The Felicia Michalski Collection of Fine Jewelry, Part 2
Apr
29
10:30 AM10:30

The Felicia Michalski Collection of Fine Jewelry, Part 2

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to offer the Felicia Michalski Collection of Fine Jewelry, Part 2. Presenting over 190 lots acquired over six decades, the sale offers fine jewelry for ladies, including rings, necklaces, bracelets, brooches, lockets, pendants and wristwatches, buckles, eyeglass frames and jewelry sets. Most are crafted of gold, white or rose gold, platinum or silver, with precious stones and embellishments such as diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emerald, amethyst, garnets, opal, jade, turquoise, coral, cultured and seed pearls, cameos, rose quartz, moonstone, malachite, tiger’s eye, tourmaline, enamel, onyx and gold coins.  

Also featured are a number of jewelry groupings, including necklaces, bracelets, cameos, brooches, charms, gem-set and gold rings for women and men, pins and stickpins, wristwatches, and gentlemen’s accessories. There are also several collections of unmounted rubies and sapphires, and other stones.

The life of Felicia Michalski reads like a suspense novel, particularly during the war years.  Born in Gostynin, Poland, in 1919, she survived the Holocaust, capture by the Russians who sent her to Siberia as slave labor, gangrene and typhus. In 1942, she married Joseph Michalski, who also had been a Russian prisoner of war, then had two of their three sons.  In 1949, the family went to America, ending up in San Francisco, where life gradually became better.  

Living in California after the war, Felicia developed a serious collecting passion. According to her son Henry, Mrs. Michalski was known for her exceptional eye, a natural love of beauty, and an unrelenting desire to acquire. Among her many collecting pursuits, jewelry was her favorite. Part 2 of the Felicia Michalski Collection of Fine Jewelry features many of the treasured adornments she collected over 60 years.

Press release >>

View catalog and register to bid three ways:

Now you can bid on Turner Auctions + Appraisals' own mobile app. Follow the link below to see the site, and download the app from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions").

View Event →
Toys, Trains & Automobilia
May
6
10:30 AM10:30

Toys, Trains & Automobilia

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to offer toys, trains and automobilia at its May 6 sale. Featuring over 170 lots, the timed online auction offers a wide selection of vintage and antique items from several collections and estates. Trains and accessories in standard, O or 1 gauge include manufacturers both domestic (Lionel, Ives, American Flyer, MTH, Dorfan, Carlisle & Finch) and international (Bing, Marklin, Carette, Edobaud, KBN, Issmayer, Hornby, Paya). Toys include automobiles, circus wagons, animals, boats and ships, buses, guns, cartoon characters, building blocks, and much more. A selection of car mascots and radiator caps date mostly from the early 1900s. Toy train books and 1932 Olympics ephemera round out the sale.

View catalog and register to bid:

View Event →
Asian Arts
May
20
10:30 AM10:30

Asian Arts

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to present Asian arts at its May 20 sale. Offering 75 lots, the timed online auction features an intriguing selection of antique and modern art and decorative arts from various countries in Asia. Acquired over many years by one collector, this sale includes paintings from Korea, Thailand, Burma, Japan, China and Taiwan (with several by Lee Win Han); snuff bottles from Tibet and China; and hand-knotted rugs and prayer rugs from China, Pakistan and Turkey. One highlight is a painting of a Balinese temple by noted Dutch painter Hans Snel. 

A diverse selection of other items comes from various countries. From Japan are numerous woodblock prints, an antique fukusa and a sake keg. From Burma are an 18th-century polychrome painted Buddha, a pair of painted wood dancers, and an offering box and bowl. Other items from China include painted fans, embroidered textiles -- some from the Qing Dynasty, picnic stands, jewelry chest, offering box, tobacco pipes, dressing table, and pillows. 

View catalog and register to bid:

View Event →

The Lucy Maxym Collection of Russian Lacquer & Art
Apr
15
10:30 AM10:30

The Lucy Maxym Collection of Russian Lacquer & Art

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is very pleased to present the Lucy Maxym Collection of Russian Lacquer & Art. Offering over 100 lots, the online sale features Russian lacquer boxes and jewelry, icons, a Faberge cigarette case, and reference materials from the personal collection of Lucy Maxym, noted author and expert on Russian lacquer art. The sale also includes a selection of silver items from Russia and Asia, cloisonné, books and other collectibles.

Lucy Maxym was born in a small town in Russia near the Ukraine and emigrated to the U.S. as an infant. The family first lived in New York, then Japan and then San Francisco, where Lucy grew up. After she married renowned bassoonist Stephen Maxym, the couple returned to New York, where they had two children and lived for over 45 years before returning to California. The family’s life was rich with music, culture and travel.  

Creative and adventuresome, Lucy Maxym further expanded her interests in the late 1950s when she and her sister founded Siamese Imports, sourcing items from Thailand, where their brother lived. Their import and wholesale business added a new destination when Lucy happened to see a Russian box on the coffee table of a friend. She became fascinated with this art form, launching a passion, curiosity and desire to know more that lasted for the rest of her life. After her sister passed away, Lucy and her business began to focus more on Russian lacquer and art, Kashmir lacquer, and fine crafts from all over the world.

Although such travels were uncommon at the time (for a man, let alone a woman!), Lucy was a pioneering entrepreneur and intrepid traveler – to the U.S.S.R., Kashmir, Burma, Vietnam and other exotic destinations. On her frequent journeys to the USSR, she would travel to small villages known for these unique lacquer crafts – primarily Fedoskino, Palekh, Kholui, and Mstera – each with a distinctive style. On these trips, she would search out the talented artists who painted in miniature, and bring their wares back to the U.S.  

According to the Sitka Sentinel in June 1985 regarding her then-upcoming exhibit in Sitka, Alaska, Lucy Maxym was “the only American authorized by the Soviet government to purchase the boxes from Russian artists for resale in the U.S.” As she exposed these hand-crafted Russian artworks at trade shows and elsewhere, buyers were very curious about the beautiful boxes. Because she was constantly explaining the Russian stories that were the subjects of the miniature paintings, she decided to write a book – so in 1981, "Russian Lacquer, Legends and Fairy Tales" was born. Five years later, Volume Two shared new stories of Russian myths and life. 

In addition to the lacquer boxes, Lucy also became interested in icons and was one of the first persons allowed to take icons out of Russia. Long held and worshipped in religious homes or churches where soot or grime would accumulate over time, the icons would be removed, then carefully restored to their original effulgence for sale to avid collectors. In this way, Lucy acquired some superb icons and so did her clients. This interest led her to a book on icons that she commissioned and edited.

Lucy was instrumental in elevating the lacquer boxes to an art form. This was not only a benefit to those in America who enjoyed them, it had a major impact on the lives of the artists’ themselves:  they were able to make a living from their artworks and to buy homes for their families. Her efforts made a difference is many people’s lives and even helped revitalize the towns they lived in. After a long life full of adventure and discovery, Lucy Maxym passed away in 2017 at age 99. 

Press release >>

View catalog and register to bid three ways:

Now you can bid on Turner Auctions + Appraisals' own mobile app. Follow the link below to see the site, and download the app from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions").

View Event →
Modern & Historical Books
Mar
31
10:30 AM10:30

Modern & Historical Books

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to offer modern and historical books from the 16th to 20th centuries. Offering over 170 lots from several collections and estates, the online sale features renowned modern books, some signed and/or with photographs; large multiple-volume leather-bound sets; literary collections of famous authors; a “Thesaurus Sacrarum” in Latin printed in 1585, with Old and New Testament Biblical stories; military works, including a map of Washington, D.C. from 1861; groupings of assorted books; and more. Many books are first or early editions; others include engravings, illustrations, photographs, and/or maps. 

The sale presents a diverse selection of modern and antique books, from this century to the 1500s. From 2001 is an important tome on Antartica by Pat and Rosemarie Keough; this +27-pound volume has been honored with numerous awards for its outstanding photography and printing technique. Among the first or early editions by modern authors are those by Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, Thomas Wolfe, Jack London, Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Sinclair Lewis, A. A. Milne, James Jones, Colleen McCullough, and Truman Capote. Authors from the 19th century include Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, Leo Tolstoy, W. B. Yeats, and Lewis Carroll. Multi-volume sets of celebrated authors from various eras include works by William Shakespeare, Geoffrey Chaucer, Ivan Turgenieff, Pierre Corneille, Honoré de Balzac, Rudyard Kipling, Edgar Allen Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Charles Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson, Alexandre Dumas, and Voltaire (in French). Reflecting the interests on one collector, there are also a number of books on exploration and voyages.

Press release >>

View catalog and register to bid three ways:

Now you can bid on Turner Auctions + Appraisals' own mobile app. Follow the link below to see the site, and download the app from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions").

View Event →
The Jane Miller Chai Collection of Modern Chinese Paintings
Mar
2
7:00 PM19:00

The Jane Miller Chai Collection of Modern Chinese Paintings

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to feature the Jane Miller Chai Collection of Modern Chinese Paintings. Offering 20 lots acquired over 40+ years, the small but significant collection features works by noted artists Li Keran (1907-1989), Zhu Qizhan (1892-1996), Cui Zifan (1915-2011) and Ding Yanyong (1902-1978). An antique work by Dong Bangda (1699-1769) is also included in the collection.

Born in Southern California in 1938, Jane Miller Chai had a long and distinguished career as a journalist, editor, teacher and author on matters related to Asia. After graduating from Stanford University in Far Eastern History, she held a number of positions that reflected her interest in Asian culture and passion for Asian arts. She was Editor for Asia at the Japanese Reader’s Digest in Tokyo. At the Associated Press headquarters in New York, she was a division head, with a focus on Asia. In more recent years, Jane Miller Chai was Associate Professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and taught on the San Francisco peninsula on subjects such as Southeast Asia, Central Asia, and the Silk Road (from China to Rome). She wrote Tiger and the Hare, a semi-autobiographical historical novel set during the Vietnam War; and was co-author of Pacific Security with Dr. Claude A. Buss, her Far Eastern History professor at Stanford. Mrs. Chai passed away in 2017.

