If you think auctions are for art fiends and rich folks, think again. Anyone can shop at them for home décor and house ware items. Tom Delavan, Domino magazine’s editor-at-large, gave TODAY’s Natalie Morales a lesson in shopping at auctions. Tom shares some of his tips on auction lingo and some information on where to find an auction house in your area:
- An object or group of objects offered for sale as one unit.
- The minimum price the seller is willing to accept. This amount is confidential but will not exceed the low estimate listed in the catalog.
- A term used when the bidding for a lot does not reach its reserve. The lot remains the property of the seller, and the auctioneer says, “Pass.”
- The final bid price, whether the lot is sold or unsold, announced by the auctioneer when the gavel is brought down.
- The listed range that reflects experts’ projected price at auction, based on the item’s condition, rarity, quality and provenance, as well as on recent comparable sales.
Top regional auctions:
BostonSkinner: At this Antiques Roadshow regular, look for European and American furniture and decorative-art sales.skinnerinc.com
ChicagoLeslie Hindman Auctioneers: The Midwest institution has worthy sales of American, European and 20th-century furniture and decorative arts.lesliehindman.com
Los Angeles and San FranciscoBonhams & Butterfields: Zoom in on sales of European and American furniture and decorative arts.bonhams.com
New YorkSotheby’s: Its Arcade sales court price-conscious homeowners and feature objects and furniture.sothebys.com
Tepper Galleries:They hold sales every two weeks, with amazing deals.teppergalleries.com
Doyle New York: Known for celebrity estate auctions.doylenewyork.com
PhiladelphiaFreeman’s; Suss out estate sales and those of English and Continental furniture and decorative arts at America’s oldest house.freemansauction.com
(Note: Check Web sites for sale dates.)For more information on shopping at auctions, check out Domino magazine’s Web site at