WICHITA, Kan. – Two major single-owner lifetime collections – one of phonographs and stereo view cards, the other of pocket watches, wrist watches and jewelry – will be sold on Oct. 27, 2012.
The first session will feature the pocket watch, wrist watch and jewelry collection of Bill Middleton of Kansas. The second session is dedicated to the collection Keith Heinrich, who amassed a sizable and impressive number of phonographs, phonograph players, Amberola cylinder records, concert-size cylinders, stereo view cards and viewers.
“[Collector Bill Middleton] has been collecting a wide variety of quality time pieces for over 40 years,” said Jason Woody of Woody Auction, “and during this time he has assembled a significant collection by nearly anyone’s standard. Mr. Heinrich specialized in phonographs,” Woody said, “and he only collected the most desirable machines.”
Woody added, “This is an unusual and exciting auction for us. Woody Auction is best known for our sales of American Brilliant Cut Glass and other fine decorative arts. Phonographs, jewelry, clocks and watches are outside our normal specialties. But when these two outstanding collections presented themselves at once, we just couldn’t resist offering them on the same day.”
The Bill Middleton collection will boast a dazzling array of merchandise, to include fine jewelry items such as a 2.25-ct. round brilliant diamond set on a 3mm 14kt gold band ring. The diamond, graded at VS1-VS2 for clarity and color, has been estimated at a conservative $17,000, but would probably sell at Tiffany’s for $45,000. “Finest diamond I’ve ever sold,” Woody said.
Pocket watches will feature a size 16 Waltham Vanguard 23-jewel model with an open face and excellent case, made circa 1908; a size 16 Parrett Mule 18kt gold key-wind pocket watch (serial #14558), in very good working condition, with full-jeweled lever; a size 14 Dunand 14kt gold chronograph quarter-hour repeating pocket watch with Hunter case in good overall condition; and a size 12 Swiss 18kt gold pocket watch with dust cover by I.A. Barnard Geneve.
Wrist watches will include a Swiss men’s Juvenia 18kt gold watch and band, automatic, with .16-ct. diamonds on four corners; a Patek Philippe 18kt gold “Ellipse” men’s watch with black leather band and 18kt gold buckle; a Cartier “Tank” automatic men’s watch, 18kt gold and stainless steel in like-new condition; and an original Rolex “Oyster Perpetual” men’s wrist watch chronometer with date-adjust feature and rare Roman numerals, 31 jewels, in good condition.
Other jewelry will include a 14kt yellow gold custom-made men’s ring with two cushion-cut Tourmaline gems weighing around 22.3 grams each, plus an emerald cut gem weighing about 1.65 carats, for a total weight of 22.3 grams. In all, 218 lots will cross the block in session one.
The afternoon session of Keith Heinrich’s collection will have numerous superstar lots, among them a pair of Edison Model A phonograph cylinder players, each with rare, wooden curve-shaped cygnet horns. One is a 36-inch Opera model with a 21-inch horn and nice label. The other is a gorgeous Fireside combination type unit, serial #57439, with black cygnet horn.
Another Edison machine certain to attract bidder interest is a rare “Concert” phonograph large cylinder player (serial #C9357), with oak case and lid and a 54-inch-long horn with stand. One other outstanding lot promises to be a 16-inch Victor “Talking Machine” phonograph disc player (serial #45254A), the “V” model, with 21-inch diameter wooden horn, in super condition.
The stereo view cards and viewers will include a wonderful Victorian burl walnut stereo card table-top viewer with lockable top shutters to allow light in, 21 ½ inches by 10 ½ inches, plus cards featuring the State Capitol buildings; and a rare and must-see 19 inch by 23 inch Victorian burl walnut veneer and ebony trimmed stereo viewer with extra-large magnifier.
One lot that combines vintage dolls with rare phonographs is an original 27 inch Dolly Record phonograph doll with composition head, made circa 1920s by Madame Hedren (the phonograph is cleverly set into the doll’s body and plays London Bridge). Also sold will be an Edison “Amberola” oak case floor model cylinder phonograph player (serial #SM-205766).
Rounding out just a few of the expected top lots in session two is a rare 15 inch by 18 inch French Pathe phonograph disc player in a beautiful tight grain oak colored case with original label and a lid that opens and acts as a horn, in great condition; and a scarce 13 ½ inch by 14 inch Gramophone counter-top slot nickel cylinder machine with oak case and curved glass.
The sale will be managed by Woody Auction in Wichita. The auction will be held without reserve (everything sells, regardless of price). It will be a two-session event.