According to her son, Neil Chai, the paintings were collected at least since the mid-1970s. Some were acquired when Mrs. Chai lived and traveled in Southeast Asia, and some through an art dealer and close friend in San Francisco. Blessed with a good eye and good taste, Mrs. Chai had a love for Chinese paintings, scrolls and vases, and Asian antiquities that was founded in her university education and professional experiences in Far Eastern cultures. The passion, enjoyment and appreciation of Asian arts continued throughout her life. Her acquisitions created pleasure both for her personally and for her family at their Bay Area home. She had numerous other interests as well – she served on the Board of the U.N. Council, was an enthusiastic advocate for Stanford University and its museum, and enjoyed music and sports, especially tennis.  

Gifted with the collection by his mother, Mr. Chai is selling the paintings now to fulfill his mother’s intention that proceeds be put toward the education of his two young daughters.

Press release >>

View catalog and register to bid three ways:

Now you can bid on Turner Auctions + Appraisals' own mobile app. Follow the link below to see the site, and download the app from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions").

View Event →
The Felicia Michalski Collection of Fine & Costume Jewelry
Feb
18
10:30 AM10:30

The Felicia Michalski Collection of Fine & Costume Jewelry

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to feature the Felicia Michalski Collection of Fine & Costume Jewelry on Sunday, February 18. Presenting 140 lots acquired over six decades, the sale offers fine jewelry for ladies, including necklaces, bracelets, rings, brooches, pendants and wristwatches. Most are crafted of gold, white gold, platinum or silver, with precious stones and embellishments such as diamonds, rubies, sapphires, amethyst, opal, jade, turquoise, coral, cultured pearls, cameos and French bloodstone. 

There is also a vast range of antique and vintage costume jewelry from the Anita Hellman Collection. The diverse selection features large groupings of necklaces; brooches; belt and shoe buckles; antique miniature portraits and scenes; Mickey Mouse, pocket and fob watches; pocketknives; gents’ accessories; and designer items from Chanel, Renoir, Dior and others.

Press release >>

View catalog and register to bid three ways:

Now you can bid on Turner Auctions + Appraisals' own mobile app. Follow the link below to see the site, and download the app from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions").

View Event →
Automobilia
Jan
7
10:30 AM10:30

Automobilia

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to offer a selection of Automobilia from two major California collectors. The sale features over 65 lots of car mascots, artwork and related collectibles. The diverse range of hood ornaments come mostly from the U.S., France and Britain. Their creation extends throughout the 20th century, from the very early 1900s to the 1960s, with an emphasis on the 1920s and 1930s. In the early days of automobiles, wealthy owners would personalize their vehicles to add beauty; make a political statement; or identify with a person, brand or organization. Later, automobile companies created signature hood ornaments with the petite statues to adorn their cars and help showcase their brands. This collection features winged goddesses, diverse animals and birds, dolls and comic characters, 1932 Olympic athletes, airplanes and Charles Lindberg, heads of Indian chiefs, bells, flags and more. One highlight is a glass mascot from René Lalique.

The sale also features a selection of artwork – limited-edition prints, vintage posters, and lithographs featuring sports cars, Indy winners and the Monaco Grand Prix – plus a Chuck Queener watercolor. There are several groupings of books, including a Ferrari catalog raisonné (1946-1989) and several books signed by Mario Andretti, Carroll Shelby and Janet Guthrie. Among the car-related collectibles are sports car and racing trophies, decanters, tire ashtrays and product signs. Several items of Olympics ephemera round out the sale.

Press release >>

View catalog and register to bid three ways:

Now you can bid on Turner Auctions + Appraisals' own mobile app. Follow the link below to see the site, and download the app from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions").

View Event →
Native American Jewelry, Pottery and Collectibles
Dec
17
10:30 AM10:30

Native American Jewelry, Pottery and Collectibles

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to present over 280 lots of Southwest jewelry, pottery, and a wide range of collectibles from three major collectors. This very diverse sale features extensive offerings of jewelry, including bracelets, necklaces, rings, belts, belt buckles, bolos, hat bands and ketohs. Most are Native American with sterling or coin silver, many with turquoise, coral or other embellishments. Pottery jars and figures are from the Navajo, Hopi, Santa Clara, Acoma, Santa Domingo, Laguna, Pueblo, Anasazi, Casas Grandes, Matsaki, Mimbres and others; several basketry items come from the Navajo, Pomo, Nez Perce and others.

Diverse clothing includes moccasins, gauntlets, arm bands, leggings, pouches and adornments. Among the wide selection of collectibles are dolls, stone effigies, saddles, cradles and cradle boards, baby carriers, bladder pouches, quivers, beaded roundels, Mexican spurs, rugs, blankets, textiles, and a drum. Artwork includes paintings and sculpture. While most items are Native American, there are some African and Pre-Columbian pieces as well. The sale also offers various reproduction pieces, such as a headdress, hunting lance, hide shield, quiver, dance stick, tobacco bag, jacket, belts, fetishes, plaques and more.

Press release >>

View catalog and register to bid three ways:

Now you can bid on Turner Auctions + Appraisals' own mobile app. Follow the link below to see the site, and download the app from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions").

View Event →
The Anita Hellman Collection of Costume and Fine Jewelry
Dec
16
10:30 AM10:30

The Anita Hellman Collection of Costume and Fine Jewelry

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to feature the Anita Hellman Collection of Costume and Fine Jewelry -- just in time for holiday gift-giving! Offering over 95 lots amassed over 50+ years, the collection includes necklaces, bracelets, rings, pendants, brooches and pins, charms and several watches. Many of the pieces feature cultured pearls or precious or semi-precious stones and materials, including gold, platinum, diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphire, peridot, jade, aquamarine, garnet, citrine, tiger’s eye and turquoise. The sale also includes watches by Patek Philippe and Bucherer; and hardstone, shell and lava cameos. Among the diverse costume jewelry makers are Kenneth Jay Lane, William De Lillo, Bauer, Joseff of Hollywood, Hattie Carnegie, Eisenberg, Ciner, Trifari, Francisco Rebaje, Cini, Weiss, Coro, and Boucher, Matisse and Renoir. Groupings in the auction include vintage, holiday and Scandinavian collections; hair combs; opera glasses; assorted purses; and beaded necklaces. Items from several other consignors round out the sale.

Press release >>

View catalog and register to bid three ways:

Now you can bid on Turner Auctions + Appraisals' own mobile app. Follow the link below to see the site, and download the app from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions").

View Event →
Cabinet of Curiosities
Dec
10
10:30 AM10:30

Cabinet of Curiosities

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to offer for sale a Cabinet of Curiosities. The eclectic sale features over 200 lots from private collections and estates. Among the diverse offerings are ammonite and other fossils, turquoise nuggets and other minerals, dinosaur eggs and bones, historical nautical items, architectural and 18th-century Italian etchings, African wood carvings, Chinese scholar’s stones, sterling and silver plate pieces, Star Wars and Obama posters, and 20th-century design, including decorative housewares created by famed fashion designer Elsa Peretti for Tiffany.

Press release >>

View catalog and register to bid three ways:

Now you can bid on Turner Auctions + Appraisals' own mobile app. Follow the link below to see the site, and download the app from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions").

View Event →
The Warren Heid Family Collection of Toy Trains, Part 2
Dec
2
10:30 AM10:30

The Warren Heid Family Collection of Toy Trains, Part 2

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to present Part 2 of the Warren Heid Family Collection of Toy Trains. Mr. Heid, a long-time member of the Train Collectors Association, has collected trains for 55 years. This sale offers over 200 lots, their first time to market. The collection features trains, toys and accessories from leading manufacturers, including Carette, Bing, Marklin, Issmayer, KBN, Hornby, Lionel and American Flyer, with a focus on Ives O gauge.

About Warren Heid

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Warren Heid has lived there most of his life, although his military service in World War II took him to many exotic, far-flung places. As a Class 4 Sergeant in the Army Air Corps working in communications, he traveled around the world, spending time in India, China and North Africa. When he returned from the war, thanks to the GI Bill, Mr. Heid studied architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to finding his career there, he also found his bride, marrying Shelia when he was a university sophomore; they have now been happily married for 70 years.

During his long, award-winning career as an architect, Mr. Heid designed private homes, commercial and government buildings, schools, churches and hotels, including one in Tahiti. Living and working in Saratoga, California, for decades, he retired in 2008.  In late 2016, the Architect Emeritus was honored by the Saratoga City Council for his architectural contributions there, which include St. Andrews Episcopal Church and The Inn at Saratoga.

Mr. Heid did not collect trains as a child – that passion came later, and by accident. In 1958, working on a project in San Jose, Warren parked in front of a Goodwill store and happened to see a train in the window. Encountering that American Flyer train by chance and buying it, he launched an enthusiasm that has endured to this day.  

With his interest piqued in his new toy, literally, Mr. Heid continued to visit Goodwill in search of trains. Getting to know the staff over time, he was invited to the Goodwill train depot, where trains were fixed before going to sale. Soon Mr. Heid was repairing trains as well, buying some along the way and building a collection.  

Besides antique stores and friends, the Train Collectors Association played a significant part in Mr. Heid’s collecting. He was an early member – number 433 of a group that now includes over 50,000! – and is still a member to this day. Through the years, the group’s Nor-Cal division met once a month in the East Bay, where members would buy, sell and trade trains. Over this shared interest, numerous long-term friendships were made. Mr. Heid’s family – Shelia and their children Susan and Jeff – participated as well, enjoying Christmas parties, regional meets and national conventions. During his time as a TCA member, Mr. Heid served on the Board of Directors and was elected as President of the Nor-Cal chapter.

Pursuing toy trains for over 50 years, Mr. Heid’s collection grew to over 2,500 individual train cars and train sets (comprised of a locomotive, tender and three cars). These were displayed in the basement of his home, a room dedicated to showcasing and enjoying the collection. There Mr. Heid and Jeff operated the trains on a large, standard-gauge layout. Among the favorites in his collection are Ives trains, the Blue Comet by Lionel, delicate tin-plate trains, a live steam engine that works with alcohol, and Tootsietoys. The collection goes up for bid on April 22 at Turner Auctions + Appraisals, except for a few valued items, including his first train from Goodwill.

