Two sculptures and a neon sign depicting iconic symbols of social media giant Twitter were sold for a combined $155,500 after a last-minute bidding war drove their prices through the roof over the course of an hour Wednesday morning.
At the time they closed, the three art pieces fetched the highest prices in an online auction of memorabilia, furniture and equipment from Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters on Market Street. Bidding is ongoing on other items.
The biggest-ticket item was a nearly 3.5-foot sculpture of Twitter’s iconic baby blue bird logo. At around 9:50 a.m., its highest bid was $35,500. But as the clock wound down, a bidding war erupted that drove the price to $100,000, where it closed an hour later.
The second priciest item, a “Neon Twitter Bird Light Electrical Display,” closed for $40,000 at 9:38 a.m.
Another piece of office art, a 6-foot-tall planter in the form of the @ symbol went for $15,500.
Bids for other items continue to roll in.
Currently, bidders are offering the most money for heavy-duty industrial kitchen equipment: over $20,000 each for two Blodgett double full-size ovens, $16,000 for a Blodgett bakery oven, $14,500 for a Hobart floor mixer and $14,000 for a Groen tilt skillet braising pan.
A large number of other pieces of furniture and equipment are also up for grabs, with many currently going for several thousand dollars each.
On Tuesday, The Standard offered $80 for a set of 12 Andreu World Lineal Comfort Stools in lime green. We were quickly outbid. By late morning Wednesday, the highest bid on the stools reached $1,050.
Besides their bids, winners also have to pay an 18% buyer’s premium and sales tax (8.63%) and arrange for the spoils of their victory to be transported from Twitter headquarters.
The Twitter auction takes place just months after multibillionaire Elon Musk purchased the company for $44 billion and began to slash staff and, at times, default on rent payments and bills. Laid-off employees are also suing the company and taking it to arbitration for severance pay they believe it owes them.
Heritage Global Partners, which organized the auction, has denied that the sale is at all connected to Twitter’s troubled financials.
The auction began on Tuesday morning and was scheduled to conclude at 10 a.m. the next day. However, each new bid placed adds several minutes to that item’s time on the auction block. This has extended the bidding for more than an hour after the official end time.
Matthew Kupfer can be reached at [email protected]