What Diane Bought at the Silent Auction

The History Conference held on the Wednesday before RWA kicks off held a Silent Auction during the Afternoon Tea. I’ve attended several of these Silent Auctions and pride myself on having a fool-proof strategy.

This year was no exception!

My strategy, honed by these years of experience, was to bid on several items so that I would have a good chance of winning at least one or two of the items I most desired. I put my claims in early and checked now and then (between tea sandwiches) to see how I was doing. As time ticked on, I became a little nervous. No one was bidding against me! I was winning EVERYTHING. Several more checks confirmed my fears. I won each and every single thing I’d bid on. The only saving grace to my pocketbook (strained after two and a half days of shopping in San Francisco)was that I’d bid low.
(these series of 3 photos are courtesy of The Beau Monde)

I don’t know. Maybe I should not have attended the Gentleman’s Tipple workshop where we sampled about ten different types of alcohol of which Regency Gentlemen would have imbibed. I tasted them all.

At least I won some treasures!


This lovely plate, donated by our Risky friend, Jane George.

Two prints Jane also donated. These I added to my already long list of items because no one else saw their incredible value and I got them for a SONG. David’s portrait of Napoleon and this other one. I think it says, “The Bank Looking Towards Mansion House.”

A CD – Napoleon: Music of the Empire 1800-1815. This was my year for Napoleon, I guess.

Books, of course. I always donate books to the Silent Auction. Every year I donate the duplicate copies of books that I have purchased for myself. Yes. I do forget and buy the same book twice. This year I donated three books… and purchased three books!

Recollections of the Last Days of Shelley and Byron was first published in 1858. The author is Edward Trelawny, who met Shelley and Byron on a trip to Italy. Trelawny was also the guy who designed the boat that Shelley and Edward Williams took out to sea on the last day of their lives.

The Young Melbourne by David Cecil looks good, too. Melbourne is William Lamb, the poor guy who married Caroline Lamb, who had a famous affair with Byron.

And the last book looks like more fun. The Scouring of the White Horse. If you are driving in the Berkshires you might come upon the white chalk figure of a horse carved into a hillside. This book tells about the 1857 festival of the cleansing of the horse by the people of Uffington. It is an eye-witness account by the author of Tom Brown’s School Days.

Many thanks to Jane George and Delle Jacobs for all their hard work on this very successful Silent Auction!

The background of my photos is the Pashmina I purchased in China Town. They assured me it was 100% Pashmina, all for $14.99.

If you attended the Silent Auction, what did you win and what did you lose? What was the most disappointing thing you ever lost in an auction?
‘Fess up. You’ve purchased duplicate books, too, haven’t you?

Visit my website and enter my contest. They both are still there!

About diane

Diane Gaston is the RITA award-winning author of Historical Romance for Harlequin Historical and Mills and Boon, with books that feature the darker side of the Regency. Formerly a mental health social worker, she is happiest now when deep in the psyches of soldiers, rakes and women who don’t always act like ladies.
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