Long before eBay provided easy, fingertip access to countless goods and collectibles, 
Mr. Heid was inspired by the joy of the hunt for toy train treasures. At an antique store, for example, buying a box of old train-related stuff, one might find a coveted catalog at the bottom. Now in his ninth decade, Mr. Heid is ready to share the fruits of his half-century of passionate collecting with others, who hopefully will enjoy them as well. “Part of the fun is the chase,” he says. “My many years of collecting have brought great pleasure to me, and my family as well. I’ve had a wonderful life. Train collecting has been part of it – giving me an enjoyable hobby, a valuable investment, and great friends with other train-crazy people.”

Press release >>

View catalog and register to bid three ways:

Now you can bid on Turner Auctions + Appraisals' own mobile app. Follow the link below to see the site, and download the app from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions").

View Event →
The Patsy Lee Donegan Collection of Asian Antiques
Nov
19
10:30 AM10:30

The Patsy Lee Donegan Collection of Asian Antiques

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to present The Patsy Lee Donegan Collection of Asian Antiques. Ms. Donegan has recently decided to retire after collecting Asian antiques for over 60 years and running her eponymous antique business for over 30 years. Offering 120 lots, the online auction features a range of eclectic items, including paintings, framed textiles, Japanese woodblock prints, rugs, small furniture, and an assortment of decorative items.

Patsy Lee Donegan was born and raised in San Francisco, a city that has been home since the mid-1800s to a large, growing and thriving Asian population. For as long as she can remember, Ms. Donegan has been fascinated by Asian arts – captivated by the ancient and foreign civilizations, and their artistic expressions that are both beautiful and functional. The summer after her freshman year at University of California, Berkeley, she joined a six-week study tour to Hawaii, Japan, Hong Kong and the Philippines aboard the ocean liner SS President Wilson. This experience further piqued her interest in Asian cultures. Continuing her education, Ms. Donegan studied Asian art at UC Berkeley, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in fine arts.

After school, she worked for an advertising art firm, then joined the U.S. Department of State Foreign Service, where she spent the next 28 years. For 15 of those years, Ms. Donegan worked in multiple Asian countries, including Korea, Hong Kong, Burma, China, Japan and Taiwan.  

Not surprisingly, it was during these international assignments and living in Asia that her collection grew exponentially. Travels throughout Asia, including visits to Nepal, Tibet, India, Bhutan and Indonesia, provided new acquisitions. Ms. Donegan collected things of special interest related to Asian culture and art. Folk art was a particular passion – traditional items or ones used in daily life. Often she collected from young artists who were undiscovered. Frequently then, artists and artisans in some countries would request payment, not in cash, but in other goods that were more valuable to them – art supplies such as paints or rice paper, or English-language magazines.

After leaving the Foreign Service and returning to San Francisco, Ms. Donegan opened an Asian antiques business, Patsy Lee Donegan Antiques, which she has run for 30+ years. She has been a presence in San Francisco’s Asian arts community since then, participating in frequent exhibits including at the Pacific Heritage Museum and Chinese Cultural Center; and antique shows such as Arts of Pacific Asia and San Francisco Tribal & Textile Arts, and the Hillsborough Antique Show. She also served for five years on the Board of Directors of the Society for Asian Art of the Asian Art Museum.

Now, after over six decades of collecting, studying and working in two careers related to Asia and Asian arts, Ms. Donegan is ready to retire. “My fascination for Asia – living, traveling and collecting – has been a passion I’ve enjoyed for many years,” she says. “But now it’s time to move on.” 

While lots from her personal collection and antique shop are offered in the November 19 sale, other pieces such as Chinese wedding beds, chests and other large furniture items are deemed too large to be offered online because of potential shipping costs. For larger furniture items that are available, please contact Steve Turner at Turner Auctions + Appraisals toll-free at 888-498-4450.

Press release >>

View catalog and register to bid three ways:

NEW!  Now you can bid on Turner Auctions + Appraisals' own mobile app. Follow the link below to see the site, and download the app from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions").

View Event →
The American & European Fine Art Collection
Nov
18
10:30 AM10:30

The American & European Fine Art Collection

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to offer the American & European Fine Art Collection. Featuring over 270 lots from multiple estates, the online auction includes paintings, works on paper, photographs and sculpture from the 18th to 21st centuries. Among the artists in the sale are William Keith, Theodore Waddell, Albrecht Durer, George Andrew Tice, Pablo Picasso, Wayne Thiebaud, Angel Espoy, Louis Icart, Horacio Renteria Rocha, Armin Hansen, Francisco Zuniga, Luigi Kasimir, John James Audubon, and Anders Zorn.

Press release >>

View catalog and register to bid three ways:

Now you can bid on Turner Auctions + Appraisals' own mobile app. Download the free app from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions").

View Event →
The Craig Miller Collection of Trains & Toys
Nov
12
10:30 AM10:30

The Craig Miller Collection of Trains & Toys

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to present The Craig Miller Collection of Trains & Toys. Assembled over 50+ years, the remarkable collection includes many rare and unusual items from U.S. and international makers, both antique and modern. Many items are in excellent to like-new condition. Offering over 175 lots, the online sale features makers such as Lionel, American Flyer, Dorfan, Ives, C&F, Elektoy, Converse, Kusan, Williams, Sunset 3rd Rail, MTH, Varney Sirus, Atlas, Rich-Art, Pride Lines, McCoy, Creswell, Cohen, Buddy-L, JAD, Kingsbury, Marklin, Bing, Edobaud, Paya, Lima, Buco, and Japanese brass. Train accessories, toys and numerous reference books round out the sale.

Craig Miller spent his childhood in New York, where he, like many young boys, enjoyed toy trains. When he was 12, his father moved the family to Saudi Arabia for a job at ARAMCO. Although his train set went with him overseas and was displayed in his bedroom, Mr. Miller temporarily lost interest in trains as he attended high school in Beirut, Lebanon, then university in upstate New York and Utah, where he met his future wife, Dusty.

The young couple settled in Washington, DC, and Mr. Miller began a 27-year-long career with the Department of Transportation, working in highway safety. It was there in Washington that he rediscovered his interest in toy trains, a passion that has grown steadily over the years. After finding a toy train in an antique shop in Arlington, Virginia, he began to attend numerous train meets on the east coast, including the semi-annual events in York, Pennsylvania, of the Train Collectors Association, where he has been a member since 1971. As his collection grew, Mr. Miller purchased many trains at train meets, at antique stores in the early days, and on eBay more recently.

In the 1970s, Mr. Miller transferred to the Department of Transportation’s regional office in San Francisco, California, retiring in 1994 to Santa Cruz. His enthusiasm for trains continued, frequently shared by the Over The Hill Gang, Bay Area toy train enthusiasts who met weekly for 15 years.

Mr. Miller’s collection of toy trains and accessories is diverse and eclectic – “anything railroad,” says Mrs. Miller of her husband's interests. His assemblage features examples from around the world, ranging from tiny Z-gauge trains by Marklin to huge Buddy-L trains that are large enough to ride. Nevertheless, a focus has been on popular O-gauge and standard gauge trains, and passenger cars in particular.

This auction alone offers lots from 31 different manufacturers:  among them are pre-World War 1 makers like Elektoy and Carlisle & Finch; rare lots as from Doggenweiler of Santiago, Chile; and more recent reproductions of now-defunct train manufacturers.  Although Mr. Miller has greatly enjoyed collecting – and still does – he decided recently it was time to move some of his acquisitions on to others, who hopefully will enjoy them as much as he has over the past five decades.

Press release >>

View catalog and register to bid three ways:

Now you can bid on Turner Auctions + Appraisals' own mobile app. Follow the link below to see the site, and download the app from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions").

View Event →
The John Pence Collection of Academic Realists & Abstract Art
Oct
22
10:30 AM10:30

The John Pence Collection of Academic Realists & Abstract Art

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to present The John Pence Collection of Academic Realists & Abstract Art. John Pence, founder and owner of the largest art gallery in San Francisco and one of the premier academic realist galleries in the U.S., recently retired from his eponymous firm after 44 years in business. The online auction features artworks from Mr. Pence’s personal collection, supplemented with works from his gallery. The focus of Mr. Pence’s own assemblage and his gallery is on academic realists, abstract works, and significant works from the 19th and early 20th centuries that inspired them. The Pence Collection will be offered for sale in two parts: the first on October 22 and the second in early 2018.

Born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana, John Pence attended Wabash College for men, where he graduated with a degree in Political Science and Economics. His career as a gallerist, however, was several decades and jobs away. After college, he joined the U.S. Navy, where he served as a Navy officer for nine years. His last assignment before leaving the Navy was as a White House Military Aide to President Lyndon Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson, serving in this eminent position for over two years.

Leaving the Navy, Mr. Pence worked for TWA (Trans World Airlines) in New York for over six years as a negotiator for fares and rates. Interacting frequently with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the trade association of the world’s airlines hired him as a commissioner, based in their Executive Offices in Geneva, Switzerland. Living in Geneva and visiting Paris and London regularly, he began to visit art galleries extensively, getting to know the owners.

As Mr. Pence traveled around the world and his interest in art grew, he began to buy various works. Then, when friends and acquaintances admired his art and his eye, he began selling on the side. In the early 1970s, he moved to San Francisco and decided to open his own gallery, seeking to fill it with works from artists who were local and from New York.

The John Pence Gallery opened in 1974. Throughout this career, his focus has been on artists starting out, supporting their efforts and showcasing their work as a patron, mentor, friend and admirer. His approach has been more Medici than mercenary:  supporting a stable of artists (40 most recently) with whom he never even signed a contract. Concentrating on the artist, not the work, Mr. Pence believes the artist should be in charge:  he looked for people who were easy to work with, determined, hard workers, and would grow with their art. He has enjoyed encouraging both male and female artists, often buying their works, not just selling them, thereby becoming a stakeholder in their success. As a result, when his business flourished, Mr. Pence received hundreds of applications for gallery representation every year, although he could only work with a handful.  
    
The distinguished list of artists John Pence has nurtured and represented through the years is most impressive. Artists in the two Pence auctions include Douglas Fenn Wilson, Michael Bengt, Will Wilson, Dorothy Morgan, Robert Maione, Randall Lake, Dean Larson, Jacob Collins, Michael Lynch, and Donald Jurney among others. His support, commitment and fundraising have extended to other areas as well, including AIDS, gay rights, women politicians, and the Junior League of San Francisco.

