Review by Greg Smith, Catalog Photos Courtesy Schultz Auctioneers
CLARENCE, N.Y. – Just five months ago, father and son auctioneers Kelly and Ben Schultz added online bidding to their schedule of live gallery auctions at Schultz Auctioneers. When the pandemic hit and sales were forced online, the two were glad they had put a foot in the door, but they were still uneasy with the idea of an online-only sale. Undeterred, the firm launched its first online-only auction April 18, and it was, in Kelly’s words, a success.
“This was our first ever online-only auction and we were very pleasantly surprised,” he told Antiques and The Arts Weekly. “There was a lot of action in the lead up, many absentee bids and phone bidders, and we had lots bid over high estimate before the sale even started.
“I was a little concerned,” he continued, “we’re old school and we just started doing online bidding in November. I was nervous about it. But as time got closer, we were seeing the activity and it was better than okay. We became confident, there were strong bidders right across the board.”
The sale featured 25 consignors with material ranging from toy trains; firearms, knives and militaria; early maps; jewelry and coins; and Asian decorative arts, including porcelain, scrolls, prints and jade.
The 580-lot auction went 98 percent sold.
At the top of the sale was a large lot of marbles, including swirls and shooters, that came out of the collection of an old-time collector/picker. The lot sold for $6,765 above a $500 estimate. Kelly Schultz said he was by no means a marble expert, but “that’s the greatest part of a well-advertised auction – the people will find you.” He said he had a bidder from Ireland and others from the United States vying for the lot.
From that same collector came five Asian scrolls that all blew past their estimates. The top end example sold for $2,337, while two finished at $1,599.
Taking $4,612 over a $500 estimate was a carved jade scarab bowl with stand that measured 5½ inches long. The bowl had come from an estate in New York and was originally owned by the consignor’s grandmother.
Another early Chinese porcelain vase would catch $2,829 after 16 bids, nearly tripling estimate.
A collection of militaria from the estate of deceased New York collector sold very well. Schultz has been working with the family for the past year. Fetching $985 here was a group lot of 12 medals, each in a plastic slip and identified with typewritten label by the discerning collector. He had done all of the leg work. Twelve USSR military medals from the same collection brought $800.
Many of the trains in the sale came from a Bridgehampton, N.Y., collector. Group lots of Lionel cars found their way to new homes, including 28 examples in box, $1,353; another 28 examples in box, $1,230; a group of ten cars, including Canadian Pacific, $1,230; and a group of three 2341 and 577 engines, $1,107.
The firm’s next general estates auction will be on May 9, followed by a June militaria auction. For more information, https://schultzauctioneers.net or 716-407-3125.