Auction features Mercedes; Web sale highlights estate items

| Sunday, March 24, 2013, 9:00 p.m.


After a shower of sales during the past few weeks, the auction activity dries up a bit with the holidays approaching. Still, the next event at Constantine & Pletcher opens with a smooth-riding Mercedes sedan and a quartet of Tiffany lamps. For fans of BHD's online sales, the next Net auction comes straight from a Valencia farm with old-time homemade furniture and collectibles of a more recent vintage.

Constantine & Pletcher

Even with a fab four contingent of Tiffany lamps that carries five-figure estimates, Constantine & Pletcher co-owner Dan Pletcher wants to talk about one of the sweetest rides ever to park its chassis at the Cheswick auction house. It's up for bid March 30.

“This is as good as it gets,” says Pletcher of a 2010 Mercedes 563 AMG. The black-on-black beauty packs plenty of horsepower under its stylish hood, along with delivering a rich package of passenger convenience and driver-safety options, such as flat-screen DVD monitors built into the backs of the front-seat passenger seats and night vision assistance. With 64,000 miles on the odometer, the sleek sedan lets the light shine in through a panorama sunroof. Originally sold for $145,575, this German-made classic should shift bidding into high gear.

After the Mercedes rolls off the block, Pletcher will tease Tiffany lovers with the first of several installments of items from the famed lighting studios that will appear in future sales. The foursome in the pre-Easter sale includes a table lamp with a 14-inch leaded-glass, dome-shape shade, a slightly smaller version of Tiffany's traditional 16-inch shades. The floral beauty sits atop a bronze “Lummis” model base, produced by the Grueby Faience Co. of Revere, Mass. Also from the Tiffany collection is a table lamp with three original lily-shape shades and adjustable bronze base. Not to be outshone by its famous-name competition, a Duffner & Kimberly table lamp displays its craftsmanship in a thistle-theme, umbrella-like, leaded-glass shade.

Jewelry is another stellar category. Three gold brooches add a touch of splendor to a selection of Victorian jewelry. Other pieces in the sale come with appraisals from the prestigious Gemological Institute of America, one of the more-respected organizations in the industry. Yet, among a field of contenders such as Tiffany, Gucci and Louis Vuitton, the group champion is a men's Breitling “Super Avenger Chronograph” wristwatch, estimated at $15,000 to $20,000. A dazzling timepiece, the watch's diamonds weigh more than 10 karats, with 35 quarter-karat sparklers ringing the dial.

With prices ranging into the thousands of dollars, the dolls and toys on sale may not be suitable for child's play. A bevy of German bisque dolls carry grownup estimates in the high hundreds to the low thousands of dollars. In the boy's toys category, the wagons, merry-go-rounds, train sets and Tonka trucks revive memories of rough-and-ready good times.

An impressive array of Asian art cuts to the heart of the matter with a selection that includes a large, carved Chinese bone sword and carved bone scrimshaw sword, along with Chinese ivory figures, ivory boxes and vases, cloisonné, porcelain and pottery.

The Tiffany name rules the silver category with 35 pieces of the company's sterling-silver flatware “Atlantis” pattern. Other big names in the silver group are Cartier, Alvin and Tiffany again, with a sterling-silver glove stretcher.

Native American arts make a fine show with a collection of silver and turquoise jewelry, such as an important cuff bracelet by John Platero, an old pawn cuff bracelet, a large pendant with chain and a Zuni concho belt.

Widening the sale's breadth of merchandise are Early American furniture, French clocks, beveled glass windows, folk and tramp art and wooden decoys.

The sale previews are from noon to 5 p.m. March 29 and 8 to 9 a.m. March 30. An uncataloged sale begins at 9 a.m. March 30, followed by the cataloged sale at noon — all at the C&P showroom at 1306 Pittsburgh St., Cheswick. Details: 724-275-7190

BHD Auctions

Farm living is the theme of BHD Auctions' next Web-only sale March 29 through April 11 as the goods hail from a rural Valenica estate. What's up for bid is everything from a wooden corn crib to a 12.5-horsepower lawn tractor.

Much of what's on the block consists of more recent vintage household accessories and appliances. Still, a smattering of genuine, well-built homemade furniture tells a story about the craftsman who made them and the years of heavy use endured.

Among the more collectible finds are a Fenton glass lamp that a previous owner won at a farm show and a Victorian table with a marble top.

Details: 724-816-0683 or

John Altdorfer is a contributing writer to Trib Total Media.

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