A sale of property at auction, where any and all persons who choose are permitted to attend and offer bids. Though this phrase is frequently used, it is doubtful whether the word “public” adds anything to the force of the expression, since “auction” itself imports publicity. If there can be such a thing as a private auction, it must be one where the property is sold to the highest bidder, but only certain persons, or a certain class of persons, are permitted to be present or to offer bids.

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