Earlier this year, John Pence decided it was finally time to retire, which at age 81, “seemed natural,” he says. While he contemplated this several years ago, his artists wanted one last show. Now, with his gallery’s final exhibit behind him, he held a retirement party recently for friends, clients and artists; the festivities were attended by his many appreciative fans, including guests who traveled from Paris, New York, and Italy. Now, after working six and seven days a week for decades, Mr. Pence can relax a bit. His only upcoming commitment? Posing for art classes for a friend. 

Looking back on his esteemed career as a gallerist and patron, Mr. Pence says he has enjoyed the camaraderie, friendship and mentorship he was able to give people – superb artists. When he looks around, he knows why he had such a wonderful 40+ years in his business:  people are treasures. John Pence says it best in a recent Facebook post:  “…Yes, it is true that I will be retiring at the end of June. After 44 years in San Francisco, wonderful years representing some of the finest painters and sculptors in the U.S. Our mission was to find worthy artists, expose their work to the public, and work with them to get their careers started off on the right track. I believe we have met those goals...”

Press release >>

View catalog and register to bid three ways:

NEW!  Now you can bid on Turner Auctions + Appraisals' own mobile app. Follow the link below to see the site, and download the app from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions").

View Event →
Fine Japanese Prints & Asian Decorative Arts
Oct
8
10:30 AM10:30

Fine Japanese Prints & Asian Decorative Arts

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to present over 240 lots of fine Japanese woodblock prints and Asian decorative arts, featuring works from the 1800s and 1900s. . Most of the woodblock artworks come from the Japanese Print Collection of Jeff & Marilyn Smith; the remaining items come from other collectors and estates.

The online auction features a diverse range of Asian arts. Japanese prints in the sale from the Smith Collection include about 100 works by Hasui, Kuniyoshi, Yoshida, Hiroshige, Bartlett, Lum, Hyde, Masamitsu, Yoshitoshi, Eizan, Eisen, Shoson and others. Japanese paintings include watercolors and shunga, plus calligraphy and scrolls. Japanese decorative arts include Satsuma; Kutani ware; Imari bowls, dishes and figures; gold lacquer inro and boxes and other lacquer items; Japanese ceramic flatware; Meiji bronze vases and sculpture; bronze Buddhas; tsuba; sword fittings; wood netsuke; cloisonné items; scrolls; calligraphy; and Seikichiro Goto paper. Chinese scrolls and calligraphy, and other Asian items round out the sale.

Both Jeff and Marilyn Smith have been avid art enthusiasts and collectors for over 45 years – first individually, then as a couple. In addition to Japanese prints, their interests have been diverse, including Works Progress Administration (WPA) art, European and American etchings, California and American paintings, automobilia, small sculptures and three-dimensional items.  

Thinking back, Mr. Smith dates his interest in collecting to the mid-1960s, where he was an art major at the University of Puget Sound, studying print making, painting, restoration, art education and art history – activities he still pursues today. One of his professors required an exchange of student artworks every semester, launching a life-long enthusiasm for collecting, and cultivating an eye and appetite for the arts. Thus began a life that “always had art on the walls.”

In 1983, Jeff and Marilyn Smith married and moved to Chicago. It was then the newlyweds’ interest in Japanese woodblock prints also began, introduced to them by a friend and art teacher in the Chicago area, who also shared his expertise on the subject. During their 18 years in Chicago, they visited art and antique shows on the weekends and began to acquire a growing number of prints. The couple started collecting triptychs and other Oban-sized prints (10” x 15”), focusing on masters of woodblock prints from the late 1700s on, including Yoshitoshi, Hokusai and Yoshida. More recently, their interests have expanded to contemporary artists such as Masamitsu.

Along the way, the Smiths have enhanced their collection by frequent international and domestic travels – to Paris, London, Italy, Germany, Shanghai, New York and other major cities on the East Coast – where they regularly would visit and buy at auctions and galleries.

In 1999, the couple retired from their long and successful careers – Jeff Smith as a manager of supply operations for United; Marilyn Smith from software engineering management for IBM – then moved to Napa Valley, California. Now, after consolidating two homes into one, they have decided to downsize. “It takes a lot of work to store and care for collections,” said Mr. Smith. “After over 45 enjoyable years of collecting, it’s now time to sell and treat ourselves, perhaps with a cruise.”

Press release >>

View catalog and register to bid three ways:

Bid on Turner Auctions + Appraisals' own mobile appClick here to see the site, and download the app from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions").

View Event →
A Fine Mélange: Decorative Arts & More from Around the World
Sep
24
10:30 AM10:30

A Fine Mélange: Decorative Arts & More from Around the World

  • Live Online Auction: Sunday, September 24, at 10:30 am PDT
  • Online Preview: Through September 24

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to offer an online sale of over 325 lots featuring decorative arts and more from around the world. This "Fine Mélange" comes from numerous sources, collections and estates. Dating mostly from the 1700s – 1900s, here are some of the diverse items this sale includes:

•    Pottery:  Staffordshire, Gaudy, Bennington, Fulper, English and German ceramics, European porcelain, Toby jugs, stoneware, creamware, polychrome
•    Paintings and other artworks: artists include Millard Sheets, Robert Wood, John Whorf, Bruce Crane, Jade Fon, James Abbot McNeill Whistler, Joan Miro, Peter Markham Scott, Percival de Luce, Louis Siegriest, Arthur Grover Rider, Charles, Dormon Robinson, Benigino Yamero Ruiz, Klaus Fussman, Red Skelton, David Alfaro Siqueiros
•    Southwest items:  polychrome pottery, Navajo sandpaintings and other artwork, Apache Gaan headdresses, blackware wedding jar, Navajo concho belts, necklaces, pendants, belt buckles, knife
•    Asian arts:  cloisonné vases, covered jars, tile figure, blue and white items, moon flask, ginger jars, Yuhuchun vase, dishes, lamps, bowls, Yixing pottery, gilt bronze figures, bronze Buddhas, censers, tomb figures, lion dogs, lacquered boxes, document boxes, dolls, cinnabar snuff bottles, jade and hardstone items, jewelry, Tibetan prayer beads, Chinese and Japanese paintings, Korean artworks, small furniture, Coromandel screen, Chinese silk clothing
•    Folk art:  carousel motorcycle and stand, whirligig
•    Pressed glass:  compotes and covered bowl
•    Clocks:  Louis XV-style gilt bronze Boulle marquetry clock, cased shelf clocks
•    Decorative Arts:  silverplated vases, Royal Doulton figurines, Dresden porcelain cases, duck decoys, vintage tin
•    Small furniture & other wooden items:  document stand, children’s stools, jewelry box, side table, oak box
•    Silverplated items, including a Dirk Van Erp serving dish
•    Pewter:  flagon, wine can, chargers, coffee and tea pots, candlesticks
•    Brass and copper:  andirons, candlesticks, pans
•    Steiff stuffed toys:  American bald eagle, farm animals, bears, elephants, cartoon characters
•    Molds:  English pottery jelly molds, wood butter molds
•    Ephemera:  1901 Pan-American Exposition, 1904 and 1939 World’s Fairs
•    Reference books:  pottery, ceramics, molds, pewter, lighting
•    Napoleona:  books, traveling clock, plaque, correspondence holder of Queen Hortense
•    Textiles:  crazy quilt, small rug
•    Mesoamerican items
•    Perfume factices

View catalog and register to bid:

View Event →
The Martin & Lee Rubin Collection of Art Glass
Sep
10
10:30 AM10:30

The Martin & Lee Rubin Collection of Art Glass

  • Live Online Auction: Sunday, September 10 at 10:30 am PDT
  • Online Preview: Through the Sale

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to present the Martin & Lee Rubin Collection of Art Glass on Sunday, September 10, 2017, at 10:30 am PDT.  Important pieces from the collection were initially offered recently at Bonhams, where a number of works realized tens of thousands of dollars.  Now Turner Auctions + Appraisals is featuring over 115 lots of this extensive collection, which includes sculpture, vases, bowls and figurines.

Amassed over 40 years, the Rubin Collection focuses on Italian art glass, with some American examples as well.  Martin Rubin began his collection by buying small glass artworks from galleries near his home in Athens, Ohio.  An academic and lecturer in philosophy at Ohio University, Mr. Rubin later started a small record store on campus, the Audio Buff Company, which grew to become a nationwide distributor to music libraries.  His wife Lee, who shared his collecting passion, worked in health and human services in Pennsylvania and Ohio, where she is listed in the state's Hall of Fame.

Building their collection together, they made several trips to Murano, Italy; became acquainted with gallery owners in the U.S. and around the world; and made friends with the glassmakers themselves -- and famed glassblower Lino Tagliapietra, in particular.  As a result, according to their son David Rubin, their very colorful home in Arizona was like a museum, filled with hundreds of art glass works, sculpture and paintings.

Press release

View catalog and register to bid three ways:

NEW!  Now you can bid on Turner Auctions + Appraisals' own mobile app. Click here to see the site, and download the app from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions").

View Event →
Part 4: Southwest Jewelry & Highlights from a Major Dealer/Collector
Jul
30
10:30 AM10:30

Part 4: Southwest Jewelry & Highlights from a Major Dealer/Collector

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to present over 200 lots of Southwest jewelry and sculpture – Part 4 of the private collection from the vault of a major Southern California dealer/collector. Jewelry offerings – many old pawn items hand-crafted of heavy, solid sterling or coin silver and embellished with gem-quality turquoise or coral stones, hardstone or coins – feature works from the Navajo and Zuni. The majority were crafted by talented artists; many include maker’s marks.

Among the exceptional range of items are cuff, Mexican silver and other bracelets; squash blossom and heishi necklaces and sets; concho belts; belt buckles; watch cuffs and watch bands; Western belt buckles; men's and ladies' rings; decorative silver items; match boxes; jewelry items including earrings, pendants, pins, barrettes and other hair ornaments; naja (pendants); bolo ties; ketohs; hat bands; and several jeweler's groups of miscellaneous turquoise in varying shapes and sizes.  

