Published: April 12, 2011
Tim’s Auctions’ 19th annual Cabin Fever auction filled the upstairs gallery and brought people to their phones and computers to bid on a variety of merchandise collected and squirreled away for this auction since last March.
The March 27 sale marked a first taking place in-house at the gallery, as it usually is held at the Litchfield Firehouse. Owner/auctioneer Tim Chapulis made the sale a trifecta of debuts, adding online bidding for this sale and hanging a large screen monitor on the wall in the auction gallery instead of having employees carry items back and forth.
“Today is a test for us [doing online bidding]. It’s sort of like the Jetsons for me,” he quipped to the audience during his preauction warm-up.
Highlighting the sale were about 100 vintage clocks that made up Part II of the Richard Baldwin Collection. Part I was sold here in May 2009. Baldwin was a direct descendant of Connecticut clockmaker Eli Terry and many of the clocks offered had rare labels and represented several makers.
“This is the cream of the cream. If you came to buy clocks today … you don’t see these things anymore,” Chapulis said.
Sharing the title of top lot of the auction was a Hiram Welton shelf clock, circa 1835, that opened at $1,000 and sparked stiff competition between two bidders who happened to be seated next to each other in the gallery before ending at $7,670.
“It was a great little tick tock back and forth between the two,” Chapulis said after the sale. “A great little bidding war for a great clock.”
Also selling for $7,670 was a pair of dueling pistols that went to a Texas buyer on the phones, while another choice clock from the Baldwin collection was a rare, circa 1830 Eli Terry transitional 30-hour woodworks clock in a stencil quarter-column and splat mahogany veneer case that fetched $2,587.
Leading decorative and fine art was a carved marble statue signed F. Vichi Firenile titled “Rebecca at the Well,” at 36 inches tall, that went out at $2,070.
Among furniture highlights were a marble top table that is headed to Ohio, selling for $2,070; another marble top table that sold online for $1,500 and a bowfront mahogany curio cabinet at $1,725.
Rounding out the sale was a Babe Ruth autograph that was sold along with the original envelope it came in that was marked “From Babe Ruth New York,” at $2,640 †two online bidders eagerly vied for the lot, which opened at $500 †and a 1971 Cadillac El Dorado parked in front of the auction gallery that a father bought for his 15-year-old son for just over $6,000.
The sale, which began at noon and ended at 6:45 pm, drew bidders from seven countries and had a total of 200 bidders registered online, with a total of 6,000 bidders watching the auction live online.
“It was just amazing †the numbers. You hear that there’s no interest [in antiques] and there’s tons of interest,” Chapulis said.
All prices reported include the buyer’s premium.
For additional information, www.timsauction.com or 860-459-0964.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm