Exciting Pre-Holiday Auction

Holiday Auction
Sunday, December 14
12:00 pm
Please note early start time.
Due to the volume of merchandise that we must sell before year’s end, we will be starting an hour early this Sunday.

This will be a perfect sale to purchase that one of a kind item. The best gifts are those with a past!

a sampling…

Assorted Objects of Interest: Original 1930s Lighted Esso Sign, Vintage Aurora Monday Night Football Game MIB, Vintage Slot Car Race Set, Pond Yacht, Animated Battery-Op Elephant, Franklin-Mint Harley Model, Executive Poker Set in Elegant Carrying Case, Master Violet Ray Light, 1930s Red Cop Car Lamp, 1866 Veteran’s Civil War, Corgi and Hasbro Aviation Airplane Models, Antique Sad Irons & Trivets, Outstanding Silk 1940s Gent’s Tie Quilt, Child’s Toy Doll Trunk, Porcelain Desoto\Plymouth and Oldsmobile Round Signs, more.

Books, Ephemera & Works on Paper: Original Ringling Brothers Circus Poster by Maxwell Frederick Coplan,”Our Girl” Illustrated by Howard Chandler Christy, “The Unconquered” Autographed by W. Somerset Maugham, From the estate of a former screen actors guild member (an uncle of our client) Helen Hayes Autographed Program Copy of Clark Gable’s First Movie Contract, Vintage Advertising Fans, Photo Lot from the Old Fowler’s Grocery in Chapel Hill, Three Vintage “Little Black Sambo” Books, Hundreds of Vintage Post Cards, more.

China, Crystal, Porcelain & Pottery: Outstanding Large Galle’ Vase, Steuben Bunny Rabbit, 6 gal. Stoneware Crock, 3 gal. Stoneware Crock, Childs Japanese Tea Set in Orig. Box, Hull Bluebird Pottery Vase, Chintz Urn Vase, Aynsley Vase, Delft Bottle, “Mother’s Darling” and other Hummels, Three #13 Ball & Lighting Canning Jars, more.

Decorative, Fine Arts & Sterling: Outstanding Brass Elephant Statue with Great Patina, Set of Gorham “Greenbriar” Sterling Flatware (1969 grams not including diner knives), Bronze Duke University Commemorative Statue by F. Creech, Several Nice Mirrors, Carl Sorenson Signed Bronze Vase, Large Watercolor Signed S. Hoffmann 54′, Pencil Signed and Numered Franklin Street, Chapel Hill Litho by Elenor Wiles, Mike Houston Wood Blocks and OOC, “El Cid” Collector’s Guild Series Engraving by Salvadore Dali, “La Pose Du Modele” Collector’s Guild Engraving by Pablo Picasso, more.

Furniture: Pair of Mid-Century Herman Miller Style Ply Bar Stools, Mid-Century Acrylic “Ant” Chair on Tulip Pedestal, Mission Arm Chair, Maple Drop Leaf Table, Copper Lined Dry Sink, Vintage Porcelain Top Table, Set of Four Whimiscal Painted Bar Stools, Pair of Cane Bottom Sewing Rockers, more.

Outstanding One Owner Doll Collection: Folks, we know we don’t usually sell dolls, unless they are antique, but this collection is simply outstanding, many made by well known doll artisans and just in time for the holidays! Classic Creations, Elite Dolls, William Tung, Master Piece Gallery – Berdine Creedy, Mary Benner, Mudia – Christine et Cecile, Fayzah, All dolls are absolutely mint in box and have been wrapped up in climate controlled storage. Many were priced in the hundreds of dollars.



