The 5 best #shelfie items to find at auction

One hashtag that has been particularly popular across the lovely platform of Instagram lately has been the #shelfie.

Perfect, layered, colorful shelves seem to exist in every decorator’s living space these days, and it is not too difficult to see why: the shelf is sort of a narcissistic display, a way for the self-indulgent young human of our generation to lay out for each guest passing through (and, of course, each Instagram follower) what it is that makes up his culture, piques his interest, and makes it into his bubble of taste. The hashtag really sums it up: it is a #shelfie, after all, reflective of the person who put it together; akin to a mirror pic.

Screen Shot 2017-12-14 at 9.49.19 AM.png

 

This is not to hate on the #shelfie trend - I mean simply to deconstruct its facade, its all-too-put-together-ness, before I build it back up. Decor is just that, after all: a beautiful, trendy facade for our messy lives that forbids us, at its high levels, from eating in any rooms but the kitchen or dining room for fear of spilling on the expensive upholstery. (I am still comfortably eating on my couch in this phase of my life).

 

 Via @dominomag - image @michaelwiltbank, design by @julietthevenotdesign

Via @dominomag - image @michaelwiltbank, design by @julietthevenotdesign

 Via @apartmenttherapy - image and space @hiltoncarter

Via @apartmenttherapy - image and space @hiltoncarter

 Via @decoristofficial

Via @decoristofficial

 Via @jennykomenda

Via @jennykomenda

 Via @apartmenttherapy - image @britography

Via @apartmenttherapy - image @britography

 

I think this new #shelfie trend is fabulous, and I have indulged in it in my own way for quite some time. If you stalk me on Instagram, you will see. But in order to help us deconstruct the trend further - so that, of course, we can all participate - I have supplied a. some photos of great shelves, and b. a list of some of the best shelf objects that one can find at auction (ahem, Hayloft.). The best shelves, I think, incorporate some of the personal as well: framed photographs of loved ones, little (tasteful) souvenirs picked up from travels, and favorite books.

So:

The 5 best #shelfie items to find at auction:

1. Old Books

 Lot 130 from our October sale: The works of Charles Dickens

Lot 130 from our October sale: The works of Charles Dickens

 

2. Coffee Table Books

 Lot 18 from our November 17th auction.

Lot 18 from our November 17th auction.

We have MANY at Hayloft, and will be selling them in all of our auctions, for many years to come. They are great value - in great condition, sometimes quite rare, and truly beautiful books. 

 

3. Small Busts - often, beautiful bronze or terra cotta busts turn up at auction that just look lovely sitting in a shelf next to more modern objects or art books.

 This one: Composition Greek Head, 8 1/2"h in our December Buy It Now sale. 

This one: Composition Greek Head, 8 1/2"h in our December Buy It Now sale. 

 

4. Antique objects, like irons (also work as door stops), pretty old bowls: anything eye catching and interesting with a story to tell. Our Buy It Now sale, as one example, has an lovely Argentinian teacup and straw in it that should be display: 

 Lot 166 from our October sale. 

Lot 166 from our October sale. 

 Argentinian gourd and straw, in our December Buy It Now sale. 

Argentinian gourd and straw, in our December Buy It Now sale. 

 

5. Small paintings or miniatures - these look great propped up in a shelf, and you can often find beautiful drawings and paintings that are a real steal at auction

 An example from our December sale - a nude by A. A Shikler, who painted JFK's posthumous White House portrait. 6 1/4" x 4 1/2"

An example from our December sale - a nude by A. A Shikler, who painted JFK's posthumous White House portrait. 6 1/4" x 4 1/2"

 

I can safely say that there are some of each of these things in every one of our auctions (okay, maybe there is not a bust in every single one of our auctions, but I have been seeing a lot of them lately). These are fun things to collect, to absorb into your home, and eventually to make a part of a #shelfie if you so choose.

I like to think of shelves as little altar spaces in a home where you get to honor the things that are special to you - these are the only spaces where things don’t have to be moved around or fussed with all of the time (unlike desks, kitchen tables, or dressers, for example), until you feel you want to add, take away, or redecorate.