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


Featured will be extensive collections of Cambridge glass in the Wildflower pattern, cake plates, crystal and cut glass compotes and more. The Specialists of the South will conduct the auction.

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. – The lifetime single-owner collections of Kenneth and Joan Cole – a wide array of items, to include Cambridge glass in the Wildflower pattern, 100+ cake plates, crystal and cut glass compotes, hand-painted china, quilts and more – will be sold on-site, Saturday, August 19th, at the Coles’ residence in the Woodlawn subdivision, at 423 Bayshore.

In addition to the abovementioned items, the collections also include fabrics and fine linens from different countries, teapots, sterling silver, dolls, cookbooks and needlepoint books and yarns. Also being sold is a Cigar Store Indian the couple acquired from The Indian Trader in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The life-size figure was carved by the late artisan Ralph Gallager in the 1990s.

Many of the items were gathered from around the world over the course of several decades. Mr. Cole’s work as a successful businessman took him to various different countries, and Joan would often come along. The two would go on shopping sprees, for fun, in their free moments and add treasures to their collections. Mr. Cole recently passed away and Joan has decided to downsize.

The auction, to begin promptly at 8 am Central time, is being conducted by The Specialists of the South, Inc., of Panama City. For those unable to attend live, internet bidding will be provided by, and Phone and absentee bids will also be accepted. Previews will be held Thursday and Friday, August 17th and 18th, from 10 am to 6 pm, and from 7 am to 8 am on auction day, August 19th.

“Collectors of Cambridge glass in the Wildflower pattern will think they’ve died and gone to heaven,” Mrs. Cole remarked about her collection numbering in the dozens of pieces. “It all started years ago, when a neighbor of mine, an elderly woman in her 80s, sold me her collection of stemware, iced tea glasses and other pieces. I just fell in love with the Wildflower pattern.”

A few highlight pieces will include a black gold-encrusted footed vase; some impressive candle holders (one having a dolphin base with gold-encrusted shades); a lovely epergne with gold trim; a cocktail shaker with ground stopper; and several sets of candelabra.

The Coles’ Cambridge Wildflower collection contains a broad range of pieces, from miniature to large. They include small covered butter dishes, Ball and Doulton-style pitchers, a “flip-flower” vase (a 12-inch-tall graduated vase nearly 8 inches in diameter at the top), and three footed vases, ranging in size from 10 ¾ inches to 13 inches tall (one is 12 inches, with a keyhole stem).

Along the way, Joan acquired another woman’s collection that featured cordial glasses, tumblers and more. Then, an opportunity presented itself in Ohio (where Cambridge glass is popular) to buy from a dealer some candlesticks, bowls and vases (large and small). Many of the pieces in the compotes and cake plates collection are desirable EAPG – Early American Pattern Glass.

Joan began collecting cake plates at a time when she wasn’t particularly good at baking. But when she bought her first two plates with standards while out antiquing, she vowed to get better at it. “Today I’m known as ‘the cake lady,’” she said proudly. “My specialties are coconut cake and Italian cream cake.” Her collection includes examples from Fostoria and Sandwich (Mass.).

The crystal and cut glass compotes boast beautiful standards and gorgeous shaped bowls. The collection includes two Crown Jewel (a/k/a Chandelier, circa 1888) examples. The teapots include one by Delft (Holland) and two by Hall (Ohio). Sterling silver will include an exquisite and massive six-arm candelabra that was Mrs. Cole’s mother’s and was used for several family weddings, and an old-fashioned tea set in silver plate.

The doll collection consists of mostly Madame Alexanders (including a Scarlett O’Hara), although there are a few dolls that were purchased overseas, one of which is quite large, 19 inches tall, with fur trim on the hat and clothing, hand-carried back from Russia. The hand-painted china pieces, colorful and nice, are impressionist in appearance, many with soft colors of pink, green or blue.

There are but two quilts in the sale, both handed down to Joan from her aunt. Both are nicely stitched, well-executed examples. One is in the Wedding Ring pattern and the other is cross-stitched with pink flowers. Both are doubled-bed sized and approximately 30-50 years old. Also offered will be oversized furniture, almost none of it antique, although there is a sofa in the Queen Anne style with nicely carved legs, reupholstered in a white textured fabric.

Some other, newer furniture will include a massive mahogany dining room table with 22-inch leaves that seats 14 (“although I’ve set more,” Joan said), with Chippendale chairs; a gorgeous and huge hutch from the Palmer House Collection with curved glass doors, mahogany and a beautiful display piece; a long, narrow brass-tagged Historical James River Plantation mahogany inlaid server; and three bedroom suites, including a large set by Thomasville with poster bed.

