Elaine’s Auction

On September 20, 2011 I went to my first LIVE AUCTION.  Doyle New York was auctioning the estate of Elaine Kaufman, the late owner of famed Upper East Side restaurant Elaine’s, who died last December.  From the moment I learned of the auction I knew I wanted a piece of the history for my “collection.”  Browsing through the online catalog before the exhibition I got set on a basket of hand towels embroidered with the Elaine’s Restaurant logo.  I don’t remember ever seeing cloth hand towels in the bathroom there but with such a large lot of towels (I couldn’t tell how many) I thought I could give some as gifts and sell a few on eBay to make up the cost (estimated between $100 and $200.)

At the exhibition a few days before the auction I saw a curious lot: a collage of two photos of Elaine Kaufman with former presidential candidate John McCain.  One of the photos was a very awkward freeze frame of John McCain in the midst of giving Elaine a hug.  Below the collage was a scribbled, affectionate note to Elaine signed by McCain.  They didn’t seem a likely pair with most of Elaine’s famous patrons hailing from the literary world and Hollywood (i.e. Gay Talese and Woody Allen.)

Day of the Auction:
I went early to Doyle to register for a paddle.   Continue reading “Elaine’s Auction”