The magnificent, important, rare Gebruder Bruder fairground organ

The magnificent, important This Gebruder Bruder 80-keyless fairground organ, made circa 1908 in a Black Forest town in Germany, will be sold Oct. 14-16 in Atlanta. (photo courtesy Great Gatsby's Auction Gallery)

Florida resident Marvin Horowitz has been collecting mechanical music pieces (as well as carousel animals) for as long as he can remember, and he attributes his passion to a lifelong interest in mechanical engineering, which served him well in the Air Force during the Korean War. That, and his early love for the upright player piano his family had in the 1930s. He acquired a theater organ from the E.M. Lowes Theater in the Boston area and spent the next five years lovingly restoring it. That led to 50 years of collecting and he's about to let it all go.

On the weekend of Oct. 14-16, Great Gatsby's Auction Gallery will be offering the incredible mechanical music collection of Mr. Horowitz, along with hundreds of other items, at its Atlanta gallery. The centerpiece lot is this magnificent Gebruder Bruder 80-keyless fairground organ, made circa 1908 in the Black Forest town of Waldkirch, Germany. It's enormous, 133 inches wide, and one of only 12 existing Gebruder fairground organs. It was restored by the renowned Mike Kitner and is estimated to bring $80,000-$120,000. Visit www.greatgatsbys.com.

 

 

Best scrimshaw collection to hit the market in 30 years

© Robert C. Eldred Co., Inc. This whalebone birdcage was Thomas Mittler's favorite scrimshaw piece of all. His astounding collection will be sold by Eldred's on October 15th. (photo courtesy Robert C. Eldred Co.)

The Robert C. Eldred Company in East Dennis, Mass., will open its fall auction season October 15th with a 540-lot sale, the expected top lot being a James Butterworth painting that should hammer for $250,000-$350,000. But also being sold is the astounding scrimshaw collection of Thomas Mittler, 60 lots in all, with estimates ranging from $300/$500 to $50,000/$100,000. That's right, six figures for a whale's tooth (or panbone piece, or a whaleman-made utilitarian object). The item shown here is a whalebone birdcage – Mittler's favorite piece of all.

Thomas Mittler began his scrimshaw collection in 1969, after attending an antiques show. His collection became so renowned it was the subject of a book written by scrimshaw historian Nina Hellman of Nantucket, Mass. Mittler died suddenly in 2010 at age 67 and this is the first time that any of the scrimshaw in his collection will be sold. Featured will be pie crimpers, watch towers and busks, and pieces created by scrimshandlers such as Brittania Engraver, Edward Burdett, William Gilpin and the Bank Note Engraver. Visit www.eldreds.com.

 

 

Part 2, the Thomas J. Perkins estate, Nov. 13 at Clars Auction

Part 2, Thomas J. Perkins Bo Bartlett's painting titled Lifeboat is one of his most important works. It will be auctioned by Clars Auction Gallery on Sunday, November 13th. (photo courtesy Clars Auction Gallery)

Before passing away on June 7th at his home in Marin County, California, Thomas J. Perkins was a renowned Silicon Valley venture capitalist who helped foster the early growth of such major corporate giants as Google, AOL, Amazon and Genentech. He was also internationally known for his collecting and prestigious lifestyle. Now, the fine property from his estate home and grand penthouse in California are being sold in a pair of auctions by Clars Auction Gallery in Oakland, Calif. The first was already held (Sept. 17-18). The next will be on Nov. 13th.

While the September sale featured many tantalizing items, the November event is packed with premier offerings such as a large (81 inches by 100 inches) oil on canvas painting by the contemporary realist painter Bo Bartlett (Am., b. 1955), titled Lifeboat, which was cover art for the book Bo Bartlett, a retrospective of his work (est. $30,000-$50,000); a rare 1851 Humbert $50 gold slug minted in San Francisco (est. $20,000-$30,000); and a 17th century Italian Baroque polychrome decorated and parcel gilt center table (est. $8,000-$12,000). Visit www.clars.com.

 

 

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