Laurence and Sally's 3 Most Prized Auction Items
Laurence and Sally Martin from Baggage Battles recount their best auction buys, the items they'd never sell -- unless, of course, the highest bidder came along.
1. Presidential Proclamation Regarding George Washington's Death
Apparently this exact document was last seen in 1964, and was in someone’s closet for the past 50 years. The other 6 known to exist are in private collections as well as the Smithsonian Institution. Other than us, there was a telephone bidder who was extremely anxious to own this item. We had a very aggressive bidding competition. We won the item for $2,000 and are now a part of US history as the current owners of this rare document.
A rare document and bookseller gave us an estimated value of $3,000 to $5,000. Frankly, we think that this is a low estimate. We would estimate that the right person, with the right budget, would pay from $10,000 to $100,000 for it. For now, we will happily hold onto it.
2. Bronze Sculpture of Krishna and Radha
We had lots of competition for the lot. The room was filled with people with “deep pockets.” I know that because our competition was spending, literally, $26,000 for a single lot. We don’t even have close to that to spend at auction. After all was said and done, we had to pay $1,200 for all 5 crates, so this particular crate represented 20% of the lot, or $240.
When we opened the crate it was a magical feeling! Laurence had to pry the sides off very carefully. When the front side and wrapping were removed it was amazing! A golden statue was revealed. Although it is bronze, it really did look like gold. Wouldn’t that have been amazing! The large statue featured 2 figures, Krishna and Radha. Krishna was the eighth incarnation of Vishnu, and Radha his favorite consort. The pair stands under a tree with peacocks. It is a stunningly detailed example. Our appraiser told us that the scrap value of the item was at least $900 to $1,200. A very similar statue had sold recently for $3,600.
3. 18-Karat Gold & Diamond "Gypsy" Ring
The room was full, but our biggest competitor at the auction was Billy. He dropped out of the bidding after it reached a high of nearly $800 (what we paid for the ring). We took it for an appraisal, where we were told that it was a “bobby dazzler,” a person or thing considered remarkable or excellent. The diamonds were brilliantly set in a very high grade of gold. The ring dates to the 1920s and has been valued (here in the States) at $5,000.