The Elli Buk Collection

Rare Objects of Science & Technology


As the Elli Buk Collection finds its way out into the world, we’d like to thank all who participated in the journey – from the pack up on 151 Spring Street to the hammer coming down on the last lot. Many bidders came to us after the auction to share their memories of Elli, and we’re sure the objects will now tell their own stories… As the writer William Gibson once said, “Gazing into Elli Buk’s window, for me, has been like gazing into the back reaches of some cave, where Manhattan stores its dreams.”

Scenes from a historical auction:

Many successful bidders took their purchases with them right from the gallery. One gentleman strapped a heavy oak desk to his surfboard (considering his steering wheel is a skull maybe that wasn’t such a feat). Meanwhile, our beloved tin man found a new home…  

Ladies and gentleman, the lines are open! (Well, the modern internet equivalent). Today is Session II
Phones, clockwise from top left:

French Empire-style mahogany and ormolu mounted telephone
Lot no. 124

French battery-operated telephone circa 1934
Lot no. 29

Western Electric handset telephone
Lot no. 1113

The Eiffel Tower telephone, L.M. Ericsson, Stockholm
Lot no. 1515 

A sampling of vintage medical pieces, clockwise from top left:

Eye illustration for an optical trade sign (lot no. 587); an appendix to Smith’s American manikin for schools and physicians by Dr. Elias D. Smith, Chicago, circa 1890 (lot no. 110); anatomical models (lot nos. 670 and 677); homeopathic remedies and pharmaceutical bottles (lot no. 1615). 

Know that Object

Yesterday’s mystery box (pictured above and below) was an important component in Depression-era pigeon racing. The numbered compartments were used to store tags for the competing birds. When a pigeon returned to its owner or “driver” during a race, the tag was taken off its leg, inserted into one of the box compartments and a lever was switched on to record its official time. Scores were tallied among the competing owners/drivers to determine the winner. No winging it with these guys!
Lot no. 876

Name that Object

imageAnother wonderfully unusual find: This 1930s oak dovetailed box from Belgium is proof that time flies… Answer will be revealed tomorrow!

Time’s Almost Up!

imageimageThe countdown to the auction begins! Bidding kicks off this Thursday.

Some of our favorite book covers…

Selection of vintage typewriters, clockwise from top left:

Remington Standard no. 2 with cover
Lot no. 509

“Noiseless” typewriter
Lot no. 1625

Group of 28 toy “Star” typewriters
Lot no. 1762

Hammond Ideal no. 12 in oak case
Lot no. 510A

Keep your eyes peeled: The exhibit preview opens today. You can also see our online catalogue for objects beautiful, old and unusual…

Keep your eyes peeled: The exhibit preview opens today. You can also see our online catalogue for objects beautiful, old and unusual…