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Twitter starts auction to flip the bird, furniture, pizza ovens, gadgets galore

Am I bid $50 for a ten-foot neon logo? Or $25 for an @ symbol planter box?

Twitter has arranged an auction rid itself of 631 "surplus corporate assets".

An outfit called Heritage Global Partners got the job of selling off kit including six espresso machines, two lesser coffee-makers, two refrigerated tables dedicated to the making of pizza, and two ovens also intended only for Napoli's finest culinary creation.

There's also 107 boxes of N95 masks on offer, a Yamaha digital mixing console, 68 eight-port Belkin power strips still in the box and a Kegerator Beer Dispenser.

Most items are listed at starting prices of either $25 or $50.

That's a very good price for some of the items, such as the bicycle-powered USB charger that sells for $4,025 new.

But it's harder to imagine who would pay the $50 asked for an objet d'art described as "Neon Twitter Bird Light Electrical Display Booth complete with Stanchions, Stands 10 Feet Tall When Constructed *Crated*. Crate Dims = 56"W x 66.25"L x 40"H.” Here it is in all its glory.

Twitter Neon logo for auction

Twitter Neon logo for auction – Click to enlarge

$25 seems more reasonable for Lot 102, billed as an "'@' Sculpture Planter, Currently Artificial Plants but can be placed with real plants." The sculpture is an @ symbol over 180cm tall and wide.

More mundane material abounds: 102 chairs, 97 tables, and 42 stools are for sale, many from well-known designers.

The kit is all housed at Twitter's 1355 Market Street San Francisco office and is of course up for sale thanks to Elon Musk's decision to cut thousands of jobs at the largely loss-making company.

The auction will presumably raise enough cash to help Musk service the $13 billion of debt he took on to acquire the micro-blogging service. Servicing that debt looks to have been made harder by advertisers shunning the service after the Chief Twit's decision to restore accounts of users that previous management barred for contravening the platform's terms of service.

Musk has suggested subscription services will help to raise revenue, and has articulated a plan to turn Twitter into a "Superapp" that would presumably produce cash in other ways. To date, however, Twitter has only added features, and botched the launch of its first subscription service.

Even if this auction goes brilliantly, it's hard to see it raising more than a few million dollars.

Would-be bidders need to register here, and be ready to bid on January 17 and 18. Lot winners need to retrieve their loot between Jan 23 and February 2.

Items will also attract 18 percent buyers' premium and sales tax at 8.63 percent.

But don't let that deter you from bidding: your correspondent bid in the auction of IBM Australia's art collection and paid just $30 for a print of Thomas Watson Jr in a very Mad Men pose alongside the System 360. It adorns my work-from-home space and is quite the conversation piece, even if it is not likely to be an asset my children fight over once I depart this plane of existence. ®

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