As an auctioneer, you never know who’s going to call with something to sell. Sometimes, your network can be your best source of referrals. The phone may ring one day and before you know it, you’re in a small town with a town full of stuff.
That’s kind of what happened with this auction. Although the phone didn’t ring, I simply got a text message from a colleague who said “I have an antique auction if you’re interested”. Those who know me, know I LOVE good stuff! For most auctioneers, it’s challenging to conduct an auction of only personal property that includes just glassware. That’s why I have a warehouse.
For me, it’s just as exciting to fill up my warehouse with different inventories each auction. I find I can help more people who may only have a few things to sell. I can consolidate sellers and compliment one inventory with another. This month, I have a lifetime collection of glassware and artwork from Arthur Timpani of Los Osos, California. I am selling the remaining inventory for his heirs.
Let me tell you a little about Arthur Timpani. He was a Navy Veteran of World War II. After the war, he went to college in Chicago and lived in the Chicago area until the late 50’s when he landed a job at NBC Television in Burbank, California. As a business manager for the station, he actually wrote paychecks to many celebrities including John Wayne. He even had the opportunity to meet Walt Disney. When he retired, he moved to Los Osos, which is on the coast in central California. He volunteered in the local museum and over the years amassed quite a collection of fine glassware and artwork.
He passed away in 2009 and his heirs traveled to California, packed up everything and moved it back home with them, which happens to be a small town in Sumner County here in Middle Tennessee with a population of 288, according to a 2010 census. Finally, in 2018, I got the call/via text message!
Alli (my apprentice auctioneer) and I took off heading north for a beautiful drive to Bethpage, Tennessee, which is an unincorporated community in Sumner County. When we turned off of the main highway, we headed down the road passing old farmhouses with big dogs laying in the yards and creeks flowing gently in the back. Then, we came to the little red church that was built in 1945.
We both got out of the car not quite knowing what to expect. We were greeted in the front by one of the heirs who opened the doors to the church and seemed to watch our faces. Well, I think we both thought, “I don’t believe I’ve ever seen this much glassware in one place, much less in a church”. All of these thousands of items were neatly displayed in this quaint little church with beautifully framed artwork displayed on pews and glassware categorized and displayed on shelving they had set up everywhere. They had sold things over the past several years, holding weekend estate sales there, but they had so much, they said it felt like they had not made a dent.
I think it goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway, we were both thrilled and terrified all at the same time. Alli and I appreciate the “stuff”; but how much was too much? We decided to take most everything because for the most part it was all good. And after all, as auctioneers, we try to solve problems for people but we all have to make money in the process. A very wise mentor once told me “If I can’t leave you any better than I found you, thenI’m not doing a good job“.
I hope you will be as thrilled as I am with this important collection of glassware and artwork. The prep work for this auction has been challenging, but I think you’ll find there are things in this auction that you won’t find at your local yard sale.
This auction is open now and will close on April 11th, 2018.