ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The lifetime collection of Robert and Harriett Potter – a vast accumulation of fire fighting memorabilia and other items, spanning 50-plus years – will be sold Oct. 5-7, 2012 by Showtime Auction Services. The collection crosses the block along with more than 2,000 lots of investment-grade antiques and collectibles.
Also offered will be Part 2 of the outstanding lifetime pedal car and toy collection of Ed and Christie Ramsey (Part 1 was sold by Showtime March 30-April 1). Another headliner will be Session 5 of one of the best tobacco and cigar tin collections ever offered at auction. Other items culled from select collections and estates across the country will also sell.
The auction will showcase a galaxy of items, certain to appeal to just about any collector, from the novice to the seasoned veteran. In addition to toys, pedal cars, fire fighting memorabilia and tobacco and cigar tin items, there will be country store, barber shop, a very rare salesman’s sample collection, saloon, gambling, coin-op, advertising signs, cash registers and more.
Also offered will be music items (to include a Fairground band organ), many lamps (to include Tiffany, Handel and Pairpoint), farm-related items, elaborate early American furniture, showcases, a doctor’s and dentist’s cabinet (both pre-1900), rare weather vanes and more. The toys will feature pressed steel and Chein tin examples, as well as rare Fisher-Price toys and more.
One of the nearly dozen fire apparatus pieces in the sale will be a 1922 Bull Nose Mack fire chemical ladder truck (estimate $25,000-$50,000). Vehicles of the toy variety will include a circa 1920s Gendron Willys Knight Pioneer line pedal car in all original condition ($5,000-$10,000); and a Toledo Buick pressed steel toy car in excellent shape ($10,000-$15,000).
Music-related lots will feature an 1899 Symphonium Eroica triple disc music box ($15,000-$30,000); and a Wurlitzer Model 81 jukebox on the original Model 810 Mae West stand ($7,500-$1,500). Rare slices of Americana will include an 1880s Samuel Robb cigar store Indian ($50,000-$75,000); and an 1890s running deer weather vane ($5,000-$15,000).
Two items certain to wow the crowd are a very rare 1900 Koch’s salesman’s sample barber chair ($35,000-$50,000); and an equally scarce Buerger Brothers straight razor display (“The Nymph”), one of four straight razor displays in the auction. An advertising sign of note is the 1924 Johnson Drug Store leaded glass and jeweled trade sign ($5,000-$15,000).
Cigar tins will be served up in abundance (about 200 in all). A rare Home Run cigar tin is expected to fetch $3,000-$7,500. Lamps will also be plentiful, with names such as Pairpoint, Handel and Pittsburg. A rare Tiffany lamp with both shade and base marked should hit $10,000-$15,000. Also, a No. 6 National Cash Register with oak base is expected to make $3,500-$4,500.
Rounding out just some of the auction’s anticipated top earners: a large Pierce Cycles advertising banner measuring 41 inches by 85 inches should realize $5,000-$10,000; a Charles Fey dice spinner in excellent working condition carries a pre-sale estimate of $5,000-$10,000; and a rare Mills Novelty Co. 5-cent “Baseball” slot machine is expected to reach $3,000-$6,000.
The first day of the auction, Oct. 5, will be a live audience-only session, featuring 600 lots. Days two and three (Saturday, Oct. 6, and Sunday, Oct. 7) will feature live and Internet bidding (facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com and iCollector.com). Absentee and phone bids will also be accepted.
Showtime Auction Services’ next three-day event is scheduled for the weekend of March 29-31, 2013.
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