AN EXTREMELY RARE SAN FRANCISCO GOLD QUARTZ WALKING STICK BREAKS RECORDS AND CHANGES LIVES Oakland, CA – It’s not often that events fall into place in an almost serendipitous fashion as they did at Clars Auction Gallery’s September 10th, 2006 auction. This amazing story revolves around an u
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Redge Martin, President Clars Auction Gallery
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AN EXTREMELY RARE SAN FRANCISCO GOLD QUARTZ WALKING STICK BREAKS RECORDS AND CHANGES LIVES
Oakland, CA – It’s not often that events fall into place in an almost serendipitous fashion as they did at Clars Auction Gallery’s September 10th, 2006 auction. This amazing story revolves around an unsuspecting 19th century cane brought into Clars by a consignor hoping they would take it on consignment for their September sale. The consignor, a local Bay Area gentlemen who had fallen on hard financial times, spoke candidly with Redge Martin, President of Clars Auction Gallery, about his situation explaining that he was facing eviction from his apartment and was hoping that the cane might bring him enough to temporarily stave off his creditors and pay his rent for the upcoming month. Martin and his staff took the cane on consignment, estimating it to bring $500 to $1,000. The gentleman consigned the cane anticipating a few hundred dollars in his pocket after the sale. No one anticipated the events that were about to unfold.
As a late coming addition to the sale, the cane was literally the last lot of the day. There were over 1,300 lots on the block on September 10th at Clars. The cane, listed at lot #6834, a gold quartz and gold knobbed ebony walking cane, date 1871, had been posted on their Website as their full catalog always is. No advance print or media advertising had been done for the cane and it’s true value was yet to be discovered.
Modern technology was about to play a major role in changing the consignor’s life. Through the world of the “Internet Super Highway,” word began to spread to specialty cane collectors who routinely do their research, that an extremely rare, historic cane, was about to come on the block at Clars Auction Gallery on September 10th, 2006. The staff at Clars began to suspect that they had something a bit more important then they had anticipated, when, by Saturday, the day prior to the sale, absentee bids were arriving and phone bidders were registering including one from England.
Martin, who was now tiring after almost two solid days on the podium calling bids on over 2,000 lots, prepared to call the final lot of the Gallery sale for the day. With several bids already in at $3,000, he opened the bidding there and a frenzy of bidding from the floor, Internet and phones began. Calling the increments as fast as he could to keep up with the intense bidding, a floor bidder dropped out at $12,000. It then became a battle to the end of two phone bidders, one on the East Coast and one in the West. Up and up it went, the crowd and staff watched in awe, the consignor, who was in the