It is probably a tiny bit naughty, but one often overlooked free event is to go to the viewing days at auction houses and have a look at the items being sold.
A really good one is coming up shortly at Christie’s on the Old Brompton Road – of Travel, Science and Natural History, a collection of old scientific instruments, books and drawings.
I tend to treat the viewings as a rare chance to see a museum display of private items put on display for just a few days.
This particular auction also includes a range of globes, which have facinated me ever since I was a kid.
You can see the full catalogue on the Christie’s website – mouse over the image for more details – and the valuation estimate (and weep).
The public viewing times are:
- Sat, April 4th – 10am – 4pm
- Sun, April 5th – 10am – 4pm
- Mon, April 6th – 9am – 7:30pm
- Tues, April 7th – 9am – 5pm
While open to the public, obviously, these are viewings aimed at potential buyers so I tend to bear that in mind when people want me to move out of the way.
Another upcoming event (which is being proactively promoted to the public) is a display of luxury motorcars, being auctioned by Bonhams at the RAF Museum in North London. You can spend time visiting the museum, and express a wistful longing sigh at the cars on display at the same time.