Ray Ellis, the haberdasher, out-earned Ray Ellis, the artist, when his necktie fetched $150,000 for the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust at the annual Taste of the Vineyard auction on Saturday night.

Longtime summer visitor Scott Earl, who last year bid $225,000 to take home a Ray Ellis oil painting, bought the artist’s tie right off his neck right after winning the bidding for three watercolors by Mr. Ellis. Mr. Earl spent $90,000 on the three paintings, bidding against summer resident Pat Morgan for the prize as he has for the past two years.

In all, the Taste of the Vineyard, including the Thursday night gourmet stroll and the Saturday night patron’s party and gala auction, netted a record of about $500,000 for the trust. Trust executive director Chris Scott called the figure “a definite high-water mark” for the organization that owns many of the Vineyard’s most historic buildings, including the Vineyard Gazette.

Where Thursday night’s affair was a crush of 20-somethings, Saturday night’s event drew a more seasoned crowd of more than 250 for a night of cocktails, dining and dancing

With just seven items up for live auction, auctioneer Clarence A. (Trip) Barnes 3rd needed to act fast to arouse the spending instincts of the attendees, who seemed content to chat over dinner of swordfish and tenderloin. As bidding for Mr. Ellis’s three paintings inched up, Mr. Barnes called Mr. Ellis to the stage, where the 90-year-old artist spoke about his longtime affection for the Island and earned a standing ovation.

ray ellis painting auction
Trip Barnes and Chris Scott coax bidders. — Mark Alan Lovewell

Mr. Barnes then coaxed Mr. Ellis to take off his tie and the crowd began bidding on that. When the high bid reached $150, Mr. Earl silenced the crowd by upping the ante by $149,850.

“I had a number in mind, and the bidding (for the paintings) didn’t go that high,” said Mr. Earl, a regular contributor to Island charities who has sold his house in Vineyard Haven but continues to visit. He previously owned a waste hauling business in New York state.