THREE HISTORIC PROPERTIES & THEIR MASSIVE CONTENTS ARE SOLD IN AN ON-SITE AUCTION IN GOSHEN, CONNECTICUT THAT GROSSES IN EXCESS OF $500,000

. November 20, 2014

Two firms conducted the sale: Tim’s, Inc. Auctions and Litchfield Real Estate Auctions, LLC.

GOSHEN, Conn. – A turquoise blue 1957 Buick Special in showroom condition sped off for $8,610, an antique Nantucket sewing basket with swinging handle fetched $4,500, a 19th century walnut grandfather clock with carved angels rose to $6,250, a magnificent 19th century rosewood rococo sideboard realized $3,382, an Elmer O. Stennes banjo clock garnered $2,875, a superb walnut cylinder roll secretary finished at $3,125 and a newly discovered coin hoard kept in banana boxes for decades brought $14,637 at an auction held Nov. 1st by Tim’s, Inc. Auctions.

1957 Buick Special, turquoise blue inside and out, in showroom condition with lots of chrome ($8,610).

1957 Buick Special, turquoise blue inside and out, in showroom condition with lots of chrome ($8,610).

They were top lots in a massive, 16-hour on-site auction that featured three historic properties and the thousands of treasures contained inside them, plus the contents of an upscale residence in Old Greenwich, Conn., and other items. And it isn’t over. This historic auction will be continued, on Saturday, Nov. 29, at the Litchfield Inn in Litchfield, for items that didn’t come up for bid Nov. 1, plus newly discovered items.

The Nov. 1 auction was held at an historic 1812 eight-acre farm with farmhouse and outbuildings in Goshen, one of the three historic properties offered. A woman who was originally from Goshen but was living in Florida who heard about the auction made the trip to Connecticut and ended up buying the house and land for $179,000. She plans to reside there and pursue her equestrian interests after making much-needed and extensive renovations to the property.

The other properties included an historic 1831 country store building, also in Goshen, that sold for $22,400 (the buyers were the neighbors on either side of the property); and a circa-1900 historic two bed/two bath home in Southbury known as The Little Red Schoolhouse that realized $67,200. All three were sold as-is and were in need of repairs and renovations and all were brokered by Litchfield Real Estate Auctions, LLC, of Litchfield. The treasures inside were sold by Tim’s, Inc. Auctions, with locations in Bristol and Litchfield, Conn.

The contents, and more, were sold in a monumental event of a sale that began at 11 a.m. on Nov. 1st and didn’t finish until 3 a.m. the following morning. “This is an auction people will be talking about for years,” said Tim Chapulis of Tim’s, Inc. Auctions. “The final gross topped $500,000, so we can add that to three other prior on-site estate auctions that grossed over $1 million, just under $1 million and a little less than $500,000. I am fairly confident when I say that Tim’s, Inc. Auctions holds the record for the most on-site estate sales in the town of Litchfield and Litchfield County overall that have grossed those high-dollar amounts. We are very proud of that record.”

The auction was spread out like a veritable treasure map, with fascinated buyers bidding for individual items and multiple bulk lots like a sailor on shore leave having the time of his or her life. The selection was staggering, but Tim’s, Inc. Auctions presented the lots in a professional manner, even utilizing a large color TV screen, so everything could be easily and clearly viewed.

By the time the final gavel fell, 620 lots comprising thousands of items had crossed the auction block, with spirited bidding coming from the in-person crowd, on the telephone and via the internet (through LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com, Proxibid.com and iCollector.com). There were 1,700 registered online bidders, who accounted for 125,000 views. Bids poured in from 16 countries. Many in the live crowd stayed to the end.

Following are highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a buyer’s premium.

The 1957 Buick Special, turquoise blue inside and out and boasting lots of chrome, was one of several vintage cars up for bid. A 1951 Buick sedan went to an internet bidder in Italy for $5,750, while a Ford Model T chugged away for $6,150. A 1949 Buick Special in absolute like-new showroom condition, with just 15,000 miles on the odometer, will be re-offered Nov. 29th.

The Nantucket basket was one of the surprise lots of the sale, having been assigned a modest opening bid of just $50 but finishing strong at $4,500. The trove of coins, uncovered living in eight banana boxes, consisted mainly of silver dimes, quarters and half-dollars, with pennies and currency. The sideboard was mirror-backed and heavily carved, by either Meeks or J. H. Belter.

Most of the items sold had been collected by the late Wilfred Reil of Litchfield who, when he passed away, left behind a staggering number of personal treasures – boxfuls of items that took many weeks to inventory. Reil drove to the liquidation sale of Westmoreland Glass Company in Pennsylvania in the 1980s and ended up buying nearly all of what they were selling, even their sign.

There was so much Westmoreland Glass in the auction, easily 1,000 boxes or more, it had to be sold in multiple lots. One lot comprising 65 boxes of unopened Westmoreland glass sold to a happy buyer for $2,337. Also, a 14-crate lot fetched $2,214, a cabinet full of just Westmoreland (with the cabinet) brought $1,476, and on and on. Everything had been undisturbed for decades.

Chapulis called some multiple lots “treasure troves” (because often bidders were buying blind, like on Storage Wars). Examples: the entire contents of the attic over the general store ($1,600); items from under the farmhouse stairs ($953); the attic contents of the farmhouse (trunks, quilts, toys, penny banks, etc., $4,366); and the contents of an entire room in the farmhouse ($1,045).

The rallying cry of the auction was “Don’t Give Up the Ship!” which happened to appear on a 28-inch long carved eagle made around the turn of the century by William Shephard of Mystic, Conn., with stars, stripes and shield in a nautical motif. The piece sold for $1,687. Also, a Black Forest humidor, 22 inches tall, with a full spread eagle at the top, beautifully carved, hit $1,845.

