Local Collectors Pitch in to Populate Litchfield (Conn.) Firehouse Benefit Auction

Auctioneer Tim Chapulis with a guitar signed by the members of the rock group Jay & the Americans, just one of several pieces of rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia items to go up for auction to benefit the Litchfield Firehouse.

Auctioneer Tim Chapulis with a guitar signed by the members of the rock group Jay & the Americans, just one of several pieces of rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia items to go up for auction to benefit the Litchfield Firehouse.

LITCHFIELD, Conn. – Items gathered from private homes, family estates, important collections and even the contents of a safety deposit box will be auctioned off later this month to help pay for the finishing of the interior of the new addition to the Litchfield Firehouse.

The auction, to be held on Saturday, Nov. 21 at the firehouse, will be conducted by Tim’s, Inc., of nearby Bristol. The sale will feature sports cards, coins and stamps, rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia, artwork, autographed items, collectibles and more.

“This will be no average fundraising auction,” said Tim Chapulis of Tim’s, Inc., himself a resident of Litchfield. “In many ways it will be a somewhat smaller version of our Cabin Fever Auction, held every spring at the Litchfield Firehouse.”

The two-story, 2,150-square-foot brick addition to the existing firehouse was started in April and completed at the end of August. It comprises a meeting room, two offices, a storage room, two rest rooms and a communications room that is 90 percent complete. But much is still needed to complete the job, and that’s where the auction comes in.

The money would go toward interior walls, heating and air conditioning, electricity and phone service, insulation, carpeting, furniture, artwork and other decorations and appointments that will make the current shell habitable.

“The work will take six months to complete,” said Litchfield’s Fire Chief James Koser, “We’d like to stud the walls and install the plumbing within three weeks of the auction.”

The first hour of the sale (from 5-6 p.m.) will be dedicated to sports cards, coins and stamp collections. The antiques and other items will follow, starting at 6 p.m. The contents of the safety deposit box includes dazzling estate jewelry, including a stunning 1-carat single stone lady’s diamond ring, appraised at more than $5,000, an antique gold men’s gold pocket watch in a hunter’s case, and estate gold and silver jewelry.

Also sure to get paddles wagging is an outstanding group of rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia items.
Included in the group is a guitar signed by members of the rock group Jay and the Americans; a Martin Sigma folk guitar signed by Merle Haggard, Toby Keith, Lyle Lovett, Kris Kristofferson, members of the group Trick Pony and others; sheet music signed by the late guitar legend Les Paul, with matching framed record; and a Les Paul-signed poster for his CD “Chasing the Sound” with an accompanying DVD.

Vintage cylinder music box (circa 1880s), with bells and butterflies and bees inlay, in rosewood case.

Vintage cylinder music box (circa 1880s), with bells and butterflies and bees inlay, in rosewood case.

Other rock ‘n’ roll items include a photo signed by five of the six members of The Marshall Tucker Band; a red Mercedes-Benz edition bottle of Jim Beam whiskey, never opened and signed by Jay and the Americans; a Telecaster model guitar signed by Willie Nelson and Les Paul; and a 78 rpm record and photo of ’50s icons Bill Halley and the Comets, signed by Halley and members of the group. Also offered will be a pair of Charles A. Lindbergh autographs, both signed and dated 1972, when the famed aviator was nearing the end of his life.

A private collection of some 20 pieces of Hitchcock furniture (made in Connecticut; the company is no longer in business) will include a tall chest of drawers with cherry finish and stenciled design; a Harvest pattern bed; a Queen Anne lowboy; an entertainment cabinet for TV and stereo; and a table with four matching chairs in a nice stenciled decoration. “It can’t be overstated how beautiful Hitchcock furniture is,” Chapulis said.

Also sold will be a great collection of sports memorabilia, to include a photo and framed baseball card, signed by Mickey Mantle; multiple lots of baseball and sports cards; collectible baseball plates; and wall plaques, figurines and statues. The auction will also feature a Regina oak music box with 30 discs, in original finish, and another cylinder music box (circa 1880s) with bells and butterflies and bees inlay and other decorations, in a rosewood inlaid case.

