This eerily familiar auction scene is taken from Richard Graves' 1805 book "The Triflers"
"Now came the principal object of Lady Bustleton's attention -an elegant mahogany chest of drawers; an useful piece of furniture which her ladyship wanted.
"Half a guinea, (cries one of her ladyship's humble companions)
"A guinea and a half," (cries some spirited bidder)
"five shillings more", says the young lady; in short it went on to three guineas and a half! - four guineas!" cries her ladyship herself, when down it was knocked.
Well! says one of her companions, it is a perdigious bargain! Yes! indeed, says another of her ladyship's friends, I had no ideur it would have gone under five guineas.
A plain looking man, who sat beside me (and who I found was a cabinet maker) whispered to one who sat next to him "it went new out of my shop for three guineas"."
We have bargains of a more modest sort amongst the offerings in our new Catalog of Auction Catalogs, available as a printed catalog, or on the web here.