Einstein, Sinatra, and Rockefeller: Big Names Hit the Auction Block

Hot items have been recently hitting the auction block across the country. From a letter written by Albert Einstein, to jewels from famous names like Sinatra and Rockefeller, the auction scene is ripe with exciting items sold and up for bid.

Albert Einstein’s letter sold for approximately $2.9 million

Albert Einstein AuctionThe year before he died in 1955, Albert Einstein wrote a letter discussing his thoughts about God and religion that British auction house, Christie’s recently sold for close to $2.9 million at a New York auction, according to CBS News.

Known as the “God letter,” Einstein wrote the blunt letter to philosopher Eric Gutkind, and in it discussed what God means to him and his Jewish faith.

Questioned throughout his life about his religious views, people looked to the genius Einstein for answers about the universe. In this letter, we get a glimpse into some of Einstein’s beliefs and ideas about religion–ideas so intriguing they are apparently worth millions of dollars!

From Einstein we move on to a few other big names lighting up the New York auction scene:

Sinatra and Rockefeller gems

British-founded Sotheby’s in New York City recently held an auction of jewelry pieces from Frank and Barbara Sinatra and Happy Rockefeller, the wife of Nelson Rockefeller.

According to Forbes, Sinatra’s jewelry collection included Barbara’s “Lady Blue Eyes” engagement ring from Frank, diamond and colored gemstone jewelry, and a ruby and diamond butterfly pin. The collection sold for a total of $4.7 million. Happy Rockefeller’s jewels sold for just under $1 million.

For the latest in live auction news, check out the Smith & Co Auction & Realty, Inc blog! And when you’re looking to buy or sell land, heavy equipment, real estate and more, our experts are ready to help. Give us a call at 580-254-3975 to learn more about our upcoming auctions!

“Wizard of Oz” Draft Scripts Will Hit the Auction Block in December

Wizard of Oz AuctionIt has been nearly 80 years since we skipped down the Yellow Brick Road with Kansas farm girl Dorothy and her three loyal pals: the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, and the Lion. Timeless and classic as ever, “The Wizard of Oz” still delights audiences young and old with its catchy show tunes, dazzling colors, and the heartwarming message that there truly is “no place like home.”

Dozens of screenwriters worked together to adapt L. Frank Baum’s children’s book into the musical film we know and love today. Now, the world’s largest auctioneer of original Hollywood memorabilia, Profiles in History, is holding an auction with more than 150 handwritten pages of manuscript highlighting the evolution of “The Wizard of Oz.”

The auction is to include the first three original drafts of the screenplays written by Noel Langley, lead screenwriter for the movie. The three drafts date between April 5 and May 14, 1938. The auction also includes Langley’s fifth draft from August 1938 and the movie’s fourth draft written by Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan Woolf. Fans of the movie will love reading the draft scripts highlighting the treasured film’s genesis and development.

Other beloved tokens from “The Wizard of Oz” up for auction

Fans of the movie will not forget the iconic tornado sequence that first brings Dorothy to Oz. About 16 photos of the tornado scene and other special effects are included in the auction. An additional lot includes Margaret Hamilton’s “Wicked Witch of the West” hat.

A private collector is selling the archive, which Profiles in History estimates will value around $800,000-$1.2 million. The auction will be held in Los Angeles from Dec. 11-14.

Be sure to check back with us at Smith & Co. Auction & Realty for all your auction industry updates! And if you’re looking for the next live auction to attend, browse our upcoming auctions today!


A Look Inside the Upcoming Stephen Hawking Auction

On March 14, 2018, we lost one of the world’s most brilliant scientific minds. A Cambridge theoretical physicist known for his contributions to cosmology, general relativity, and quantum gravity, Professor Stephen Hawking changed the world for the better with his amazing discoveries and unwavering zest for understanding the universe.

Stephen Hawking suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and therefore spent much of his life in a wheelchair. One famous, red wheelchair he used in the 1980s and 90s along with many other important and personal items of Hawking’s, will soon be up for sale to the public.

