July 9, 2007

Brown Paper Packages, Tied Up with...

... Sticky tape. They don't allow string on packages anymore. I got a lovely package in the mail this morning from my brother-in-law. I mentioned the other day that he's got a huge collection of UK Country Life magazines and auction catalogues. Well, that was what came in the post - or a small selection thereof.
There were two catalogues from Christie's in London both of Important Old Masters paintings and British paintings. These auctions were held earlier this month. The real treasure that BIL sent me was the catalogue for Sotheby's auction of Mallett Antiques at Bourdon House.
This is a new venture between Sotheby's and Mallett, which had occupied Bourdon House for more than 40 years before relocating to Bond Street in London, as well as New York. All lots with a low estimate under £10,000 were offered without reserve. Just to make that clear, that's about $20,000 in today's exchange rate. One of the rooms at Bourdon House was a shell grotto, which made up the endplates of the catalogue.
The catalogue is more than 300 pages and is lavishly illustrated with photographs of what's on auction. I will be able to spend many happy hours searching through the pictures and learning about them. The auction was held in March 2007 and the results are thus: Mallett today announces that the auction took place on Friday and net sale proceeds totalled £2.2m. Pleasingly, 95% of lots offered were sold and the proceeds are within Sotheby's pre-sale estimated range, if at the low end.

I saw a copy of the auction catalogue for sale for $150, but this is a great gift from a good and dear friend/BIL.


  1. Fantastic source Mallett - always something to delight the soul. Compared to what 20th Century furniture and art has been fetching at auction recently those results are not at all that outlandish for genuine antiques.

  2. Wow, to think how much that all costs! 8-O A friend of mine remarked at how much I note the price on the menu when we go out. Okay, he makes more money, I make less, so it's just a normal factor in my shopping. Not that he's a money pit, mind you. Lovely items, too.

  3. I have the Mallett catalogue and I love everything in it. I was going to post on the grotto room, but never got around to it. Glad you did!

  4. Fairfax,

    What an amazing gift! Love the chairs featured here.


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