BRISTOL, Conn. – An aggressive bidder from New York stepped up to the plate and slammed one out of the park by purchasing an actual 1996 New York Yankees World Series ring once owned by former ballplayer Rey Quinones for $15,600. The sale took place during the 20th annual Cabin Fever Auction held March 25, 2012 by Tim’s, Inc.
Quinones was a shortstop who played for three teams from 1986-1989 (the Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners and Pittsburgh Pirates). He held an administrative position with the Yankees in the 1996 season, entitling him to a ring. It was a beauty, featuring 1.5 ounces of gold, 23 brilliant round cut diamonds (one for each Yankee championship team) plus a faux sapphire.
The ring was the top lot of the nearly 750 items that crossed the block in a sale that Tim Chapulis – owner of Tim’s, Inc. – described as one of the best Cabin Fever Auctions ever. “Interest in this year’s sale was way up compared to last year,” he said. “We started selling at 12 noon and didn’t quit ’til after midnight. It was a marathon sale packed with quality merchandise.”
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a buyer’s premium pf 15 percent for cash purchases, 18 percent for known checks and 20 percent for winning Internet bidders.
The first 18 lots to come up for bid were a blend of graded and raw ungraded St. Gaudens gold coins, and that set the tone for the rest of the day. “We knew we were going to have a great sale up front because of all the many gold and silver coins,” Chapulis said. “It didn’t hurt that the value of precious metals continues to climb.” The St. Gaudens coins averaged over $2,000 each.
The last three lots of the sale were also gold coins: a pair of half-ounce American eagles ($1,080) and a one-ounce American eagle ($1,770). “We had Internet bidders who stayed up past midnight to bid on those coins,” Chapulis said with a laugh. Other coins that did well included an 1889 –CC Morgan silver dollar ($1,897.50), and a Civil War-era 1861 $5 Coronet coin ($1,610).
Coins weren’t the only items that coaxed people out of their long winter hibernation. The auction also featured rare and vintage guitars (some of them signed), antique clocks (by some of the most renowned named in early colonial clockmaking), Oriental estate carpets, furniture (to include a monumental oak carved two-door glass collector’s cabinet that hit $5,310), and more.
The clocks featured a Silas B. Terry (Plymouth, Conn.) keyhole-shaped clock, 25 inches tall ($2,300), an uncommon and large rosewood E.N. Welch (Forestville, Conn.) wall regulator weight driven clock from circa 1880s ($2,242), a Jerome & Darrow (Bristol, Conn.) pillar and scroll clock ($1,200), and a circa-1856 Elmer Stennis banjo clock with original glasses ($2,012).
Vintage guitars included a Gibson Byrdland model from around 1960 ($8,625), a Gibson Hummingbird guitar from the same era ($2,300), and a vintage guitar signed by members of the iconic ‘60s rock band Iron Butterfly ($604). Proceeds from the sale of that guitar, plus other items in the auction, went to benefit St. Jude Research Children’s Hospital, based in Memphis.
Returning to coins, other lots included a complete set of Mercury head dimes that featured the key date 1916-D date ($1,150), a 1900 choice uncirculated Berber quarter ($1,080), an 1898 Barber 10-cent coin ($1,230), a roll of year 2000 one-ounce American pure silver eagle coins ($990), a similar roll from 1987 ($1,080), and many $5 Indian and Liberty head gold coins.
Rounding out the day’s top lots were a pair of Ponsin circa-1700 continental European flintlock dueling pistols ($6,325), a beautiful lacquered music box purchased by an online bidder in California for a buyer overseas ($1,620), a pair of stuffed wolves from a restaurant in the Carolinas ($600 each), and a gorgeous but damaged Kerman rug with a large hole in it ($4,425).
Admittance to the auction came in the form of a suggested $10 donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, in memory of Peter W. Chapulis, Tim’s late father. “The outpour of support was tremendous,” Tim said. “Many people gave more than we asked. This year we’ve raised over $45,000 for the charity. The goal is to reach $50,000 for 2012, St. Jude’s 50th year.”
For additional information, visit Tim’s, Inc.