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Later slaves, often captured as the "spoils of war", were auctioned in the forum under the sign of the spear, with the proceeds of sale going towards the war effort.

One of the most significant historical auctions occurred in the year 193 A. when the entire Roman Empire was put on the auction block by the Praetorian Guard.

During the American civil war goods seized by armies were sold at auction by the Colonel of the division. The range of auctions that take place is extremely wide and one can buy almost anything, from a house to an endowment policy and everything in-between.

An auction is a process of buying and selling goods or services by offering them up for bid, taking bids, and then selling the item to the highest bidder.

The open ascending price auction is arguably the most common form of auction in use today.

The number of simultaneous bidders is of critical importance.

Open bidding during an extended period of time with many bidders will result in a final bid that is very close to the true market value.

The practice rapidly became popular, and in 1660 Samuel Pepys's diary recorded two occasions when the Admiralty sold surplus ships "by an inch of candle".

Pepys also relates a hint from a highly successful bidder, who had observed that, just before expiring, a candle-wick always flares up slightly: on seeing this, he would shout his final - and winning - bid.Sometimes, other unpredictable processes, such as a footrace, were used in place of the expiration of a candle.This type of auction was first mentioned in 1641 in the records of the House of Lords.On 28 March 193, the Praetorian Guard first killed emperor Pertinax, then offered the empire to the highest bidder.Didius Julianus outbid everyone else for the price of 6,250 drachmas per guard, In a candle auction, the end of the auction was signaled by the expiration of a candle flame, which was intended to ensure that no one could know exactly when the auction would end and make a last-second bid.Christie's, now the world's largest auction house, By the end of the 18th century, auctions of art works were commonly held in taverns and coffeehouses.

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