A new year brings new auction news

Some of the most colorful characters in modern American history have recently made auction headlines. From a beloved Boston mayor to an eccentric Houston physician to one of the most popular fashion designers of all time, several headline grabbers have made auction news in recent days.

Suits for sale
Thomas Menino, the long-time mayor of Boston who just stepped down from that post after deciding not to run for re-election, sold off a couple of his suits in a silent auction recently. The proceeds will go to the Home for Little Wanderers in the city, which strives to improve the lives of children living in at-risk situations throughout Boston.

The Thrift Shop of Boston ran the auction, which included two of Menino's suits, two of his Brooks Brothers shirts and four designer ties.

Famous surgeon's estate up for auction
Michael G. Brown made a name for himself as an expert on carpal tunnel syndrome, but soon saw that reputation eclipsed by his own odd behavior. The list of his eccentric actions was long, and they came to an end in November of last year when he died in Miami after suffering a heart attack.

But his notoriety in Houston, his hometown, has led to a three-week liquidation auction that has drawn hundreds of interested bidders. Part collectibles auction, part jewelry auction and part firearms auction, the event included such odd items as alligator skin director's chairs, a 7-foot tall carved American Indian and a pair of bronze lions.

Early Lagerfeld sketches draw interest
Karl Lagerfeld is one of the most influential fashion designers of the past 50 years, and interested bidders will get to delve into some of his earliest creations at a January art auction in West Palm Beach, Fla. Work that Lagerfeld did for Tiziani, a Rome-based design house that was incredibly popular in the middle of the 20th century, will be on the block, providing fashionistas with the perfect opportunity to scoop up important pieces of that industry's history.

These types of sketches are incredibly rare, as Lagerfeld is known for throwing away pretty much everything once he's finished with it. In 2007, he told a New Yorker columnist that, "the most important piece of furniture in a house is the garbage can! I keep no archives of my own, no sketches, no photos, no clothes — nothing! I am supposed to do, I'm not supposed to remember!"

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