NEWNAN, GA. – The complete liquidation of all the inventory in two museums – the personal, 50-year lifetime collection of Preston Evans – will be held at a three-day auction on Memorial Day weekend, May 27-29, at 24 First Avenue in Newnan, in Mr. Evans’s gallery facility. Evans is known throughout the country as a longtime auctioneer and collector in over 20 categories.
“I made the promise to my lovely wife that after 50 years of buying and collecting, I would auction everything I have in order to spend more time with my family and let others share in the joy that these many items have brought me over the years,” Mr. Evans said. So extensive are his collections, he was visited last year by TV’s American Pickers, who profiled him in an episode.
The auction will be no small undertaking. The Friday and Saturday sessions, May 27-28, will feature numerous mechanical oddities, musical items and specialty items. Up for bid will be advertising items, arcade and slot machines, jukeboxes, lamps, music boxes, phonographs, rare bicycles, petroliana, toys, clocks, posters and prints, vendors and dispensers, automata and more.
Then, on Sunday, May 29, over 75 hand-picked motorcycles and a select group of vintage cars from 1923-1960, all owned by Mr. Evans, will come up for bid. These will be intermingled with other unique items. In spring 2015, 30 of Mr. Evans’s antique motorcycles were sold at auction in Auburn, Ind. He chose to sell some of his bikes to make the upcoming sale more manageable.
That auction was co-held by RM Auctions and Auctions America. Motorcycles in the upcoming auction will be just as rare and desirable. More than 75 examples will come under the gavel, to include a 1916 Pope, an original 1910 Yale, a 1949 Vincent Rapide, an original 1912 Excelsior, the motorcycle ridden in the film Terminator 3, Indian Chiefs, Cushmans and Harley-Davidsons.
All but two of the beautiful vintage automobiles in the auction were purchased by Mr. Evans out of an elderly couple's museum, as they prepared to retire. They include the main car from the hit film Driving Miss Daisy (a 1956 Cadillac; several were used, this one had the most screen time), a 1949 Hudson (similar in looks to the Driving Miss Daisy car), a 1930 Packard convertible, a 1957 Izeta micro-car, a 1938 Bantam convertible micro-car, and a 1952 Cadillac convertible.
Arcade items will include an extremely rare 7-foot-tall Star trade stimulator, plus many smaller varieties of stimulators. Advertising lots will feature a large hoard of unusual signs by brands such as Coca-Cola and many others. Many slot machines will be sold, including uprights and counter models, a cigarette slot, a golf ball slot, several 1930s-era Roulette Wheels and more.
Rare automata will feature the intricate mechanism of a 3 ½ foot tall figure of a man who turns around, smiles and has a drink of alcohol, exhibiting great facial and body movements. A great clock collection will include a grandfather clock sold by Tiffany & Company and carrying the Tiffany mark, a bronze lady upside-down clock, a rare water clock, a Swiss automated wooden clock, an 1824 grandfather clock, many other grandfather clocks (some with music) and more.
Many uncommon antique bicycles will come under the gavel, to include rare “bone-shakers” dating back to 1865, other early big-wheeled bikes and much more. Music boxes will feature a large and rare Oiseau bird-in-the-nest cylinder model (one of only a few known), an exquisite music box with three interchangeable cylinders and fancy pewter-capped legs (circa 1880), a large oak 27-inch Regina upright orchestral changer, and a 20-inch Regina bow-front changer.
Native American artifacts will feature stylized jackets and other garments, many with beautiful and artfully-executed beadwork and figural depictions on them. The toy train collection will include a park train that was used as a work train in a diamond mine, plus about 500 feet of track.
The auction will also contain beautifully restored jukeboxes and Nickelodeons, a huge Wurlitzer-made saloon organ pulled from an old saloon in Oklahoma, many other novel musical items, an early telephone collection (to include a nickel pay phone and other rare examples), patent models, movie posters, watches, petroliana, historical documents, pedal toys, a Yoda figure and other Star Wars toys, and model planes and cars (including six Italian Pocher scale model cars).
The Friday, May 27 auction has a 2:30 p.m. start time. A half-hour has been allotted (from 2 to 2:30 p.m.), to allow folks to move from building 27 to building 24. A preview will be held in the morning and early afternoon, beginning at around 9 a.m. Eastern time. The preview for Sunday’s auction, on May 29, will also be held on Friday, May 27, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. The viewing of the motorcycles, across the street, will end at 2 p.m. A second opportunity to preview will begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 28, and run until 9 p.m. that night.
A color catalog will be ready sometime in April, at a cost of $25. VIP seating arrangements are available until they are all filled. Seating for Saturday’s auction is limited, as an overflow crowd is expected. It is suggested that anyone planning to attend make their hotel and travel plans soon. Internet bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.com. Items will be posted in April.
A limited number of rooms has been secured at a special discounted rate for two area hotels. They are the Country Inn & Suites, at 1125 Newman Crossing Boulevard in Newnan, Ga. (770-304-8500); and La Quinta Inn & Suites, at 600 Bullsboro Drive, Newnan (770-502-8430).
Preston Evans was a part-time novice collector in a handful of categories and working at Sears as a commissioned salesperson when he got the idea to get into the auction business, and he never looked back. “The best indicator of success is to survive 50 years with a good reputation and lots of highly valued friends who have been a large part of your life,” he said. “I’m also an optimist. After this auction’s over, I plan to spend the next fifty years facing the challenges of the future!”
Preston Evans is the owner of Preston Evans Opportunity Auctions, based in Newnan, Ga. His motto is, “Where Rare is Common.” He believes that applies to the items to be sold at his May 27-29 sale. He was nicknamed “the Georgia gambler” by Mike and Frank of American Pickers. For more info, visit www.prestonopportunities.com; or, phone 770-502-0026 or 678-296-3326.
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Preston Evans Opportunities Auctions
31 Redbud Trail