a Vintage Los Angeles Lifestyle and Fashion Blog


As I hinted at in my last post, I was sorely tempted to bid on something, practically anything, from the recent auction of items of Greta Garbo at Julien’s.  It isn’t often one is given this opportunity.  In looking at the catalog estimated prices, there were several that I thought I could afford.  Now, I’m not naive.  I know auctions often go for much higher that the estimated bid prices.  But some were most reasonable, so I thought, even with probable escalation of prices, some of the items may still be within my reach.  I figured it wouldn’t hurt to register for the auction and just give it a go. What could watching hurt?

Greta Garbo auction


The first day of bidding opened and my hopes plummeted.  There was auction fever and prices were going for amounts far beyond my reach.  Hubby had given me a nice little budget and said, “Merry Christmas”, but I put a halt to my hopes.  Even for the things I could have still afforded, my stinking personality wouldn’t allow me to bid on them.  Have you ever taken one of those personality tests?  Ones like Myers-Briggs?  I am an ISFJ – Introversion/Sensing/Feeling/Judging.  Some of the personality traits of an ISFJ are being conscientious, practical and responsible.  While all I had to do was press the bid button to throw myself into the fray, I couldn’t do it.  How could I be so irresponsible?  What would I do with it if I got it?  How could I overpay for something that, if it wasn’t owned by Greta Garbo, would be valued at a fraction of its cost?  And I disappointed myself.  Here I had permission to be frivolous and step outside of my comfort zone, but I shut myself down.  One of the lots was a bunch of her sewing supplies, including needle books from Sweden that were obviously given by family members.  As a seamstress, I would have loved this, but I couldn’t bring myself to bid on it.


The next day of bidding came about and I wasn’t feeling hopeful the prices would be better, but having spent the night kicking myself in the pants, I was resolute to stop being a coward and push myself.   And low and behold, the early bidding prices were not as horrendous as the prior day.  As my confidence grew, I had to settle on what I could bid on, as I could only afford one thing.  What to choose?  While most would think clothing would be an obvious choice, I refer you back to my ISFJ personality.  Being practical and responsible, I would feel the responsibility of not displaying it, but knowing how fragile fabric can be, storing it in acid free tissue and likely pulling it out once a year to admire.  How practical is that?  So then I thought about a household item, maybe a piece of china or the like.  For some reason, I felt better about that.  How logically that would work, since glassware can shatter, I can’t tell you.  But I didn’t say my logic was exactly logical, now did I?
So, to not drag this out, without any further ado, I can tell you I hit the bid button!  Here is what I bid on.
Greta Garbo auction
Ha, ha.  I had a nice little budget, but not $30,000 worth of budget.


There was a lot with vases that were my favorite shade of green in the world and since there were five of them, it made an instant little collection.  I narrowed that down to what I would bid on. Bidding was quickly going up and fear was starting to set in, but somehow, unlike any of the other auction items, I was able to actually snipe the item.  For most other items, when a new bid would come in, the auctioneer would then ask for a higher bid and wait and wait and wait to make sure a higher bid wouldn’t come in.  In my case, the bidding went something like this…
Auctioneer – I have $300, asking at $400. Any interest in the room at $400.
Me – (Bugger, am I going to bid or not, I have to push the button, just push the button)
Auctioneer – Fair warning, sold…
Me – (Yikes as I frantically push the button)
Auctioneer – …at $400.
The notice I had won flashed on the screen and I just yipped in shock.  My grand bidding experience lasted literally all of one second.  No stretching it out.  No waiting to see if I would be outbid.  I barely had a chance to react, it was click, gasp, oh!  And I couldn’t believe it.  I had actually won!  I would own items from Greta Garbo!  Would you like to see what I got?
Greta Garbo auction
Simple, pretty, and something that would fit perfectly in my home.  For all I knew Greta Garbo had them shoved under her kitchen sink.  I know, I know.  They’re not the compact.  Not a gown. Not the Louis Vuitton luggage.  Nothing glamorous.  But they were hers, they’re lovely, and now they’re mine.  I’m pleased as can be.  I pick them up Wednesday or Thursday.  And, yes, I see the cost is $512.  You have to pay a percentage of the fees of the auction house, too.  But I knew that going in.
Have you ever been excited about something you won at auction?  What have you won?

12 comments so far.


  1. Debi says:

    I loved reading this! So exciting! Well done!

  2. Laurence says:

    Waow!!! Never been to true life auctions, but when I see what can Ebay do to my little heart, I understand how you could feel!
    Congrats on this special Xmas present!!!

  3. Lily says:

    Exquisite! And what a wonder collection, too. Congratulations!

  4. I read this story on the edge of my seat, crossing my fingers ever tighter with each passing second that it was going to end on a happy (aka, you won something) note and it did! What gorgeous vases! You must be on cloud nine right now – and ultra excited for them to arrive. Happiest congrats on acquiring this piece of Greta's home, dear lady!

    ♥ Jessica

  5. Katie says:

    Beautiful!!! Oh to be a millionaire… What a fun auction 🙂

    • admin says:

      I know! If only… It's nice to dream. I'm told the trunk above she used for her shoes when she traveled. I could have used that for my shoes, too!

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