Astounding 5-pound pearl will be centerpiece of massive Sept. 11-13 estate sale

OCEANSIDE, N.Y. – An incredible, 5-pound pearl – measuring six inches in diameter and bearing an uncanny resemblance to a human brain – is just one of hundreds of intriguing lots that will cross the block at a massive, three-day estate sale slated for the weekend of Sept. 11-13 by Philip Weiss Auctions. The sale will be held in the firm’s Oceanside gallery.

The authenticated, naturally occurring pearl is one of the largest specimens of its kind ever discovered and documented. It was found in the waters off the Philippines, in the giant clam Tridacna Gigas. A team of expert gemologists analyzed the pearl using digital radiography, close magnification and data provided by a hand-held X-Ray fluorescence (XRF) unit. It was authenticated by EGL USA.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime look at one of nature’s most unique treasures,” said Mitch Jacubovic, director of EGL USA. “A pearl this size is not only one of the largest ones we’ve ever seen, it is among the largest pearls ever seen anywhere.” David Bidwell, a senior appraiser with Universal Gemological Services, called it “clearly one of the most valuable pearls of its kind in the world today.”

While the pearl is certain to garner much attention, it is far from being the only compelling lot to be offered. Well over 1,000 fresh-to-the-market items in a wide array of categories will come under the gavel over the course of the three days. A packed house is expected, but bidders unable to attend live will be able to participate online, through Absentee and phone bids will also be accepted.

The first session, on Sept. 11, starting at 4 p.m., will feature more than 600 lots of toy soldiers, to include Courtenays, Britains, Mignots, Manoils, Barclays and a great single-owner collection of rare Elastolins. Also sold will be toy soldiers from the Bill Christensen collection, to include large group lots and boxed sets of Mignots. Additional quality consignments were being added at press time.

Then, on Sept. 12, beginning promptly at 10 a.m., items from dozens of estates will come up for bid, to include toys, toy trains and general collectibles. Highlights promise to be several estate collections of Lionel trains (many circa 1940s-‘60s, with the original boxes), mixed toy lots (to include 1950s-‘60s Baby Boomer toys), and two great original Peanuts comic strips by Charles Schulz.

On Sept. 13, also beginning at 10 a.m., over 600 lots will be offered (to include the pearl). Clocks will also be sold, to include a 21 1/2-inch Boulle mantel clock with brass plates engraved “Gaudron Paris” and with inlaid metal and mother of pearl, a Joseph Knibb lantern clock, Black Forest clocks, a Lemaire mantel clock and additional mantel clocks, table clocks and larger grandfather clocks.

Fine art – much of it by noted, listed artists – will be served up in abundanceincluding  a Picasso signed lithograph, a Dali signed etching, a Dufy etching, an Albert Marquis group of pen-and-ink drawings, a Renoir etching, a Kollwitz signed lithograph, a Cosway painting on ivory, Chinese silk paintings, and other works by Jan Borselen, J. Schiefer, Joseph Menkes, A.N. Allen, Negulesco, Pike, Hulsmann, Elbik, Troyon, Barber, Mora, Vertes, and dozens of others.

Porcelains and decorative accessories will feature a super collection of Boehm Birds, Dorothy Doughty, Sevres urns, large Black Forest bear hall stands, and a wonderful collection of art glass and pottery, to include Ridgway, Mettlach Charger, Durand, Legras, Marblehead, Loetz, Sumida Gawa, Weller, Sunderland Lustre, Majolica, J.B. Owens, Roseville, North Dakota School, and other pieces.

Also to be sold will be a sterling silver collection, an Auguste Moreau bronze, a McCarten bronze, a Vilanis bronze, a Barbedienne bas relief, a porcelain box by D. Teniers, an H.H. Paul bronze, a Jacques Coinchon bronze, a Picard signed bronze candelabra, a Percy Portsmouth marble statue, and additional marble sculptures and bronze pieces.

Rounding out the day’s expected top lots will be large decorative pieces from a Long Island estate, a running horse antique weathervane, a folk art tin fish, lamps (to include Moe Bridges and Bradley Hubbard), a remarkable 19th century Russian icon, a Feodor Ruckert salt box, early historic samplers, a great pair of stained glass windows and many other quality consignments.

Philip Weiss Auctions is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign an item, an estate or an entire collection, you may call them directly at 516-594-0731, or you can e-mail them at To learn more about the company and its calendar of upcoming sales visit

Photos courtesy Philip Weiss Auctions.