Friday, January 12, 2007

Seeking santos

The city's auction houses featured House Sales this week.

House Sales are the catch-all for that which does not warrant inclusion in the fancier, themed auction around (say) Asian Art, or Maritime Memorabilia, or the Collection of X.

House Sales often include the stuff that the family of an estate chose not to load in the station wagon - or couldn't agree on the divying-up terms of and so turned their frayed oriental carpets and almost-complete silver sets over to the auction houses.

House Sales attract all types - interior designers, those perennially curious about the possessions of others, people who wander the city in search of entertainment and those who seek a chest of drawers for half the price of Crate and Barrel but in solid woods and marble-topped. Me too, for all of the above.

I previewed Christies and Doyle House Sales but placed but one bid for a magnificent Syrian Mirror. I was soundly outbid, like a few $1,000 outbid.

But what I really fell for, but utimately didn't bid on (estimated sales prices too high) were a quirky collection of 18th century Spanish santos at Christies.

(Apparently, Christies has no Saints department at all: the Virgin herself went unidentified.)

The saints were, individually and as a group, charming. But the take-away message of this long-winded post?

Each saint sold for well over estimate.
Which is new.
Which I hadn't seen before.
In 2006 santos were a relatively obscure category, to be had for a song (hymn).

Finally and justly, they've found their admirers.

May you find your saint, lohan, bhodisatva, angel or guru too this year.


(Disclaimer. I do not own the saint pictured, just enamored.)

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