J. Bear Savo

BEHIND THE BLOCK: “She’s like that… a little crazy.”

BEHIND THE BLOCK: “She’s like that… a little crazy.”

I had set out upon that particular look-see with high hopes. The woman with whom I had spoken over the telephone had promised that her attic was filled with dozens upon dozens of vintage toys from the 1940s through the 1970s, played with, but all retaining their original boxes. Such a stash of playthings is […]

 J. Bear Savo

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Selling sentimental cheese

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Selling sentimental cheese

At first, the phone call wasn’t that peculiar. The gentleman who rang was inquiring about the possible value of a vintage refrigerator. I explained that while the Art Deco lines and chrome accents of retro reefers make them more aesthetically appealing than other old appliances, they have virtually no marketability. “Really? That’s a shame,” the […]

 J. Bear Savo

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Auction poetry – ‘Antique Mannequin’ and ‘My Epitaph’

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Auction poetry – ‘Antique Mannequin’ and ‘My Epitaph’

I sometimes personify the merchandise that comes through my auction gallery. I make no conscious effort to do so. It’s just that sometimes I can’t help but see a cheerful chair… a hopeless chest… an amorous figurine… a spiteful mirror… a lonely locket… a mischievous doll… Indeed, sometimes I see so much humanity in the […]

 J. Bear Savo

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Advice for finding funds for the strip club (or whatever else you want)

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Advice for finding funds for the strip club (or whatever else you want)

Age ain’t nothing but a number… Don’t piss on me and tell me that it’s raining… You can’t put shoes on a jackass and call it a race horse… You may have heard these adages before, you may have not. Either way, these proverbs are applicable to many things in life, including the auction business. […]

 J. Bear Savo

BEHIND THE BLOCK: The poetry of auctioneering

BEHIND THE BLOCK: The poetry of auctioneering

Besides being an extraordinary auctioneer with a handsome beard, I’m also a poet. I primarily compose senryu, micropoems structurally identical to haiku, but while haiku concern themselves with nature, senryu tend to be about the idiosyncrasies of human existence. Naturally, some of my senryu are centered around aspects of auctioneering. Here are a few examples… […]

 J. Bear Savo

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Quirky qualification questions for potential consignors

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Quirky qualification questions for potential consignors

I entered the home, flashlight in hand. It was dark and dank and half fallen. The ceiling sagged like a hammock. The adjoining room was sunken by at least a foot, not by design, but because the house was ready to finish imploding at any moment. What contents were visible were buried in shattered plaster […]

 J. Bear Savo

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Charred chattel – when an item is beyond salvageable

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Charred chattel – when an item is beyond salvageable

The golden rule of estate liquidation is know before you throw. Those who have little or no experience in the auction industry are usually unaware of the strange and absurd items – some of which look like garbage – that can realize high prices on the block, and therefore sometimes make the tragic mistake of […]

 J. Bear Savo

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Alternative auction methods

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Alternative auction methods

The traditional auction involves gathering both merchandise and bidders at a specific place and time, allowing said bidders to compete for ownership as each item is presented by an auctioneer, who governs the process and asks for bids via a melodic chant. There are some alternative methods typically used for charitable events, such as the […]

 J. Bear Savo

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Auctions are not…

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Auctions are not…

As an auctioneer, I often encounter individuals who are either misinformed or who have come to erroneous conclusions as to what live auctions actually are. Before I explain their true purpose, let me elaborate on what auctions are not… Auctions are not yard sales. Auctions are not for used baby clothes or under-inflated basketballs. They […]

 J. Bear Savo

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Reading the forgotten letters of ordinary people

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Reading the forgotten letters of ordinary people

The personal correspondence of America’s legendary figures has been exhibited in museums, published in books, and sold at auction to eager collectors. Such letters not only give us intimate insights into those who shaped our nation and culture, they also prove that even the legendary were ordinary people. As an auctioneer, I often find the […]