Lizzie’s Friend, Susan and Long Term Resident Final Farewell

We had been expecting Susan to arrive with the needed paperwork. She was driving from a down east beach with the paperwork that would eliminate any questions regarding Diane’ s intent to salvage. In Susan fashion, she was late. We had a three o’clock deadline and Diane had a conflicting appointment. She asked me if I could stay and wait, so, I settled into the mowed field that we had created as, a parking lot in, the front, while the crew continued to methodically take apart the historic structure. I let the sun wash over me as I began to write about this convergence, while trying to figure out my involvement.
With each moment, another piece of the house would come out and all I could think about was how hard this was going to be for her to see. I continued to wonder about the allurement and the attachment I felt for a stranger I never knew. I thought about what a special place this house and the land surrounding it was and how Lizzie must feel with impending doom to the homestead. And, I thought about the incredible empathy that Diane had for this place that could no longer be moved.
My thoughts were interrupted by Susan’s truck coming up,the drive. I was hoping, for her sake that she would hand me the paperwork and not need to look back. However, she asked if she could check messages from the answering machine. I cringed. I knew the room where the phone lived had just been gutted. I asked the crew of its whereabouts,
They motioned us to the back porch where I found it and carried it into the living room, fumbled to find a plug. We landed just outside a door jam on the deck. I reached in and plugged it’s she listened to the messages and she was done. I, oddly, wrapped its cords around itself and carried it back to its resting place on the screen porch.
By now, Susan is still in the house looking a bit lost. As I guided her out of the house, I couldn’t help but stop at the first downstairs bedroom on the left when visiting. It was the “toy ” room. The toy room had been full of spinning tops, Nancy Drew, Playskool, Costumes, Hats, All sorts of Animal toys and so much more. It was also in this room that Susan kept her stuffed animals, including one cow my Mom had gifted to her.
We stopped in that room and I ask her if I had ever explained my feather tattoo? I rolled my sleeve a bit to expose it and began my story. “Every since my Mom died, I felt that if anyone could communicate from an alternative plane, she could. ” I asked Sarah, my friend who is known to be able to see the dead. She explained to me that my mom is quite often, if not always with me. She said that she couldn’t believe that I couldn’t feel her. “You’re not paying attention, she is sending you messages all of the time.” She asked the Eureka question, “Isn’t there one common item you find often no matter where you are?” I thought…..”seagull feathers'” I exclaimed. ” That’s it, seagull feathers.” I find them everywhere. Of course I find them on the beach, though sometimes in mass. I’ll find them in my briefcase, I’ll be walking along a beach and thump, one lands straight up in front of me and remain straight up. I find them hanging from a picnic table on a freshly blown deck in the mountains. I find them in the yards of old homesteads where I’m meeting a client to plan a sale. So, I explain all of this to Susan and we laugh when we both agree that no matter how much my mom loved me, she would not loved a tattoo on her girl. Then, I turned to the stone fireplace and showed her where I found my last feather. It was nestled in the corner of the hearth on a small pile of ash. Susan said that there was no way it could have been there without her knowing. We each welled up with tears, as we realized the magic. We hugged and I escorted her out for her last time from her home of thirty years.


Lizzie’s Monday Deadline


Lizzie’s House. Part Three.

The crew had removed numerous windows, as well as flooring when I met Diane at the site. She said, “Come on in.” She guided me through some of the once familiar rooms where the flooring was now stacked outside having its nails methodically removed and inventoried. The bones of the house were being exposed with each movement. Her opinion of the structure changed with every beam, joist and floor board removed. “I think this was originally a one room cabin.” She felt over time, additions had been built. Some, perhaps as late as the forties.
Diane began prancing over floor joists like an agile trapeze artist. ” Come over here. Just look at the patina on this wood.” She glanced at my Tony Lamas and said, “be careful, as she saw me struggling with my balance. Realizing that if I did fall off the beam, I’d only land a foot or so down, I threw caution to the wind and jumped down onto the hundred year old now exposed earthen floor. Springing across the room, she asked me to come see the writing on the wall. The writing appeared to be done in pencil with attention to detail. It showed the art form and respect that early cursive writing often displayed. It was a bit lower than our eye level and had faded over the years. The writing on the wall seemed to have to do with dates, important ones such as birth dates. One of which was one of Lizzie’s sisters. We know she had a least two, Luna and Lola. It looked as though one line of writing regarded Lola, who we believe was born in 1909. Later we learned that Lola far survived Lizzie into the middle of the twentieth century. Her headstone was located in a cemetery up the road in the same county.

As noon approached, we both had to accept that we had exhausted all resources to save this home in its present state, including a blitz Facebook campaign. Diane looked at me with anguish and asked, ” Well, Boss, what are we going to do.” Then she asked me if I felt Lizzie was still there. I said,” I don’t know, it feels strangely calm in here.” She asked me to go to what we thought was the heart if the house to see what I thought. The heart was at the top of the landing upstairs, a great room, so to speak, an unusual feature for a farmhouse of this age. By now, the crew had removed the upstairs period windows, as well as the staircase railing. The sun coming through the open spaces where the windows had been, shone a whole new light that streamed through the upstairs. Wood grain and patinas of the various woods shone like pieces of art.

