Silver salvaged from 1622 shipwreck headlining Jan. 14 sale

WILLOUGHBY, Ohio – Several headliners in Milestone Auctions’ Jan. 14 auction will be jockeying for the top of prices realized. A 1045ozt silver bar recovered from a shipwreck dating to 1622 is drawing serious attention ahead of the sale.

Based in the Cleveland suburb of Willoughby, Milestone Auctions is a company on the rise. Co-owners Miles King and Chris Sammet bring traditional business values and youthful passion. Their incessant global travels and networking are prominent in their annual New Year’s Spectacular Auction.

Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through MilestoneAuctions.com, LiveAuctioneers, Proxibid and AuctionZip.

Shipwreck Salvage in Spotlight

The silver bar vying for top lot status is from the shipwreck of the Nuestra Senora de Atocha, the

Silver bar

Silver bar, weighing 1045ozt from the 1622 shipwreck of Nuestra Senora de Atocha ($30,000-$50,000). (All photos courtesy of Milestone Auctions)

most famous of a fleet of Spanish ships that sank in 1622 off the Florida Keys. Until discovery in 1985, the ship and bounty of riches, including gold, silver, copper, precious gems and commodities resided in the ocean for 360 years. The silver bar on offer in Milestone’s auction is one of the largest of the shipwreck, and features appropriate cartouches, markings and assayer’s bite. A remarkable piece of maritime history from the most valuable shipwreck ever found, it comes with a certificate of authenticity from Treasure Salvors Inc., and is estimated at $30,000-$50,000.

Guy Carleton Wiggins’ (American, 1883-1962) oil-on-canvas “Connecticut Harvest Scene” is almost certainly one of the largest works by the artist. The atmospheric depiction of pumpkins and bundled sheaves against an autumn landscape measures a monumental 88 by 62 inches framed (72 by 48 inches sight). Artist-signed and in excellent original condition, it is expected to fetch a price in the $30,000-$50,000 range.

WWII Gen. Suitcases Set to Sell

Three Louis Vuitton suitcases of World War II hero General Douglas MacArthur will be auctioned in successive lots (156 through158). Each is personalized with yellow and green stripes and “MacA” monogrammed alongside the handles. The lots have provenance from the Max Collier Veterans Administration, Washington; and come with COAs from the Louis Vuitton Museum in Paris. Each bear an estimate of $6,000-$10,000. MacArthur’s rare leg-o-mutton shape shotgun case made to house a model with a 28-inch barrel will follow. The case has a side pocket with a brass tag engraved “D. MacA.” Estimate: $1,000-$3,000

A quintessential example of fine Americana, Lot 300 is a cigar store Indian maiden figure attributed to master carver Samuel Robb. The 60-inch-tall maiden holds a carved container of cigars in the palm of her left hand and a rose – known to be a trademark feature Robb included to honor his late wife– in her right hand. The auction estimate is $20,000-$40,000.

Bowling Automation Aiming to top $10,000

Bowling automation

Early 20th century Otto Eichenberger & Leon Brock bowling automation, multiple actions, crank activated ($10,000-$20,000)

The selection of toys and games assembled for the Jan. 14 sale includes a true rarity: a bowling automaton with three bisque-head figures. Patented in 1907 by Otto Eichenberger of Switzerland with the assistance of Leon Brock in New York, the large and intricate automaton with multiple actions replicates one of the most popular leisure pursuits of the early 20th century. The machine depicts two gents – one of them poised to roll one of several steel bowling balls down a lane toward skittle pins; the other content to sit on a barrel and watch as he smokes his pipe. A third figure emerges to reset the pins and return the balls to the bowler. The automaton carries a pre-sale estimate of $10,000-$20,000.

Lot 241 is all about “The Pause That Refreshes”. The rare 10-cent Coca-Cola Vendo 44 upright vending machine is one of the most desirable of all Coke-dispensing units. Made around the 1950s and in all-original condition, it’s ready to serve up a frosty beverage. Estimate: $1,000-$3,000

The amusements continue with Lot 301, an early, upright 10-cent Mutoscope machine in a handsome oak case. The machine plays the movie Why Pearl Left Home For The Big City. Standing 68 inches tall and with an elaborate pictorial marquee, it even retains its original key. It could reach $2,000-$4,000 at auction.

Sights Set on Trade Signs

The sale line-up includes many examples of rare advertising, including a circa-1900 trade sign from the headquarters of the M.P. Moller Pipe Organ Company. Made of copper and steel with gold-leaf overlay, the sign depicts the firm’s famous logo of organ pipes with decorative scrollwork. All original, it comes with a custom-built display stand and supportive paperwork. Estimate: $1,000-$2,000

The 598-lot New Year’s Auction offering is rounded out by many other popular categories, including figural cast-iron doorstops, petroliana, mechanical music, early posters, old telephones, ham radios, antique store cabinets, dolls, toy vehicles, stoneware advertising rolling pins and jugs; and many other novelties of every possible description.

For additional information call 440-527-8060 or email info@milestoneauctions.com, or visit www.milestoneauctions.com.

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