Antiques, collectibles auction will benefit completion of the Litchfield Firehouse


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Pair of turn-of-the-century silver spoons, along with a letter written by the sender (John P. Kennedy).


LITCHFIELD, Conn. – A major auction to help finish the interior of the new addition to the Litchfield Firehouse will be held Nov. 21, beginning at 5 p.m. at the firehouse, located at 258 West Street. The auction will be conducted by Tim’s, Inc., of nearby Bristol. The sale will feature sports cards, coins and stamps, rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia, artwork, autographed items, collectibles and more.

“This will be no average fundraising auction,” said Tim Chapulis of Tim’s, Inc., himself a resident of Litchfield. “The items gathered for this event have been drawn from private homes, family estates, important collections and even the contents of a safety deposit box. In many ways it will be a somewhat smaller version of our Cabin Fever Auction, held every spring at the Litchfield Firehouse.”

The two-story, 2,150-square-foot brick addition to the existing firehouse was started in April and the shell was completed at the end of August, but it is only 90 percent complete. Much is still needed to complete the job, and that’s where the auction comes in.

The money raised will go toward interior walls, heating and air conditioning, electricity and phone service, insulation, carpeting, furniture, artwork and other decorations and appointments that will make the current shell habitable. “The work will take six months to complete,” said James Koser, Litchfield’s Fire Chief. “We’d like to stud the walls and install the plumbing within three weeks of the auction.”

The first hour of the sale (from 5-6 p.m.) will be dedicated to sports cards, coins and stamp collections. The antiques and other items will follow, starting at 6 p.m. The contents of the safety deposit box includes estate jewelry, like a stunning 1-carat single stone lady’s diamond ring, appraised at over $5,000, an antique gold man’s gold pocket watch in a hunter’s case, and estate gold and silver jewelry.

Also sure to get paddles wagging is an outstanding group of rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia items.
Included in the group is a guitar signed by members of the rock group Jay and the Americans; a Martin Sigma folk guitar signed by Merle Haggard, Toby Keith, Lyle Lovett, Kris Kristofferson, group members of Trick Pony and others; sheet music signed by the late guitar legend Les Paul, with matching framed record; and a Les Paul-signed poster for his CD Chasing the Sound with an accompanying DVD.

Other rock ‘n’ roll items include a photo signed by five of the six members of The Marshall Tucker Band; a red Mercedes-Benz Jim Beam whiskey bottle, unopened, signed by Jay and the Americans; a Telecaster model guitar signed by Willie Nelson and Les Paul; and a 78 RPM record and photo of ‘50s icons Bill Haley and the Comets, signed by Haley and members of the group. Also offered will be a pair of Charles A. Lindbergh autographs, both signed and dated 1972, when the famed aviator was nearing the end of his life.

A private collection of approximately 20 pieces of Hitchcock furniture (a defunct Connecticut manufacturer) will include a tall chest of drawers with cherry finish and stenciled design; a Harvest pattern bed; a Queen Anne lowboy; an entertainment cabinet for TV and stereo; and a table with four matching chairs with stenciled decoration. “It can’t be overstated how beautiful Hitchcock furniture is,” Mr. Chapulis said.

Also sold will be a collection of sports memorabilia, to include a photo and framed baseball card signed by Mickey Mantle; multiple lots of baseball and sports cards; collectible baseball plates; and wall plaques, figurines and statues. The auction will also feature a Regina oak music box with 30 discs, in original finish, and another cylinder music box (circa 1880s) with bells and butterflies and bees inlay and other decorations, in a rosewood inlaid case.

Vintage clocks scheduled to cross the block include a Howard Miller signed on the dial 3-weight grandfather clock that plays music, an Atmos clock, an unusual wall-hanging gingerbread-style clock in a carved oak case, other antique wall clocks and more. Also auctioned will be Oriental carpets (some of them Persian, all high quality) and some striking, clear Arts and Crafts period leaded glass windows with nice designs.

Bidders will also be treated to an unusual collection of approximately 250 pieces of early coin 800 silver flatware and spoons dating to the 18th century, much of it made in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Coins will feature a collection of proof uncirculated U.S. American Eagle silver coins (1986 to near-present), Indian Head gold coins (1909 $5, a pair of 1913 $2 1/2; 1928 $2 1/2, 1910 $2 1/2, 1914 $2 1/2, 1929 $2 1/2), silver Mercury dimes, silver dollars, Walking Liberty half-dollars and Franklin half-dollars. Also sold will be two big stamp albums and a boxful of stamps from another collection.

From a prominent Litchfield home, the following items will be sold: a 2-piece Queen Anne highboy, a 2-piece secretary desk, early lighting (to include very nice Victorian-era banquet lamps, two of them signed Bradley & Hubbard, in original oil, with ball shades with flower decorations and champleve enameling), and a monumental 7+-foot tall oil portrait by the noted, listed artist (and one-time Litchfield resident) Roland Lee Anderson (1929-2002). Mr. Anderson was famous as a painter of judges’ portraits. The portrait to be sold, executed in 1966 of an unknown subject, was reportedly used as a prop in a movie. (Which movie is a riddle that perhaps one of you readers may be able to solve.)

Rounding out the list of top lots: a collection of early black and white photos, some depicting Thomaston and Plymouth, Conn., and some featuring GAR (Grand Army Republic) soldiers; a Stanton Hall pattern Meeks lady’s chair, laminated in rosewood (circa 1860s); a 1950s-era red Coca-Cola cooler; and a leather-bound copy of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick (Random House, 1930), desirable to collectors because it was illustrated by Rockwell Kent. A preview will be held two hours before auction, from 3-5 p.m., when all lots may be viewed.

For more information visit www.timsauction.com. To inquire about consigning an item or collection, or donating goods or services for the auction, call Tim Chapulis at 860-459-0964, or toll-free, 800-255-8467. Or, you can e-mail him at tims.inc@snet.net.

Photos courtesy Tim’s, Inc.


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More Images:

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Vintage cylinder music box (circa 1880s), with bells and butterflies and bees inlay, in rosewood case.
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Collection of proof uncirculated U.S. American Eagle silver coins (1986 to near-present).
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Auctioneer Tim Chapulis with a monumental two-piece Queen Anne bonnet-top high boy from a local estate.
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Auctioneer Tim Chapulis with a guitar signed by the members of the rock group Jay & the Americans.
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Auctioneer Tim Chapulis next to an enormous portrait executed by Roland Lee Anderson (1929-2002).
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Victorian-era walnut parlor clock produced by a Connecticut clock maker sometime in the 1880s.

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