“On the Shoulders of Giants” online auction from Oct. 31 to Nov. 8

Stephen Hawking Quote

To highlight his remarkable achievements and inspirational life story, British auction house Christie’s, with the help of Hawking’s daughter Lucy, is holding an online auction entitled “On the Shoulders of Giants” from Oct. 31 to Nov. 8.

The auction includes 22 items, including a signed copy of Hawking’s PhD thesis from 1965, which famously crashed the Cambridge University website when posted online.

What’s on the auction block from Dr. Hawking?

In addition to the leather-backed wheelchair of Dr. Hawking, other items up for bid include a copy of 1988 best seller “A Brief History in Time” (signed with Hawking’s thumbprint), medals, significant awards, and 12 of Hawking’s scientific papers. One of Hawking’s personal leather bomber jackets and a copy of the script of the 22nd season premiere of “The Simpsons,” which Hawking appeared on, also make the cut for this auction.

Proceeds from the auction will go to the Stephen Hawking Foundation, the Motor Neuron Disease Association, and Hawking’s estate. Bidders will also find possessions from Albert Einstein, Sir Isaac Newton, and Charles Darwin included in the auction.

This special auction is a true testament to the life and work of Stephen Hawking, reflecting his personality and achievements in a beautiful dedication to his life.

Winners at the auction will truly take home a monumental piece of history.

Check back with the Smith & Co. Auction & Realty blog for more updates in the auction industry, and maybe attend an upcoming live auction yourself!

Marilyn Monroe’s 1956 Ford Thunderbird Hits the Auction Block this November

Few people reach the iconic status that Marilyn Monroe did, and 56 years after her death, she’s still making headlines.

Monroe’s 1956 Ford Thunderbird is set to come to auction

Marilyn Monroe Ford ThunderbirdLater this year, the Thunderbird will hit the auction block and fans are floored over the opportunity to own her iconic car. The car is a raven black convertible which was owned by the actress between the years of 1955 and 1962, the same year the actress died.

It was purchased in December of 1955 in Westport, Connecticut and was believed to have been a present from Milton Greene, Monroe’s business partner and personal photographer.

Monroe passes the Thunderbird on

She gave it away a few months before her death when she gifted it to her acting coach’s son for his 18th birthday. However, she was known for loving the car and used it for important life events. In fact, the car was used to transport Monroe and playwright Arthur Miller to their wedding ceremonies (civil and private) in 1956.

Julien’s Auctions will be responsible for the sale of the vehicle and reportedly has proof from the current owner of its origins. The car was recently restored but looks and drives as it did in its heyday. The car is expected to sell for between $300,000 and $500,000.

If Monroe’s car isn’t what you’re after, then we may have a few suggestions. At Smith & Company Auction & Realty, we sell everything from farm machinery, to 3100-acre ranches, and beyond. Browse our upcoming auctions and give us a call at 580-254-3975 with any questions!

Auction Chant: How to Better Understand the Auctioneer

It’s no surprise that many people find it confusing to unpack exactly what an auctioneer is saying.

Auctioneers are required to be very specific with their language, but we’re here to help you decipher the chant so you’re better prepared for your next auction!

The basic elements of an auction chant

Learn the Language of an AuctioneerAn auction chant basically consists of two numbers, the have (which is the current bid price), and the want (the higher bid that is being requested by the auctioneer).

Between these two numbers is a wide array of sounds and other words inserted to add rhythm to the chant and increase the entertainment element. These filler words have purpose though, as they give bidders an opportunity to decide if they want to bid higher. In order to make it seem like they are talking faster than they really are, auctioneers will purposely slur words to shorten them.

This means there’s less time between the have and the want.

In addition to the have and the want, there is the next. When someone accepts the want and that number becomes the new have, the new want is known as the next.

At any time, the auctioneer will have 3 numbers in mind, the have, the want, and the next.

