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K & M Auctions bid final farewell to facility
Hahn hosts array of items at auction
Mel White auction
Motorcycles revved at Braun and Helmer auction
Groundhogs saw big bids, not shadows, at Cowan’s
Big bids at Belcher auction
Cars and collectibles catch big bids at Kraft
McAllister boasts big bids
Leonard’s Auction rings in New Year
Chupp sees big bids at Shipshewana auction
Across the Auction Block
Mel White auction
By Nancy Kelly

LANSING, Mich. — From military items to useful household appliances, a recent storage unit sale hosted by Mel White Auctions provided a variety of clean and appealing lots. There was a 10 percent buyer’s premium charged, which is not reflected in the prices listed here.

While pretty items adorned the room, it was the practical lots that proved most popular. An Amana washer and dryer set in great condition drew much attention before finding a new job with a high bid of $90 each, or $180 for the pair. A Sanyo brand dorm-sized refrigerator/freezer which looked like it had never been used was claimed for a high bid of $50 while a Sanyo tiny washing machine left for $45. The popular Dyson DC-33 vacuum cleaner drew a bidding volley before finishing at $90. Three flat-screen televisions were also in demand.

A Dynex 18-inch model finished at $50, while the Samsung 46-inch TV missing the remote closed at $55 and a Sony 32-inch topped out at $60. An LG surround-sound sound bar 300-watt system proved popular, requiring a high bid of $85.

Several army-issued pieces of clothing and other items were on display for consideration. One very large deployment bag with wheels that was stuffed with camouflage clothing and still bore the name of the soldier it was assigned to was eagerly picked up with a final bid of $65. A stack of camouflage clothing consisting of two jackets, a shirt, and a pair of pants, all in excellent condition, was scooped up for $17.50. Other back packs, medals, sunglasses, and more clothing also left with similar bids. A very handsome navy pea coat bearing a patch in Russian that read “Poccnr Boehho-Mopckon” along with a United States navy backpack was claimed with a high bid of $20.

A small estate was also included in this sale, which provided some interesting items. A nice Lionel train set featuring 3 cars (Baby Ruth, Shell Oil, and Lionel Lines), an engine, caboose, track and transformer found a new owner with a high bid of $30. Numerous stacks and boxes of dishes, glassware, and collectibles were located on tables for viewing. Most sold inexpensively, but one stack of large plates drew a moment of excitement as two bidders vied for ownership.

The bidding concluded at $37.50 and it was revealed that the coveted prize in the stack was a brilliantly-colored yellow enamelware Catherine Holm plate. Produced by this Norwegian company in the mid-1900s, the cheery pattern can also be found on pots, casserole pans, teapots, and other kitchen items.

Another attractive item sleeping on the table was a blue Blenko glass owl bookend which was identified and eagerly claimed with a high bid of $20. A large, unmarked cookie jar shaped like a beehive with a kitten on the lid went home with a high bid of $16. Located among several silver-plated items, four sterling silver pieces stood out. The two candle holders, one long-stemmed bowl and one small cake plate were pulled out and were claimed by the same bidder for a total of $32.50.

Inconspicuously located on the floor, a hand-knotted Oriental rug became an item of interest when it closed at $30. A limited amount of furniture was located in this estate. The lot that drew the most interest consisted of six oak dining chairs in very good condition which closed with a high bid of $50. Furniture on a different scale was also available in the form of a doll house and boxes of accessories. The handmade house itself closed at $10, but the boxes of furniture and other items proved more popular. One lot consisting of wooden doll house furniture closed at $25, while a large box of plastic furniture finished at $15, and a Marx metal cabin went for $20. There were also other dolls and toys offered.

While waiting for the auction to begin, White reflected on what is currently selling well and what is not. The category he describes as “rusty and dusty” is very popular for some reason, which he finds baffling. Pyrex items are very much in demand, more now than they ever were in the past. Also, he feels that high-end collectibles are making a comeback. However, large furniture does not sell well at all. When asked what he thought of the current trend of painting antique wooden furniture, White said it depends. Some furniture actually might look better painted, but if it is a beautiful wood such as mahogany, cherry, or oak it should be left alone to be enjoyed.

Mel White Auctions of Okemos, Mich. has been around since 1972. Contact information and details about some great upcoming auctions can be found at or (517) 394-3006.

