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Items from the estate of noted musical conductor Anthony Morss will be auctioned Feb. 25 in Conn.
The entire contents of a 7-room home and 3-room guest house of Anthony Morss, music director and principal conductor of the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera, will be sold at auction Saturday, Feb. 25, in Litchfield, Conn., by Tim's, Inc.
By: Ken Hall
The contents of the home are packed with fine furnishings and decorative accessories, most of them in near immaculate condition, in keeping with Mr. Morss’s standards of excellence. One item certain to attract bidder interest is Mr. Morss’s prized mahogany Steinway grand piano (the desirable Model L, 5 feet 9 inches in length), originally given in 1928 as a wedding present to his mother from his uncle Noel. The piano has remained in the family ever since and carries both real and sentimental value.
The auction will be conducted by Tim’s, Inc., based in nearby Bristol, Conn. (and now with a branch office in Litchfield). “This will be one of the nicest and most spectacular decorative home contents we have ever sold,” said Tim Chapulis of Tim’s, Inc. “This house is completely full – even the contents of the closets and breakfronts will be sold – and everything shows off beautifully in their naturally kept settings.”
Mr. Chapulis added, “The uniqueness of this auction is that Mr. Morss and his wife chose this property in Litchfield as their dream getaway home more than twenty years ago, a place they could retreat to from the hustle and bustle of New York City and relax in a country environment. To show the merchandise on-site – which very few auction houses do – is a huge plus, both for the owner as well as the buyers.”
Some expected star lots will include a Japanese scroll screen estimated to be 125 years old, a gorgeous rosewood one-door music cabinet with ornate mirror, a folk art duck decoy in original paint, a John H. Belter side chair with beautiful needlepoint seat with roses, an ornate carved griffin library table, a lift-top music box with bells, and several love seats, one of them with carved eagles at the crest (probably an Exposition piece).
Other items will feature furnishings, original artwork, Oriental rugs, glass and china, antique lighting (to include banquet lamps and reverse painted table lamps), garden statuary and large planters, antique clocks (to include an early 19th century Eli Terry pillar-and-scroll clock, an Elmer Stennis banjo clock, a swinging statue clock and other 19th century clocks), and window treatments (some with stunning flower rose patterns).
Also sold will be fine diamond jewelry, gold and silver coins (to include a rare $20 St. Gaudens gold coin, a $5 Indian head gold coin and a $2 ½ Indian head gold coin) mirrors, bedrooms, dining room sofas, pullout couches, decorative floral arrangements, a wonderful baker’s rack, an oak corner hutch, a two-door oak hutch, many serving plates, bowls and dishes.
Additional offerings will feature fireplace accessories (to include brass decorative tools and screens), Oriental wall hangings and wall tapestries. Also, books belonging to Mr. Morss’s late wife, a former culinary chef, will be sold, among them collectible vintage cookbooks. Other books, kept in a separate library and including handsome leather-bound volumes, will also be sold. At press time, still more items from this well-stocked and beautifully maintained home were being inventoried.
“This will be a discovery sale in the true sense of the word, as the massive contents of Mr. Morss's beautiful home will be uncovered right up to the day of the auction,” Mr. Chapulis said, adding that photos of many of the items could be viewed on his website (timsauction.com)
Anthony Morss was born in Boston and studied at the New England Conservatory and National Orchestra Association in New York. While still a student, he was picked by Leopold Stokowski to be choral master and associate conductor for his Symphony of the Air. This led to prominent positions at Julliard, the Norwalk Symphony and the Majorca Symphony in Spain.
Mr. Morss has guest conducted the Madrid, Barcelona, Marseilles and Cape Town symphonies, as well as the Tampa Bay Opera, the New York Lyric Opera, the National Grand Opera and many others. A high point in his career came in 1976, when he conducted the American premiere of Massenet’s Marie Magdalene with Regine Crespin at Avery Fisher Hall.
In 1978, Mr. Morss led a production of the Marseilles Opera with Marton, Aragall and Wixell. At Tully Hall,1990, he conducted a concert version of Fidelio with original instruments, the first such performance of standard repertory opera in New York. He was appointed to his current post with NJAVO in 1995. He is also music director of the Lubo Opera Company (N.J.).
Admittance to the auction and preview will be a suggested $5 donation for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, in memory of Peter W. Chapulis, Tim’s late father. By the end of the year, Tim’s, Inc., will have raised about $50,000 for the charity, a fitting amount considering this is the 50th year anniversary of St. Jude's, which treats cancer patients regardless of their ability to pay. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital was founded by entertainer Danny Thomas.
Tim’s, Inc. is celebrating 33 years in business (1979-2012). The next big event after this will be the annual Cabin Fever Auction, slated for Sunday, March 25, at the firm's gallery in Bristol. Tim's, Inc., is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign an item, estate or collection, you may call Tim Chapulis at (860) 459-0964, or e-mail him at email@example.com. For additional information about Tim’s, Inc. and the Feb.25 on-site Anthony Morss estate sale, or the March 25 Cabin Fever Auction, please log on to www.timsauction.com.
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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.