30-year antique legacy on the block

ABERDEEN, S.D. – The call of the auctioneer brought a close to 30 years of antiques on Sept. 8-9 as Lauinger’s Country Store sold its inventory to an eager crowd.

watercoolers.jpgThe store’s wide variety of antiques drew bidders from as far away as Washington and Arizona. Gloria Lauinger said, however, that many of the top-selling items remained right in the Aberdeen area.

“A lot of local people walked away with the big-ticket items,” Lauinger said. “We had a two-gallon crockery water cooler that sold for $3,100 (no buyer’s premium) and a Pepsi-Cola Junior Cooler that sold for $1,600. Both of those items were sold to people from Aberdeen.”

eurekacrocks.jpgAmong the top items at the Lauinger’s auction were a Sonja Henie doll that sold for $500; a Eureka, S.D., butter crock for $2,200; a Eureka 1-gallon jar for $1,900; a 6-gallon philodendron leaf crock for $900; a 12-gallon butterfly crock for $1,500; and an Aberdeen brown-cap whiskey jug that sold for $950.

“What didn’t sell well was our china,” Lauinger said. “We had a set of Rosenthal for 12 that only brought $130. Oatmeal boxes were selling well, though, and we had some beaded-mesh purses that brought a total of $500.”

pepsicooler.jpgDick and Gloria Lauinger’s antique business grew entirely out of their casual interest in flea markets set up near Battle Lake, Minn., where they took their sons to fish. While their boys were catching fish, Dick and Gloria got hooked on antiques and antique shows.

“There were outdoor flea markets right across from the lake where the boys were fishing,” Gloria remembers. “We started passing time by browsing through them. After about a year, we started attending indoor shows in other Minnesota communities, collecting our own antiques, and taking them to shows in Omaha, Sioux City, Chicago. Wherever we could find a show, we started going to them.”

Whenever possible, the Lauingers combined antique events with visits to relatives, such as Dick’s mother in Florida, or vacation travels. When Dick traveled as part of his government job, he spent his evenings scouting for antiques in whatever town he was visiting.

“He really enjoyed that,” Gloria said. “It was something for him to do at night when he was away from home.”

butterflycrock.jpgTravel expenses soon convinced the Lauingers that they should establish their own business. They opened their Aberdeen store in 1983 and have been there ever since.

Through the years they often conducted research to educate themselves about the value of many collectible items. They have also traveled to many countries and visited world museums, all the while learning about the antiques they enjoyed.

“We both enjoyed the history behind the antiques,” Gloria said. “We never had room in our store for furniture, but we’ve handled a wide variety of items.”

The Lauingers decided to close their shop and reduce the number of antiques they personally owned. Overall, said Gloria, they were pleased with the results of the sale. The catalog they produced, which held a description of every lot number, kept the sale moving briskly on both days.

“That made it easy for the auctioneer and for bidders,” Gloria said. “It’s been very hard to come to the point of giving it all up, but it was time.”

Auction Highlights:

Green Roseville Pinecone jardiniere $250, pitcher $825, and 14-inch vase w/base repair $550.

12-gallon Butterfly crock, $1,500.

6-foot porcelain Tiolene sign $500.

Five philodendron leaf crock, $135.

Six-gallon philodendron leaf crock, mint condition, with incised Red Wing mark on front $900.

Orange Crush thermometer, $80 and Orange Crush cooler $175.

Pepsi .05 cent Quikold, Jr. upright cooler, 1940s, fills with ice, $1,600.

Three Round Oak Stoves advertising Indian prints, Doe-Wah-Jack on armbands: 1926 Indian in canoe $130; 1926 Indian smoking peacepipe $170, and 1929 with partial calendar pad shows Brave rowing canoe looking up at flying geese $130.

Eureka , SD Bazaar one gallon advertising crock, $1,900.

Eureka Golden Rule Store butter crock $2,200.

The Sonja Heine doll, Norwegian Ice skater who won 10 world figure skating championships, $500.

Redhead bisque doll, $140.

One gallon white Aberdeen, SD Honegger Bros. whiskey jug $400.