K & M Auctions bid final farewell to facility
By Nancy Kelly

LANSING, Mich. — “The Last Hurrah” was the term spoken by many participants as they entered the building, shook auctioneer Kelly McAllister’s hand, and told him that he would be missed. As the day proceeded, McAllister, his brother Greg, and cousin Shawn McAllister sounded like three boys on the school playground exchanging comments and tossing insults during this business liquidation sale. The mood was sometimes emotional, sometimes playful, and often just wanting to get the job done. The building that had housed K & M Auctions for six years had been sold, so the company needed to clear out the inventory and move.

About 50 people came to help empty the warehouse, with many interesting and unusual items being offered. McAllister said he had saved some of the best items for this sale. There was a 13 percent buyers premium that is not reflected in the prices listed here.

In 1979, the Dale Tiffany Company began specializing in reproducing leaded lamp designs that were first developed by Louis Comfort Tiffany in the late 1800s-early 1900s. The Dale Tiffany Company uses techniques and materials similar to the originals, making these reproductions some of the best on the market. There is no relationship between the two men who share the same last name. A signed Dale Tiffany floor lamp with a glass shade of blue and peach was the highest-earning item of the day, drawing a final bid of $115. Two Roseville Rozane yellow-going-orange table lamps finished at $35 and $30, and a beautiful Gone With The Wind electric lamp with rose decoration was carefully carried away with a final bid of $50. An unusual lamp offered as perfect for the office since one could stick tacks into the cork base to hold memos was claimed with a final bid of $10.

Original artwork collected over the years proved popular with those in attendance. A tender Carolyn Blish oil painting featuring a young girl in a windy field of daisies was claimed with a high bid of $70, while an oil painting of a mystical bearded fellow with planets and water swirling around drew a $60 final bid.

A somewhat abstract painting of a seated Asian woman dressed in pastel colors was gratefully claimed with a high bid of $75, while a large print of the original “The Windmill at Wijk bij Duurstede” Dutch painting topped out at $85. Several other prints and paintings were also offered.

Various eclectic items dotted the room, drawing curious interest as the bidding proceeded. A very thick vintage album stuffed full of salesman samples of numerous prints including pets, war images, and children all featuring very appealing artwork was claimed with a final bid of $35. An interesting and ornate gold-colored pedestal with the letter G on the base and a purple velvet platform on top was used to offer Guerlain fragrance samples in luxury hotel lobbies. This unique structure was taken with a high bid of $25.

A brightly-colored vintage Goosie Gander metal children’s pull toy crossed the block with a high bid of $30 after the ring man had a chance to play with it. A Speedball calligraphy set with numerous pen tips, instructions, and the original wooden box finished at $20. A plastic Ideal Plain Board abacus complete with original box and numerous digit places closed at $17.50. Two 9-inch tall “angry teak wood guys” who had presided over McAllister auctions for many years were finally relieved of their duty as they left for $12.50. When asked how he could sell the McAllaster green metal milk wagon, the auctioneer replied that “they spelled the name wrong.” This vintage item closed at $15.

A very unusual-looking wooden structure was described as a compass chair. McAllister explained that it had been designed by the Herman Miller Company, but they then decided not to put it into production and another company did. This sparse piece of furniture with a curved back and only two minimal cross members for a seat was interesting to look at and was claimed with a final bid of $20. A rocking lawn chair with wooden oak frame and canvas seat was tried by many before leaving with a high bid of $10.

Numerous typical items crossed the block, including vases, jewelry, and auto parts. Many more items were claimed for possible resale as the auction progressed. Seven original thick cardboard beer cases for Drewrys, Pabst, Goebel and Miller were taken for a total of $70. A pair of “End of Trail” cast iron book ends closed at $10, a commercial Hobart scale finished at $40, and a Melodica with original box was demonstrated before leaving with a high bid of $17.50. A colorful box containing a commemorative Sgt. Pepper tee shirt and hat was eagerly claimed with a final bid of $22.50.

McAllister reflected on his years in the auction business, which started as a youngster alongside his father and uncle. He commented that it would be very difficult to be starting out in the auction trade today, as the business is evolving. He feels that the days of live, on-location auctions may be numbered as internet sales become more popular and plentiful. He personally enjoys selling items and interacting with the customers, but merchandise values are down, and it is getting harder to make a living at it. Primitives, mid-century merchandise (1950s-1980s), and original art work seem to be popular at the moment, but many old reliable categories just don’t have the return on investment any more. For now, McAllister plans to work the day job, settle into new surroundings, and then figure out what will come next. He plans to continue intermittently running auctions, and can be reached at (989) 666-8314 or e-mail:

Motorcycles revved at Braun and Helmer auction
By Starr Miller

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — In the words of auctioneer David Helmer, the paper and books “blew the roof off” of a recent Braun and Helmer Auction of motorcycle related items. The paper pulled in more than $100,000 collectively. The Ann Arbor based auction was held to liquidate the estate of Larry Klein – and the items covered the gamut.

