Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information


The on-site auction will be held at the couple’s home, at 202 East Galena Road in Big Rock, Ill.

(BIG ROCK, Ill.) – Brian and Kim Ward are celebrating their 17th wedding anniversary on Saturday, June 12, and everyone’s invited. They’re also selling their two homes and sizable collections that day, too, and everyone’s invited to that as well. The couple, owners of Ward Auction & Appraisals, Inc., are selling nearly everything, as they prepare to move to Tennessee.

“Brian’s mother has congestive heart failure, so we decided that moving her – and us – to a warmer climate was a wise and necessary thing to do,” said Kim Ward. “We’re really going to miss the many friends we made in Big Rock and the surrounding towns, and all of the folks who came out to our many on-site auctions. But our own on-site sale may just be the best one of all.”

There certainly will be a lot for bidders to consider – two houses, a car, and hundreds of lots of furniture, advertising items, toys, glassware, NASCAR memorabilia, tools and equipment, unique items and miscellaneous. The sale will be held at the couple’s primary residence, at 202 East Galena Road in Big Rock. A second home, located across the street, will also be sold. Some items belonging to Carol and Jim Donahue, Brian’s parents, will also be included in the auction.

The primary residence is a large, two-story Victorian home with a 3-car+ carriage house (expanded garage) and an authentic, recently painted three-hole outhouse. The home sits on about an acre and a half of land and can be used as a single- or multi-family dwelling. The other house, on North Jefferson Street, is a three-bedroom/two-bath home now being used as an office.

The collections are astounding and represent a lifetime’s worth of accumulations by a couple who help people buy and sell collections all the time. In short, they know what to look for and they’ve assembled a good bit of quality merchandise over the years. Most of it (except for a few things Brian and Kim will keep for sentimental value) will cross the block at 10 a.m. (CST).

The toys will feature many Fisher Price examples (the firm is based in upstate New York, where Brian is originally from), Tonka trucks, Barbie dolls and pedal tractors. The couple’s car is a 2006 Chevrolet Impala, white with a tan leather interior, a 3.9 liter engine and 133,000 miles on the odometer. The vehicle is in outstanding condition and has been impeccably maintained.

Advertising items will include hundreds of beer signs (many of them rare and vintage), railroadiana, a sign from the local Elburn Co-Op, a rare and desirable Budweiser Budman Recycling Center sign, a Marlboro cigarettes sign, numerous traffic signs, and the actual sign from the Broadway play Ragtime, lowered at the end of each show and huge at 9 feet by 21 feet.

NASCAR memorabilia, a burgeoning genre, will feature a Ken Schrader M&Ms signed hood, a hood signed by drivers Cale Yarborough and John Andretti, the side of a Skittles car (#36), two official NASCAR tires with wheels (including the tire from the same Skittles #36 car), scale model cars and collector cards.

Glassware will include pottery pieces (to include Van Briggle and some Southern pieces), kitchenware, crystal, cookie jars, candle holders and candelabras, Hull pieces, vases, dishes, stemware, steins and pink Depression glass. Tools and equipment will include drill presses, arc welders, a Bedknife grinder, a Peerless grinder, and not one but three awesome fairway mowers.

Furniture items will dominate the list of offerings. Anticipated top lots will include a nice circa-1930s Berkey & Gay twin bed walnut bedroom suite; a Victorian-style sofa and chairs, an early American drop-leaf table, an early spinning wheel, a marble-top Eastlake-style table, a two-tier pie crust table with inlay, a pair of gorgeous Morris-style chairs and a primitive muffin stand.

Oak furniture will be offered in abundance. Pieces include a princess-style dresser with tall mirror, an ice box, a wash stand, a curved glass china cabinet and a buffet. Additional items from the furniture category will include a Victorian rocking chair with ottoman, ice cream chairs, bar stools, dressers, an upholstered sofa, a dining room hutch, tables and several wicker pieces.

Unique items will feature a circa 1960s Seeburg jukebox (console-style, in good working condition), a 1984 Kawasaki Tecate 250 three-wheeler all-terrain vehicle, a beautiful Bennett computing gas pump (restored, in John Deere colors), nearly an entire collection of beer memorabilia, parking meters, a parachute, an Econolite traffic light, and several amusement cars.

Rounding out the day’s offerings will be barber chairs, a soap box derby car, area rugs, books, filing cabinets, lamps and more. And that’s not counting what the Wards have up in their attic, which has yet to be inventoried and posted online. For more information as the auction date approaches, log on to the firm’s website at Updates are posted often.

Internet bidding (for most but not all items) will be facilitated by Terms are cash, good check and Master Card and Visa. There will be a 10 percent buyer’s premium for on-site purchases and a 15 percent buyer’s premium for Internet, absentee and phone bid sales. Big Rock, Ill., is located west of Chicago, not far off I-88, between Hinckley and Sugar Grove.

Ward Auction & Appraisals, Inc., specializes in real estate (homes, farms and land), charity auctions, personal property, antiques and collectibles, business liquidations and equipment sales. After the Wards re-settle (in Greenville, Tenn.), they will resume their auction business, doing mainly real estate sales, benefit auctions, fund raisers and special collections.

For more information about Ward Auction & Appraisals, Inc., and the big June 12 sale, please log on to or call (630) 556-3648.