This sale presents some of the premier pieces of the entire five-part collection, which was carefully amassed over 30+ years with the goal of acquiring the finest examples of handwork available. Among the highlights are a massive turquoise cuff bracelet (5-1/2 inches long); sterling silver kachina sculptures; richly adorned concho belts; and exceptional squash blossom necklaces.

Press release >>

View catalog and register to bid three ways:

NEW!  Now you can bid on Turner Auctions + Appraisals' own mobile app. Click here to see the site, and download the app from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions").

View Event →
Arts of Asia
Jul
8
10:30 AM10:30

Arts of Asia

  • Live Online Auction: Saturday, July 8 at 10:30 am PDT
  • Online Preview: Through July 8

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to present a diverse selection of over 200 lots at its ‘Arts of Asia’ sale on Saturday, July 8.  The online auction features distinctive items from multiple consignors and estates that date from the early-18th century to the mid-20th century. Among the countries represented are China, Korea and Tibet. Offerings include jade jewelry, plaques and other carved pieces; cloisonné (figures. bowls, vases, animals); Chinese and Korean paintings; ginger jars, Yixing and other pottery; porcelain pieces; jewelry; gilt-bronze figures and other bronzes; blue and white decorative items; snuff bottles; Asian seals; cinnabar lacquer items; reference books; small furniture (screens, tables, stools et al); embroidered panels; and more.  

Press release >>

View catalog and register to bid three ways:

NEW!  Now you can bid on Turner Auctions + Appraisals' own mobile app. Click here to see the site, and download the app from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions").

View Event →
Southwest Jewelry, Pottery, Art and Collectibles
May
14
10:30 AM10:30

Southwest Jewelry, Pottery, Art and Collectibles

  • Live Online Auction: Sunday, May 14, at 10:30 am PDT
  • Online Preview: Through May 14

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to offer over 230 lots of Southwest jewelry, pottery, art and collectibles – Part 3 of the private collection from a major Southern California dealer/collector, plus items from several estates.  Jewelry offerings, many vintage pawn of sterling or coin silver and embellished with turquoise, include works from the Navajo, Zuni and Santa Domingo. Among the diverse range of items are belt buckles, belts, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, bolo ties, rings, hat bands, money clips and watch cuffs. The pottery – jars, bowls, pitchers, wedding jars, and other vessels – come from various tribal entities, cultures or pueblos, such as Hohokum, Anasazi, Hopi, Casas Grandes, San Ildefonso, Tularosa, Laguna, Acoma, San Juan, Santa Clara and others. Artwork offered includes Navajo and other rugs, masks by Gene Brabant (plus two masks from Africa), sculpture, paintings, framed art hangings and prints, and Navajo sand paintings.  Collectibles include hand-tooled leather goods, katsina dolls, Mexican spurs, Apache ranger law badges, El Rancho china, Navajo-style tableware, stone animal fetishes, stone/spear points and turquoise stones.  Reference books focus on ethnic arts – Southwest, Indonesian, Pre-Columbian, Tribal and Oceanic.

View catalog and register to bid three ways:

NEW!  Now you can bid on Turner Auctions + Appraisals' own mobile app. Click here to see the site, and download the app from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions").

View Event →
A Fine Mélange: Decorative Arts & More from Around the World
May
7
10:30 AM10:30

A Fine Mélange: Decorative Arts & More from Around the World

  • Live Online Auction: Sunday, May 7, at 10:30 am PDT
  • Online Preview: Through May 7

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to offer an online sale of over 425 lots featuring decorative arts and more from around the world. This "Fine Mélange" comes from numerous sources, collections and estates. Dating mostly from the 1700s – 1900s, here are just some of the diverse items this sale includes, by type or country: 

  • Lamps & lights:  Including from Tiffany Studios, Van Briggle and others 
  • Glass:  Pressed, molded, Bohemian, colored, satin quilted
  • European porcelain:  Tableware, figurines
  • Copper and brass items:  Pans, candlesticks
  • Pewter:  Ice cream molds, tea and coffee pots, flagons, chargers
  • Steiff:  Menagerie of stuffed animals
  • Textiles:  Needlework samplers from the 1700s and 1800s, vintage American hand-made quilts
  • Stoneware:  Jugs, crocks, salt box
  • Decorative arts:  Hand-colored prints and map, papier-maché boxes and tole trays
  • Wooden items:  Duck decoys, boxes, chest
  • American folk art:  Vintage and contemporary
  • Small furniture:  Clocks, children’s chairs, mirrors, tables, footstool
  • Automobile mascots:  From 1909 onward, and the collectors' related printed materials
  • Reference books:  On china, molds, pewter, ceramics and more
  • Napoleon-related items:  Books, engravings, other antique books
  • Memorabilia & ephemera: 1932 Olympics, various World’s Fairs and Expositions, vintage postcards
  • Artwork:  Several portraits
  • Toys & toy guns
  • Sunken treasure from the Hoi An Hoard: Vietnamese ceramics from the 14th-15th centuries
  • Other:  Dirk Van Erp serving dish
  • From England:  Staffordshire pottery, Toby jugs, English ceramics, molded pitchers & mugs, Royal Doulton figurines
  • From France:  Limoges plates, inkwell, decanter, porcelain boxes
  • From Germany:  Art Deco bookends, a Dresden planter, porcelain figurines, dessert service
  • From China:  Carved soapstone roosters, snuff bottle, jade items, Wucai jar, blue and white export porcelain, table-top stands
  • From Japan:  Imari ware, bronze bowl

View catalog and register to bid three ways:

NEW!  Now you can bid on Turner Auctions + Appraisals' own mobile app. Click here to see the mobile site, and download the free app from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions").

View Event →
The Warren Heid Family Collection of Toy Trains
Apr
22
10:30 AM10:30

The Warren Heid Family Collection of Toy Trains

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to announce the sale of the Warren Heid Family Collection of Toy Trains. Featuring over 210 lots amassed over 50+ years, the collection includes toy trains from leading American makers, including the Ives Manufacturing Company, American Flyer, Lionel Corporation, and Hafner Manufacturing Company. European manufacturers are also represented as well, such as Bing and Issmayer.  Most date from the early 1900s to the 1930s. In addition to train sets and individual train cars, the collection offers accessories such as passenger stations, signals, windmills and bridges.

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Warren Heid has lived there most of his life, although his military service in World War II took him to many exotic, far-flung places. As a Class 4 Sergeant in the Army Air Corps working in communications, he traveled around the world, spending time in India, China and North Africa. When he returned from the war, thanks to the GI Bill, Mr. Heid studied architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to finding his career there, he also found his bride, marrying Shelia when he was a university sophomore; they have now been happily married for 70 years.

During his long, award-winning career as an architect, Mr. Heid designed private homes, commercial and government buildings, schools, churches and hotels, including one in Tahiti. Living and working in Saratoga, California, for decades, he retired in 2008.  In late 2016, the Architect Emeritus was honored by the Saratoga City Council for his architectural contributions there, which include St. Andrews Episcopal Church and The Inn at Saratoga.

Mr. Heid did not collect trains as a child – that passion came later, and by accident. In 1958, working on a project in San Jose, Warren parked in front of a Goodwill store and happened to see a train in the window. Encountering that American Flyer train by chance and buying it, he launched an enthusiasm that has endured to this day.  

With his interest piqued in his new toy, literally, Mr. Heid continued to visit Goodwill in search of trains. Getting to know the staff over time, he was invited to the Goodwill train depot, where trains were fixed before going to sale. Soon Mr. Heid was repairing trains as well, buying some along the way and building a collection.  

Besides antique stores and friends, the Train Collectors Association played a significant part in Mr. Heid’s collecting. He was an early member – number 433 of a group that now includes over 50,000! – and is still a member to this day. Through the years, the group’s Nor-Cal division met once a month in the East Bay, where members would buy, sell and trade trains. Over this shared interest, numerous long-term friendships were made. Mr. Heid’s family – Shelia and their children Susan and Jeff – participated as well, enjoying Christmas parties, regional meets and national conventions. During his time as a TCA member, Mr. Heid served on the Board of Directors and was elected as President of the Nor-Cal chapter.

Pursuing toy trains for over 50 years, Mr. Heid’s collection grew to over 2,500 individual train cars and train sets (comprised of a locomotive, tender and three cars). These were displayed in the basement of his home, a room dedicated to showcasing and enjoying the collection. There Mr. Heid and Jeff operated the trains on a large, standard-gauge layout. Among the favorites in his collection are Ives trains, the Blue Comet by Lionel, delicate tin-plate trains, a live steam engine that works with alcohol, and Tootsietoys. The collection goes up for bid on April 22 at Turner Auctions + Appraisals, except for a few valued items, including his first train from Goodwill.

Long before eBay provided easy, fingertip access to countless goods and collectibles, 
Mr. Heid was inspired by the joy of the hunt for toy train treasures. At an antique store, for example, buying a box of old train-related stuff, one might find a coveted catalog at the bottom. Now in his ninth decade, Mr. Heid is ready to share the fruits of his half-century of passionate collecting with others, who hopefully will enjoy them as well. “Part of the fun is the chase,” he says. “My many years of collecting have brought great pleasure to me, and my family as well. I’ve had a wonderful life. Train collecting has been part of it – giving me an enjoyable hobby, a valuable investment, and great friends with other train-crazy people.”

Press release >>

View catalog and register to bid three ways:

NEW!  Now you can bid on Turner Auctions + Appraisals' own mobile app. Click here to see the mobile site, and download the free app from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions").

View Event →
The 19th-Century Collection of Daniel Kirchner
Mar
19
10:30 AM10:30

The 19th-Century Collection of Daniel Kirchner

  • Live Online Auction: Sunday, March 19, at 10:30 am PDT
  • Online Preview: Through March 19

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to feature the 19th-Century Collection of Daniel Kirchner.  With 325 lots, the collection offers 19th-century decorative arts, both American and international, including early American pressed glass; salt-glazed stoneware; Bennington, Majolica and other pottery; paintings and prints; French porcelain apothecary jars; American and English samplers; Toby jugs; Staffordshire transfer ware; diverse items of brass, copper and pewter; small furniture; tole and tin items; several bronze works; and much more.

