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


(BRISTOL, Conn.) – Tim’s, Inc., will hold its 19th annual Cabin Fever Auction on Sunday, March 27, but not in the usual venue. In the past, Tim’s conducted the yearly event at the Litchfield Firehouse in Litchfield. But this year, a combination of factors led to the decision to hold the auction in the Tim’s, Inc. showroom, at 1185 Farmington Avenue (Rte. 6) in Bristol.

“For openers, we’ve had a simply awful winter, weather-wise, and I just can’t take the chance we’ll be snowed out at the firehouse,” said Tim Chapulis of Tim’s, Inc. “Transporting all that merchandise from our facility to Litchfield and getting it all set up, which takes more than a month to do, would have been a disaster if we ended up having to cancel due to the weather.”

For the first time ever, the showroom will have a large, 55-inch TV monitor mounted in the second floor, showing all of the lots as they come up for bid. Also for the first time, Tim’s, Inc., will utilize an online biding platform: “Even if the weather is bad, people will be able to bid from the comfort of their homes, at their computer,” Mr. Chapulis said.

The auction will feature something for just about everybody. The 400+ mostly fresh-to-the-market lots will include Part 2 of rare and vintage clocks from the collection of Richard Baldwin of Terryville, Conn. (Tim’s, Inc., conducted Part 1 of the collection in 2009), plus items from the historic Beleden Mansion in Bristol (to include wonderful Victorian furniture pieces).

The roughly 100 vintage clocks will comprise Part 2 of the Richard Baldwin collection, with many rare labels and makers represented. Mr. Baldwin was a direct descendant of Eli Terry, the renowned Connecticut clock maker (and after whom Terryville was named). Eli Terry was the first to mass manufacture clocks, in the early 1800s. Seth Thomas was one of his apprentices.

One clock in particular that’s expected to generate an intense bidding war is a circa-1830 Eli Terry, Jr. transitional 30-hour woodworks clock in a stencil quarter-column and splat mahogany veneer (short) case. The exceedingly rare clock, made in Plymouth, Conn., features pillar and scroll feet, a full eagle in flight at the top and cannons and other armaments below.

The auction will also boast stunning bronzes, vintage lamps, at least eight music boxes (some by Regina), dazzling estate jewelry and several eye-popping treats, like an extremely rare cast-iron Victorian floor safe, three period stoves, a great folk art carved decoy from an estate in Chatham, Mass. (Cape Cod) and attributed to the renowned maker Crowell, an early ‘Buster Cherries’ slot machine, a 1950s-era Fender double-neck Stringmaster lap steel guitar, and an authentic signed photo of Babe Ruth, dated May 22, 1948, with the envelope it was mailed in.

The action will kick off at noon (EST) with one lot of over 40 gold and silver estate coins. That will be followed by silver coin sets from Star Trek and Disney (Mickey Mouse), full one-ounce silver coins and Pinocchio sterling silver commemorative coins in presentation books. All are expected to do well, as precious metals continue to appreciate against a sagging dollar.

Much of the period furniture in the auction will come from the Beleden Mansion, an elegant, 20-room Gilded Age structure begun in 1908 and completed the following year. The original occupant was William Sessions, of Sessions clocks fame (and there will be Sessions clocks in the sale). In its 100+-year history, Beleden Mansion has only been in three families.

Furniture slated to cross the block will include a beautifully grained, late 19th century English drop-front travel desk with a presentation plaque, indicating it was given in Nov. 1888 to “Bro. W. A. Clarke” by members of Lodge 384 of the Loyal Caledonian Corks, a social club of the time; and a lovely rosewood furniture group consisting of ladies’ chairs, a loveseat and sofa, all purchased at the famous Paris Exhibition of 1889 and owned by the same family ever since.

Also offered will be a collection of nicely carved marble-top parlor tables (some walnut, some rosewood, some by makers such as Thomas Brooks, one 41 inches in diameter), a stunning full-sized Victorian sofa with carved eagles and cornucopia decor, and a gorgeous mahogany library or writing desk with full standing gryphons and flanked by drawers, in the original finish.

The cast-iron Victorian floor safe is bound to elicit oohs and aahs from the crowd, in part because of its rarity but also because it appears to have been made of walnut, in the Renaissance Revival period (which it was not). It is pure cast-iron, with painted gold accents. A door opens to reveal three velvet-lined shelves. The maker is Marvin Safe & Seal Co. (N.Y. and Philadelphia).

The nice selection of eight music boxes will include examples by premier maker Regina, with playing discs. Music boxes were popular around the turn of the century, having descended from the popular European boxes of the late 18th and early 19th century. Beginning around 1920, with the invention of the phonograph, they faded from the scene, but are highly collectible today.

The vintage guns in the auction will feature pistols by Colt, to include some ladies “muff-guns” (small guns so-named because women of the day would hide them in their hand-warmers, or muffs). Also sold will be powder (or shot) flasks. The three vintage stoves will include one cast-iron example on Federal-period claw feet with angels and fabulous architectural elements.

Vintage lamps will include a nice pair of German-made urn-like Meissen table lamps. Bronzes will feature a large warrior on a horse, perched on a marble alabaster base and having a nice patina; and a bronze depiction of Shakespeare or other notable literary figure. Decorative accessories will include a German-made porcelain portrait of a lady playing a harp, housed in a gold gilt frame and signed by the maker, with blue mark; a pietra dura depicting roses, in a very stout and ornate gold gilt frame; and a spectacular 36-inch-tall carved marble statue, titled Rebecca at the Well, signed F. Vichi Firenile.
Estate jewelry is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, and this sale has got some dazzlers. These will include a ladies’ 4.25-carat diamond ring set in platinum, 10 percent iridium and with two tapered diamond baguettes; and a 2.03-carat ladies’ European-cut solitaire diamond ring. The 14kt gold comfort fit 3mm shank ring with 6-prong palladium head boasts a clarity grade VS1.

Finally, a vintage Cadillac car will roar away with a new owner at the wheel. It’s a 1971 teal blue El Dorado convertible, with a white top and white leather interior. The vehicle has been in the same family since its purchase 40 years ago, and has less than 59,000 original miles on the odometer. “I sat in this car myself and can vouch that it’s in great condition,” Mr. Chapulis said.

Cabin Fever Auction will begin promptly at noon on Sunday, Mar. 27, with a preview from 10 a.m. until the start of sale. Additional previews will be held the week leading up to the auction (daily from 4-7 p.m., or by appointment; call ahead). Terms will be a 15 percent buyer’s premium for cash, 18 percent for known checks and 20 percent if bidding online, through Charge cards will not be accepted.

Admittance to the auction and preview will be in the form of a suggested $5 donation for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, in memory of Peter W. Chaplulis, Tim’s late father. To date, nearly $35,000 has been raised for the charity, which treats cancer patients regardless of their ability to pay. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital was founded by the Danny Thomas.

Tim’s, Inc. is celebrating 32 years in business (1979-2011). The firm is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign an item, estate or collection, you may call Tim Chapulis at (860) 459-0964, or e-mail him at [email protected].

For additional information about Tim’s, Inc., and the March 27 Cabin Fever Auction, you may log on to

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