“Larry Klein was a Moto Guzzi dealer, a collector…and ultimately, also a hoarder,” Helmer said. “Larry was one of two Moto Guzzi dealers in the United States.”

Klein passed away on March 9, 2015 at the age of 71. Larry enjoyed a lifelong passion for motorcycles — particularly of the Italian variety, literature of every variety, and civil rights advocacy. He was widely respected as a Moto Guzzi expert, sharing his encyclopedic knowledge openly with all who cared to listen – and as those who know him best noted, even those who didn’t.

In 1972, Larry opened GT Motors in Lansing, Mich., with Michael Gorman and Arlen Thrasher. In 1977, Michael and Arlen left the business, leaving Larry to run GT Motors as a solo venture, providing motorcycle repair and parts service. In recent years, Larry shifted his focus from motorcycle repair to motorcycle literature, and became widely known at meets around the country. He collaborated with several celebrated authors to publish new titles, and continued to provide customers, new and old, with his wealth of motorcycle and literary knowledge.

The auction featured a lifetime collection of everything motorcycle related. Motorcycles included the much sought after Moto Guzzi, as well as Norton, BSA, Triumph, Ducati, Honda and BMW. Due to the nature of Klein’s collection, the auction also included motorcycle parts, service manuals, literature, advertising, gear and apparel, and much more.

The auction was held over several days, and according to Helmer, day one turned its attention to personal property items.

“These things were scattered in multiple locations — storage lockers, 40-foot shipping crates, in the basement and attic of the home, garage, and an outdoor cage. Items were literally stacked to the ceilings.”

Auction items were pulled out of areas that had no electricity, evident water damage, trees growing around and through motorcycles, obvious past presence of raccoons and other small animals – but the overall inventory of this auction was one of the best of its kind.

Approximately 850 registered bidders from more than 15 states and four foreign coutnries attended the auction. Helmer said bidders for this sale came from New Zealand, Canada, Australia and the U.K.

All items at this auction had a 10 pecent buyer’s premium. This auction was also recognized as the most viewed auction in the country according to, and it won an advertising award at the 2017 Auction of the Year in the State of Michigan at the Michigan Auctioneers Association Convention.

Auction highlights included a very rare original new old stock (NOS) Ducati GT 860 2 tone gas tank. Featuring vibrant colors of orange, black, and white, this item saw a final hammer price of $2,700.

A 1952 TWN German Triumph 250 Motorcycle with a Steib sidecar was one of the top lots at the auction. It had 44,852 miles saw a final bid of $8,500 at the auction.

Also crossing the block and in decent condition was a 1969 Velocette Venom complete motorcycle with original muffler with 4,803 miles which went for a high bid of $7,000.

A completely rusted out 1963 Austin Healey 3000 MK II Convertible with 43,080 miles (without a title) sold for $11,000.

A 1974 Moto Guzzi 850 LAPD with 8,859 miles realized $4,500.

Braun and Helmer Auction Service is a full service auction company since 1971. They conduct all types of auctions and specialize in estate and real estate. All of the auctioneers at Braun and Helmer are life members of the Michigan Auctioneers Association, and members of the National Auctioneers Association. They can be reached at

Hahn hosts array of items at auction
By Karin Milliman

Nappanee, Ind. — The Hahn auction building in Nappanee was the scene of a fantastic guns, fishing lures, knives, primitives, and furniture auction. There was a chance to bid on glassware, bedding, and smalls while some attendees were entertained with the sport items.

The guns took top billing at this sale. Once the auctioneer started selling the large selection of guns, the bidding cards kept rising and the heads kept nodding. Taking the top spot for the highest price was a rifle that brought $3,900. It was a Remington brand sporting rifle #1, 40-50 caliber with a 30-inch octagon barrel. The bids rose on this rare item as fast as the auctioneer could call them out loud.

And the fun didn’t stop there. Running a close second in price was a Winchester model 1886 rifle. This one was made in 1885, was a 45-90 caliber and was in amazing condition. The hammer fell on this rifle at $3,700.

