Thursday, November 10, 2011

Gray ladies down

Deba Gray and Serena Harragin run the funkiest cooliest artiest auction house in Cleveland, but the path that led them here is dotted with tears and quiet triumphs. It wound around the lofty world of upscale art, the production and pryrotechnic end of the film industry, and through that morbid pit of Ground Zero that screamed at the sky after the September 11th attacks.

Gray, left, and Harragin are two of the most inspirational women I've ever had the honor to write about. Their story is featured in this week's fresh water.

You'll find some proper photos over there, but here's a few less professional offerings from yours truly. I don't begin to do it justice, but know that the inside of this auction house, brimming with the stuff of humanity, filled me with pure love.

This WWII propaganda poster will be for sale at Gray's next auction on Nov. 17.

Tiny Japanese netsukes. EXTREME WANT.

One bench, no people.

Who says there's no such thing as a treasure chest?

Everything at Gray's inflated me with breathy sighs.

Gray's is housed in a building that was once a Citro├źn dealership. um ... HELL YEAH.

Each piece of this silverware from the 1700s is embossed with a Knights Templar insignia. Gray expects the set to garner $15,000 to $20,000. I held one of the forks in my hand and marveled. Each tyne--which had delivered a bite of beef or mutton or pheasant to someone's mouth more than 200 years ago--was sharp as a stitching awl.

The hard hat Deba Gray wore while working at Ground Zero.

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Anonymous said...

Very Cool. However I need to get out more. When I read this:

"Each tyne--which had delivered a bite of beef or mutton or pheasant to someone's mouth more than 200 years ago" pheasant became Peasant in my mind.

Got a Hungarian recipe for that?


WV: hangual. After I hangual I'm gonna put you in a pot and cook you.

Ms Amanda said...

What a great story. It makes me want to see Cleveland.
It also put a little sadness right in my chest that I think I'll be carrying around for a while. I cannot imagine how hard the Ground Zero work must have been.

dean said...

I was going to make a nit-picking comment but I deleted it. Now I'll just say that I went through the catalog and I want some of that there stuff.

Judy said...

This type of place is so intriguing to tour...always want it for myself...not going to happen...

Sean Craven said...

This is the hard part about defending a strictly lumpenprole outlook -- like it or not, nice things are nice.

And those are nice things.

alphadog said...

Another homerun article for fresh water Erin, well done.
I believe I'll have to bid on one of the netsukes that caught my eye. There's something rather magical about them.

DogsDontPurr said...

I hate places like this...only because I love them sooo much. I want *everything*, and that is so very frustrating.

When I was running my antique store, I had the same problem: I wanted to keep everything. Torture!

I used to live within walking distance of an auction house like this. I'd go every week. I became an addict, a junkie. I was like someone with a gambling problem. The thrill of the hunt, the thrill of bidding, the thrill of winning. I spent wayyy too much money there and finally had to stop.

As you can see, this article touched me deeply. And yes, I clearly have a problem: I'm an antique~aholic!!

Big Mark 243 said...

Everything at Gray's inflated me with breathy sighs.

... me too, EOB. I can only dream of the propaganda poster... but you never, never know... off to check out the rest of Gray's...

Nin Andrews said...

Very cool!

Goat said...

This is going to get ugly people. She wants to attend and wants a PADDLE! Help.