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


The three-day auction will be conducted by Showtime Auction Services in Ann Arbor, Mich.

(ANN ARBOR, Mich.) – The lifetime collection of Robert and Harriett Potter – a vast accumulation of fire fighting memorabilia and other items, spanning 50-plus years – will be sold Oct. 5-7 by Showtime Auction Services, at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds located at 5055 Ann Arbor/Saline Road in Ann Arbor, Mich. 48180. Around 2,000 lots of investment-grade antiques and collectibles will change hands that weekend.

Rare Coca-Cola tray from 1908 depicting a partially clad young woman (est. $5,000-$10,000

Also offered will be Part 2 of the outstanding lifetime pedal car and toy collection of Ed and Christie Ramsey (Part 1 was sold by Showtime March 30-April 1). Another headliner will be Session 5 of one of the best tobacco and cigar tin collections ever offered at auction. Other items culled from select collections and estates across the country will also sell. The first day of the auction, Oct. 5, will be a live audience-only session, featuring 600 lots.

“I am extremely excited about this sale,” said Mike Eckles of Showtime Auction Services. “If all we had was the Potter collection, it would be a fine auction, but when you add to that Part 2 of Ed and Christie Ramsey, plus the tobacco and cigar tin collection, plus items from over one hundred other consignors, then what you have is our best auction ever.”

Days two and three (Saturday, Oct. 6, and Sunday, Oct. 7) will feature live and Internet bidding (facilitated by and Absentee and phone bids will also be accepted. The host hotel is Weber’s Inn in Ann Arbor. Early reservations are suggested because of other activities at the University of Michigan. To reserve a room, call (734) 769-2500. Mention Showtime Auction Services and the Oct. 5-7 auction event to get a reduced room rate.

The auction will showcase a galaxy of items, certain to appeal to just about any collector, from the novice to the seasoned veteran. In addition to toys, pedal cars, fire fighting memorabilia and tobacco and cigar tin items, there will be country store, barber shop, a very rare salesman’s sample collection, saloon, gambling, coin-op, advertising signs, cash registers and more.

Also offered will be music items (to include a Fairground band organ), many lamps (to include Tiffany, Handel and Pairpoint), farm-related items, elaborate early American furniture, showcases, a doctor’s and dentist’s cabinet (both pre-1900), rare weather vanes and more. The toys will feature pressed steel and Chein tin examples, as well as rare Fisher-Price toys and more.

“Showtime Auction Services continues to bring to the auction arena the most diverse selection of antiques ever offered for sale,” Mr. Eckles remarked. “This auction is no exception.”

One of the nearly dozen fire apparatus pieces in the sale will be a 1922 Bull Nose Mack fire chemical ladder truck (est. $25,000-$50,000). Vehicles of the toy variety will include a circa 1920s Gendron Willys Knight Pioneer line pedal car in all original condition (est. $5,000-$10,000); and a Toledo Buick pressed steel toy car in excellent shape (est. $10,000-$15,000).

Music-related lots will feature an 1899 Symphonium Eroica triple disc music box (est. $15,000-$30,000); and a Wurlitzer Model 81 jukebox on the original Model 810 Mae West stand (est. $7,500-$1,500). Rare slices of Americana will include an 1880s Samuel Robb cigar store Indian (est. $50,000-$75,000); and an 1890s running deer weather vane (est. $5,000-$15,000).

Two items certain to wow the crowd are a very rare 1900 Koch’s salesman’s sample barber chair (est. $35,000-$50,000); and an equally scarce Buerger Brothers straight razor display (“The Nymph”), one of four straight razor displays in the auction. An advertising sign of note is the 1924 Johnson Drug Store leaded glass and jeweled trade sign (est. $5,000-$15,000).

Cigar tins will be served up in abundance (about 200 in all). A rare Home Run cigar tin is expected to fetch $3,000-$7,500. Lamps will also be plentiful, with names such as Pairpoint, Handel and Pittsburg. A rare Tiffany lamp with both shade and base marked should hit $10,000-$15,000. Also, a No. 6 National Cash Register with oak base is expected to make $3,500-$4,500.

Rounding out just some of the auction’s anticipated top earners: a large Pierce Cycles advertising banner measuring 41 inches by 85 inches should realize $5,000-$10,000; a Charles Fey dice spinner in excellent working condition carries a pre-sale estimate of $5,000-$10,000; and a rare Mills Novelty Co. 5-cent “Baseball” slot machine is expected to reach $3,000-$6,000.

Previews will be held Thursday, Oct. 4, from noon to 5 p.m. (EST); Friday, Oct. 5, from 8-10 a.m.; and Saturday and Sunday from 8-9 a.m. The auction times are Friday, 10-5, Saturday, 9-6; and Sunday, 9-5. A hosted cocktail party will be held Friday, Oct. 5, from 5-6:30 p.m., at the Michigan Fire House Museum in Ypsilanti, Mich., not far from Ann Arbor. A complimentary lunch will also be served, on Friday, from 11-1.

Showtime Auction Services’ next three-day event is scheduled for the weekend of March 29-31, 2013, also at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds in Ann Arbor. Already consigned is the lifetime collection of Chuck Schneider, a dedicated collector in many categories. Featured will be many rare and one-of-a-kind pieces, plus consignments from other advanced collections.

Showtime Auction Services is based in Woodhaven, Mich. The firm is always accepting quality items for future sales. To consign an item, an estate or an entire collection, you may call Mike Eckles at (951) 453-2415; or, you can e-mail him at [email protected]. To learn more about Showtime Auction Services and the Oct. 5-7 auction, go to