Born in Wisconsin and raised on a farm, Daniel Kirchner came to collecting at an early age.  When he was 12, he went to an auction in Ellsworth, which launched a lifetime hobby and a enjoyable pursuit that lasted over 50 years.  Mentored by several antique enthusiasts who sought items of earlier times, Mr. Kirchner developed a similar appreciation, focusing on decorative arts of the 19th century.  On the hunt even before he could drive, Mr. Kirchner would visit local auctions, flea markets, estate sales and antiques and second-hand shops, dropped off by his parents who would pick him up an hour or so later.

In accounting by trade, Mr. Kirchner relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1976.  He took along with him a number of his valued collectibles from Wisconsin, some then in his possession for over 40 years, and continued the hunt in California for treasures that pleased him.

Now, having retired several years ago and downsizing to a new home, Mr. Kirchner is ready to pass along the alluring decorative collection he amassed, beginning as a boy and continuing for over half a century.

Press release >>

View catalog and register to bid three ways:

NEW!  Now you can bid on Turner Auctions + Appraisals' own mobile app. Click here to see the site, and download the app from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions").

View Event →
Part 2: Southwest Jewelry from the Private Collection of a Major Dealer/Collector
Feb
12
2:30 PM14:30

Part 2: Southwest Jewelry from the Private Collection of a Major Dealer/Collector

  • Live Online Auction: Sunday, February 12, at 2:30 pm PDT
  • Online Preview: Through February 12

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is very pleased to offer Part 2 of the private collection of Southwest jewelry from a major dealer/collector.  The extensive, multi-part sale features Native American works from the Navajo, Zuni and Hopi.  Part 1 was sold in November to great success; other parts, offering Southwest and Western jewelry and artwork, will be sold later this year.  Offerings in Part 2 include coin or sterling silver jewelry (bracelets, rings, necklaces – often embellished with turquoise, coral, gold or coins); watch cuffs and watch bands; belts, belt buckles and caps; ketos; money clips; bolo ties; a silver desk set; and a David Spellerbery sculpture.

The owner of this collection was a major dealer and collector of Navajo, Zuni and Hopi jewelry in Southern California for over 30 years.  From the mid-1970s to the early 2000s, he operated a retail business that sold vintage, contemporary and custom Southwest jewelry to movie studios, prop and costume houses, and collectors.  All auction items are “from the vault” – ones that were reserved for personal use or set aside for future appreciation.  Everything in the collection is original and hand-made.  Most items are crafted of heavy, solid silver – either coin or sterling silver; embellished with gem-quality turquoise or coral stones, gold or coins; and elaborate hand-cut bezels.  The majority were crafted by talented artists; many are maker-stamped. Some items are vintage ceremonial pieces; many are museum-quality.  None of the pieces have color-enhanced stones, or are plated with silver or nickel.  Overall, the owner’s quest was to obtain top-quality items that were out of the ordinary – the finest examples of handwork they could find.  (See below for more about the collector and this collection.)

Press release >>

View catalog and register to bid three ways:

NEW!  Now you can bid on Turner Auctions + Appraisals' own mobile app. Click here to see the site, and download the app from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions").

More About the Southwest Collection and the Collector

The owner of this collection grew up in the Southwest in the 1950s.  Back then, the desert town he lived in (which had ballooned from 8,400 in 1940 to about 25,000 in 1950 and over 64,000 in 1960) was still filled with purveyors of Native American and Western wares.  Then, like now, jewelry for Indians was a store of value and status, along with sheep and horses.  So with his background, contacts and interest in the Old West, the owner launched his own Southwest jewelry business in Southern California in the mid-1970s.  At the time, there were few competitors, he says; in the era’s collegial environment, shops would send customers to other stores to find the specialties they wanted.

Now, after 40 years and working all his life, the owner is ready to retire – from his business, his collection and his numerous possessions – and kick back a bit.  As he says, “I have greatly enjoyed collecting for my business and myself.  And now it’s time for someone else to do the same.”

The items in the collection range from the 1950s to about 1990, plus ones from the 1920s and 1930s during the “Harvey House period.”  (One route of the Santa Fe Railway – officially named the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway – went southwest from Chicago to Southern California through New Mexico, Arizona and other states.  Beginning in 1878, at numerous railroad stops, Fred Harvey built Harvey House restaurants, bringing good food at reasonable prices to the traveling public throughout the Southwest for nearly a century.  In fact, because of the indigenous jewelry they offered train travelers, it can be said that Harvey Houses – considered America’s first restaurant chain – introduced Indian art to America, which became extremely popular with tourists as superb souvenirs of their trips to the Old West.) 

Jewelry in the collection was acquired in Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada from the Navajo, Zuni and Hopi – each with a distinctive style.  Many of the Native American jewelry makers for Harvey House were farmers who, during down time in the winter, made jewelry for shops to supplement their income.  Other items were acquired from the makers themselves or their families.  Some were obtained through trading posts or itinerant sellers; that is, representatives of various tribes who would stop at dealers to show and sell new wares.  Other inventory was obtained from the vault of Tobe Turpen, Jr., a long-time trader who sold his Gallup, NM, store in the mid-1990s.  Some were obtained from trading posts and reservation pawn shops:  many Native Americans, having nowhere to store their valuables, would go to pawn shops near their reservations for items’ safekeeping, then redeem them later on.  Some items became “dead pawn” – items sold after they had gone to pawn and were never redeemed, for one reason or another.  The collection also features a few items from Plains or Northern Indians, which had been traded among tribes at pow wows.

View Event →
Sunken Treasure from the Hoi An Hoard
Feb
12
11:30 AM11:30

Sunken Treasure from the Hoi An Hoard

  • Live Online Auction: Sunday, February 12, at 11:30 am PDT
  • Online Preview: Through February 12

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is excited to present an online sale on February 12 from the renowned “Hoi An Hoard” – historic treasures of 15th- and 16th-century Vietnamese ceramics that were recovered from a trading ship that sank over 500 years ago in a typhoon in the Dragon Sea.  Excavated from the deep with extreme difficulty under death-defying conditions in the late 1990s, the shipwreck’s collection of porcelain artifacts is considered by many experts to be the most significant find in Vietnamese art.

The auction features over 160 lots, almost all with multiple items. Among the offerings are vases large and small, boxes, wine flasks, bowls, tea and wine cups, serving plates, platters and more. Some items are decorated with blue and white designs, enamel or white glaze; some are undecorated; and some include marine encrustations from over five centuries buried at sea. An auction highlight is a small, one-of-a-kind box in the form of a crab, decorated with green enamel that has degraded over the years due to underwater exposure at the bottom of the sea.

The works for sale from the Hoi An Hoard are sure to tempt today's treasure hunters. These 500-year-old ceramics – probably created in the mid-1400s, before Johannes Gutenberg printed his first bible and Leonardo da Vinci was born – infrequently come up for auction.  Focused on individual buyers, this auction presents a rare opportunity to obtain art objects with a unique historical, cultural and archaeological provenance – and at prices that enable most people to participate.

Sunken Treasure: The Amazing Story of the Hoi An Hoard

The story of the Hoi An Hoard – from the collection itself, which is the only known cache of Vietnamese ceramics, to the extraordinary underwater archaeological excavation, which involved smuggling, typhoons and hazardous diving operations – is an amazing tale.  

Although a number of items from the Hoi An Hoard have been acquired by museums – including San Francisco's Asian Art Museum and London's British Museum – Vietnamese ceramics are relatively unknown except to a small group of collectors.  The items from the Hoi An Hoard come from the village of Chu Dau, the oldest pottery center in Vietnam and renowned for its high quality export ceramics.  Although Vietnam became independent from China in 936 A.D., Chinese migrants continued to venture south, influencing the local craftsmen with Chinese styles and production processes.  When the Chinese Ming government, torn by wars and internal strife, curtailed all foreign relations, Chu Dau producers became the leading suppliers of trade pottery to overseas markets. 

It's no surprise that the Vietnamese artisans put their own stylistic stamp on their wares of blue-and-white and polychrome ceramics.  It is these wares, retrieved from their watery grave, that comprise the Hoi An Hoard.

Indeed, the tale of the Hoi An Hoard is one of mystery, danger and intrigue.  Perhaps the modern story begins the 1980s when a Japanese diplomat in Vietnam made the fortuitous comparison that pottery shards from the Red River Delta were similar to those of the famous Chu Dau vase exhibited in Istanbul's Topkapi Saray Museum, a piece signed by its creator in 1450.  Then, in the early 1990s, Vietnamese fisherman increasingly began to find shards of porcelain in their nets near Cu Lao Cham Island.  Quickly and quietly, these pieces began to show up in the nearby town of Hoi An, an ancient trading center no longer bustling except with occasional tourists.  As recognition of the artifacts' provenance spread among visitors, the secret leaked out.  

Soon adventurers, opportunists and antique dealers were in hot pursuit of these ancient wares – all encouraging fishermen to abandon their trade and drag the sea floor with nets and steel rakes for loose pieces.  As greed overcame good sense, scant regard was given either to the potential damage to the wreck and its cargo, or to Vietnam's laws that prohibit the export of national artifacts.  The scandal was uncovered when two Japanese art dealers were stopped at Da Nang Airport with valises filled with contraband.  The authorities traced the smuggled goods back to the region of Cu Lao Cham Island in the Dragon Sea, an area of the South China Sea named for its typhoons' unpredictable ferocity, and placed a ban on the illegal activities. 

Subsequently, it became clear that salvage of a deepwater wreck was beyond local capabilities.  To locate the wreck and excavate it, an Asian salvage company and the Vietnamese Government formed a joint venture to bring the needed technology, management and financial resources.  The project was placed under the stewardship of Vietnam History Museum.  Then Oxford University Maritime Archaeological Research Unit (MARE) was engaged to provide the scholarly and scientific expertise for this complex endeavor.

Exploration began in mid-1997 after the sidescan unit bouncing sonar off a large anomaly on the ocean floor portended a wreck.  But the extreme depths thwarted efforts to confirm it until the operation's eleventh hour, when with all alternatives exhausted, a remote-operated vehicle was finally jerry-rigged into working.  Its camera recorded the entire wreck and much of its cargo, which despite numerous plunderers, appeared virtually intact.  That was the good news.

