Published: July 20, 2004
For the third consecutive sale at Eldred’s, a Cape area dealer bought nearly everything in sight leaving a saleroom of disgruntled bidders wondering whether some kind of hoax was being perpetrated.
No hoax, just an eager bidder with deep pockets.
The dealer bidding on the phone, a 20-year customer at Eldred’s, bought 87 percent of the objects for sale and might have taken even more had he called in earlier. He had been hospitalized the day before the sale and only called Eldred’s at lot 49. The auction grossed $101,637, against a high estimate of $85,485. Offered were 806 lots, of which 300 were postcard lots.
Some 50,000 postcards mostly from the collection of the late John W. Scandlen ran the gamut of popular and unusual postal views from early Cape scenes to foreign capitols and were sold in 300 lots.
Bidders in the saleroom were discouraged, some bitterly, by the determined phone bidder who seemed eager to buy everything offered, and they left early.
He didn’t buy it all, though. Of the top ten lots he bought five including a London Encyclopedia of 404 beautifully illustrated quarto plates for $6,325. Other dealers paid $2,415 for an autographed Babe Ruth baseball and $1,207 each for three Frank W. Benson prints that were estimated at $300/500 each.
The same Cape area dealer bought 80 to 85 percent of the lots offered at Eldred’s June sales of antiques and accessories.
Staff at Eldred’s was puzzled and surprised, to say the least.
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