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August 20, 2009

Estate Auction Patrons Shocked By Legendary Smut-Peddler's Poor Taste

Bob Guccione

Estate Auction Patrons Shocked By Legendary Smut-Peddler's Poor Taste

Yesterday in Norwalk, Connecticut the contents of former Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione's massive former townhouse were auctioned off for charity. Not surprisingly, some of the items in the auction were, uh, different, which somehow caught some potential buyers by surprise.

The New York Times' James Barron reports today on the auction, which effectively turns the last page in the final chapter of what once was Manhattan's most infamous party house. After being essentially seized by creditors in 2006, the townhouse was purchased last year by billionaire hedge-fund guy Philip Falcone for $49-million. Since Falcone intended to gut the property completely, much of its contents were offered up to the Green Coalition, a group that supports programs for people recovering from bouts with addiction.

Politely described by David Carr in a 2002 Times piece as "effusively decorated," there has been much written about the mansion, and a couple of quick Google searches would have easily turned up a plethora of information about it and its former owner, not to mention the detailed information made available about the auction's items in advance by the auction house. So it's kind of hilarious to read some of the reaction quotes from aghast auction attendees interviewed by Barron:

"Kind of gaudy."

"I guess he lived a different lifestyle."

"Most of these pieces are unusual, to say the least."

"I never realized his interest was of this caliber."

Seriously?! Who are these people and where the hell did they come from? Attending an auction of Bob Guccione's belongings and expecting to find modest sophistication is like attending a NASCAR tailgate party hosted by Larry the Cable Guy and expecting to be served Pinot noir and Foie gras. Get the fuck out of here!

Estate Auction Patrons Shocked By Legendary Smut-Peddler's Poor Taste