WILLOUGHBY, OH – Based in the Cleveland suburb of Willoughby, Milestone Auctions is a company on the rise. Co-owners Miles King and Chris Sammet have become increasingly well known for their traditional business values and youthful passion for tracking down antiques – a combination that goes a long way in their chosen profession. The fruits of their labor, not to mention their incessant global travels and networking, are prominently showcased in their annual New Year’s Spectacular Auction, which in 2017 takes place on Saturday, Jan. 14. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through MilestoneAuctions.com, LiveAuctioneers, Proxibid and AuctionZip.Several headliners will be jockeying for the top of prices realized, starting with Lot 150, a 1045ozt silver bar recovered from the shipwrecked Nuestra Senora de Atocha, the most famous of a fleet of Spanish ships that sank in 1622 off the Florida Keys. Heavily laden with gold, silver, copper, precious gems and commodities, the ship disappeared after being struck by a powerful hurricane, and its bounty of riches lay submerged for more than 360 years before being discovered by Mel Fisher’s treasure-divers in 1985. The silver bar in Milestone’s auction is one of the larger bars recovered from the wreck and has the appropriate cartouches, markings and assayer’s bite. A remarkable piece of maritime history from the most valuable shipwreck ever found, it comes with a certificate of authenticity from Treasure Salvors Inc., and is estimated at $30,000-$50,000.
An art-world treasure of museum quality, Guy Carleton Wiggins’ (American, 1883-1962) oil-on-canvas titled Connecticut Harvest Scene is almost certainly one of the largest works ever painted by the artist. The atmospheric depiction of pumpkins and bundled sheaves against an autumn landscape measures a monumental 88 by 62 inches framed (72 by 48 inches sight). Artist-signed and in excellent original condition, it is expected to fetch a price in the $30,000-$50,000 range.
Three Louis Vuitton suitcases owned by World War II hero General Douglas MacArthur will be auctioned in successive lots (156 through158). Each is personalized with yellow and green stripes and the initials “MacA” monogrammed alongside the handles. The lots have provenance from the Max Collier Veterans Administration, Washington; and come with COAs from the Louis Vuitton Museum in Paris. Each suitcase is estimated at $6,000-$10,000. They are immediately followed by MacArthur’s rare leg-o-mutton shape shotgun case made to house a model with a 28-inch barrel. The case has a side pocket with a brass tag engraved “D. MacA.” Estimate: $1,000-$3,000
A quintessential example of fine Americana, Lot 300 is a cigar store Indian maiden figure attributed to master carver Samuel Robb. The 60-inch-tall maiden holds a carved container of cigars in the palm of her left hand and a rose – known to be a trademark feature Robb included to honor his late wife– in her right hand. The auction estimate is $20,000-$40,000.
Milestone has a loyal following worldwide among collectors of antique toys and games. The selection assembled for the Jan. 14 sale includes a true rarity: a bowling automaton with three bisque-head figures. Patented in 1907 by Otto Eichenberger of Switzerland with the assistance of Leon Brock in New York, the large and intricate automaton with multiple actions replicates one of the most popular leisure pursuits of the early 20th century. The machine depicts two gents – one of them poised to roll one of several steel bowling balls down a lane toward skittle pins; the other content to sit on a barrel and watch as he smokes his pipe. A third figure emerges to reset the pins and return the balls to the bowler. Both beautiful and ingenious in its design, the automaton carries a pre-sale estimate of $10,000-$20,000.
Bidders can take time out for “The Pause That Refreshes” when Lot 241 crosses the auction block. The rare 10-cent Coca-Cola Vendo 44 upright vending machine is one of the most desirable of all Coke-dispensing units. Made around the 1950s and in all-original condition, it’s ready to serve up a frosty beverage. Estimate: $1,000-$3,000
The amusements continue with Lot 301, an early, upright 10-cent Mutoscope machine in a handsome oak case. When a dime is deposited, the machine plays the movie Why Pearl Left Home For The Big City. Standing 68 inches tall and with an elaborate pictorial marquee, it even retains its original key. It could reach $2,000-$4,000 at auction.
The sale line-up includes many examples of rare advertising, such as Lot 341: the circa-1900 trade sign from the headquarters of the M.P. Moller Pipe Organ Company. Made of copper and steel with gold-leaf overlay, the sign depicts the firm’s famous logo of organ pipes with decorative scrollwork. All original, it comes with a custom-built display stand and supportive paperwork. Estimate: $1,000-$2,000
Lot 398 is ready to leap across the podium at a moment’s notice. It’s a gorgeous C.W. Parker carved carousel jumper horse with inset jewels. The colorful steed is entered in the sale with a $1,000-$2,000 estimate.
The 598-lot New Year’s Auction offering is rounded out by many other popular categories, including figural cast-iron doorstops, petroliana, mechanical music, early posters, old telephones, ham radios, antique store cabinets, dolls, toy vehicles, stoneware advertising rolling pins and jugs; and many other novelties of every possible description.
The Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017 auction starts at 10 a.m. Eastern Time. Address: 3860 Ben Hur Ave., Unit 8, Willoughby, OH 44094. For additional information call 440-527-8060 or email email@example.com. Online: www.milestoneauctions.com