociationPrincipal Auctioneer/Appraiser Absolute Auction & Realty, Inc. Robert A. Doyle CAI, ISA, CES, CAGA The celebrated English Auctioneer, George Robins (1778 – 1847) had the honor of cataloging and auctioning the contents of the castle known as “Strawberry Hill” over a 24 day period at his Auction Rooms in Covent Gardens. This catalog and subsequent research provide insight into the mid-19th Century Auction business and the types of goods that were sold. Horatio Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford, more commonly known as Horace Walpole, (1717 – 1797) was a politician, writer, architectural innovator and a prolific collector of fine art, antiques, books and manuscripts. The youngest son of the British Prime Minister, Robert Walpole, Horace was born in London. After the death of his father in 1745, Horace became a man of independent means. He chose to expand his property holdings, build an expansive castle and then fill it with the finest treasures he could secure until his death in 1797. he named his castle “Strawberry Hill.” Upon his death the real property was past on in the family, eventually being purchased by the Catholic church that operates it as a school today. However, the personal property fell into the care custody and control of the Earl of Waldegrave who took little time to commission Auctioneer George Robins “To Sell By Public Competition, the Valuable Contents of Strawberry Hill.” According to Auctioneer Robins the collection could be “Fearlessly proclaimed as the most distinguished gem that has ever adorned the annals of Auctions.” He goes on to boast, “It is definitely fixed for Monday, the 25th day of April, 1842, and twenty – three following days (Sundays Excepted), and withiin will be found a repast for the lovers of Literature and the Fine Arts, of which bygone days furnish no previous example, and it would be in vain to contemplate it in times to come.” In other words, no bigger auction has happened and don’t expect one in the future to surpass it either! The one inch thick catalog had a cover cost of seven shillings and was meant to “admit four persons to the Public View, and be a passport to the Purchaser thoughout the Sale; they may be had at “Galignani’s Journal,” in Paris; of Mr. I.A.G. Weigel, of Leipsic; at Strawberry Hill; at the Auction Mart; and at Mr. George Robins’ Offices, Covent Garden. The Private view will commence on the 28th Day of March, and the Public will be admitted on Monday, April 4th.” (Interesting, almost a month of Preview on personal property prior to the commencement of the Auction on April 25th) The five “Conditions of Sale” were simply and succintly stated just below the statement in the catalog of “It is particularly requested, that the visitors of Strawbery Hill will refrain from touching or displacing the articles.” The first term was “The highest bidder is to be the purchaser, and if any dispute arise between two or more bidders, the lot so disputed is to be immediately put up again and re-sold.” (Note: it does not state to be resold only between the two bidders) The second term allows for the purchasers giving their names and place of abode and paying a deposit of five shillings in the pound. If the purchaser defaults the deposit would be lost and the item(s) resold. Thirdly, no representations are made and all lots must be absolutely r[...]
Sat, 07 Oct 2006 20:49:00 +0000Colonel A.D. Powers on “Conducting an Auction House” (1904) By Robert A. Doyle, CAI, ISA, CES, CAGA 50th President of the National Auctioneers AssociationPrincipal Auctioneer/Appraiser Absolute Auction & Realty, Inc. Robert A. Doyle CAI, ISA, CES, CAGA A.D. Powers, from Chicago, Ill, was the first President of the International Association of Auctioneers formed on August 22nd, 1904 in St. Louis, Missouri at a gathering of Auctioneers in a building within the St. Louis World’s Fair grounds. Mr. Powers was truly a “Venue Master” and a great example of a sharing “Knight of the Hammer” that imparted his wisdom freely with all the other “Colonels” through his writings in the National Auctioneer magazine published in Chicago, Illinois and distributed nationally to the growing Auction Industry in 1904. One of the subjects that he reflected on was “How I would Conduct An Auction House.” He provided his thoughts and advice over many months in the magazine in 1904, which will be the subject of this column. I will extract, in his words, from two of those articles that will provide insight on “Auction House Rules” and “Wit & Humor.” Although these articles were written over one hundred years ago, I think you will agree, that much applies today. “No business will succeed without rules, and rules that are not enforced are worse than no rules at all. Be the head of your own business, and let people who deal with you know that they must transact their business in your way. They may complain, but they will respect you all the more for it. People will get mad, and say they will never come in your house again, if you do not grant this concession, and that infraction of your rules. Let them go. Nine out of ten will come back again, and give you no more trouble. Be firm, without being tyrannical. Be just, without being harsh. Be stubborn, but polite. Refuse all applications for special privileges. Play no favorites, treat everyone alike. The woman who buys a cook stove, should have the same fair treatment as the merchant who buys a carload. Favoritism will kill a sale quicker than anything I know of. Have your rules painted on the wall near the office, where everyone can see them, and enforce them to the letter. Here are some good rules: 1. Terms are Cash. 2. Deposit required from all. 3. No goods delivered during sale. 4. No goods delivered without a receipted bill. 5. Purchasers must take all of the goods, or none. 6. Storage will be charged on all goods left over 24 hours. 7. All goods unpaid for in full, within 6 days will be sold for settlement of account. 8. All weights, measures and counts must be verified a time of delivery. 9. No error of any kind will be corrected after 24 hours. 10. No smoking during sale. (Note: this was 100 years ago.) 11. All goods guaranteed, as represented, if claim is made within 24 hours. Now these rules are easy to understand. They are simple enough for anybody. Still at every sale somebody will want to break one or more rule. Do not allow it. There are always people who think they are better than anybody else, but let them know that everybody has an equal show at your auction sales.” Mr. Powers goes on to provide many examples of both men and women that bid and then want to change the rules to their advantage. In all the examples, whether they reflect mere “whining” or attempts to cheat and defraud the Auctioneer and seller, Powers firmly adheres to the rules. On the subject of “Wit & Humor” C[...]
