The three-day Tavern on the Green auction concluded Friday. In the final tally, it appears that the 25,000 items sold brought in more than $3.5 million: not bad, but not the $8 million required to pull the Tavern out of debt.
Glenn Collins wraps up his months of auction coverage by speaking to buyers, who have names like “Molly McGuire” and “Marty Tinglehoff”:
Mr. Warner’s ample red Nehru jacket went for $5,000. The purchasers, Marty Tinglehoff and Toby Pippin, had journeyed from Atlanta just for the auction. “I’m planning to wear it right under my chandelier,” said Dr. Tinglehoff with a laugh. Actually, they bought three chandeliers – the most expensive one for $18,000 – and eyeing one of them, he said: “Now we’ll have to finish the new house.”
Other notable sales included a $350,000 leaded-glass ceiling, a $75,000 stained-glass peacock, and the Tavern’s piano, a decades-old “fixture” at the restaurant, which sold for $5,500.
The president of Guernsey’s Auction House tells The Times that the auction “was a sale of memories” rather than “some dismal liquidation.”
Counterpoint: Bloomberg describes the auction as (indeed) a liquidation, and details the incredible cheapness of the booze for sale.
“That’s half the wholesale price,” said an aspiring New Jersey bar owner, who had just purchased 1,250 bottles of wine for $2.58 apiece.