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What Was in Those Two Box Lots??? Freeman's Auction No. 1540: Books, Maps, and Manuscripts

   ptlogo2 Did anyone catch the Freeman's auction which took place on Monday? (April 4, 2016: Books, Maps and Manuscripts, Auction No. 1540). It was chalk full of documents and books. Historical documents. Not-so historical documents. Manuscript. Printed. So much about people from the past is often revealed through their papers or books they owned. I love it all and I'm not particular. As I read through the Freeman's catalog, my excitement increased. The collection being sold was a book and paper collector's dream and I have to tell you, I was giddy.

    The couple of box lots full of papers especially had me curious. Could I see what was in the boxes? Not at all, but who cares? Boxes of papers and documents, that is enough to wet the collector's appetite. Nothing could go wrong. My anticipation was at an all time high.

    In my experience, collectors are not usually limited by imagination but resources can prove problematic. I diligently began counting my pennies, ready to jump on some of the lots. The two box lots were of particular interest, purely from a pleasure principle perspective. They lured me in. I had my pennies at the ready and began to mentally catalog my checklist and on-line bidding moves.

     I was signed onto the live auction site, ready to let fly with my bid. Everything appeared to work well, but I refreshed by laptop to make sure connections were ...connected?  I was calm, cool, collected and ready to push that bid button. Muscles were tight, but not too tight. Eyes focused. Brain? Well, as focused as it ever is. I flexed my fingers in preparation. No one in their right mind enters the bidding ring without a good finger and hand bidding excercise routine. Am I right?

    I waited and watched, like a lion ready to pounce. The books brought strong prices. I began to grow a little concerned. But I'm a bidding pro. I've been doing it since I was kid, after all. And no, the tissues in the tissue box were not being used to wipe away perspiration. That is just a rumor. I performed another warm-up excercise by bidding on a document for a friend. That little bid button worked just fine. I was ready to bring home the bacon.

   In what seemed like no time at all, the first box lot filled with hundreds of beautiful documents, came up. (No, I was not salivating either, that is just another mean rumor). I was crouched at the ready, poised...and the bidding started! It passed my monetary limit in 2.6 seconds. I never even had a chance to press the little bid button. Once the bidding ended, lot number 281 sold for $11,250.00 dollars.

    Okay, I'll admit, I was slightly disappointed. My Id, the core part of the pleasure principle, had deflated a little bit. Yet lot 300 still loomed. I still had a chance to bring home some bacon. This time, I actually pushed the bid button one time before the bid amount soared right passed my limit. Lot number 300 sold for $7,150.00.

    While one part of me is glad to see the appreciation for historical documents, it is a small part. In all honesty, my id can be heard screaming, "What was in those two box lots?!?"

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Information about what was in those boxes? Email Pat at

Note to readers: The persons here at Passed Time, love collecting. Talking to other passionate collectors, dealers, historians, museums, the social part of it all, is great fun. The knowledge possessed by individual collectors is remarkable and should be shared. This comraderie is part of the reason Passed Time exists--so collectors, dealers, genealogists, and etc. can share their passions--and no, we do not mind if you link to your own site-- just please give us a nod.

   Speaking of nods, check out one of my favorite columnists. His enthusiasm, knowledge, and humor when talking about collecting is bar none. I seriously suggest that anyone new to the collecting world pick up the Antiques & Auction News and follow Peter S. Seibert's column, "Collector Chats with Peter S. Seibert." His columns are pure enjoyment. (I am not being reimbursed by anyone for my suggestions. They are simply enjoyable and informational venues). 

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