The bad news was that the depth of the shipwreck required extraordinary means of retrieval.  Usual scuba diving techniques allow divers to go to about 110 feet.  This wreck however was located 230 feet (70 meters) below the surface, so scuba would not work.  In spring 1998, various recovery options were considered, tried and discarded.  Then, when an out-of-season typhoon wiped out the initial operation and allocated funding was exhausted, the project was nearly abandoned altogether. 

But the team regrouped in 1999 with a new and controversial strategy – to use a complex, hazardous technique called "mixed gas saturation diving."  This procedure is used in oilfield and deepwater recovery operations.  (A well-documented example was the retrieval in 2000 of the ill-fated Russian nuclear-powered submarine Kursk at 350 feet deep.)  However, this technique had never before been applied in an archaeological excavation, and the MARE experts were skeptical that the procedure's high cost would compromise the time and care such a historic operation required.  But if successful, the groundbreaking endeavor would be the world's deepest, full-scale archaeological excavation.

Moreover, even for terra firma residents who love the water, saturation diving is filled with requirements that engender extreme unease.  First, the technique required that divers be kept in a confined pressurized chamber.  Second, they had to live for the duration of the project – about two-and-a-half months! – in the sealed, claustrophobic saturation chamber (in essence, a tube six feet in diameter and 12 feet long) or the diving bell, which was smaller still.  Third, the divers would not undergo decompression until the end of the operation, when three full days would be necessary to re-acclimate their bodies' systems.  Fourth, although the saturation chamber sat atop a barge and not under water, the sealed and pressurized container meant that, if anything happened to its handlers or the barge itself, the divers would be doomed to certain death.  (Such a tragedy befell another saturation salvage operation near Hong Kong in 1996 during a typhoon.)

This was risky business indeed.  But six divers from Australia, New Zealand and Ireland accepted the challenge – and two three-man teams worked round-the-clock in 12-hour shifts on the sea floor for 69 days!

The six divers, however, were just one part of the vast excavation operation.  Topside on board the 230-foot barge Tropical 388, there were 19 life-support technicians and 12 supervisors who continuously fed the divers, maintained their lifeline and monitored all their functions within the pressurized capsule. During their 12-hour work shifts, the divers were transported in the diving bell to the black, underwater wreck site where, under control of the Diving Superintendent, they carried out the excavation monitored by topside archaeologists.  Items from the shipwreck were brought to the surface by a huge crane and transferred to two other barges.  There items were cleaned and kept in a water bath for desalination to prevent their drying out and cracking.

Along the way, each was tagged and catalogued. Unique and selected examples were photographed and drawn in detail.  In all, this complex operation required 120 people – and that excludes Vietnamese Navy personnel, whose gunboats were on hand to provide armed security against pirates and looters.

In total, 244,000 items were recovered.  Amazingly, after tops and bottoms were re-mated, the final tally yielded over 180,000 intact ceramics.  The cache was extremely diverse, ranging from special occasion items for the wealthy to more mundane items for everyday use.  The sunken ship's name and origin remain a mystery, although the vessel's wood and a crewmember's skull suggest it was from Thailand.  It is known the trading ship was destined for Southeast Asia and the Middle East before its voyage was cut short by an unknown disaster, perhaps a typhoon or pirates.  Current thinking suggests the overloaded, top-heavy ship capsized in a powerful Dragon Sea tempest, but it's likely the truth was buried with the treasure.

On the other hand, the precious cargo from the Red River Delta has finally – circuitously, over the span of centuries, and using resources never before available in history – reached the export trade market.  It is the good fortune of today's collectors that some wares have surfaced, albeit 500 years later than expected.  

Press release >>

View catalog and register to bid three ways:

NEW!  Now you can bid on Turner Auctions + Appraisals' own mobile app. Click here to see the site, and download the app from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions").

View Event →
Estate Auction
Dec
31
10:30 AM10:30

Estate Auction

  • Live Online Auction: Saturday, December 31, at 10:30 am PDT
  • Online Preview: Through December 31

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to offer this estate sale with over 270 diverse lots. Items up for bid include decorative arts from the United States and other countries, small furniture, paintings and prints, vintage watches, American and international pottery, pewter and brass, antique samplers and other textiles, vintage and contemporary Americana, books, automobile mascots, geographic ephemera, and charming Steiff toy animals.

View catalog and register to bid:

View Event →
A Fine Mélange: Decorative Arts & More from Around the World
Dec
11
11:30 AM11:30

A Fine Mélange: Decorative Arts & More from Around the World

  • Live Online Auction: Sunday, December 11, at 11:30 am PDT
  • Online Preview: Through December 11

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to offer an online sale of 340 items of decorative arts and more from around the world. This "Fine Mélange" comes from numerous sources, collections and estates. Here are just some of items this sale includes: charming Steiff animals (over 40 lots of almost 150 items), Louis Vuitton briefcase and trunk, wooden dollhouse and cradle, small furniture like children's chairs and shelf clocks, vintage and contemporary American folk art, samplers from the 1700s and 1800s, Toby jugs, wooden duck decoys, candlesticks and brassware, American and European antique and vintage pewter, diverse molds (for butter, jelly, chocolate and ice cream), blue-and-white Staffordshire transferware, quilts, numerous artworks (of California, 19th-century landscapes and portraits, wildlife, airplanes, and automobiles, plus from renowned artists like Miro, J.A.M. Whistler, Shimoda, Jay Koka and others), books on Napoleon and for reference (on pottery, china, pewter, ceramics, lighting), 1932 Olympic memorabilia, distinctive automobile mascots dating from 1909, vintage watches, and more.

View catalog and register to bid:

View Event →
Southwest Jewelry from the Private Collection of a Major Dealer/Collector
Dec
4
1:00 PM13:00

Southwest Jewelry from the Private Collection of a Major Dealer/Collector

  • Live Online Auction: Sunday, December 4, at 1:00 pm PDT
  • Online Preview: Through December 4

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to offer the private collection of Southwest jewelry from a major dealer/collector. The extensive sale will be held in several parts:  Part 1 features 200 top-quality Native American works from the Navajo, Zuni and Hopi. Offerings include bracelets, squash blossom and other necklaces, rings, belt buckles, watch bands, earrings, ketos and more for men, women and children. Parts 2 and 3, to be offered in 2017, feature Western jewelry and artworks.  

The owner of the collection was a major dealer and collector of Navajo, Zuni and Hopi jewelry in Southern California for over 30 years. From the mid-1970s to the early 2000s, he operated a retail business that sold vintage, contemporary and custom Southwest jewelry to movie studios, prop and costume houses, and collectors. Some items have been in his possession since the 1960s. All items at auction are “from the vault,” he says – ones that were reserved for personal use or set aside for future appreciation. 

Everything in the collection is original and hand-made. Most items are crafted of solid silver – either sterling or coin silver (“as heavy as we could get it”), embellished with gem-quality turquoise stones, some from mines now closed, and elaborate hand-cut bezels. The majority were crafted by talented artists; many are maker-stamped. Some are vintage ceremonial pieces; other contemporary pieces feature gold enhancements. Many are museum-quality items suitable, not only for wearing, but for display as wall-hangings or in shadow boxes. None of the pieces has color-enhanced stones, or are plated with silver or nickel. Overall, the owner’s quest was to obtain top-quality items that were out of the ordinary – specifically, “the finest examples of handwork we could find.”

The items in the collection range from the 1950s to about 1990, plus ones from the 1920s and 1930s during the “Harvey House period.” (One route of the Santa Fe Railway – officially named the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway – went southwest from Chicago to Southern California through New Mexico, Arizona and other states. Beginning in 1878, at numerous railroad stops, Fred Harvey built Harvey House restaurants, which brought good food at reasonable prices to the traveling public throughout the Southwest for nearly a century. In fact, because of the indigenous jewelry they offered train travelers, it can be said that Harvey Houses – considered America’s first restaurant chain – introduced Indian art to America, which became extremely popular with tourists as superb souvenirs of their trips to the Old West.) 

Jewelry in the upcoming auctions was acquired in Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada from the Navajo, Zuni and Hopi – each with a distinctive style. Many of the Native American jewelry makers for Harvey House were farmers who, during down time in the winter, made jewelry for shops to supplement their income. Other items were acquired from the makers themselves or their families. Some were obtained through trading posts or itinerant sellers; that is, representatives of various tribes who would stop at dealers to show and sell new wares. Other inventory was obtained from the vault of Tobe Turpen, Jr., a long-time trader who sold his Gallup, NM, store in the mid-1990s. Some were obtained from trading posts and reservation pawn shops:  many Native Americans, having nowhere to store their valuables, would go to pawn shops near their reservations for items’ safekeeping, then redeem them later on. Some items became “dead pawn” – items sold after they had gone to pawn and were never redeemed, for one reason or another. The collection also features a few items from Plains or Northern Indians, which had been traded among tribes at powwows.

The owner of the collection grew up in the Southwest in the 1950s. Back then, the desert town he lived in (which had ballooned from 8,400 in 1940 to about 25,000 in 1950 and over 64,000 in 1960) was still filled with purveyors of Native American and Western wares. Then, like now, jewelry for Indians was a store of value and status, along with sheep and horses. So with his background, contacts and interest in the Old West, the owner launched his own Southwest jewelry business in Southern California in the mid-1970s. At the time, there were few competitors, he says; in the era’s collegial environment, shops would send customers to other stores to find the specialties they wanted.

Now, after 40 years, the owner is ready to retire – from his business, his collection and his numerous possessions. As he says, “I’ve worked all my life and am ready to kick back a bit. I’ve greatly enjoyed collecting for my business and myself. And now it’s time for someone else to do the same.”

Press release >>

View catalog and register to bid:

View Event →
The Steve and Linda Stuart Collection of American Art Pottery
Dec
4
10:30 AM10:30

The Steve and Linda Stuart Collection of American Art Pottery

  • Live Online Auction: Sunday, December 4, at 10:30 am PDT
  • Online Preview: Through December 4

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to offer the Steve and Linda Stuart Collection of American Art Pottery.  Acquired over two decades from the Midwest and California by avid enthusiasts and antique dealers, the live online auction features over 100 lots, including many Arts & Crafts works and a Tiffany Studios lamp.  Several related items round out the sale.  

