My kind of yard sale

The wooden table from the board room at the New York Times sells to a Canadian antiques dealer for $5,000. (Globe and Mail)

It is a 26-foot, four-pedestal mahogany dining table that has seen most of the world's prime ministers, presidents, United Nations leaders and even the celebrity likes of Bono and Bette Midler.

When The New York Times's old editorial boardroom table went up for sale this month, it was a Canadian antiques dealer who won it at auction.

"It's hard to imagine who hasn't been around that table," said Andrew Rosenthal, editorial page editor of The New York Times.

"Anybody with an axe to grind calls us at some point to come by."

It comes as a bit of surprise that a Canadian bought it - and for less than $5,000 (U.S.) - but as Kent Martin of Toronto's Five O Seven Antiques explained, everything went perfectly for him.

"All the stars came into alignment because the exchange [rate] was excellent and everything about it was right," said Martin, who bid on the piece by phone in early August during an auction at New York's Tepper Galleries.

The item came onto the market as part of The New York Times's moving sale when the company shifted from its iconic 53rd Street location in downtown Manhattan, over to a shiny new office building on 8th Avenue.

"The old table would have been frankly a little weird in this new boardroom because it's so modern," Rosenthal said.

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