Sunday, March 7, 2010

To Bid or Not to Bid...This is the Question

Hudson's Mink Stole: DuMouchelles On-line Catalogue

Auction houses have a historic and distinguished presence in the market place. Sotheby's and Christies are known world wide, but here in Detroit, we have DouMouchelles, Fine Art Auctioneers and Appraisers, in operation since 1927.
Earlier this year I searched their on-line catalogue to get a feel for the type of clothing items to be found. I was happy to spot this Hudson's Vintage Mink Stole in the lot. The bid price range for the piece was reasonable to my thinking so I made a special trip to 409 East Jefferson in Detroit.
There it was in the gallery hanging on a mannequin ready for me to inspect. I studied the lining, seaming and condition of the fur. It was well cared for over the years. I tried it on for fit, and quickly began to dream of owning a piece of retail history. Hudson's was a retail gem back in the day and has a special place in the memories of many native Detroit families.
I could not be available to attend the actual auction so I decided on a "Telephone Bid" process, and filled out the necessary paperwork to participate. I found the staff to be genuinely helpful and attentive. This made my first splash into the world of auction bidding easy and enjoyable.
Long story short, I lost the piece to another bidder with deeper pockets. I had a definite price limitation going into it and quickly lost my dream in three bids.
I was told by a staff member at DuMouchelles that they don't normally get large amounts of clothing or collections come to auction. I hope this will change soon. I just know there are so many collectors of Important Fashion in the Detroit Metro Area. Those who collect, take care of the investment and understand the value of buying and selling it. Those of us who hunt for fine Vintage Clothing are links in the recycling chain of history and Style. Clothing is a Cultural element of history and DuMochelles has a special place in both the past and future of Detroit's fashion runway. Happy Bidding!

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