“Well, is she still here?”, she asked me.

Previously, I had loaded an app on my phone that was supposed to detect energy fields, ie: ghosts. I had found it amusing, as well as interesting and as it had prior, it continued to show some type of presence in this area of Lizzie’s house. Today, though was different as it showed the strongest red signal of a presence standing right there with us. “I don’t think she’s gone, Diane.” “Lizzy, sweetheart, you need to go,” Diane implored. I followed with directives such as “Go into the light, Don’t be afraid, It’s all good once you’re there. You are not going to like what’s getting ready to happen here.” We both tried to coax her and tell her it was time to give in. the house was coming down. Diane and team were going to salvage every reusable object possible. Lizzie’s house would a least live on as part of many creative structures.

Susan, the former owner comes by for the last time…..



More on Lizzie….

The story goes that Lizzie’s father gave her the land upon which she was to have her fiancee build a home. Following the homes completion, her future husband went away, was sent away or left for war, never to return to Lizzie or the home.

LIzzie’s siblings graves had been relocated to assorted area cemeteries when the road was widened years back. In fact, she’s known to have an additional headstone in a cemetery not too far away.

So many mysteries of the day, particularly, the souls of Chatham, who succumbed to the Spanish influenza. There were so many that they were were taken to a hospital in Durham. The virus acted quickly and many of the infected died within days, turning blue as their lungs shut down. Many, were most likely cremated as the disease was so highly contagious and feared. If Lizzie was cremated, the mystery of the two headstones remain unanswered. Why the commanding majestic stone remains at the end or beginning of the drive may always remain a mystery that only the fellows employed by the power company that discovered it may understand.

As my client, Susan and I finalized plans, she asked , implored with me, really that I contact Diane, a builder, or should I say rebuilder extradinairre to see if she was still interested in the property as she had been some five years earlier. Diane’s notoriety was for saving, moving, building and repurposing historical homes and she had expressed an interest in moving Lizzie’s home.

We connected by phone and I shared our plan and invited her to stop by the house while we were there working on the estate. Diane and my history had crossed paths before, but many years, twenty five or so. She came up the drive and got out of her gigantic builder’ struck in tow with two twin rescue hounds that filled the passenger seat. She had a large presence. “You know, I was done with this.” She informed me with a furrowed brow. She had five years prior done an initial “walk through” and decided she wanted an opportunity to move the house. The passion had worn a bit until she once again entered. She wandered the house eying every detail, every angle. She explained to me that she thought she had put it away, Compartmentalized it by saying that she’d come to terms with the fact that it wasn’t going to happen. Now it was speaking to her again. She couldn’t walk away.

We decided on the Friday prior to the next day’s scheduled sale to carry the estate to our auction gallery, as the developer had reneged on his verbal agreement to let us have until the later half of November. Diane arrived the following day with a crew ready to roll, investors in hand when she eventually heard from the final and most important investor. He was out. Another, bigger deal came through. Once we heard the devastating news, we began to scramble for investors. Moving truck on call, power line folks in place, we just needed one additional investor with a deep pocket. The return was very fair. Get what you put in times two once the house sold. We reached out, we tried. The economy and a pending election had people nervous. We were not successful. I posted on Facebook and contacted folks from Florida to Egypt. No body was liquid at the present time. There was nothing else to do when Sunday evening came aside from planning for salvage rights of the house and begin dismantling it first thing Monday morning.
Monday morning, I spoke briefly with Diane and knew she was out there with her crew. I asked that she could give me a few more minutes, hoping for a miracle.
She obliged. I knew how much she hated this and I equally hate taking no for an answer. Prospects of hope continued to dim for Lizzie’s home. We were sad. I decided to go out to the property for moral support where I found Diane in the cab of her truck facing the house, lamenting over a container of yogurt. Meanwhile, her crew was busy at work…….
Part three to come.


Touched by a Spirit.

Something very strange happened to me last week.
Somehow, last week changed my life.