Another bedroom suite has an antique double bed and armoire, both with applied decoration, plus a side table. Also sold will be a beautiful oval Empire table; an office furniture suite of a credenza, file cabinet and desk chairs; a sleigh bed with two chests; leather reclining chairs; a vintage library table; and an Empire chest in need of refinishing. All the furniture is real, with no particle board.

The fabrics and linens are a collection inspired by Joan’s mother, an accomplished needleworker. “She appreciated exquisite linens and so do I,” Joan said. It is a worldwide assemblage, with pieces from Egypt, Vietnam, Hungary, India and elsewhere. One was purchased from a woman displaying her wares along the Danube River. Also sold will be floral needlework in the frame.

“Needlepoint is very therapeutic,” Joan said. “You start with a blank canvas and from there you make beautiful images from yarn.” She is selling her collection of needlepoint books and yarns (pure wool, dyed). Also for sale will be her many cookbooks, some dedicated to cake baking and to include the full set (Vol. 1-12) of Mary Margaret McBride’s Encyclopedia of Cooking (1960).

Cookware will also be in the sale, including a graduated set of Command Performance copper pots with warming bases; glass pitchers, some of them tall and heavy, by makers like Dewey, Duncan Miller and Galloway; English-made dinnerware; and an oversized press glass punch bowl with cups.

The kitchen category will also feature an Excalibur food dehydrator; a solid rock maple chopping block made by Boos (Effington, Ill.); and a vintage hand-made tea cozy, used for keeping tea warm, made in India with an elephant graphic, 12 inches wide and 10 ½ inches tall.

Kenneth Cole was a University of Chicago Graduate School of Business MBA who flew numerous combat missions in Vietnam, as a Huey helicopter pilot. Items from his time spent in the military will be part of the auction, to include a bill cap, a helmet liner from Officers Candidate School, photos and a veritable library of military books and novels pertaining to the Civil War, World War II and Vietnam, plus volumes dedicated to the Army and West Point (the Coles’ son, Kenneth C. Cole, is a graduate of West Point). Speaking of books, there’s also a collection of 40 early 20th century Tom Swift books, hardbound and in good shape.

Also sold will be Mr. Cole’s collection of shot, spirit and beer glasses, some old and embossed, with the name of the liquor or liquor company etched into the glass. Two of the glasses, one of them etched and one embossed, are from the Grand Army of the Republic. Some glasses were purchased directly from Barbara Edmondson, author of the books Historic Shot Glasses (1988) and Old Advertising Spirit Glasses (1992). Also sold will be liquor bottle miniatures, some interesting older bottles with the spirits still inside, and two brass ship’s lanterns, one of them a miniature that does extra duty as both a music box and a decanter.

The Man Cave category will also feature a floor humidor with leather savoy cigar holder and pull-out shelves, with cigars still in it; advertising signs, some of them metal, to include ones for GM Diesel Locomotive, Texas & Southwest Cattle Raisers Association, National Dry Kiln Company, a “Miami the Magic City” sign; a rare street sign from Cermak (Chicago); some interesting and attractive cigar boxes, including ones for Opus X cigars; a large, circa 1995 Lumichron Route 66 clock, 17 ½ inches in diameter; and a group of metal trays, including five trays for the National Soft Drink Association and one for Continental White Cap.

The auction will also feature hand-painted Nippon; nice old McCoy; a pair of Gothic wall “what-not” shelves; a full-length Adolfo Blackglama mink coat; a Dresden chandelier; a Swiss dresser clock, made by Imhop and retailed by Bucherer; costume jewelry; two Russian submarine clocks (both hand-wind, wall-mount); colorful pottery from Hungary and Italy; bakeware; a commemorative plate from the 1956 Republican National Convention in San Francisco; and an extensive collection of around 35 bottles of Shalimar cologne and perfume by Guerlain, including one oversized factice bottle (one that originally served as a retail store display bottle).

The Specialists of the South, Inc. has been serving the Panama City community for more than 35 years. The company specializes in a broad range of services, to include estate auctions, furniture refurbishing, interior decoration, personal property appraisals and business liquidation services. It has been named the Small Business of the Month by the Bay County Chamber of Commerce.

The Specialists of the South, Inc., is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign an item, estate or collection, you may call them at (850) 785-2577, or you may e-mail them at [email protected]. To learn more, or to register for the August 19th auction, log on to either or Updates are posted often.

Walnut Empire oval table