Monday, May 18, 2009

Coverage in Auction Exchange

From Auction Exchange and Collectors News:

Super Auction inaugural event is a success
By Barb Van Loo

Take one location, add eight auction companies from three Midwest states, add nearly 800 attendees, and what do you have? The Super Auction.

The event was the brainchild of Michigan auctioneer David Helmer, who was determined to host a central location for auctioneers to bring in small, but prime consignment pieces to place into this one big event.

“Hosting such a sale at one location allowed attendees to be privy to auctioneers and merchandise that they otherwise might not travel to buy,” Helmer said.

This concept seemed to appeal to a great number of people, as there were bidders from North Carolina and Tennessee, as well as from all of the Midwest states. Absentee bidders, were from all over the United States.

Three auction rings with five one-hour sessions in each ring kept the event lively. At the end of each hour, a new auctioneer stepped up to the block. Different types of items were sold in each ring so as not to have the same type of items crossing the block in two rings at the same time. A catalog was provided for each auctioneer for the items presented in his ring.

The Belcher McPherson Auction Company, based in Marshall, Mich., was represented by third-generation auctioneer Brent Belcher and his son Kevin, as a fourth-generation auctioneer. Brent’s wife joined them to act as their clerk for this auction. This company has been in the auction business since 1919, when Harold Belcher established Belcher Dingman Spaulding Auctioneers. The company holds several coin auctions each year in addition to sportsmen’s, estate and benefit auctions.

The pieces sold during Belcher McPherson’s hour included: an 1874 $2 gold piece, an 1852 $10 Liberty gold piece and an 1893 Isabella commemorative quarter. In addition, Confederate bills and notes saw bidding.

Belhorn Auction Services, LLC, based in Columbus, Ohio also participated by hosting a ring; specializing American art pottery.

The company’s story begins in the early 1990s, when Steve Belhorn began selling American art pottery. His son, Greg, now heads the company. On the block for the Super Auction was Peter Gehres, who sold pieces made by all the major art pottery companies including Rookwood and Roseville. They also brought several pieces of art glass and sterling silver including a beautiful Tiffany presentation bowl. Items that crossed the Belhorn block were also available to Internet bidders.

Braun and Helmer Auction Service, Inc., is a full-service auction company that was established in 1971. The auctioneers from this company are Jerry Helmer, a Hall of Fame auctioneer, David Helmer his son and a Michigan Auctioneers Association bid-calling champion and Brian Braun. Guns and decoys, clocks, vintage toys, sports cards, autographed balls, and a pair of rare books, The White House Years, Mandate for Change 1953-1956 by Dwight D. Eisenhower and Reminiscences by General Douglas MacArthur were highlights in their ring.

Dennis Beals, of Dennis Beals Auctioneer Service, Haslett, Mich., hosted a ring with several lots of vintage antique jewelry, an oil on canvas, and gold and gemstone jewelry. Beals is a certified appraiser and conducts on-site estate auctions, and has an auction house in Haslett.

Jonathan Kraft, of Kraft Auction Service located in Hobart, Ind., also offered a great selection of coins and large-size American dollars. Indicative of the cooperation among the auctioneers, Kraft used the Belhorn podium for his stint on the block. His offering of coins was later in the day than that of Belcher enabling collectors to have the advantage of attending two collectible coin auctions in one day. Among the coins found in his offering were: an 1893-S Morgan dollar, a 1909-S VDB penny, and a 1916-D Mercury dime.

From Toledo, Ohio, there was Jade Montrie, Montrie Auction & Estate Service LLC, a full-service and family-owned auction company. This company specializes in real estate and personal property auctions. He offered several collectible autographs including those of early sports figures, many vintage advertising pieces and a propeller from a non-piloted drone airplane from World War II.

Schmidt’s Antiques Inc., located in Ypsilanti, Mich., also participated in this grande event. Schmidt’s is a fifth-generation family-owned antiques store and auction gallery. Jay and Chuck Schmidt conduct monthly Friday night auctions, known as “Schmidt’s Friday Nights,” at which they sell a variety of mid-range antiques and collectibles from local estates and collections. Several times a year they conduct a cataloged auction of fine art and antiques. To this auction they brought an amazing collection of turn-of-the-century photographic plates from the studios of J. Irving Edwards, Riverhead L.I., N.Y. Pictured in one set of these plates was a little girl standing by a chair. Not only did they have the plates, they had the chair which was sold with the plates. They also brought several Bedrock planes, figurines and a rope-bed maker’s kit. Chuck Schmidt commanded the podium for this auction company’s session.

The eighth auction company was represented by Vander Kolk’s Golden Gavel Auction Service from Dorr, Mich. Scott Vander Kolk, Jr. represented his company which specializes in the auction method of marketing. He also handled auctioneering duties for Braun and Helmer.

This auction started promptly at 10 a.m. and ended just a few minutes shy of the planned time of 3 p.m.

A Super Auction II is already being planned with all of the participating auctioneers planning to return. This event is scheduled for Aug. 22 at the same location. You can check this out on the Internet at, and read more in upcoming publications of The Auction Exchange and Collectors News.

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