Published: April 15, 2008
How much for that beer can collection? When Jim Cyr, president and auctioneer of Cyr Auction Company talked to a New Jersey man about selling some of his collections, Cyr felt the real potential for money was in the guns and old phonographs the man had accumulated over the years. When the auctioneer arrived to pick up these items, the gentleman, almost as an afterthought, added two burlap bags of old beer cans that had been taking up space in his attic.
Having been in the antiques and collectibles business for more than 30 years, Cyr knew that old beer cans had some value to collectors of breweriana, he just did not know how much value they might have.
On March 26, Cyr, and everyone in the full gallery at Route 100 / 202 North, found out.
The New Jersey man’s items were assigned to the March 26 Collectors’ Auction and were cataloged and photographed. Many hours were spent researching specific items and collector/dealer groups. Phonograph collectors and dealers were found and alerted about the specialty auction, as were circus (memorabilia from another collector), gun and breweriana aficionados.
Suspicions about the true value and interest in the attic-afterthought beer can collection began growing when the auctioneer and his staff looked at beer can prices online and started getting phone calls from those they had contacted.
The initial price estimate for the lot of beer cans (about 150 cans to be sold in one group), began at few thousand dollars, quickly grew to $10,000 and, by auction time, had increased to the $20/40,000 estimate.
With competitive bidding via phone and live audience, the lot of beer cans sold for just over three times the high estimate, going at $126,000, including the 15 percent buyer’s premium.
Cyr Auction advises, “When you do your spring cleaning, ask yourself, ‘Do I have cash in my attic?’ It might pay to find out.”
For more information, www.cyrauction.com or 207-657-5253.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm