Monday, September 23, 2013


The best stuff just keeps on rolling in!  Our November 19th Sale is shaping up to be exactly what I had hoped for Thanksgiving in America's Hometown.  Months ago I thought a sale centered around as many local items as possible would generate some excitement.  When I say local, I mean Plymouth, Massachusetts and New England,  things connected with our Pilgrim past and of course artifacts left by Native Americans.  

An old collection of pre contact stone arrowheads and tools found in Plymouth came through our doors.  A stone mortar and pestle was my favorite along with some magnificent quartz bird points.  Continuing with this theme, a 1682 land grant to Plymouth Colony from a Wampanoag Sachem, for land in Yarmouth was consigned for November's sale.  Another rare piece of Americana is an 1818 Proclamation from Massachusetts Governor John Brooks in an exceptional state of preservation.  

A large group of Currier and Ives Lithographs has also come in, including a very apropos "Pilgrims Landing at Plymouth".  A grouping of early 20th Century Plymouth souvenir porcelain plates and pitchers, along with sterling silver spoons followed.  These lots were accompanied by a great collection of kitchen primitives including some 18th Century wrought iron!  

With two months before the sale, I cant wait to see what we uncover in the attics and basements of the Old Colony,  we will keep you posted.  As always looking forward to seeing you at the auction.

Thursday, September 12, 2013


The crew looked sharp, the lighting was perfect, the hall was decked and the crowd pulsing with optimistic energy, even the weather was a ten!  After my pre flight Patron shot (a theatrical superstition), I was thrilled to take the stage.  Three hours and 241 lots later I felt a feeling of gratitude wash over me as a brilliant evening began to wind down.  

What a strong sale!  To me the highlight of any auction is the unexpected result.  Our pair of Jerusalem Bezalel Torah Finials filled the starring role, hammered at $30,000 three times high estimate with fierce competition from three bidders, one on the phone from Israel.  It is amazing Today, how technology allows us to project our consignments to a global audience.

The collection of 19th Century Canton Porcelain had a strong showing as the lots topped our high estimates and saw great action on the floor.  Militaria was another extremely strong category.  The collection of Cavalry swords saw action, selling to the floor, phones and left bidders.  The Civil war Starr Carbine rose to $1,500 and a pair of World War One Grenades fetched a stunning $750.  I just love selling military items as they just draw the interest of the crowd like no other category. 

I am very thankful to all of those wonderful people whose hard work makes these sales a success!  My crew is simply the best, everything ran smoothly and flawlessly.  Thanks to the management and employees of Memorial Hall, New England Bartending Service and Chef Steven Coe.  Thank you to everyone who came out for the sale, I appreciate your business and enthusiasm.  Our next sale is scheduled for November 19th, at 6:00 P.M. at 83 Court Street, Plymouth, MA.

Sunday, September 1, 2013


This business, like many others, looks easy from the outside in.  It seems a simple recipe: you get a bunch of interesting stuff together (art, furniture, antiques and the like), advertise the sale, mix them all together in a hall and sell it off to a mob of people.  It always looked this simple when I attended sales.  Technology seems to make this process even easier.  Throw some pictures up online and get an even bigger crowd!

When I embarked on this career, I had no idea of the complexities and frankly the hard work which goes into this business.  As this idea took form in my head, I didn't even dream that I would spend entire days with a digital camera, solving problems like: How do I photograph a mirror straight on without a reflection of god forbid me in the picture (I am still trying to solve this), or spending twenty minutes removing lint from a black background.  Another action which never entered my dream was six hours of stickers.  That's right, six hours of placing lot stickers on 300 items, from jewelry to rugs, from furniture to paintings.

This seemingly endless work does offer a compelling reward: an endless treasure hunt!  From a basement in New Bedford akin to Silence of the Lambs which yielded a dozen early 19th Century books, including a rare "History of the Hawaiian Islands", by Jarves, published 1848 in Honolulu and a salty looking "American Ship Master's Guide", by Francis Clarke, Boston 1838.  These books looked to have been in situ since the 19th Century, when square rigged whalers ruled that seafaring town.  This call demonstrates the wonderful diversity I see, as the books came along with a stunning Peter Hunt sideboard and four chairs.

Another reward in this business are the simple challenges.  Climbing a rickety ladder and removing a Deco light fixture, cutting through fabric wrapped wires strung in the 30's all the while praying, "God I hope I cut the juice on the correct switch in the Medieval looking fuse box".  But when the fixture is freed, I am thrilled just knowing that it will become another great lot in our next sale.  

Every call I go out on is completely unique.   Some calls can be frustrating when I find nothing of merit and calculate the dinosaurs burned to get there and back.  Sometimes the people I meet are the best part of the experience.  Often the people can make an everyday object exponentially more interesting by telling the story behind it.  I'm not talking about the Hummel that was Grandma's favorite, I'm talking about the gentleman handing me the 1st Marines uniform he personally wore on Guadalcanal fighting the Japanese in 1942.

All the hard work which goes into every sale is laid bare for all to see on auction day.  Our team is made up of truly talented and hard working people and I am grateful for them.  I am so lucky to do this for a living, I love my job and can't wait to see you on September 10th at 6:00 P.M.