Sat, 07 Oct 2006 20:48:00 +0000A New Field for Auctioneers By Robert A. Doyle, CAI, ISA, CES, CAGA 50th President of the National Auctioneers AssociationPrincipal Auctioneer/Appraiser Absolute Auction & Realty, Inc. Robert A. Doyle CAI, ISA, CES, CAGA In 1902, farmer hired auctioneer to negotiate with girl for marriage, but then auctioneer had to sue to collect his pay. Reprinted from the Times-Republican of Marshalltown , Iowa. Kensett, Iowa (Jan. 1, 1902) – The most novel action ever brought to the notice of the courts and the public took place here when one Louis Gullickson, an auctioneer, who is endowed with an unusual gift of versatility and business tact, sued a prosperous young farmer living seven miles west of Kensett to recover the balance due him under a verbal agreement for services to have been rendered in securing for said defendant a handsome and highly respected young lady who resided in the same neighborhood for a wife. It is authoritatively stated that said defendant was so thoroughly imbued and hypnotized to the idea by Louis Gullickson that such an agreement was entered into. The services were rendered in good faith as agreed, as the knot was tied in due legal fashion and in a very short time after negotiations had been opened up, to the entire satisfaction of all transacting parties. Forty dollars was then paid said auctioneer for services said to have been rendered in affiliating the two hearts, but as is often the case with verbal agreements the balance was never paid to the irreparable loss and dismay of the Auctioneer, who had evidently worked faithfully in the discharge of his duties in uniting said defendant to his present wife, who although living in the same neighborhood, was noted to be a trifle shy and adverse in affiliating with the gentler sex. For this non-fulfillment of this promise to pay plaintiff brought action before Justice Herb T. Finch. The Auctioneer ended up with another $29, making his total fee $69. (Note: $69 in 1902 would be equivalent to $1,376.57 in today's dollars.) Auctioneer's Poem The following poem was extracted from the June 1 st 1904 NATIONAL AUCTIONEER magazine. It was submitted by auctioneer George Largent of Quenemo , Kansas on February 29, 1904 . The past season's been a corker,For there's auction everywhere.And I can say quite trulyThat I sure got my share. I have gone in all directions,Like the rays from out the sun.I went for what was in itAnd I worked hard for the “mon.” I've talked to crowds that shiveredAs they stood out in the cold.And I did my best to cheer them up,To bid on what I sold. I've had sales for the rich and wealthy and sales for the poor and low.I've had sales that went a flyingAnd sales that were mean and slow. Yet I try to meet them all alikeNo matter where I go,I do my best to please themAnd to make their purses grow. And I always treat my biddersJust as nicely as I can.For the only way to do itIs to prove you are a man. I never load on whiskey,And I never steal a bid.For my name would then be “Dennis”If the people found I did. Yours as ever, George Largent. A turn of the century cardboard photo of a “Lively-Hustler”. Early photos of auctioneers are rare. Note the symbol on the wall of the three balls representing the trade sign of a pawnbroker. Also, the auctioneer's flag is rolled up on a pole out front. Obviously, it wa[...]
