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“The next rug… Please!”

by Robert Tate, Eiteljorg director of merchandising | Oct 07, 2013



“The next rug… Please!”

That was the phrase heard over 200 times on Saturday, Oct. 5 during the Eiteljorg’s live Navajo Rug Auction. 

Potential bidders arrived early to preview the rugs and learn stories behind some of the weavers who created them. As an added bonus, fourth generation rug trader, Shari Burnham, shared Navajo rug knowledge with our guests. Also, attendees got to see and feel the rugs as they were readied for auction.

Before the auction began several people brought rugs to be reviewed for possible consignment. One spectacular Etta Peacock rug, presented from an Indiana couple, was selected for the day’s auction.  The original price was $12,000.  But the couple was OK with parting with it for a reserve price of $5,000.  

With only five rugs left the beautiful Etta Peacock was brought to the floor.  The rug’s story was told and the bid calling began at $5,000. Immediately, several paddles started flying up into the air of the Eiteljorg’s Clowes Court. And, this race that could only have one winner was on!  The auctioneer passed $7,000, then $8,000, then $9,000 – and the attendees were still waving their hands. But by the time he hit $10,000, the lone passionate bidder – Number 25 in fifth row – was the only one holding up her right hand. Number 25 had won the war!

In the end, three people were made very happy after that bid: the couple that sold it and the smiling, satisfied buyer!

In all, 50 registered bidders bought 72 rugs for a total of $61,000. Proceeds from the auction go to R.B. Burnham, the rug weavers and the Eiteljorg.

Robert Tate
Eiteljorg director of merchandising
(pictured left)

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