Historic items up for auction

Some unique bits of history are up for auction at the Penticton Art Gallery's annual fundraiser, Tastes of the Palette.


Penticton art lovers are getting a chance to purchase a piece of history while supporting local arts at the Tastes of the Palette, the 39th annual fundraiser for the Penticton Art Gallery.

The auction takes place June 25 and features over 100 works of art, gift packages and various other items up for both silent and live auction including Henries de Herpf,  a rare book of Latin sermons from the 1400s, with  an estimated value of $12,500.

“Which is incredible because 1484 would put this book 30 years after the publishing of the Gutenberg Bible,” said Paul Crawford, curator of the Penticton Art Gallery.

The Gutenberg Bible was one of the first mass-produced books printed using moveable type.

The book was discovered and donated by a Cawston family.

The starting bid is at $5,000 and there are currently no bids. Though rare, the book is not uncommon with 10 copies in U.S. libraries.  In April 2015, a copy was sold at auction in Germany for 7,800 Euros, putting the fair market value between $8,000 and $10,000 (USD).

“Considering it’s almost 600 years old it’s phenomenal to think it has actually survived, and it looks like it could have been printed yesterday,” Crawford said.

Another bit of history closer to home is also up for grabs A silk screen portrait of Pierre Elliot Trudeau from 1968, a campaign poster made during his run at the Liberal party leadership.

“I did some research on this poster it’s sort of a take off the Che Guevara sort of poster as well and there’s one copy I could find in the National Archives of Canada. They weren’t ever intended to survive so it’s what they call ephemera, and this is certainly a very rare thing there and a wonderful piece of Canadian pop culture,” Crawford said.

The market value of the piece is listed as “priceless” and the starting bid is $50.

The Tastes of the Palette event begins at 5:30 p.m. and the bar will feature wines from the Naramata Bench Winery Association. The auction will take place at 6 p.m. running until around 7:30 p.m. when it will be time to check out the aforementioned palette of different Penticton tastes with 10 local restaurants each offering a signature dish. A fashion show with a theme of hats will be taking place as well as a DJ spinning tunes for the rest of the night for a dance party in the Japanese Garden.

“It’s our largest fundraiser and we’ve got an incredible array, about 100 to 120 items up for auction this year,” Crawford said.

Tickets are $60 for Art Gallery members and $65 for non-members and are available at the Art Gallery box office. For more information call 250-493-2928, and those interested in checking out the items up for auction beforehand and making a bid can visit www.32auctions.com/pentictonartgallery.