In the furniture category, the same woman who bought the farm also bought a mahogany crystal cabinet, for $1,291.50. Two lots went to buyers from California: a Renaissance Revival music stand with gilt trim ($1,230) and a two-door painted armoire ($937.50). A heavily carved Asian-inspired partner’s desk with matching carved dragon chairs in an ebony finish went for $1,875.

A pair of oak carved armchairs attributed to R. J. Horner breezed to $1,015, while an oak Danners rotary bookcase achieved $922.50. Top lots in the estate jewelry category included a 14kt gold Cartier cigarette box that sold to a buyer outside the U.S. ($2,875); an 18kt gold Tiffany pin with box ($1,562.50); a dazzling Art Deco platinum diamond pin with sapphires, having over 3.5 carats of diamonds ($1,937.50); and several diamond rings ($2,000-$2,500+ ea.).

Antique clocks were strong. Star lots included a Waltham grandfather clock ($1,845); a Waltham weight-driven banjo clock ($906); an Elmer O. Stennes banjo clock ($2,875); a rosewood double dial Seth Thomas wall clock ($1,076); and the walnut grandfather clock with carved angels given on Christmas Day 1886 by workers at the Lion Brewery (N.Y.) to the owner, as a gift ($6,250).

From lamps and lighting, a Bradley & Hubbard jeweled oil lamp lit up the room for $799.50; a Bradley & Hubbard lamp with ram’s head finished at $565; and a pair of large iron street lamps went for $875. In coins and currency, a 1927 $20 St. Gaudens gold coin with matching necklace soared to $1,750; and one lot of five Carson City silver dollars in Plexiglas holders made $1,015.

An album containing dozens of signed photographs of baseball stars from years gone by, to include Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle, plus some hockey and football autographs, topped out at $1,906. The collector was a former decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, who used guile and determination to fill up the book. Proceeds from the sale helped with the man’s burial expenses.

A Glendale kitchen wood stove gaveled for $656 to a man who drove to the auction from North Carolina. He said he planned to give the stove to his father, who had just built a log cabin, as a housewarming present. Another banana box hoard – this one containing silver pieces, kept in the box for decades – fetched $1,750. Also, around 60 books of cut-out paper dolls brought $676.50.

One lot consisting of several advertising signs – for Pepsi-Cola, Coca-Cola and Wolf’s Head and others – was snapped up for $861. Other great buys included a collection of hatpins in holders ($369); two bedroom lots of Hallmark collectibles (one from the left side of the closet, one from the right, a perfect example of the treasure map theme of the auction — $430.50 and $645.75); a Venetian gold gilt mirror ($1,075); and vintage perfume bottles with ladies’ beaded bags ($369).

A bronze bust of a lady by the French artist Emanuel Villanis (1858-1914), titled Lucrece, done circa 19th century, climbed to $1,000. Also, a group of collectible friction toys sold as one lot for $1,000; and a John Juzek cello played a sweet tune for $3,813. One non-vintage automobile was also brought to the auction block: a 2009 Cadillac. The car started up and roared off for $11,070.

One percent of the buyer’s premium for the sale of the farmhouse went to the following charities (about $1,000 each): St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (in memory of Peter Chapulis, Tim’s late father and himself a onetime successful auctioneer); The Possum Foundation of Litchfeld; and the Jimmy From Giovanni’s Community Fund. Mr. Chapulis’s mother was also collecting on behalf of St. Jude’s.

Jimmy refers to the late owner of Don Giovanni’s, a popular local restaurant. He died in his sleep recently at age 57. In Jimmy’s memory, Mr. Chapulis and others who knew and liked him are trying to raise money to buy an electric gurney (or power stretcher) for the Morris Volunteer Firemen’s and Ambulance Corps. So far, about $5,000 has been raised against a goal of $16,000.

The Saturday, November 29th auction will be held at the Litchfeld Inn in Litchfield. Opening (or minimum) bids have been assigned the 1949 Buick Special ($17,500) and the 1931 Ford Model A ($14,000). A dark blue 1979 Porsche 928 hard-top 5-speed sports car with just 60,000 miles on the odometer will also be in the sale. The two-owner car will carry an opening bid of $5,000.

Also featured will be 18 guitars, some of them signed by rock ‘n’ roll legends such as Charlie Daniels, James Taylor, Pete Townsend, Aretha Franklin, Fats Domino, Jay and the Americans, Carly Simon, Les Paul, Twisted Sister, Kris Kristofferson, Jeff Cook, Jerry Cantrell, Johnny Winter, Steven Tyler, Johnny Mathis, Greg Allman, Michael Stipe of REM and others.

Just recently added is a hoard of U.S. silver 1-ounce American eagle coins, never opened and still in their U.S. Treasury rolls. There are 500 coins total – 20 rolls of 25 coins per roll – that will be sold as individual lots (and these would make ideal holiday presents). Also offered will be a group of 50 1-ounce fine silver bars that will be sold as five lots (10 silver bars per lot).

The auction will begin promptly at 12 o’clock noon. At press time the many treasures that will come up for bid were still being sorted and cataloged.

Tim’s, Inc. Auctions, with locations in Bristol and Litchfield, Conn., is celebrating 35 years in the auction business. The firm is always seeking quality consignments for future sales, especially lifetime personal collections built over many years. To consign an item, an estate or a collection, you may call Tim Chapulis at (860) 459-0964, or you can send him an e-mail: tims.inc@snet.net.

For more information about Tim’s, Inc. Auctions and the upcoming November 29th auction at the Litchfield Inn in Litchfield, Conn., please visit www.timsauctions.com. Updates are posted often.

Category: Auction News

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