Sat, 07 Oct 2006 20:43:00 +0000Guardian Auction to Settle 1869 Estate of Samuel G. Dodge By Robert A. Doyle, CAI, ISA, CES, CAGA 50th President of the National Auctioneers AssociationPrincipal Auctioneer/Appraiser Absolute Auction & Realty, Inc. Robert A. Doyle CAI, ISA, CES, CAGA Studying early original historical papers always provides unique insights regarding the way people lived, conducted business and -- in this case -- handled the affairs of a family member that died. Early documents and ephemera witness the progression of “actions” by individuals, clarify legal entitlements and provide a clear paper trail regarding transfer of ownership. The mid-19th century ephemera pertaining to the Dodge family, includes several ancestral photographs identifying key members of the Dodge family mentioned in an accompanying will, executrix papers, probate documents, deed recordings, letters and auction broadside. Together, they provide valuable information that allows us to better understand what transpired at the time resulting in the 1869 “Guardian’s Sale” of real estate to settle the estate of Samuel G. Dodge. Illustrated on this page is an 1869 “Guardian’s Sale” broadside advertising an auction held on Thursday Dec. 2, 1869 of real estate to settle the estate of Samuel G. Dodge, “late of Bennington.” The auction was to be held at 1 o’clock P.M. The Auctioneer was Eben Bass and it was by order of the Guardian, Lucinda S. Dodge as “guardian of the minor heirs.” Lucinda was selling the right and interest of the heirs. She was offering “three undivided sixth parts therof.” The property consisted of “about 90 acres suitably divided into mowing tillage and woodland. The farm is productive, and has on it a choice variety of grafted fruit consisting of apples, pears, plumbs, and grapes. At the same time the remaining three sixths will be sold, thus giving the purchaser a good title to the whole. Sale on the premises. Terms at the sale.” Avoiding the free lunch Who was Lucinda Dodge? Why did she offer the “undivided sixth parts” and then the remainder? Note that the start time of 1 P.M. eliminated the need for the typical “free lunch at noon.” Also note that no “terms” were announced on the broadside allowing for flexibility at the time of the auction for qualifying bidders and financing. According to a State of New Hampshire document signed by probate judge Daniel Crass on January 30th, 1863 Lucinda Dodge was the wife of the deceased and the mother of the three minors. The document officially appoints Lucinda as executrix for Samuel G. Dodge as per the request of Samuel in his handwritten, one-page will which the judge attached to the executrix’ appointment. The will was very simple having three stipulations. First it directs the executrix to pay for “all just debts and funeral charges.” Second, “I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Lucinda S. Dodge all my personal property for which she is to support my children so far as she is able until they are eighteen years old, she having their labor. Thirdly, I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Lucinda S. Dodge the use of all my real estate for homestead for herself and children for using her natural life, and I do hereby appoint my wife Lucinda S. Dodge sole Executrix of this my last will and testament.” The will was dated 1862. The same judge, Daniel Crass of the Probate Court, appointed Lucinda as guardian over her three daughters, Moriah A. [...]
Sat, 07 Oct 2006 20:42:00 +0000What’s Up With Two Auctioneers Selling At The Same Time? By Robert A. Doyle, CAI, ISA, CES, CAGA 50th President of the National Auctioneers AssociationPrincipal Auctioneer/Appraiser Absolute Auction & Realty, Inc. Robert A. Doyle CAI, ISA, CES, CAGA The Multi-Ring Auction is not a new concept. In fact, the method dates back to Colonial times when large estates had to be liquidated during daylight hours. As the 50th President of the National Auctioneers Association I have had the pleasure to visit 25+ state auctioneers associations in the past 6 years. I have had the privilege to study many auction gallery operations and learn from world class auctioneers. I learned a few things: An auction-buying crowd is good for about 5 hours.Only a “specialist” wants to sit through a “specialty sale”.Non-competing categories can be sold at the same time.Buyers like to know approximately what time an item will be sold Time is a precious commodity. We appreciate this fact and utilize the multi-ring auction to provide you with the best selection of items within a reasonable length of time. We have conducted Multi-Ring Auctions at every estate auction in the Pleasant Valley Auction Hall this year. It has worked out very well. All lots are cataloged. We sell approximately 80 lots an hour. Signs are posted indicating which lots sell where. I will say that newcomers to the auction hall sometimes have an initial reaction of panic and concern. I don’t know where to sit? How can I buy in two places at once? However, once they scan the catalog it becomes clear which auction ring they should sit in. Many people sit in the same auction ring all night, some move back and forth, some leave bids on an “Absentee Bid Form” and do not attend at all! For those that are interested in a lot of items spanning all rings there are a couple of strategies that can be utilized to be an effective buyer. 1. Bring a partner, get a duplicate bid card and attend both auction rings. 2. Leave bids in one ring and attend the other. Results: We are getting larger crowds, selling more merchandise in a shorter period of time, for more money, then if we sold in one ring. Example: An 800 lot auction being sold at an average of 80 lots an hour takes 10 hours to sell. 1 Ring: We start selling at 5PM we would be done at 3AM with a handful of people picking up nice items at bargain prices. 2 Rings: We start at 5PM we are done at 10PM with a nice size crowd paying fair market value to the end. 2006-09-11[...]
