Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wednesdays with Laurie

Attending the auction at The Palais Dorotheum 3 out of 4 weeks in Vienna makes me a self-proclaimed creature of habit.  Attending with a 9 year old boy in tow makes me certifiable.

The Dorotheum was established in 1707 and is one of the largest auction houses in Europe.  They host specialized auctions, accept consignments and run a number of retail store fronts selling estate art, antiques, decorative objects and jewelry.  Think Pawn Stars meets Louis Vuitton.

Palais Dorotheum

The Dorotheum also runs daily auctions every Wednesday at 2pm.  This is where we enter the picture.

Modern Gallery

Rug and Antique Gallery

If I play my cards right, by that I mean literally win The World Series of Poker, I will someday buy a treasure at the auction.  For now, it is a watching and learning experience.  Oh and with Jake in tow, I need to make sure he does not stretch or else we will be walking out with a pair of 19th Century Russian Kommodes for 4000 Euros.

Jake with One Russian Kommode

The auctions are in German (for some reason I expected English, I really must be delusional) and they have a cadence all their own, the announcement and description of the lot, a picture on a large television screen, the bidding, and finally a small bell then sold! to the highest bidder.  There is also a handful of "usual suspects", people I've noticed at every auction, the big spender who bids on and wins multiple lots in a row, the elderly woman who collects porcelain, the rug couple and the train guy.   Interestingly, there have only been a handful of times when there have been multiple bids, usually on art.  The Dorotheum adds 25% at the closing bid for the house.  If you bid, 8 times out of 10 you will win.  Those are some pretty good odds, so for now, we sit with our hands glued to our sides and enjoy the show.

Lights, Camera, Auction!

I was able to snap some of my favorite lots until I was snapped at for breaking the rules.  Whoops.

18th Century Joop! Closet 

Marquetry, Parquetry, Marble, Ormulu, Oh My!

It Don't Mean a Thing, if it Ain't Got That Bling

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