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


Nov. 17 was a Fall Extravaganza Estates Auction; Dec. 8 was an It’s a Wonderful Life Auction.

(BRISTOL, Conn.) – The original plan called for a tidy, internet-only, 500-lot Fall Extravaganza Estates Auction on Nov. 17. But so many estate items poured in during the days leading up to the event, Tim Chapulis knew he had no recourse but to split it up into two sales. But instead of scheduling them on back-to-back days, as is custom, he spread them well apart.

The top lot of the sale was this beautifully carved eagle with gold gilt trim, 72 inches long ($8,100).
The top lot of the sale was this beautifully carved eagle with gold gilt trim, 72 inches long ($8,100).
“I was committed to the Nov. 17 date, so that was etched in stone, but after that I wanted something that would tie in more to the Christmas season,” said Chapulis, owner of Tim’s, Inc. Auctions, now in its 35th year. “I’ve always loved the classic holiday movie It’s a Wonderful Life, so we decided to call the second auction just that. December 8th seemed like a good date.”
Both auctions were so successful (each one started at noon and didn’t finish until well after midnight) that Chapulis is already planning them again for next year. “These will be annual events, like my Cabin Fever Auction in early spring,” he said. “A portion of It’s a Wonderful Life will go to support St. Jude Research Children’s Hospital. The December sale raised $5,000.”
There’s no denying the pair of auctions were a success. The November sale featured more than 600 lots in a wide array of categories. The December auction had more than 800 lots. Online traffic was driven through the Tim’s, Inc. Auctions website ( and bidders could register and bid via and (formerly Artfact). In all, more than 1,000 bidders participated (internet, phone and absentee) over the two sales.
Following are highlights from the auctions. All prices quoted include a 21 percent buyer’s premium.
A beautiful carved eagle with gold gilt trim, made form pine and impressive at 72 inches long and 24 inches in height (circa 1950s or ‘60s), realized $8,100. The piece was carved by William Sheppard of Waterford, Conn., a master carver who worked at Old Mystic Seaport in Connecticut as a demonstrator in a woodworking shop. Also, a heavily carved oak marble-top sideboard attributed to R. J. Horner, with the marble top a full inch thick and a crest flanked by two winged griffins and a large mirror in the middle, went to a bidder from France for $3,300.
Two Japanese World War II swords from the lifetime collection of Daniel Pagano, one long and one short, realized $4,598 and $847, respectively. The long sword generated more excitement because it had a signature on the handle, by the maker, in Japanese. Both swords came from Daniel Pagano’s “Rustic Collection” of mostly sporting items. These were also sold.
One item in the “Rustic Collection” was a fishing pole reported to have been made for baseball great Babe Ruth, with a brass tag that said “B. Ruth.” So the story goes, the legendary Bambino took ill and couldn’t accept the pole and it eventually found its way into Mr. Pagano’s collection. Mr. Pagano himself was an avid fisherman. The pole hooked a new owner for $1,029.
An extraordinary oval marble-top parlor table attributed to Thomas Brooks in walnut, with 20-inch-tall carved full standing griffins adorning a base ending in huge claw feet, fetched $2,500. In addition, many other marble-top rosewood and walnut parlor tables came up for bid, with most of them selling in the $800-$1,000 range. The Thomas Brooks table was an exception.
Many rare and collectible coins came up for bid both days. British gold sovereign coins dated 1967 changed hands in the $360 apiece range; about four $20 Liberty Head gold coins average about $1,300 each; and a huge collection of silver dollars sold for $36 each on average. Also, a staggering 336 Mexican silver ray coins changed hands, totaling $4,537 combined.
Antique pillar and scroll clocks are a staple at most Tim’s, Inc. Auctions, and these were no exception. Three such clocks, all with wooden works and made in the late 19th century by Eli Terry, Terry & Son and Henry Ives of Bristol, Conn., sold for an average price of $750 apiece.
A viola da gamba, which is larger than a violin but smaller than a cello, believed to be quite rare, fully labeled on the inside by its German manufacturer and made of wood, possibly maple, breezed to $1,210. At the top of the instrument was a carved lion’s head, adding an ornate touch to this fine piece. Also, a vintage guitar signed by guitar legend Les Paul, made $1,180.
A Civil War-era Colt revolver sold in as-is condition, hit the mark for $786, while an antique ornate pistol with Middle Eastern-style inlay design hit $400. An antique Currier & Ives-like child’s toy pull-sleigh coasted to $395, a brilliant cut glass 10 ½ inch tall vase commanded $816, and an estate vintage continental hanging wall tapestry, circa 1800s, topped out at $605.
An antique ceiling fan, very ornate and unusual, went to a buyer from Texas for $847, an antique oil painting in a gorgeous gilt frame by Ceranano of a shepherdess with sheep achieved $1,800, a room-size Persian Hamadan rug (9 feet 5 inches by 11 feet 2 inches) went to a determined bidder for $3,206, and other Persian rugs sold for between $200 and $600 each.
Electronics equipment featured a 9-lot grouping of components, all new in the box, including a Technics turntable, a stereo cassette deck, a pre-amp tuner and Carver stereo equipment, all of which sold at around 2 a.m. in the December sale for $3,630. Also, a lot consisting of Marantz audio-visual equipment, also new and still in the box, went for $2,178.
Winning bidders were asked to make a suggested $10 donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, in memory of Peter W. Chapulis, Tim’s late father (although anyone could donate). “The outpour of support for this effort has been tremendous,” Tim said. “Many people have given more than we asked. We’ve raised over $65,000 to date for this worthwhile charity.”
Tim’s, Inc. Auctions is celebrating 35 years in business (1979-2014). The firm is always accepting quality consignments for future sales, especially lifetime personal collectors built over the years by baby boomers looking to downsize and seniors wanting to pass their items along to a new generation of collectors. “We don’t even need to move people’s merchandise out of their homes, thanks to online bidding,” Chapulis said. “That use to be a disruption. Not any more.”
To consign an item, an estate or a collection, you may call Tim Chapulis at (860) 459-0964, or you can e-mail him at [email protected]. Tim’s, Inc. Auctions is located at 1185 Farmington Ave. (Rte. 6) in Bristol, Conn. To learn more, log on to This year’s 22nd annual Cabin Fever Auction will be held sometime this spring, probably late March.