Get your treasures before auction houses take holiday hiatus
With 2016 ringing out in a few weeks, many local auctioneers will close shop for a holiday hiatus or to gear up for New Year's Day sales. On tap for mid-month is a coin sale at Smith's Antique & Auction Service, while Carey Auctions leads up to its Jan. 1, 2017, event with a long online only sale of firearms, comic books and cars.
Smith's Antique & Auction Service
Deferring to the busy holiday season, Jerry Smith trims his company's usual weekend-long, month's-end coin and antiques sale to a single day event on Dec. 17 with old currency and a smattering of jewelry.
Bidders will need to bring some big money to the game if they want to walk away with a few literally large bills during this old-school, in-house sale. One of the XXL-sized dollars is a rare 1901 $10 note that features a magnificent bison in the center, flanked by intrepid explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. One of the more popular of all large bills, says Smith, the note is in uncirculated condition and retains much of the vibrancy of its original printed colors.
German ingenuity proved to be the mother of invention behind the 1837 Feuchtwanger eagle cent on the block at Smith's. Created by a New York City pharmacist, Bavarian-born Frederick Feuchtwanger, the coin relied on alloy of copper, nickel, zinc, tin and other metals to replace the pure copper used to mint other coins. The need for a more cheaply produced coin arose from the Financial Panic of 1837, caused by a bank crisis that led to U.S. citizens hoarding so-called small change made of pure metals. Though never considered legal tender, the privately produced eagle cent and its three-cent sibling traded many hands during the “Hard Times” period that followed the Panic until the mid 1840s.
Going back a few more years, an ancient Roman gold coin bears the visage of the Emperor Caligula, a truly awful and evil leader whose four-year reign of terror (37-41 A.D) ended when a band of senators and other Romans of note assassinated him.
Among the other items up for bid are Morgan dollars and many pieces of gold, silver and diamond jewelry — perfect gift options for the holidays.
Doors open at 9 a.m. for the 11 a.m. sale at the Gilpin Township Fire Hall, 113 Fire Hall Road, Leechburg.
Details: 724-854-7162 or www.smithauctionsvc.com.
Now in progress, the Internet-only sale at Carey Auctions, based in Youngtown, Westmoreland County, continues through Dec. 22. On the e-block bidders will find a large selection of long arms and handguns, vintage DC and Marvel superhero comic books and a souped-up Ford Mustang outfitted with a racing engine.
Due to downsizing, the consignor is selling a rare Winchester 9 mm shotgun. Produced from 1902-27, Winchester made just 20,306 models of the single-barrel weapon. Known as a “garden gun,” the smallish weapon looks more like a .22 rifle and served to kill at close range mice and other small varmints that might be attacking the backyard tomato patch.
To escape everyday concerns, a 2002 electric blue Ford Mustang just may be the perfect getaway car. With 90,000-plus miles on its body, this Mustang added a bit more horse power when the owner retrofitted the car with an SVT racing engine, which Ford uses on its Cobra vehicles.
Certainly well-read, a stash of 1,000-1,500 comic books from the late 1960s-late 1970s offers a page-turning blast from the past with the adventures of the Amazing Spider-Man and heroics of Superman and Batman, to name a few caped crusaders.
Rounding out the sale are various pieces of fishing gear, dinnerware and more.
To preview goods and place bids through Dec. 22, click on careyauctions.com.
Concept Art Gallery put 2016 in the history books with its final sale of the year on Dec. 3. A bit of Pittsburgh history booked a notable price as the schoolgirl laptop desk of Mary Schenley, namesake of all things Schenley in Pittsburgh, sold for $4,200. Pittsburgh's own Sam Rosenberg created a moody oil on board abstract, “Form and Shadow,” that sold for $7,750.
John Altdorfer is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.