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Auctioneer to Provide Illustrated Interactive Catalogs Online

Butterfield & Butterfield in San Francisco, which calls itself the world's fourth largest auction house and claims a 130-year history, has upgraded its Web site to include fully illustrated catalogs online.

The auction catalog, containing information on condition, size, provenance (the previous ownership and history) and estimated value, is the tool that enables potential bidders to make decisions before a bidding paddle is raised or the hammer comes down.

At www.butterfields.com, collectors, dealers and others will have the ability to view detailed lot descriptions and, for the first time, the illustrations for property coming up for sale. The site will enable a client to register to bid, place an absentee bid or schedule a phone bidding session.

The enhanced Butterfield Web site was designed by MultiMedia Live, an e-commerce developer and technology firm based in Silicon Valley. The Web site currently offers potential bidders catalogs for upcoming sales including the Nov. 18 Ayn Rand auction featuring the prolific late author's personal handwritten manuscripts for "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead."

The illustrated online catalog for Fine Photographs to be offered Nov. 19 in Butterfield's San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago-area galleries features examples of works by Ansel Adams, Edward and Brett Weston, Eisenstaedt, and contemporary photographers such as William Wegman and Annie Liebowitz.