Last weekend the Golden State Bonsai Federation (GSBF) held simultaneous fundraisers in support of its Northern and Southern California bonsai collections. In Northern California, the GSBF held an auction Saturday and a bonsai bazaar on Sunday.
I’ve always been a fan of bonsai auctions. I’ve participated in them as a buyer, a seller, and a barker – the latter being my favorite of the three. I like auctions because they provide bonsai enthusiasts with a market for their trees and an opportunity to buy material not often found in nurseries. At the same time, they support bonsai organizations whose programs benefit the broader bonsai community.
Bonsai auctions also provide a venue in which perceptions of value are tested and measured. Are reserves too high or too low? Are buyers savvy or frenzied? Which trees are most popular? Which are least popular? How much will I spend on that oak?
GSBF had the most important elements of a successful auction in place: there were plenty of bidders, volunteers, and trees for sale. Here are a few photos from the event.
Trees waiting for their turn on the block
Jay holding up a tree for all to see.
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