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The Great Goose Egg Auction

Feb 28, 2010 07:06PM ● By Erin Frisch

Great Egg Auction

Egging them on

by Meg Brazill

The word “auction” invokes images of a New England estate sale with everything from fine antique linens to livestock. But here, the only items being auctioned off are eggs—and not of the Fabergé variety. Auctioneer Dean Whitlock is calling the biannual Great Goose Egg Auction at the Hanover Inn where a single egg might, in fact, fetch as much as a work of art.

Whitlock usually starts the bidding at $50, and that’s just for one egg. Some folks will gladly fork over hundreds of dollars during the auction because these aren’t your everyday eggs over easy. First of all, they are goose eggs as big as your fist. But it’s not their size that makes them special; they are hand decorated and signed by accomplished artists such as Eric Carle, Roz Chast, Jean Gralley, Edward Koren, Betsy Lewin, Grace Lin, David Macaulay, and Eric Rohmann. It’s also for a good cause: the auction benefits the Open Fields School (OFS), an independent elementary school in Thetford, Vermont.

Every two years, this “eggstravaganza” inspires artists to decorate these delicate objets d’art, which have raised as much as $20,000 for the school in a few hours of spirited bidding. In a typical year, Whitlock auctions off about 100 eggs designed by dozens of artists.

Whitlock said that keeping the audience happy is key to a successful auction. Happy people bid higher. “I try to intersperse comments and jokes,” Whitlock said. “I always recommend that they serve coffee and chocolates.” And if there’s one thing the Great Goose Egg Auction is all about, it’s having a good time, all for a good cause. This year, the opening preview is on Friday, May 7 from 7 to 9 pm and Saturday morning from 9 to 11 am. Doors open for the auction on Saturday at 1 pm and the auction begins at 1:30.

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