ATLANTA, Ga. – Pop culture and baby boomer collectibles took center stage at Ahlers & Ogletree’s Feb. 8th Winter Estates Auction, as items connected to such iconic names as Elvis Presley and Ty Cobb attracted hordes of bidders both in-person and online and sold for dizzying dollars in the process. The auction was held in the firm’s gallery at 715 Miami Circle in Atlanta.
“Frankly, we were caught off guard by the response we received from this auction, our first one featuring pop culture items,” said Robert Ahlers of Ahlers & Ogletree, adding, “I can assure you, it won’t be our last.” Ahlers & Ogletree has built its reputation on auctions featuring original art, fine estate jewelry and decorative accessories. These were also featured at the Feb. 8th auction.
But it wasn’t just the oil paintings and diamond rings that produced a standing-room only crowd of about 150 people, plus over 2,000 online registered bidders who bid via LiveAuctioneers.com (plus two other platforms, Invaluable.com and BidSquare.com). “They also came for the ‘50s-era Coca-Cola machine, the 1963 Gibson guitar and the other pop culture items,” Ahlers remarked.
In all, over 500 lots came up for bid in an auction that was strong across all categories. “I knew that merchandise from the baby boomer generation was a niche market, but I didn’t realize it had such a strong and enthusiastic following,” Ahlers said. “Moving forward, we will actively pursue consignors with merchandise that was equal to the great items we had in our February auction.”
Following are highlights from the auction. All prices quoted are hammer.
A framed collection of Elvis Presley memorabilia and autographs, including a Presley-signed copy of the sheet music for I Got Stung! (recorded in Nashville in 1958), with his signature in black pen lower right, fetched $5,000. The presentation also contained photos of Elvis singing on stage and playing the piano. A plaque was inscribed, “The King of Rock and Roll, 1935-1977.”
A mid-to-late 1950s Coca-Cola 10-cent vending machine by Vendo, beautifully restored and bright red, changed hands for $3,000. The machine, designed to hold 81 bottles, had shelves that were adjustable to hold 6-ounce, 10-ounce or 12-ounce bottles. The machine stood 58 ½ inches tall by 27 inches wide. It came with the keys, for retrieving dimes from the 10-cent mechanism.
A baseball signed by baseball legend Ty Cobb, showing his signature and the date in ballpoint pen (“Ty Cobb, 12/16/59”) brought $2,250. The ball, housed in an acrylic box with black base, had been given to the consignor’s wife when Cobb was in treatment at a hospital where she worked. The signature was consistent with other balls signed by Cobb in his last years of life.
A 1963 Gibson archtop stereo electric guitar (model ES345, serial #100506), with sunburst finish and two PAF (Patent Applied For) Humbucker pickups, gaveled for $8,500. The guitar, about 41 inches long, boasted maple plywood top and sides, mother of pearl double parallelogram fret markers on the mahogany neck, the Gibson logo on top of the front headstock, and a hard case.
A late 19th or early 20th century Melchior Brothers Imperial oak and leather barber’s chair rose to $3,000. The chair featured a full recline, adjustable foot rest and hydraulic lift. The square-back tufted leather upholstery back and seat were surmounted with an adjustable headrest. The whole was edged in silver-colored rivets and nickel-plated arm supports over an ornate plating footrest.
The auction’s top two lots came from the fine art category, as a pair of gouache under glass renderings of ducks in flight by Athos Menaboni (It./Am., 1895-1990), titled Mallard and Black Duck, realized $10,000 and $9,000 respectively. Both works were framed and pencil-signed (and titled) by Menaboni, who was primarily a bird painter, as well as a decorator and an illustrator.
Rounding out just some of the day’s top lots, a men’s Rolex Presidential 18kt yellow gold watch with gold textured bark finish dial with diamond markers, with case, slipped onto a new wrist for $9,000; and a mid-20th century Chinese Export porcelain saucer form bowl with a hand-painted exterior showing prunus fruit trees, vine and leaves, with the Qianlong Period mark, hit $1,300.
Ahlers & Ogletree’s next big auction will be a two-day event, planned for March 21-22, also in the Atlanta gallery. Already consigned are items from the estate of the American-born Japanese designer Soichi Furuta (1927-2011), to include scroll paintings, ceramics and other objects. The sale will also contain fine art, period furniture, estate jewelry, decorative accessories and more.
Important to note is that at 2 p.m. of the March 22 session, a rare tract of land comprising nearly 25 acres with over 2,000 linear feet of direct frontage along the Chattahoochee River in Atlanta will also come up for bid. The land, from three owners, is remote and private, but is also less than two miles from Roswell Road (in Sandy Springs) and the Northridge Road exit of GA-400.
Ahlers & Ogletree is a multi-faceted, family-owned business that spans the antiques, estate sale, wholesale, liquidation, auction and related industries. Ahlers & Ogletree is always seeking quality consignments for future auctions. To consign an item, an estate or a collection, you may call them at (404) 869-2478; or, you can e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about Ahlers & Ogletree and the upcoming March 21-22 auction, please log on to www.AandOAuctions.com.
715 Miami Circle / Ste. 210