It was a diverse sale that set numerous records for Tim's, Inc. -- most Internet bidders for one sale, most page views to the online catalog (25,000+), and longest duration for a Cabin Fever Auction (12+ hours). One can probably add to that record interest, judging by the enthusiasm and intensity displayed by bidders, who behaved like they were at Game Seven of the World Series.
Rey Quinones was a shortstop who played for three teams from 1986-1989 (the Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners and Pittsburgh Pirates). He held an administrative position with the Yankees in the 1996 season, entitling him to a ring. It was a beauty, featuring 1.5 ounces of gold, 23 brilliant round cut diamonds (one for each Yankee championship team) plus a faux sapphire.
The ring was the top lot of the nearly 750 items that crossed the block in a sale that Tim Chapulis – owner of Tim’s, Inc. – described as one of the best Cabin Fever Auctions ever. “Interest in this year’s sale was way up compared to last year,” he said. “We started selling at 12 noon and didn’t quit 'til after midnight. It was a marathon sale packed with quality merchandise.”
A respectable crowd live turned out for the event, while 400 bidders participated online (through LiveAuctioneers.com and Artfact.com)
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a buyer’s premium pf 15 percent for cash purchases, 18 percent for known checks and 20 percent for winning Internet bidders.
The first 18 lots to come up for bid were a blend of graded and raw ungraded St. Gaudens gold coins, and that set the tone for the rest of the day. “We knew we were going to have a great sale up front because of all the many gold and silver coins,” Chapulis said. “It didn’t hurt that the value of precious metals continues to climb.” The St. Gaudens coins averaged over $2,000 each.
The last three lots of the sale were also gold coins: a pair of half-ounce American eagles ($1,080) and a one-ounce American eagle ($1,770). “We had Internet bidders who stayed up past midnight to bid on those coins,” Chapulis said with a laugh. Other coins that did well included an 1889 –CC Morgan silver dollar ($1,897.50), and a Civil War-era 1861 $5 Coronet coin ($1,610).
Coins weren’t the only items that coaxed people out of their long winter hibernation. The auction also featured rare and vintage guitars (some of them signed), antique clocks (by some of the most renowned named in early colonial clockmaking)
The clocks featured a Silas B. Terry (Plymouth, Conn.) keyhole-shaped clock, 25 inches tall ($2,300), an uncommon and large rosewood E.N. Welch (Forestville, Conn.) wall regulator weight driven clock from circa 1880s ($2,242), a Jerome & Darrow (Bristol, Conn.) pillar and scroll clock ($1,200), and a circa-1856 Elmer Stennis banjo clock with original glasses ($2,012).
Vintage guitars included a Gibson Byrdland model from around 1960 ($8,625), a Gibson Hummingbird guitar from the same era ($2,300), and a vintage guitar signed by members of the iconic ‘60s rock band Iron Butterfly ($604). Proceeds from the sale of that guitar, plus other items in the auction, went to benefit St. Jude Research Children’s Hospital, based in Memphis.
Returning to coins, other lots included a complete set of Mercury head dimes that featured the key date 1916-D date ($1,150), a 1900 choice uncirculated Berber quarter ($1,080), an 1898 Barber 10-cent coin ($1,230), a roll of year 2000 one-ounce American pure silver eagle coins ($990), a similar roll from 1987 ($1,080), and many $5 Indian and Liberty head gold coins.
Rounding out the day’s top lots were a pair of Ponsin circa-1700 continental European flintlock dueling pistols ($6,325), a beautiful lacquered music box purchased by an online bidder in California for a buyer overseas ($1,620), a pair of stuffed wolves from a restaurant in the Carolinas ($600 each), and a gorgeous but damaged Kerman rug with a large hole in it ($4,425).
Admittance to the auction came in the form of a suggested $10 donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, in memory of Peter W. Chapulis, Tim’s late father. “The outpour of support was tremendous,”
Tim’s, Inc. has three interesting on-site auctions lined up for the near future. The first is a fine home and its contents slated for April 27 in Litchfield, Conn. Two days later, on April 29, Tim’s will also sell a home and its contents in Harwington, Conn. Then, on Father's Day, June 17, the firm will offer the beautifully appointed home and contents of a man in Torrington, Conn.
Tim’s, Inc. is celebrating 33 years in business (1979-2012). The firm is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. It is especially interested in gold and silver coins, antique clocks, jewelry, musical instruments and sports memorabilia. To consign an item, estate or collection, you may call Tim Chapulis at (860) 459-0964, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information about Tim’s, Inc. and the upcoming slate of on-site auctions, please log on to www.timsauction.com.