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One of the reasons that the PBS Antiques Roadshow and many other antique and auction related shows are so popular is because of the treasures that turn up in people’s homes. My previous columns on local estate finds have generated some of the most interest. I thought that I’d share some more stories of items that we’ve found in estates that we’ve handled. Along with handling estates from all of the New England states, we’ve either picked up or had people ship us items from the states of Washington, Kentucky, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
One of the first, and perhaps best, estates that we handled when I became a full time auctioneer belonged to a World War II veteran. There was the widest range of antiques and collectibles that I have ever encountered. The home was very large and every room was packed with treasures. Pieces ranged from the mid-1800’s through the 1960’s. Furniture was mainly from the Victorian era in the late 1800’s. There were two fireplace mantles. The carving on one was exceptional and it brought over $1000 at auction. There were bookcases and china cabinets that also brought in the $1000 range. We found a small glass bud vase in a china cabinet that was only about 4” tall. Closer inspection showed that it was marked LCT on the bottom. It was produced by world renowned glass maker Louis Comfort Tiffany and was created in his “pulled feather” design. Despite the small size, it brought over $1000. This house also had a very early electric fan worthy of a museum. Bidding took off and the fan brought around $1500.
Although they weren’t the most valuable items in the estate, I found some of the original photographs from the estate to be the most fascinating. There were black and white photographs of his military service in the Pacific Theatre. There were also some great photos of the 1939 New York World’s Fair. The Trylon and Perisphere were the centerpieces of this exposition whose theme was based on the future. The photos made you feel that you were there, depicting scenes throughout the fair. The photos began with the futuristic Greyhound tram that brought patrons through the fair to some of the attractions and exhibits.
There was a collection of phonograph related items including several Edison cylinder players and a rare National Berliner gramophone that sold for over $6000 and the gramophone records that it played with many selling for over $100 each.
We also found a painting by Joseph Greenwood, the great local impressionist painter. His paintings depict many local scenes and landmarks including Mount Wachusett. We’ve sold several of his paintings and they typically sell for over $2000.
Almost everything in the home was antique from the Limoges dinnerware and Sterling silver flatware to the lamps and linen.
Not every estate and home has such a large and diverse amount of quality antiques. We also handle many smaller estates and collections. It’s a wonderful feeling when we can write a check for a consignor with many valuables for five figures. It’s also nice to help others with fewer items to “find a little money” and make their lives a little better.
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.