When the highest bidder is found, the auctioneer will give audiences one last chance to bid on the item. When they say “going once, going twice, sold,” it’s the last call for anyone to take the current want.

Now that you know the rules, it’s time to test your knowledge at one of our upcoming auctions! Give our team at Smith & Co. Auction & Realty a call at 580-254-3975 to learn more.

How to Score a Bargain at a Live Auction

Live auctions can be both exciting, and intense. They’re incredibly fast-paced events, where auction-goers bid against one another in a format that can be dizzying if you’re new to it. But actually, live auctions are a great place to find a deal—it’s where the real value of an item can be appraised and debated. That’s if you know how to score a bargain!

Prepare for the auction ahead of time

One of the best things you can do before a live-auction is research so that you know what to expect upon arrival. Browse through the items being sold at the auction ahead of time; that way, you can do your proper market research, find out what the item’s value is, and be able to plan your bids accordingly.

Early bird gets the worm, or should we say bid?

Finding a Deal at an AuctionIf you’re planning on placing bids, then arrive at the live auction a half hour or so before it’s set to start. By doing so, you’ll be able to see the items you’re bidding on, assess their condition, and adjust your bid plan, if need be. Get a bidding number the minute they start handing them out, so you’re first on the list!

Get ready to bid

Listen closely for announcements and think on your feet. Account for any unexpected costs, like buyer’s tax and other hidden fees. A live auction is quick and can be over in the blink of an eye, so you’ll need to move fast.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be set to score a bargain at any of the upcoming auctions from Smith & Co. Auction & Realty. If you have any inquiries, feel free to give us a call at 580-254-3975 today!

How to Succeed at Buying Land at an Auction

A land auction offers one of the easiest ways to invest in property. The process is very straightforward, and every potential buyer is placed on a level playing field. Here are a few things to know in order to be successful at your next land auction!

Research and be prepared

Someone Bought Land through an AuctionOften, the team of real estate agents that are running the land auction will gather information about the property and make it available to you prior to the auction. Read up on this extensive summary of the land and plan a visit before the day comes to make your bid.

Have a look around the neighborhood and research the property values of nearby land. This will help you decipher the value of the land you’re looking to buy. It will also help you determine your budget and what you’re willing to spend before attending the auction.

A land auction is beneficial for the buyer and the seller

Going into a land auction, you should know that you really can’t lose. Everyone in attendance has a fair shot of obtaining the land and you will never have to pay more than the land is worth, which protects the buyer’s wallet. If you’re a seller, you can set a reserve price which is a minimum amount unknown to the bidders. This ensures that you do not lose on your investment.

Find a land auction near you

Smith & Co. Auction & Realty deliver 100-125 live auctions a year to Northwest Oklahoma, selling everything from residential real estate to industrial equipment. Browse our list of upcoming auctions of land from 160 to 3100 acres large! Call us at 580-254-3975 today to speak to one of our experts and learn how we can help you set the best price for your land!

A Guide to Live Auction Etiquette

Planning on attending a live auction but unsure of the proper etiquette? Read on for some helpful tips so that you’ll be ready to start bidding!

People putting up bids at an auctionDo: Bid for what you want

Only bid for items you really want to win. Try not to get caught up in the excitement and bid on something you’re not interested in knowing that someone will bid after you; it will only raise the price higher for the people who really want the item. If you respect other bidders, they will be more courteous when you place your bid on your item of interest.

Don’t: Bid just to raise the price

Like stated above, it’s rude and bad etiquette to bid just to raise the price. Bidding to hurt someone else’s bank account will only cause resentment.

Do: Organize and prepare your budget

Know what you are willing to spend and conduct some research before attending the auction. This way you’ll be prepared with money in hand to get a good price on the item you want to bid on. This is especially important when it comes to real estate auctions where money may be due at the time of purchase or within the next few days.

Don’t: Talk badly about items

Often at auctions, sellers are nearby to witness what their items sell for. Don’t be disrespectful by bad mouthing the items.