Beautiful vintage clocks will cross the block, with offerings to include a Howard Miller signed on the dial 3-weight grandfather clock that plays music, an Atmos clock, an unusual wall-hanging gingerbread-style clock in a carved oak case, other antique wall clocks and more. Also auctioned will be Oriental carpets (some of them Persian, all high quality) and some gorgeous, clear Arts and Crafts period leaded glass windows with nice designs.

Turn-of-the-century silver spoons, along with a letter written by the sender (John P. Kennedy), will be among the items up for bid.

Turn-of-the-century silver spoons, along with a letter written by the sender (John P. Kennedy), will be among the items up for bid.

Bidders will also be treated to an unusual collection of early coin 800 silver flatware and spoons dating to the 18th century (around 250 pieces, much of it made in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts). One of the more unusual lots is a pair of turn-of-the-century silver spoons, sent via air mail from the noted writer John P. Kennedy to Mrs. Hugh L. Thompson of Waterbury, Conn., in 1959, along with an accompanying letter he penned to her. Coins will feature a collection of proof uncirculated U.S. American Eagle silver coins (1986 to near-present), Indian Head gold coins (1909 $5, a pair of 1913 $2-1/2; 1928 $2-1/2, 1910 $2-1/2, 1914 $2-1/2, 1929 $2-1/2), silver Mercury dimes, silver dollars, Walking Liberty half-dollars and Franklin half-dollars. Also sold will be two big stamp albums and a boxful of stamps from another collection.

From a prominent Litchfield home, the following items will be sold: a two-piece Queen Anne highboy, a two-piece secretary desk, early lighting (to include very nice Victorian-era banquet lamps, two of them signed Bradley & Hubbard, in original oil, with ball shades with flower decorations and champleve enameling), and a monumental oil portrait by the noted, listed artist (and one-time Litchfield resident) Roland Lee Anderson (1929-2002), imposing at more than 7 feet tall. Anderson maintained studios in New York City and Palm Beach, Fla. He studied at the Baltimore School of the Arts, where he trained under painters versed in the techniques of the Old Masters. He became famous as a painter of judge’s portraits. The portrait to be sold, executed in 1966 of an unknown subject, was reportedly used as a prop in a movie, but which one? Perhaps someone reading this can solve the riddle. Another artwork that should wow the crowd is a variant print of an 1854 folk art piece titled “Tree of Life,” measuring 31 inches by 24 inches in a nice oak frame. The work was originally executed by the renowned Shakers of Pennsylvania.

Collection of proof uncirculated U.S. American Eagle silver coins (1986 to near-present).

Collection of proof uncirculated U.S. American Eagle silver coins (1986 to near-present).

Rounding out the list of top lots: a collection of early black and white photos, some depicting Thomaston and Plymouth, Conn., and some featuring GAR (Grand Army Republic) soldiers; a Stanton Hall pattern Meeks lady’s chair, laminated in rosewood (circa 1860s); a 1950s-era red Coca-Cola vintage cooler; and a leather-bound copy of Herman Melville’s classic book, “Moby Dick” (Random House, 1930), desirable to collectors because it was illustrated by Rockwell Kent. A preview will be held two hours before auction, from 3-5 p.m., when all lots may be viewed. At press time, Tim’s, Inc., was still seeking goods, services and donations from local merchants to make the auction a success.

All sales will be subject to an 18 percent buyer’s premium. Terms are cash, known checks, Visa, Master Card and Discover cards. Admittance to the auction and preview will be a donation of $5 per person, which will go to benefit the Litchfield Volunteer Fire Department. The fire department building is located at 258 West Street (Route 202) in Litchfield, located not far from the Litchfield town green and next to CVS Pharmacy.

For more information about this auction, visit the Tim’s, Inc. Web site, call (800) 255-8467 or e-mail to tims.inc@snet.net.

WorthPoint—Discover Your Hidden Wealth

Join WorthPoint on Twitter and Facebook.