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Can I interest you in a codpiece?

Earlier this week, I spotted something interesting in an auction house window and asked if I could phone in a bid. I was directed to this website.

It’s an auction aggregator, and it’s much cooler than it sounds. Well, I’ve been enjoying the hell out of it.

If you think about the sorts of things likely to come up for auction in the UK (and a few sites on the Continent), you’ll get what I mean. That codpiece, for example, is from a sale of historic items from the Stone Age to the Medieval period.

You can browse through individual collections, or do a keyword search across the lot. (To work out the guide prices, today’s exchange rate is $1.62 = £1).

Okay, here’s the coolest part: you can participate in the auctions in real time. You have to register with the site to listen in. (Don’t worry, you won’t accidentally buy an 18th C Chippendale dining set — if you want to bid, you have to jump through extra hoops).

Then go to the Live Auction page and click on any of the listings with a Watch live.

They show you the image for each lot as they go through and you can listen in to the bidding (hit the speaker icon to get the audio going). If you registered to bid in that auction, there’s a bid button, too.

You can also browse recently closed auctions to see how the actual price stacks up to the estimate. Interesting. Looks to me like coins and other small, valuable collectibles are being snatched up well over the guide price. Bad economy and worries about inflation, I reckon.

I’ve not been to many real auctions, but I saw occasional crazy bargains happen when I did. I suppose aggregating sales might put an end to that, at least for desirable or specialist items. But it’s an awfully fun way to waste an afternoon.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 10, 2011, 7:09 pm

Or perhaps a Viking Amber Phallic Bead?

Just in case you were missing Weinerpalooza.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 10, 2011, 7:18 pm

Or perhaps a Medieval Pewter `Winged Phallus` Badge?

Comment from Sporadic Small Arms Fire
Time: June 10, 2011, 8:06 pm

A nicely spotted dick would go nicely with a codpiece, no wieners though.

Can’t believe I am typing this but I miss the chooks. Hopefully they cluck and deposit guano as is their wont.

Comment from some vegetable
Time: June 10, 2011, 9:35 pm

Well now we know what guys did before there was twitter.

Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: June 10, 2011, 9:38 pm


So are people diving in the Thames to look for old stuff?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 10, 2011, 9:46 pm

No, metal detectoring. And good on you for noticing how much of the stuff in that auction was dredged out of the Thames in recent years.

You need a special license to metal detect along the banks — and there’s a bit of an uneasy relationship between the detectoring and archeological communities — but they’ve pulled some stunning objects out of the water there.

When we were in London, we visited one collection that had one whole wall of stuff covered in objects that had been found in the Thames in the 19th C. The two things I remember were a dentist’s hat (it was sewn all over with molars he had pulled, as a sort of walking advertisement) and the gold head of a wizard’s staff, all engraved with symbols. Pre-medieval, I think that was.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 10, 2011, 9:54 pm

Chooks are fine, SSAF. Mapp is still broody and not laying, but she’s coming out to eat. The babies are growing wonderfully. Vita had a bad limp for a few days. Had us worried. She seemed all better today.

If I get stuck for posts next week, I’ll dredge up some pictures.

Comment from Mike C.
Time: June 10, 2011, 10:23 pm

OT, but one must take one’s mustelid-oriented threads when and where found…


Personally, I think the mustelid community would generate a lot more general interest if it started tweeting more crotch shots, but that’s just me.

Oh, and an auction is a great way to kill a day.

Comment from Mike C.
Time: June 10, 2011, 10:34 pm

I went into a gallery of antique shops a block or so from the British Council head office in London once while the wife (who worked for the British Council) went to an appointment. Not exactly the same stuff as in your average American antique stores – by centuries to eons. Once upon a time, the Brits looted pretty much the entire world, in bulk.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 10, 2011, 10:46 pm

Ahhh…looted, but then cherished. If it weren’t for Lord Elgin, there would be no marbles that now carry his name.

You know, lots of the stuff in those auctions are small, if anyone fancied bidding on them and having them shipped to the States. I don’t know what the Customs deal is, though

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: June 10, 2011, 11:36 pm

Mike – There’s ALWAYS lady gaga…..

Comment from Can\’t hark my cry
Time: June 11, 2011, 12:08 am

When we were in London, we visited one collection that had one whole wall of stuff covered in objects that had been found in the Thames in the 19th C.

I am reminded of a visit to the City Museum in St. Louis (an amazing place–absolutely amazing–in which scavenged industrial and architectural stuff is combined into one gigantic playground/gymnasium/jungle gym/museum) during which, when not joining my 4-year-old nephew in sliding on the upside down copper roof panels or through the 7-story-slide (an old warehouse chute) I perused their collection of objects retrieved from 19th century privies. Cleaned up, I hasten to add–but the stuff folks threw into the outhouse holes back then is fascinating. . .

Comment from Oh Hell
Time: June 11, 2011, 12:20 am

OOOO – I love auctions. Worked at the livestock auction just out of High School and was hooked. Will be wasting the day tomorrow at the local junk sale (They call is a Farm Equipment Sale – I call it a junk sale, I, am of course, right.)

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: June 11, 2011, 2:52 am

Stoaty, you happen across the most interesting sites. 🙂

Comment from Oceania
Time: June 11, 2011, 5:34 am

Wait for Stoaties history of Sticks, and the ever popular re-run of English traditional Rags ….

Comment from Mike C.
Time: June 11, 2011, 7:36 am

Hell should freeze over before Greece gets the Elgin Marbles back…

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: June 11, 2011, 8:19 pm

I prefer the Black Russian codpiece. It frightens the clergy.

Comment from FHB
Time: June 12, 2011, 4:17 am

I could spend day wandering through that auction site. Cool.

Comment from mostly cajun
Time: June 12, 2011, 4:50 pm

Do they have it in XXL?

I need to send one to a congrssman.


Comment from Mono The Elderish
Time: June 12, 2011, 7:26 pm

I lurve me some auction! cool site…

Comment from surly ermine
Time: June 13, 2011, 1:56 pm

Am I the only one who noticed that cod piece looks like a weasel face? What kinda twisted subliminal shit are you trying to pull Stoaty?! 😉

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: June 13, 2011, 7:10 pm

Actually, come to think of it, someone did auction off a codpiece worn by Rowan Adkinson in Blackadder. Not the black russian though.

Comment from mojo
Time: June 13, 2011, 7:27 pm

OT an I don’ care:

Harking back to the Kindle/Electronic book idea: Check this out:

Ok, so they have Ian MacDonald’s “Dervish House” for a reasonable price – $1.99. Vonnegut’s classic “Cat’s Cradle”, $2.99

But down at the bottom? Heinlein’s 1959 “Starship Troopers” – TEN BUCKS? WTF, over?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 13, 2011, 9:31 pm

I don’t care, either.

Say, did you see Ric’s book has now had three Instapundit mentions? I think he should take us all out to lunch or sumpin’.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: June 13, 2011, 11:33 pm

He’s gotten some nice reviews on Amazon as well–moving up the charts smartly. Self-publishing. Who knew?

Comment from Wiccapundit
Time: June 14, 2011, 4:31 am

Was that codpiece worn by the original Jethro Tull?

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