Ok, so how does an unusual and fetching terrarium sell for 61 times its high estimate? When that high estimate is just $75 bucks.
We’ve long been a fan of Skinner, Inc.’s Discovery Sales because the staff there has such a good eye for design and unusual things. Plus the sales always offer quality Americana at bargain prices and who doesn’t like that?
Discovery auctions are often held as a way to sell a consignor’s additional items after bigger ticket items have been scheduled for themed sales. Sometimes the items come in off the street. I’ve talked with rock star auctioneers and specialists who quietly admit that discovery auctions are some of their favorites; bidders get so excited over the finds and the house can’t really predict what everything will sell for. Which brings us back to this terrarium.
It was listed innocuously as Lot. 528: Victorian Renaissance Revival Hexagonal Glazed Carved Wood Terrarium. The item listing was accompanied by a thumbnail condition report: losses, imperfections, finish loss, glass breaks. It stands 40 inches high by 28 inches wide. It was expected to sell July 27 for between $50 and $75.
The final sale price (including buyer’s premium): $4,594.
Don’t be surprised if you see this little number cleaned up and featured in Elle Decor next month.
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