Lifetime Terryville (Conn.) Collection to be sold Room-by-Room

This room crammed full of antiques and collectibles gives an idea as to the size of the auction featuring the lifetime collections of the late Ambrose Zoni—a dedicated collector in a number of fields—that will be sold at auction on Sunday, Oct. 24.

TERRYVILLE, Conn. – An on-site auction featuring the lifetime collections of the late Ambrose Zoni—a dedicated collector in a number of fields, including coins and currency, stamps, vintage clocks, kitchen collectibles, toys and train sets, jewelry, primitives, Victorian country and Empire formal furnishings and Wallace Nutting prints—will be sold at auction on Sunday, Oct. 24.

The sale, to be facilitated by Tim’s Inc., will be held at Zoni’s former residence on High Street in Terryville (which will kick off the action, at 11:30 a.m.). Zoni was born in 1921 in nearby Bristol, and had lived in Terryville since 1966. He was a graduate of Yale University and, prior to his retirement, worked as a union mason.

“Mr. Zoni lived in the manner of what he saw through his eyes, and he regarded his home as his own personal museum,” said Tim Chapulis of Tim’s, Inc. “He had a passion for collecting and for the love of preservation. He was also a personal friend of my father and me. He passed away this year on Father’s Day weekend.”

Chapulis said that because of all Zoni owned, the auction would be conducted in a unique way. After the stamps and coins are auctioned, the contents of a two-story barn—loaded with discovery treasures—will be sold as two lots: one lot per floor. The winning bidders will be given time to remove the contents. The contents of the basement will also be sold as one lot.

More than 360 silver dollars (all pre-1930), plus other coins and currency, will cross the block.

Then, the action will turn to Zoni’s 10-room farmhouse, the contents of which will be sold on a room-by-room basis, sometimes in multiple lots. The action will wind through the house until all items have been sold.

The coins and currency, which Zoni began collecting while a student at Yale, will feature 360 U.S. silver dollars in varying conditions (all pre-1930 and many of them rare key dates), walking Liberty and Franklin half dollars, Mercury dimes (491 in one bag to be sold as a single lot), wartime silver nickels (700 in one lot), large copper cents, quarters and paper bills. In all, over 100 lots of U.S. coins, currency and stamps will cross the block on auction day.

Antique clocks—including examples by Eli and Henry Terry, the renowned area clockmakers—will include a pillar-and-scroll shelf clock by Eli Terry with a folk art-style cornucopia painted on the dial, and a Henry Terry shelf clock. Eli Terry was so revered the town of Terryville was named for him. Also offered will be a stunning shelf clock with woodworks by Riley Whiting, with a carved American eagle and claw feet. The clock was made in Winchester, Conn.

A rare 19th century pillar-and-scroll shelf clock by revered clockmaker Eli Terry will be sold.

Other items people will see as they move from barn to farmhouse and room to room will include a Shaker rocker, country crockery, advertising items, weathervanes (including running horse and lamb examples), molds, Toleware pieces and a fabulous lifetime hat pin collection featuring many Victorian-era ornate hat pins, some with rhinestones and some possibly gold.

The house has already been sold; only its contents will be offered in the sale. “Bring a truck and a friend,” Chapulis advised.

Due to the nature of the auction, no large coats, bags, pocketbooks or totes will be allowed during the auction or preview. Bidders are asked to leave them in the car while the sale is going on. There will be undercover security on the premises. Terms of sale will include a 15-percent buyer’s premium (for cash and unknown checks) and 18-percent for major credit cards.

Admittance to the auction and preview will be in the form of a suggested $5 donation for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, in memory of Peter W. Chaplulis, Tim’s late father. To date, Tim’s, Inc. has proudly raised more than $31,000 for the charity, which treats cancer patients regardless of their ability to pay. St. Jude Children’s Hospital was founded by the entertainer Danny Thomas.

For more information about this auction, call 860.459.0964, e-mail to or visit the Tim’s Inc. Web site.


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