Smalls Were Huge – Lets Talk Auction Company

By M.L. Lockhart
April 27, 2002 Auction

Smalls were huge at Donna and Greg Tuttle’s Lets Talk Auction in Mio, Michigan. Jeffrey and Rosemarie Mouch Raven, whose estate was being auctioned, must have been a nifty couple judging by their collections and artwork. People were particularly drawn to the sale by their toys, dolls, and military items. Donna started her usual staccato patter (when does this woman breathe?) with sewing items. A button tin made $10.00; miscellaneous sewing items, $12.50; a wood box, full, $17.50. A neat sewing cabinet sold for $35.00; a table of jewelry had boxes ranging from $10.00-$17.50. A little girl would have had a dream box full for $7.50, but it went to a woman who reuses the beads. Some nice necklace sets sold for $7.50 and $9.00. Beth Bills, Jimmy Lucas, and Greg Tuttle kept bringing up a good mix on the floor. An off-white Red Wing vase sold for $10.00; an unsigned green planter, $3.00; a glass relish with handle, $4.00. The non-working nature of a 1906 Milan Exposition tabletop Graphophone did not deter bidders and it sold for $240.00. A working floor-model Edison Victrola sold for $210.00. A box of over forty Edison Victrola records made $45.00. Two Vogue records went to one bidder for $35.00 each. Six children’s picture records sold as a group for $30.00. Another group of nursery rhyme records made $65.00. An Elvis fan needed to take a whole box of albums for $27.50 to get a few of the King’s thank ya vurra much. More for the music lovers who wanted to make their own music. Several harmonicas crossed the block starting with a Hohner in the case sold for $35.00; a small Marine band model in box, $12.50; and two Hohners, no boxes, $16.00. A Clarola harmonica sold for $70.00. For the furniture fans, a round oak table (no leaves) sold for $110.00. A Santa in the form of a rubber-face doll took $25.00; a box of Christmas ornaments, $20.00; and an interesting assortment of Halloween items, $65.00. Two wood darning eggs, those things kids today can¹t identify, sewed up $10.00 for the pair. A nice cake plate on a pedestal rose to $10.00. A box of perfumes wafted to $10.00. A Shawnee cat cookie jar had lost its torso but the head alone made $15.00. A pine gun cabinet with glass door fired up to $ 70.00. A good old ugly Cabbage Patch doll, unwrapped, sold for $20.00; a baby rattle, possibly sterling, pacified someone for $20.00; and a nifty Oriental robe sold for $25.00. Some more of the collectible items were: a U.S. Tire ashtray with amber glass insert, $22.50; a Firestone with brass insert, $25.00; a unique cast iron donkey-head bottle opener, $20.00; and a Deco twisted metal floor lamp made a nice showing at $45.00. A stack of program booklets including Detroit Tigers and a 1939 State Fair rodeo program was gone in a $15.00 flash.

With some good items, we got some humor. A lovely little wrought iron bench with original paint sold for $70.00; an interesting table lamp that could convert back to oil, $65.00; a stuffed alligator, $17.50 and a porcelain-face Dutch kitchen clock chimed in at $40.00. Some interesting boxes surfaced. A shaving assortment sold for $35.00; three compacts, $32.50; a salt and pepper box, $37.50; and cookbooks and booklets, $17.50. Then another wake-up – lightning rods. The first, with a cobalt blue ball and weather vane sparked $100.00; the other, with a milk blue ball, sold for $55.00. The dolls were generally having a bad hair day, but the doll buyers could see their potential. The first dolls sold in the ten dollar range. A three-face turnabout doll sold for $52.50; a hairless composition doll, $45.00; and the head of an Armand Marseille, $70.00. Two Schoenau and Hoffmeisters made $65.00 and $90.00; two Heubach Koppelsdorf porcelain dolls, $160.00 and $180.00; and an Effanbee sweetie with the name Sara and a family history to boot found a new home for $65.00. Then the toy people got a turn. A working Disney roller coaster wound up at $500.00. A wood Fisher-Price Donald Duck Choo-Choo from the 1940s chugged along at $85.00. A plastic Disney musical toy went to $17.00 and a box of Disney plastic fiqures, $22.50. Pluto, a 1977 plastic riding toy, sold for $10.00. Another Disney character, Dopey, graced a musical toy sweeper in need of a handle, which sold for $30.00. Walt would have been proud. More favorite characters. A box of Roy Rogers wagons, etc. sold for $65.00; a Roy and Dale coloring book, $20.00; a Western tin toy phone like Dale always used to ring up the sheriff, $30.00; and Roy and Dale paper dolls, $55.00. A whole box of movie star paper dolls and stickers made $75.00. Hopalong was represented with a single holster at $17.50. It was also Howdy Doody time – a little book and ring were $9.00 and an inflatable ring, $22.50. Tin toys did well. The old bartender making martinis shook up $17.50; a rocking chair, pipe-smoking grandpa, $25.00 and, a favorite, an old Marline jalopy, $55.00. Also for $55.00, a three-piece kitchen set. Two little Japan friction wagons revved up to $22.50. A box of Ohio Art tin buildings made $32.50. Some miscellaneous in the Toys R Us category: a Fisher-Price Timmy Turtle, $37.50; and sixty Golden Books including Little Black Sambo, $155.00. A plastic Winnebago Tonka at $65.00 beat out Barbie and Ken’s cardboard dreamhouse, $30.00 and a furnished metal dollhouse, $40.00. A unique child’s washboard went to $12.50. A cute highchair and little bed sold together for $45.00, and a cuter red chair went solo for $47.50. The militaria had me interested just to see how the German flag with swastika would be handled. Pretty well, as it turned out. Greg held it up and prefaced its sale with, “This is an important part of history.” There were a couple of boos and he said “True. But it is still an important part of history.” And that’s true. History cannot be ignored. Anyway, the flag sold for $175.00; a German uniform, $245.00; a porcelain German student pin, $25.00; and German medals, $20.00 and $35. A U.S. military compass sold for $32.50; a bayonet, $40.00; and a canteen, 35.00.

There was plenty of the unusual all during the day. DeKalb tin litho signs choiced out at $30.00. Four windmill blades that would make great trellises made $115.00; a railroad switching lantern, $140.00; a candlestick phone with electric box, $110.00. My favorite was the tin man. Seems Jeffery Raven was an artist, and besides paintings, he had started an artist’s rendition of a robot. The head stared down on us all day, and in the end brought $80.00. Not sure I’d want it in my living room, but it was cool. This was a fun auction with many surprises. It helps that Donna Tuttle keeps her auctions moving. This is done with the help of the aforementioned floor people and behind-the-scenes workers; Ruby and Dick Handrich, Jo and Oland Kaufman, Jack Pence, and Jan Reuhs. The Lets Talk Auction Company is located north of Mio, Michigan at 1491 Perry Creek Road and M-33. Call the auction barn at 989-848-5158. If you can’t get them there, try phoning home 989-848-5157.