A Belgium-made Stahl-Target rifle that had an extra case with a cleaning and reloading kit sold for the impressive price of $2,500.

A Winchester model 52, 22-caliber long rifle complete with a Winchester scope and sling sold for $1,200. A Winchester model 62A long rifle also attracted some interest. This 22-caliber short and long rifle was from 1950 and brought a high bid of $1,050.

A Belgium made Browning semi-automatic, 22-caliber rifle sold for $750. A Ruger model 77, 30/6 with a sling and loop-holed scope brought a bid of $550.

A Remington 1187, 12-gauge semi-automatic shot gun in camouflage sold for $525. A Winchester model #24 12-gauge sold for $400.

The fishing items kept the gentlemen in their seats as a Master Fly reel, automatic, was put on the auction block. This one was new old stock in the original leather case. It flew all the way to $245 before being pronounced sold.

An early trout reel, patent 1/23/83 marked on the post and made of nickel and black brought an impressive high bid of $250.

A William Shakespeare JR, #3 level wind reel held its own with a bid of $175. A bamboo fly rod consisted of four pieces. This H.L. Lenoard rod came with both a soft and a hard case. It sold for $125.

A Creek Chub #2818 weed bug in silver flash was said to be a very tough color to get. It evidently was as it sold for the very high price of $475. A Creek Chub #100 wiggler goldfish in the original box sold for $200.

A nice selection of knives was also sold. A Marbles Arms sheath knife with the marked sheath was mint in the original box. This shiny piece dated January 9, 1953, brought a lot of competition. It took $425 to be the new owner of this knife.

A selection of four Marbles sheath knives with Marbles marked sheaths were sold with choice out. The first one went for $130, with the second following right behind at $100 and the last winning bidder took two for his $85 bid.

A 1944 World War II knife with the sheath sold for $95.

A Marbles safety hatchet was in mint condition and appeared to have never been used. This shiny piece was quickly tucked away for a bid of $200. A similar Marbles safety hatchet had obvious wear and sold for $110.

A brick of Winchester 22-automatic bullets kept rising in price. These bullets brought a high bid of $250.

There was some really nice furniture sold. A nicely preserved jelly cupboard was pine and sold for $215. An oak library table and chair were sold as a set for $80.

A double-sided large oak wardrobe topped out at $180.

A five-shelf enclosed glass front bookcase made from oak that had a storage drawer in the bottom sold for $350. A set of four stacking bookcases with the original wavy glass in the doors sold for $400.

The piece that everyone seemed to have their eye on was a bolt cabinet. This was in mint condition. It stood 40-inches tall and still had the shiny epoxy finish on all the drawers. The wording was very clear and every drawer had a matching white porcelain pull. It really took some bidding to become the new owner of this rare piece. They didn’t get to pack the drawers carefully in boxes and move it all out until their bid went all the way to $2,100.

An early pine trunk sold for $80. And a gray feed bin sold for $60.

An old primitive dry sink brought a high bid of $200, while a beautiful mirrored three-drawer dresser sold for $155.

An oak desk that appeared to be made for a lady sat a bit lower and had miniature cubby holes once it was opened up. This piece brought a bid of $190.

A sturdy two-seater wooden airplane attracted the attention of some of the ladies and ended at a final bid of $80.

A vintage croquet set, complete with all the mallets, balls, end posts, and wickets sold for $70.

A bakers’ cabinet in the original oak finish that had flour and sugar bins, cutting boards, four smaller drawers, and two doors in the top brought a high bid of $230.

An Empire style bookcase was still styling with the original key and wavy glass in the doors. It brought a bid of $250.

A large working double fruit press was identified as a Kentucky Buckeye old primitive press still in working condition. It brought a high bid of $375.

A pair of metal shop stools with the back part of the seats still original sold for $200.

A Daisy butter churn that looked like a blue metal box sold for a bid of $50. A clear football butter churn sold for $115. The red football shape at the top by the handle gave this piece its nickname. A wooden barrel butter churn sold for the same bid of $115.

A tiny well made glass showcase would have worked great for any vendor doing shows. This piece commanded a high price with a bid of $170.

A large apple butter pail sold for the high bid of $225. Two smaller candy pots sold for the bids of $150 and $90. A large brass pail sold for $45.

Hahn Auctioneers, Inc. can be reached at (574) 773-8445. Watch The Auction Exchange & Collectors News for more upcoming auctions with this experienced company.