I’m often called upon by an attorney, trustee or executor/executrix to handle the sale of an estate.
We may also write an appraisal for the estate when needed. We sell items that will attract a wide range of bidders, sell non-antiques in an estate sale, donate items and do clean-outs. We do as many or as few of these methods as needed for that particular estate
There are times when we have the opportunity to sell some incredible pieces and items fetch high prices at auction. It’s always a great feeling to send a check to a consignor whose items brought them an unexpected windfall!
I had the pleasure of meeting an older gentleman at a flea market many years ago. He, unfortunately, passed away a few years later. His daughter asked me to sell some of the items that he collected. He was raised in Boston and collected many items related to the Boston area. There were advertising items dating back to the 1800’s. A presentation fire trumpet from the Great Boston Fire brought $2,800 and a Boston made leather fire helmet brought nearly $1,000. We also sold a post-Civil War surgeon’s kit that brought nearly $1,800. In my opinion, the nicest piece in his collection was a sealskin coat that Admiral Byrd had worn on one of his expeditions. Byrd spent his later years in Boston. The coat brought $3,850.
About 10 years ago, not long after I became an auctioneer, I was asked to sell a large collection of items. Most were from the 1940’s or later and most were in their original boxes. There was everything from small appliances to toys. Two large truckloads were needed to empty everything. The consigner was pleased to get the area cleaned out and especially happy after the auction to receive a five-figure check for the contents.
Recently, that consigner referred me to someone in western Massachusetts. They were moving from a large home to a smaller residence. We sold a painting by a European artist that drew a great deal of interest. We had multiple people bidding by telephone from Europe. When the bidding ended, it brought over $8,000. A circa 1700’s Asian bronze figure sold to a West Coast bidder for over $3,000 and a silver flute sold to a phone bidder for over $2,500.
Our next auction looks to be just as exciting! My last article on the sale of the contents of the former Auburn gas station generated the most inquiries that I’ve ever received. The steel building at 17 Southbridge St. is a local landmark. It is about the size of a garden shed and I’ve heard from some perspective bidders who would like to buy it and move it to their homes. We also have some automobile related signs that we will be selling in our Sept. 26 auction.
Coincidentally, this week we were also commissioned to sell a great piece of automotive history in that sale in the same Sept. 26 sale. It’s a 1941 Chrysler Saratoga automobile in wonderful condition (pictured). The owner hasn’t driven it in three years. It looks great with no rust. We have pictures on our website. When next year’s “Cars of Summer” or “Summer Nationals” takes place, you could be behind the wheel of an antique car instead of watching them pass by!
If you have any questions about antique auctions and estate sales, call Wayne Tuiskula, Auctioneer/Appraiser at 508-612-6111 or email us today.
Our articles are published in the Webster Times, Spencer New Leader, Auburn News, Blackstone Valley Tribune, Charlton Villager, Killingly Villager, Putnam Villager, Sturbridge Villager, Thompson Villager and Woodstock Villager.