Sat, 07 Oct 2006 20:41:00 +0000Unique Auction Sales at Stevens’s Auction Rooms, LTDBy Robert A. Doyle, CAI, ISA, CES, CAGA 50th President of the National Auctioneers AssociationPrincipal Auctioneer/Appraiser Absolute Auction & Realty, Inc. Robert A. Doyle CAI, ISA, CES, CAGA We all know that the finest things in the world sell at public auction. The auction method of marketing dating back to the earliest civilizations has worked for the disposition of all types of assets from the spoils of war to fine art. In the historical theater of auctions and auction companies lies a tremendous wealth of information. It has been said that the auctioning of any item gives it new life. The object starts over under new management. The sale establishes a new value, a different owner, fresh location, and possibly a different use. The lot is moved from one place to another and either comes out into the light for display or is put away in the darkness for security. The auctioneer and auction companies over time have been responsible for uncovering, researching, cleaning, displaying and selling diverse material to the buying public. The auctioneer sets the stage for the rebirth of every item. This “rebirth” could be a great celebration or go unnoticed depending on the imagination and skill of the auctioneer and auction company handling the event. If you had a unique collection to sell in the early 1800’s and you wanted those items to be noticed and promoted in their best light you would have contacted J. C. Stevens’s of 38 King Street, Covent Garden London. Steven’s started as an auctioneer in 1820 by buying into an established auction business at the same location. It will be seen that Steven’s created many new and unique markets utilizing the auction method of marketing that included the sales of the most bizarre and unusual items and collections ever held. He auctioned mummies, shrunken heads, major insect collections, seashells, bird eggs, crocodile skins, witch doctors “Basuto” bags, Tibetan Yak tails, carved coconut teapots, Graeco-Roman bronze lion masks, exotic plants, even complete menageries of mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds. His auction sales were the most unusual in the world until Stevens’s Auction Rooms. Ltd. was blasted off the face of the earth during World War Two. But let’s not jump to the end so quickly. According to catalogs in my collection the Stevens’s Auction Rooms, LTD was established in 1760. However, a chapter in a book titled “Going, Going, Gone!” by Bellamy Partridge claims that the original Stevens’s Auction Rooms were started by an auctioneer named Samuel Paterson. He was a well-known bibliographer. Paterson was credited with starting the third oldest auction room in England in 1776. The auction room was the same address of the later Stevens’s rooms, 38 King Street Covent Garden, London, England. Paterson primarily sold books, manuscripts and prints. He cataloged and sold many important collections at auction. Paterson was credited with starting the practice of selling books in lots, rather then one at a time. Paterson’s love of books made 38 King Street the hang out of many a famous bibliophile. According to Bellamy Partridge, “A few years before his death Mr. Paterson was succeeded by Messrs. King, Collins and Chapman. Soon Collins withdrew and the concern went under the name and style of Chapman & King; by 1796 Chapman had withdrawn and the firm continued [...]
Sat, 07 Oct 2006 20:39:00 +0000Richard Romanus, Sr., is President/CEO of Blue Ridge Digital and AuctionServices.com, Inc. Rick has been a pioneer and motivator for the Auction Industry for more than ten (10) years. His expertise in high-tech digital video production, Internet hosting and design, and cutting edge tools and software has won him numerous state and national awards. An associate member of the NAA and many Auctioneer Associations since 1995, Romanus has an extensive background in computer hardware and software, technology, and the Auction Industry.
Romanus, Blue Ridge Digital and AuctionServices.com, Inc. make available, to all auctioneers, the latest video/CD/ DVD and digital technology along with cutting-edge, on-line software products and services that enhance auctions and offer full Internet capabilities. He and his wife, Nancy, have assembled a staff keep their finger on the pulse of technology, helping auctioneers stay aware, and equipped, to meet the challenges the Internet, and the technology age, has to offer.
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Thu, 04 May 2006 17:07:00 +0000Based on outstanding ideas and feedback from AuctionServices.com customers, association members, and the auction industry as a whole, AuctionServices.com, has released our automated Auction Calendar version 2.1 / 2.1.1, including many enhancements and NEW features.
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