Smith & Co. Auction & Realty sells everything from farm machinery to 3100-acre ranches. Browse our upcoming auctions or give us a call at 580-254-3975 to learn more!

Four Benefits of Buying Heavy Equipment at an Auction

Tools and Equipment Auctions in OKPurchasing the right heavy equipment is no small feat. It can be difficult to find the exact equipment you need for an upcoming construction project or farming plan, especially at the time and price tag you want it at. That’s where buying heavy equipment at an auction can come in handy.

Prices that will fit your budget

We know it’s the truth: your project or farm could get by with one or two pieces of heavy equipment, but what it really needs is X, Y, and Z, too. At an auction, you can stretch those equipment expense dollars far beyond what you’d be able to do with any retail or seller. Find equipment at more affordable prices, and be open to bargain, too!

More choices at an equipment auction

One of the best parts of auctioning is that a buyer gets to see every option that’s on the table. With heavy equipment, that means older models, alternative types of equipment, or several items that could get the job done. It’s all about choices—and at auctions, you have plenty of them.

Know your seller at an auction

This might seem simple, but in an age where online sellers can remain anonymous, it’s worth every second of your time. At auctions, you’re dealing with in-person sellers who know this heavy equipment better than anyone—professionals who can tell you its value, its age, and the market price it’s being sold against. This is the sort of information you’ll want to have before making that next heavy equipment purchase.

Heavy equipment on demand

In many instances, you don’t have the days or weeks at your disposal to place an order and hope the heavy equipment comes in on time. However, at an auction, you won’t leave empty-handed—offering buyers more flexibility with their purchases. Don’t waste time any longer!

If you’re on the hunt for tools, heavy equipment and more, Smith & Co. Auction & Realty is on the job. On Saturday, April 28th, we have a live on-site auction with a hefty sale bill of tools, heavy equipment and vehicles ripe for the buy. If you don’t live nearby, online bidding is available. Call us at 580-254-3975 for more information and make sure to check out a list of our upcoming auctions!

Real Estate Auctions: What to Know

It is becoming more popular for home buyers to look towards real estate auctions for their big purchase. However, before taking on the auction block, there are a few key things to understand in order to achieve success.

The different types of real estate auctions

Tips for Buying a Home at an AuctionBefore attending an auction, it’s important to understand what type you’re attending. There are two types to take note of: a Sheriff’s auction and a private company auction. The process is similar, but different in location of event and who it’s held by.

Sheriff’s auction

This auction is a legal proceeding and is held by a government official in the county that the property is located. This type is utilized when lenders are foreclosing on a property, but are not the original owners of the home. A Sheriff’s auction is usually announced to the public in the “public notice” section of your local newspaper and is held on the courthouse steps or within the lobby area.

Private company auctions

This type of auction is held by a private company. These events usually offer more information about the property for sale prior to the auction. Companies will normally provide photos on their website and also encourage potential buyers to take a walk-through of the property. The rules of each auction vary based on the company, so be sure to learn the terms and conditions in advance!

These real estate auctions are announced through the company’s website that is holding them, which allows enough time to ask questions and schedule a walk-through inspection.

Practice due diligence

It would be beneficial to learn as much as you can about the real estate before you attend the auction. If you’re allowed to, take advantage of the opportunity to inspect the property beforehand. Additionally, have an attorney conduct a title search and identify any liens that exist so that you can ensure that there are no other existing owners of the property or undocumented costs that could become your responsibility.

Know your financial capabilities

Before attending a real estate auction, it’s vital to decide on the highest price you are willing to pay for the property. Most county foreclosures require a deposit of 5-10% of the final bid. Other private company auctions will ask for the full amount as soon as the auction concludes. As mentioned early, learn the rules of the auction you’re attending or don’t risk the bid!

Each of our realtors at Smith & Co. are native to Northwest Oklahoma and are homeowners themselves, making them great assets to help in your real estate search! Call us at 580-254-3975 today to learn more about our various real estate listings  and feel free to explore all of our upcoming land and real estate auctions here!