by John Brodt, July 12, 2003 Auction
There is that something special about an auction. It is much more than hearing the auctioneers’ chant and watching all the interesting items crossing the block. It really is a social event, and I enjoy visiting with all the people I get to meet. I made a serene morning drive through the scenic countryside to visit Donna and Greg Tuttle at their Lets Talk Auction Facility in Mio, Michigan. There I had the rare opportunity to meet an extraordinary gentleman named Lynn Powers. He had decided to downsize and asked Donna and Greg to help with a wonderful selection of items that would not be going to his new home.
Talking with Mr. Powers provided a glimpse into a wonderful life. While attending Adrian College, he played football. His ability brought an invitation to join the Detroit Lions in 1941, but duty called and he served our country in the Army during World War II. After his service he continued his calling of education being involved with teaching in Southeast Michigan area for a total of 42 years. One of his classrooms was with a progressive school supported by Henry Ford. There were 15 boys and 15 girls in the class between the ninth and twelfth grades. Henry Ford even visited the school. In January 1943 Mr. Powers met Doris Dull. They married in June 1943 and had the next 58 years together. Today, some of their three sons and seven grandchildren were attending the auction.
The brightest feature of the auction was the signed L.C.T. Favrile Tiffany floor lamp with Handel base. The shade had a glowing satin gold color. Greg had carefully stored the shade and kept it carefully watched in a display case until just before the start of the auction. Several active bidders kept responding to Donna’s bid calling until the winner reached $5,500.00.
Other significant furniture items, with their winning bids, included: a Trend three-chime grandfather clock, $950.00; a very nice curly maple glass front knockdown bookcase, $800.00 and a blonde burled walnut Corinthian glass-front Heritage Furniture Company hutch, $700.00.
My favorite item was a lady’s walnut dropfront diary desk. It stood on stilt legs and had lots of pigeonholes behind the floral pattern medallion door. Also included was its chair. The winning bidder was happy with his $250.00 bid.
Other noted furniture, and successful bids, included: a Martha Washington sewing table, $27.50; a mahogany vanity chair with lyre back, $40.00; a marble-top two-drawer nightstand, $55.00; a mahogany end table with Duncan Phyfe-style legs, $60.00; a wrought iron vanity seat, $95.00; a small ladder-back chair with needlepoint seat, $100.00; a pair of Provincial-style nightstands, $110.00; an Eastlake marble plant stand, $140.00 and a cherry wood tea cart selling at $210.00.
Collectible toys offered, with their successful bids, included: a 1930-era windup monkey playing a drum, by Schuco, $55.00; the ‘Father & Daughter’ windup toy, $60.00; a Modern Toys windup donkey, $65.00; a small jointed Teddy bear, $32.50 and a Realistic die cast Greyhound bus for $60.00.
Descriptions, and high bids, on pottery were: a Gibson teapot with silhouette design, $45.00; a pair of Delft vases, $52.50; a tall brown vase with floral design around the center, $60.00; a light gray Spode pitcher, $75.00; a pair of Hull vases, pink over blue, $90.00; a Weller dark green jardiniere, $140.00; a Weller Medallion umbrella stand, $225.00 and a Roseville Sunflower vase for $260.00.
Of special significance was a very colorful Limoges Remy Delinieres 12-inch jardiniere on separate claw foot base. It was marked D&C France and sold for $675.00.
A considerable amount of activity among several bidders occurred for the Rookwood 1898 ewer. It was the 818 Cherry pattern with standard glaze and Sara Sax artist signed. After revolving between the bidders Donna announced it sold for $1,100.00.
Descriptions and winning bids, of just part of the wonderful glass available, included: an interesting design milk glass ruffled edge bowl, $20.00; a blue milk glass bride’s basket, $22.50; a pair of small Depression bowls in the Dogwood pattern $22.50; a blue stretch glass bowl, $30.00; a green Depression glass fruit bowl, $45.00; an Old Man of The Mountain early pressed glass cream and sugar set, $50.00; an opaline art glass, pink over white compote, $55.00; an early American Band glass, Westward Ho covered compote, $80.00 and a Murano double wall center bowl, light blue sold for $210.00.
A noteworthy satin quilted glass vase was available. Its three colors of light blue, red and yellow beautifully flowed into each other. It earned a winning bid of $360.00.
The art selection offered the following noted items: the framed print of Seaweed Gathers by Ritchell, $100.00; the Albert Anchor Schoolboy framed print, $120.00; an enchanting portrait of a young girl, oil on canvas, in heavy gilded frame, $350.00; the Madrigal Singers wall hanging carpet collage by the noted Hawaiian artist Walter Ramsey, its size was about 6’x4′, brought $750.00.
Decorative figurines included several Royal Doultons such as Kristy, with a stubbed toe, $45.00; Natalie, $70.00; Nanette, $115.00 and Maytime, $170.00. A Coalport Lady Betty figurine brought $45.00.
Other interesting items, that did not quite fit into any category but captured our attention, included: the first item of the day, a fairy tale book, $10.00; a pair of sterling silver candlesticks, $17.50; a really old primitive mousetrap and a pair of very decorative wall flue covers, $17.50 each; an advertising bank from Morenci, Michigan and an Ingraham pocket watch, $25.00 each; an acoustic guitar, $40.00; a Sweet Rosemary doll, still in its original box, $45.00; a 1912 edition of Sinking of the Titanic book, by Jay Henry Mowbray, $60.00; a small one-gallon crock, $70.00; a Victorian picture of a baby, in oval frame with bubble glass and an 18 Zither, $75.00 each; a marble face wall clock, marked DBI&W Columbia, may have been from a railroad station, $100.00; an Acorn 1-cent gum ball machine, $110.00 and a gilded shelf clock, Nouveau figural-style brought $115.00.
Something I have never seen before was a set of ten porcelain and china four-inch carpet balls, also called floor marbles, from the 1860s. Five were decorated with a small flower design and the other five with stripes, in a glazed finish. They earned a winning bid of $245.00.
The day kept Donna busy calling from the auction block while Greg ran the floor. Helping present all the items were Beth Bills, Reese Evans, Marie Clapp, Kirk Gusler and Oland Kaufman. Clerk Norma Lyden kept track of the bids with Matthew Tuttle running the completed sheets into Shelly Buchanan and Jo Kaufman in the Registration/Cashier office.
For more information on their services Donna and Greg can be contacted at (866) 848-5158 and (989) 848-5158. They invite you to visit their www.letstalkauction.com website. And, as always, watch for their future ads in The Auction Exchange and Collectors News.