“We call it the Cabin Fever Auction because people need a good reason to get out of their homes at the end of winter, and we're giving them just that,” said Tim Chapulis of Tim’s, Inc. “It takes over a year of planning to stage this special one-day event. It’s a must-attend for collectors, dealers, investors, decorators and homeowners.”
Mr. Chapulis said he received an unexpected call from a producer at The Tonight Show starring Jay Leno around the time of last year's Cabin Fever Auction, inquiring about the very meaning of the term “cabin fever.” “They were gathering information for a segment about cabin fever and wanted to know what we thought it meant, since we were having a Cabin Fever Sale.”
Hundreds of mostly fresh-to-the-
First up for bid, though, will be a U.S. gold and silver coin collection, featuring over 60 U.S. gold coins and more than 150 silver dollars, plus an impressive stamp collection. These will kick off the sale, at 10:30 a.m.
The Beleden Mansion is a 40-room, 18,000-square-
“Anyone who goes home from this sale with an item from the Beleden Mansion will be the proud owner of a lifetime memento,” Mr. Chapulis said.
The auction will feature many wild and wonderful items, an example being an extremely rare early upright pianoforte (circa 1825), from the Federal period and with elegant silk fabric adornments and brass appointments. The piano was made by John Broadwood of London and was written about extensively in an article by Ronald V. Ratcliffe, a professor of music at California State Polytechnic Institute in San Luis Obispo, Calif. The instrument is from the collection of the author. Also sold will be a folk art painting of a young girl in a Victorian dress playing the piano, unsigned and framed and in great condition.
Furniture from the Victorian, Renaissance Revival, Federal and Empire periods will dominate the day's proceedings. Offered will be a fabulous 3-piece parlor set by the American master craftsman John Jelliff, once housed in the sitting room of the Beleden Mansion and consisting of a heavily carved sofa with a highly detailed carved figural warrior head and two spectacular lady's chairs in burl walnut with original upholstery; and a Jelliff oval walnut marble-top parlor table with lady's busts around the skirt. Also sold will be an oversized Thomas Brooks marble-top parlor table with an ornate base.
Other furniture will include a monumental Renaissance Revival walnut and burl partner's library desk by either Herter or Brooks with felt top, pull-out drawing ends in original condition; a walnut and burl captain's desk with a provenance traceable to Tracy & Driscoll (an insurance and real estate firm in Bristol); and a nice selection of marble-top tables in rosewood and walnut.
Several nice acanthus-carved mahogany pieces will cross the block to include a 2-door crystal cabinet with plate glass shelves and criss-cross design; a 2-door drop-leaf work table with rope bordered edge along drop-leaf sides; and a 2-drawer, fully carved partner's desk with carved lion's heads on each side and claw feet, attributed to Horner. Also sold will be a Morris chair with full-figured busts of women on the arms, also attributed to Horner.
Vintage clocks will include two fabulous grandfather clocks. One is a mahogany hall clock (#58, Waterbury Clock Co.), weight-driven with a single gong, in the original finish and with the original earlier black label. The other is a Walter Durfee mahogany tall case clock, weight-driven. Also sold will be two 19th-century Eli Terry pillar-and-scroll clocks. Mr. Terry worked out of Plymouth, Conn., and was the first maker of wooden-works clocks in the country.
Also from the clocks category: a rosewood Gale Astronomical calendar clock with four dials on the front, made by the Welch Spring Clock Company in Forrestville, Conn.; many clocks by Seth Thomas; a spectacular Waterbury Willard gold gilt weight-driven banjo clock with the original label; Sessions clocks; a weight-driven banjo clock by Foster Campos; some spectacular figural clocks; clock sets; bronze clocks; and some large Black Forest cuckoo clocks.
The antique gun collection will feature several Colt pistols and several early Western “muff guns” (ivory-handled single-shot pistols popular with the ladies). Also sold will be sterling silver billiards trophies won by members of The Waterbury Club, a prestigious organization formed in 1888 that was only recently disbanded, with inscriptions. All are circa 1920s-1940s.
A wonderful selection of autographed rock 'n' roll memorabilia will feature signed pieces by the late guitar legend Les Paul and his son Rusty Paul, members of the Marshall Tucker Band and other surprises. Also offered will be original oil paintings; room-size Oriental rugs; antique bottles; Black Forest and carved pieces; two Regina music boxes and two cylinder music boxes.
The auction will also include a phenomenal selection of lamps and lighting, most of it from the Victorian era. Bidders will be treated to reverse painted lamps, oil lamps, cut glass table lamps (some by Bradley and Hubbard), panel lamps, wall sconces and chandeliers. Equally impressive will be the selection of estate jewelry, headlined by a lady's 2.17-carat ruby center ring surrounded by six marquis diamonds weighting 1.4 carats. It cost the owner $15,000 new.
Admission to the auction (and preview) will come in the form of a donation to the St. Jude Children’s Hospital, in memory of Peter W. Chapulis, Tim’s late father. A suggested donation is $5 per person. To date, nearly $25,000 has been raised for the charity, which was founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas. St. Jude treats children with aggressive cancers.
The Litchfield Firehouse is located at 258 West Street (Route 202) in Litchfield, Conn. Complimentary wine and cheese will be served during the preview, with the wine coming from the Hopkins Vineyard on Lake Waramaug in New Preston, Conn., an area popular among wine connoisseurs.
Tim’s, Inc., based in Bristol, Conn., is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign an item, estate or collection, you may call them at (860) 459-0964, or you can e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org. The firm is celebrating over 30 years in business (1979-2010).
To learn more about Tim's, Inc. and the upcoming Cabin Fever Auction, and to view over 900 photos of the lots to be sold, please log on to www.timsauction.com. Updates are posted frequently. The mailing address for Tim’s, Inc. is 1185 Farmington Ave., Bristol, CT 06010.
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Ken Hall writes pre-sale and post-sale press releases for auction houses, for a fee. He writes, submits and tracks stories for clients. Submissions are published in trade magazines, posted on industry websites and appear in local newspapers.