Houston gallery planning “Once in a Lifetime Country Store Auction”

By Holly Rotenberry

HOUSTON, Texas – Antique auctioneers have the unique opportunity to spend their days surrounded by treasures that most of us can only dream of coming across. Each week Vikki Vines, owner of and auctioneer at Gallery Auctions in Houston, Texas, sees many container loads of antiques and new merchandise that would make any decorator or collector swoon. For someone who is so immersed in such treasures to call an auction “once in a lifetime” is certainly cause for extra attention. Vines is holding this remarkable sale Jan. 12, 2013, and is excited to share the history and lovingly cared for items with her customers.

In 1962, the Springdale Country store opened its doors. The owners, Karen and Harold

One of the items generating the most pre-auction chatter is this all-original “Drink Coca-Cola in Bottles” vending machine. (Photo courtesy Gallery Auctions)

Marcus, lived in Huntington Beach, Calif., and raised four boys while running the store and spending nearly 50 years carefully filling their store with true American heritage pieces. The store was a step back in time, running the town’s post office and selling candy from display cabinets dating back to penny candy and homemade chocolates. The couple’s passion was filling the store with fixtures that honored the heritage of the American county store; they have amassed a collection of more than 400 Americana items, including original general store counters, historic post office boxes, apothecary cabinets and grain cabinets, wooden clothes displays, ribbon cabinets, wood candy cabinets and metal candy dispensers and brass trimmed counters. There is even an antique cash register! In addition to the fixtures, the couple collected remarkable antique and wooden slot machines, pedal cars, baby carriages, scales, sleighs and more. The items in this collection reflect a simpler time in American history and have been carefully preserved in their original condition.

The time has come for the Springdale Country Store to close its doors and this entire collection will go up for auction at Gallery Auctions in Houston, Texas, on Jan. 12. The collection has been kept entirely intact and each item will be sold to the highest bidder. For a country store collector or trader, this is a treasure trove like most have never seen. For the individual buyer or decorator, this is a chance to have a true piece of American history.

Vines believes the items hold good luck bestowed on the couple who lovingly collected and protected these items while running their small town store and raising their family. These pieces are more than just a piece of furniture, or an interesting collectible. These pieces tell the story of the American dream.

This vintage Eberhard Faber rubber bands display box, has retained its original vibrant yellow, green, red and blue paint job. (Photo courtesy Gallery Auctions)

Gallery Auctions is open to the public, so the opportunity to own a piece of this history is open to everyone. For photos of these treasures, visit www.galleryauctions.com. Buyers will be able to preview the sale the week prior to the auction at 13310 Luthe Rd., Houston, Texas, and can call 281-931-0100 for further details.