Astounding 5-Pound, Brain-Like Pearl Highlights Weekend Auction

The expected top lot of this weekend’s Phillip Weiss Auction event is this astounding five-pound pearl, measuring six inches in diameter.

The expected top lot of this weekend’s Phillip Weiss Auction event is this astounding five-pound pearl, measuring six inches in diameter.

OCEANSIDE, N.Y. – An incredible, five-pound pearl—measuring six inches in diameter and bearing an uncanny resemblance to a human brain—is just one of hundreds of intriguing lots that will cross the block at a massive, three-day estate sale featuring, among other items, several collections of toy soldiers, Lionel and other vintage trains, clocks and fine art.

The event, slated for the weekend of Sept. 11-13, will be hosted by Philip Weiss Auctions at the firm’s gallery, located at No. 1 Neil Court in Oceanside.

The authenticated, naturally occurring pearl is one of the largest specimens of its kind ever discovered and documented. It was found in the waters off the Philippines, in the giant clam Tridacna Gigas. A team of expert gemologists analyzed the pearl using digital radiography, close magnification and data provided by a hand-held X-Ray fluorescence (XRF) unit. It was authenticated by EGL USA (European Gemological Laboratories).

“This is an once-in-a-lifetime look at one of nature’s most unique treasures,” said Mitch Jacubovic, director of EGL USA. “A pearl this size is not only one of the largest ones we’ve ever seen, it is among the largest pearls ever seen anywhere.” David Bidwell, a senior appraiser with Universal Gemological Services, called it “clearly one of the most valuable pearls of its kind in the world today.”

While the pearl is certain to garner much attention, it is far from being the only compelling lot to be offered. Well more than 1,000 fresh-to-the-market items in a wide array of categories will come under the gavel over the course of the three days. A packed house is expected, but bidders unable to attend live will be able to participate online, through Absentee and phone bids will also be accepted.

The first session, on Friday, Sept. 11, will feature more than 600 lots of toy soldiers, to include Courtenays, Britains, Mignots, Manoils, Barclays and a great single-owner collection of rare Elastolins. Also sold will be toy soldiers from the Bill Christensen collection, to include large group lots and boxed sets of Mignots. Additional quality consignments were being added at press time.

Then, on Saturday, Sept. 12, items from dozens of estates will come up for bid, to include toys, toy trains and general collectibles. Highlights promise to be several estate collections of Lionel trains (many circa 1940-60s, with the original boxes), mixed toy lots (to include 1950-60s Baby Boomer toys), and two great original “Peanuts” comic strips by Charles Schulz.

Boulle mantle clock

Boulle mantle clock

On Sunday, Sept. 13, more than 600 lots will be offered (to include the pearl). Clocks will also be sold, to include a 21.5-inch Boulle mantle clock with brass plates engraved “Gaudron Paris” and with inlaid metal and mother of pearl, a Joseph Knibb lantern clock, Black Forest clocks, a Lemaire mantle clock and additional mantle clocks, table clocks and larger grandfather clocks.

Fine art—much of it by noted, listed artists—will be served up in abundance. Featured artists will include names such as prominent local painter Caroline Bell, Dorleans Haitian and Giles Haitian, George Sotter, George Riecke, G. Bayley, Richard Beavis, Edward Cobbett, Louis Gartner, Carleton Wiggins, Charles Blondin, J. Fous, Robert Sarsonay, Arthur Wardle, Daniel C. Grose and Arthur Hill.

Original oil by Caroline Bell

Original oil by Caroline Bell

Also offered will be a Picasso signed lithograph, a Dali signed etching, a Dufy etching, an Albert Marquis group of pen-and-ink drawings, a Renoir etching, a Kollwitz signed lithograph, a Cosway painting on ivory, Chinese silk paintings, and other works by Jan Borselen, J. Schiefer, Joseph Menkes, A.N. Allen, Negulesco, Pike, Hulsmann, Elbik, Troyon, Barber, Mora, Vertes, and dozens of others.

Porcelains and decorative accessories will feature a super collection of Boehm Birds, Dorothy Doughty, Sevres urns, large Black Forest bear hall stands, and a wonderful collection of art glass and pottery, to include Ridgway, Mettlach Charger, Durand, Legras, Marblehead, Loetz, Sumida Gawa, Weller, Sunderland Lustre, Majolica, J.B. Owens, Roseville, North Dakota School, and other pieces.

Black Forest hall stands

Black Forest stands

Also to be sold will be a sterling silver collection, an Auguste Moreau bronze, a McCarten bronze, a Vilanis bronze, a Barbedienne bas relief, a porcelain box by D. Teniers, an H.H. Paul bronze, a Jacques Coinchon bronze, a Picard signed bronze candelabra, a Percy Portsmouth marble statue, and additional marble sculptures and bronze pieces. Some of these pieces were being added at press time.

Rounding out the day’s expected top lots will be large decorative pieces from a Long Island estate, a gorgeous dental cabinet, a running horse antique weathervane, a folk art tin fish, lamps (to include Moe Bridges and Bradley Hubbard), a fabulous 19th century Russian icon, a Feodor Ruckert salt box, early historic samplers, a great pair of stained glass windows and many other quality consignments.

German tin litho Lehmann Autobus

German tin litho Lehmann Autobus

Philip Weiss Auctions has another big sale planned, for the weekend of Oct. 3. Offered will be sports memorabilia, comics, comic art, rare books, autographs, rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia, postcards, stamps and coins. Original comic art will include two original “Peanuts” comic strips, a pair of fresh-to-the-market Hogarth “Tarzan” Sunday pages, and an original-owner, high-grade “Amazing Fantasy” #15.

Sports collectibles will feature an original-owner baseball card collection (to include Bowman 1949-52 high-grade cards), Topps sets from the 1950s and ’60s, a rare Satchel Paige baseball pennant (green variety), a Ramly Walter Johnson baseball card that is in the process of being graded, a 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers 14k gold player’s wife’s heart and stone, non-sports cards, and PSA-graded cards.

For more information contact Philip Weiss Auctions at (516) 594-0731 or you can e-mail to

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