Tim’s will hold its 17th annual Cabin Fever Auction on Saturday, March 28, at the Litchfield Firehouse on Route 202 in Litchfield, beginning at 11:30 a.m. “We call it the Cabin Fever Auction because folks need a good reason to come out of their homes at the end of winter,” Tim Chapulis said, “and we give one to them.”
The Cabin Fever Auction is easily Tim’s biggest and most important sale on its calendar. “It takes over a year of planning to pull off this one-day special event,” Mr. Chapulis said. “It’s a must for collectors, dealers, investors, decorators and homeowners.” The sale will feature fresh-to-the-market items from area homes, estates and private collections. A preview will be held the morning of the sale.
“In these uncertain times, when people are looking for a safe haven for their investments, it’s important that people take a good long look at quality antiques and collectibles,” Mr. Chapulis said. “They’ll always be there, until they need to be liquidated ten or twenty years down the road, and they will almost certainly have appreciated during that time. The same can’t be said for stocks and bonds.”
Over 500 lots will cross the block, in a wide array of categories. Items will include rare and vintage clocks; period furniture; antique lamps; coins and currency; rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia; artwork; music boxes, some of them quite rare; vintage clothing; vintage dolls; and more. A crowd of around 500 people (same as last year) is expected. Absentee and phone bids will be accepted, if pre-arranged.
There will be no online bidding component, and that was intentional. “We do things the old-fashioned way,” Mr. Chapulis remarked. “We sell to the room. We had success with that formula in the days before the Internet, and I see no need to change now. The idea is to get people out of their homes.” Images for many of the lots in the auction may be viewed on Tim’s website, at www.timsauction.com.
Vintage clocks will include a rare, large “Excelsior” crystal regulator made around 1880 by the Ansonia Clock Co. and featuring silver-colored glass crystal regulator, huge claw feet and an ornate dial; a Waterbury “Augusta” oak wall clock in mint condition; a pair of oversize Black Forest cuckoo clocks with monumental carvings, one spring-driven and one weight-driven; two rare Howard & Davis clocks, #1 and #2, both weight-driven, made in Boston, the largest sizes manufactured and the ones most coveted by collectors; and a miniature Vienna eight-day regulator, with single weight.
Other clocks include a rare 9-tube Gothic mahogany Walter Durfree grandfather clock, sold by Tiffany & Co. and marked on the dial, 101 inches tall; an Elmer O. Stennes grandfather clock with formal case, inlay and designs, one of the last made by Mr. Stennes before his untimely death in 1975; wall clocks, by makers like Seth Thomas and New Haven; an E. Howard (Boston) Regulator #5; a Boston Chelsea ship’s clock; and a rare Gilbert “Amphion” clock.
Furniture pieces include an exceedingly rare rococo office chair by John Henry Belter; a Victorian marble-top hunt board with carved game birds, grapes and original finish, possibly made by Mitchells & Rammelsberg (circa 1860); lots of nice Federal and Empire pieces; a handsome four-poster bed; a small-size secretary with acanthus-carved feet; a drop-front butler’s desk; mirrors; and more.
The rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia will feature items signed by guitar legend Les Paul, to include an RCA Victor record player with the horn signed in silver gel pen by Mr. Paul, Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde and renowned musicians Joe “Satch” Satriani, John Colianni, Lou Pollo, Tom Doyle, Christopher Lentz and Jay Leon Hart. Photos of the musicians signing are on timsauction.com.
Other items relating to Les Paul include a signed poster for his DVD; an Epiphone guitar signed by Paul, Wylde and Satriani; and a signed record album that also comes with a photo of Mr. Paul and his famous wife and former partner Mary Ford. Also offered will be a guitar signed by members of Jay and the Americans, to include Jay III (not Jay Black) and guitarist Marty Sanders.
Around 50 vintage lamps will come up for bid. One piece sure to juice the crowd is a large and unusual all-bronze original oil lamp with Victorian rose shade and oversize globe showing birds with an Oriental flair. The gorgeous piano lamp (or music room lamp) stands tall, at over six feet, and was produced by an unknown maker. Purists will like the fact that it is still oil and hasn’t been electrified.
Other lamps sure to light up the room include an all original oil lamp by Bradley & Hubbard; an original oil lamp with figural Majolica base; an electric desk lamp with painted, chipped ice shade; an original Fostoria Gone With the Wind lamp; six antique hanging leaded dome lamps, in varying shapes and sizes; and additional examples by Bradley & Hubbard (and E. Miller, both out of Meriden, Conn.).
Coins and currency lots will include the key date 1893-S (San Francisco) Morgan silver dollar; other 19th-century Morgan silver dollars minted in Carson City, Nev.; and thousand-dollar bills. Also sold will be an outstanding collection of early coin silver spoons, serving pieces, tongs and more, 250 pieces in total, all manufactured circa 1780-1820, by makers from Boston, Philadelphia and New York.
Vintage music boxes will feature a rare floor-standing record player that resembles a large wooden urn, with full stork heads as handles. The urn lifts up to reveal a record player, which is a wind-up model called the “Oxford,” made by the Munpler Corp. of New York. The unit has a black lacquered Oriental decorated finish and may be one of only three examples ever made.
Other lots from the category include an exceptional mahogany Stella music box with 23 15-/2-inch discs; a Regina music box in quarter-sawn oak with inlay and 26 15-1/2-inch discs; a 12-tune, 5-bells music box; an Edison “Gem” model cylinder record player; Edison record players; and an animated music box by F.A.O. Schwartz Toys in New York City.
Vintage clothing will include fur coats from Saks Fifth Avenue; a black and white dress made by Oscar de la Renta; and items from Chase & Co. (New Haven). Vintage dolls, some of them French (Venus Poupees) will also cross the block. And nautical buffs will be intrigued by the very unusual captain’s chair with ornate carved back showing an unknown ship’s initials.
Admission to the auction and preview will come in the form of a donation to the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, in memory of Peter W. Chapulis, Tim’s late father. To date, nearly $17,000 has been raised for the charity. Terms for the auction are a 15 percent buyer’s premium for cash and known checks, and 18 percent for all major credit cards. There will be a $50 charge for any returned checks.
The Litchfield Fire House is located at 258 West St. (Rte. 202) in Litchfield, Conn. The event will be catered by Don Giovanni Restaurant (please, no outside food or drink).
Tim’s, Inc., is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign an item, estate or collection, you may call them directly, at (860) 459-0964, or toll-free, (800) 255-8467. Or, you can e-mail them at [email protected].
Tim’s, Inc., is celebrating 30 years in the business (1979-2009). To learn more about the firm and the upcoming Cabin Fever Auction, and to view over 1,000 photos of the lots to be sold, you may log on to www.timsauction.com.
The mailing address is Tim’s, Inc., 1185 Farmington Ave., Bristol, CT 06010.