Born and raised in Lansing, Michigan, Steve and Linda Stuart collected American art pottery for over 20 years.  Steve’s enthusiasm for antiques began well before then, when he started refurbishing vintage furniture pieces found at farm sales and auctions in the Midwest, using gentle chemicals to avoid damaging the wood, sanding them by hand, and refinishing them to bring out their natural finish and beauty.  He appreciated the older furniture because of it was of better quality and not disposable, as much furniture was in the 1970s.

Over time, the couple evolved beyond collecting furniture to include American art pottery, visiting local flea markets and antique dealers, and even standing in the Michigan snow to acquire items from farm auctions.  Linda says, “Steve collected what he liked most and what he liked most was American art pottery.”  He enjoyed talking to dealers and was on the hunt for items of high quality in pristine condition.

In the early 1980s, the Stuarts moved from Michigan to Northern California, where the couple’s personal interests took a professional turn.  They launched Stuart Antiques, in business from 1985 to 2000, offering farm furniture, American art pottery, Native American rugs, primitives like pie safes and jelly cupboards and more, at numerous antique shows and San Francisco Bay Area collectives like the Antique Society of Sebastopol.  For Steve, dealing in antiques and refurbishing furniture became a full-time job; Linda worked elsewhere, but enthusiastically assisted in their retail and collecting ventures.

The items in the upcoming sale are from the Stuarts’ “personal stash,” as Steve called them.  These were the ‘cream of the crop’ – gems from their own private collection, showcased in their home, and never shown or offered for sale by them.  Among their treasures are Arts & Crafts pottery from Grueby, Teco, Van Briggle and others; and a Tiffany Studios lamp acquired in the 1980s.

Steve passed away in 1995.  Now, after three decades in Northern California, Linda decided recently to return to her Michigan roots to be close to family.  As she moved and downsized, the couple’s precious collection of American art pottery has been in storage, with beautiful items unable to be appreciated as they had been before.  As she offers her collection for sale, Linda says, “Steve and I had a wonderful time collecting through the years.  I hope others can now enjoy them as much as we did.”

Press release >>

View catalog and register to bid:

View Event →
The Library and Selected Artifacts from the Personal Collection of Jim Haas
Nov
13
11:30 AM11:30

The Library and Selected Artifacts from the Personal Collection of Jim Haas

  • Live Online Auction: Sunday, November 13, at 11:30 PDT
  • Online Preview: Through November 13

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to offer the library and selected artifacts from the personal collection of Jim Haas, the noted, long-time specialist in Native American and Ethnographic Arts, who recently retired from Bonhams after 31 years with the company and its predecessor.  Featuring over 360 lots, the sale also includes property from a major Southwest museum and estates of two long-time collectors:  the Furgatch Collection features contemporary Southwest pottery; the Nancy Florsheim Estate, Part 2, offers contemporary and prehistoric pottery and Southwest jewelry.  

Reflecting Jim Haas’s 30+ years as a professional appraiser and expert in the arts, his printed collection is a working library of art reference books and auction catalogs.  It includes volumes that are older and in some cases rare; along with materials on oriental rugs, old-world antiquities, and photography, an interest of his wife Claudia.  Although there is a focus on the Native American and Ethnographic Arts books used in his profession, his collection is a sizable reference library in many areas that would be difficult to put together today.  Collectors, scholars and researchers will find the library to be of great interest.  The sale features several hundred volumes grouped into 53 lots.

In addition to the working library, items at auction from Jim Haas’s personal collection include oriental rugs and ethnographic esoterica such as Australian Aboriginal spear throwers, a Greek orthodox religious staff, a Bedouin outfit from Egypt, a mid-19th-century Turkmen tent band, and more.  While these items are sure to attract serious collectors, the sale is affordably priced to interest novice enthusiasts or retailers.

Jim Haas began his long and acclaimed career in the arts through serendipity and chutzpah.  A graduate of University of Wisconsin-Madison with a master’s degree in Communication Arts and a focus on media production, he came to San Francisco in 1984 and was unable to find a job in that field.  Out and about one day, he walked by the Butterfield & Butterfield auction house and saw an Oriental rug auction was underway.  He went in, was fascinated, and asked to see Bernard Osher, Butterfield’s owner.  Mr. Osher, perhaps thinking he was a member of the prominent San Francisco Haas family (he’s not), granted him an audience.  Jim pitched himself with enthusiasm and zeal, resulting in a job first as a preview worker, then at the front desk.  Although Jim Haas’s career path was different than he intended, it was not without personal interest:  he recalls many weekends as a teenager getting up early to go treasure hunting at a Milwaukee flea market while his boyhood friends slept off the previous night’s escapades. 

At Butterfields, his good luck continued when the Ethnographic Department head quit and Jim assumed the position, becoming a specialist and respected expert through the years.  During his 31 years at Butterfields, later acquired by Bonhams, Jim spent 20 years as Director of the Ethnographic Art Department, which included Native American, African, Oceanic, Southeast Asian tribal and pre-Columbian art.  During the first five years, he also worked simultaneously as Director of the Oriental Rug Department, focused on tribal and rural weaving traditions of village and nomadic people of the east.  For the last decade, Jim has focused strictly on Native American art.  Over the length of his career, he estimates he oversaw about 75 sales that generated some $65-$70 million for the company.

Now, after retiring in June from his long career at Butterfields/Bonhams, Jim has decided to downsize many of the items he’s accumulated, saying “If they’re not appreciated on a daily basis, why own them?”  Nonetheless, despite reducing the collection he’s amassed, Jim Haas expects to remain very active in the Native American art field as an appraiser, consultant and broker.

In addition to the Jim Haas Collection, the upcoming sale also features works from three other sources:

•   The property deaccessioned from a major Southwestern museum features semi-antique basketry from the Apache, Pima and Papago, and some antique Plains beadwork.  Because of their focus on local Native American arts and material culture, the Pima and Papago are no longer germane to the museum’s current mission.  Sale highlights include beaded items and Southwest basketry.

•   The Furgatch Collection of Contemporary Southwest Pottery includes works by Camilio Sunflower Tafoya, Lucy Lewis, Lois and Derek Gutierrez, and numerous other noted artists.  Residents of the east coast, the Furgatchs enjoyed going to the Southwest and meeting with local potters.  They formed a lengthy friendship, in particular, with Lois and Derek Gutierrez of Santa Clara, New Mexico, a number of whose works are included in the sale.

•   Nancy Florsheim of Lake Forest, Illinois, amassed one of the best collections of Southwestern pottery in the U.S., according to one expert.  While she often acquired the finest works, she also enjoyed collecting more modest pieces, including those offered in this sale – and at prices estimated to be well within most enthusiasts’ means. A regular attendee of the annual Indian Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Nancy Florsheim loved meeting the artists, buying from them directly and supporting their work. Of note are offerings from well-known potters such as Maria Martinez, Joy Navasie and Helen Naha; and from jewelry-maker and silversmith Joe H. Quintana.

Press release >>

View catalog and register to bid:

View Event →
The Anita & Sedwick Hellman Collection of Toys
Nov
12
11:30 AM11:30

The Anita & Sedwick Hellman Collection of Toys

  • Live Online Auction: Saturday, November 12, at 11:30 PDT
  • Online Preview: Through November 12

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to feature the Anita & Sedwick Hellman Toy Collection. Offering over 245 lots amassed from coast to coast over 50 years, the collection includes toy cars, trains, guns, airplanes, tin toys, dolls and more.  

Residents of Mamaroneck, New York, Anita and Sedwick Hellman were avid toy collectors for five decades.  Sedwick was a funeral director in a multi-generation family business.  His wife Anita, a flamboyant beauty with striking red hair, was an elementary schoolteacher for 28 years at the Osborn School in Rye, a top public school in New York.  During summer vacations, the Hellmans made collecting a fun family affair, taking their son Jaime, now a TV producer in New York, on cross-country collecting trips from New York to California and Maine to Louisiana for a month or two at a time.  During their forays in the mid-1960s to early-1970s, the family traveled in their ‘home away from home’ – first a small International Harvester school bus, converted with beds and a kitchen; then in one of the first commercially built motor homes. 

At other times, the Hellmans regularly frequented East Coast antique shows and dealers, flea markets, and church and garage sales to expand their collection, traveling beyond New York to Vermont, Pennsylvania and other parts of New England.  Anita was partial to dolls and collected hundreds over the years.  Her husband enjoyed toys of all kinds.  Both were on the hunt for great buys – looking for toys of value, in good shape, and ones that caught their fancy. 

Over the decades, Jaime Hellman estimates their collection numbered from 2,000 to 3,000 items – creating one of the largest collections on the East Coast.  Moreover, according to a magazine feature in “Of Westchester” from about 1975, it was considered to be “one of outstanding toy collections in [that] part of the country.”  While the pursuit itself was paramount, learning about toys was important too, and the couple did painstaking research on their acquisitions and the subject overall.  Their hope was to someday have a toy museum and share their pleasures of their collecting efforts with others.

In addition to teaching, on the weekends, Anita ran Hellman & Hellman Antiques in Larchmont, New York, for 15 years.  In the 1980s, after her husband passed away, Anita moved first to Santa Monica, then to Santa Barbara, where she continued collecting toys, showcasing them in her home.  While her passion for toys continued through the years, she also collected costume jewelry, Asian-influenced antiques, ABC plates, hats, American paintings and antique furniture.

Reflecting on his parents’ toy collecting, which was such a memorable part of his childhood, Jaime Hellman has some thoughts.  Both his parents were Depression-era kids and not likely to have had many toys growing up.  Perhaps their collection was a way to make up for what they missed as children.  But their quest created many adult pleasures as well:  50 years of an enjoyable and passionate hunt, frequent travel all over the country, acquiring the “cream of the crop,” and ultimately amassing a collection that was “as eclectic as they were,” says their son.

Mrs. Hellman passed away in late 2015.  Jaime, not a collector himself, is fearful his parents’ beloved toys would end up unseen and unappreciated in storage boxes.  So he is now passing them along to others.  “It’s time,” he says. “They’re ready to move on the next phase in their little toy lives, and find other mothers and fathers who will take care of them.”

Press release >>

View catalog and register to bid:

View Event →