We were working on liquidating the estate of a long time Chapel Hill resident, hippie chick, collector of fun, shiny, unique and unusual was moving from her civil war era home in Chatham County to the beach, as Briar Chapel prepared to develop the land. We’ll call our client, Susan.
Susan was given a seven year reprieve from the developers original date, as the economy went south shortly after ground was broken. But, because of the grace period, once the ball started rolling, it avalanched and we had all of one week to ready the property.
Susan lived in this antebellum home for many years. The parties she threw were infamous. I even learned that my Mom and Dad had attended and they were humored by the party favors of weed, white liquor and other assorted accoutrements. For all I know, they could have par taken.
The vast amount of folks she knew in her lengthy time here seem to meet the six degree connection in my life as everywhere I turned, I, too was related by six degrees or less.
When I was born, I landed somewhere between the love child, hippy era and whatever the next generation of less passionate were called. I ached to have been one of the hippies, to follow my own path, so it was particularly an honor, pleasure and event for me to land the contract on this estate.
The day I met with Susan, she shared her plans that she would leave the house, contents, etc. to me to do as I saw fit. She was planning a month jaunt hiking around England. She told me it would be easier on her if there was nothing left in the home when she returned, as she would already have said her emotional goodbyes. I walked about the house in wonderment. Every square inch was filled with fun. There were hundreds of tin litho spinning tops, Playskool Toys and children’s books. Frivolity included Barbie in a cage, mannequins decked out in full dress, rows of all kinds of hats along side the vintage clothing. shiny objects like crystals and glass paperweights, costume jewelry, rhinestones and Christmas lights. Then there was the history, an outstanding collection of 19C books on Etiquette, women’ manners, Victorian poetry, artifacts from the property, the shore, fossils, skulls and seashells.
I’ve seen numerous estates in my career, but, really nothing that compared to this. It wasn’t the monetary value that drew me in, it was something bigger. It was the ending of an era and the impending destruction of a very special piece of historical property. It was also a presence that I would not figure out until later.
Susan and I said our good byes and she teared up as she hugged me saying she felt that she was standing there talking to my Mom. My mom had died ten years prior at an unexpected age of sixty four. Susan and my dad had worked together and, as earlier mentioned, they had partied at her house. Of course, I, too teared up, as my Mom was my soul and her loss had been devastating.
I asked Susan that day if she had ghosts, as I have a bit of my moms psychic vibes and I’ve learned to feel presences in homes, since I grew up in a home with poltergeist. Another chapter. She confirmed she did, but didn’t seem to want to elaborate. I didn’t push.
After she left for England, we communicated as best we could about sale details and she explained that she wishes she would have shared more, but was out of sorts with the move.
We had been given a deadline of the second of November to complete our part or everything would become the possession of the contractor. Weeks before, I phoned the man asking for additional time, as there was so much in the home, we needed time. Verbally, over the phone line, he agreed.
A few weeks before we were going to begin working in the house, I visited with two of my crew, Anne R, who walked around in wonderment and video taped the rooms in awe. Sarah, who has time after time proved her ability to me that she really does see and communicate with dead people.
The entry of the dirt road that leads to the house, lies a paved walkway and in front of it sits a commanding tombstone that is inscribed,
Lizzie Cheek
Daughter of R. D. and F. D. Cheek
Dec 23 ,1892 –23 Jan 23, 1919
“Asleep in Jesus”.
The developers managed to allow it to remain and even lightly landscaped the small ten by ten area.
Lizzy was twenty seven when she died. Because of personal intrigue and a connection to the home, I began researching. She apparently died from “influenza or pneumonia, blamed on the Spanish influenza epidemic of the early nineteen hundreds.
Stay tuned……



Want to buy thoughtful Holiday presents?

Consider the auction as a shopping venue. It’s the best for one of a kind gifts . It’s recycling at its finest! A present with a past given a new future…

Tomorrow’s Sunday auction is full of wonderful objects from someone’s past. Each with its own story to be shared and keep alive.
Come share in the fun. Visit the following link for a sampling of what we will be offering. http://www.auctionzip.com/cgi-bin/auctionlist.cgi?vuid=1034

Please join our Wild and Wooly Yard/ Tag/ Auction sale tomorrow at 10:00 am!


Friday, November 23 – 10:00 am
We’ll begin selling in the parking lot in front of the auction gallery. No sales before 10:00 as we must pull everything out in the morning. This is an outdoor sale, please dress accordingly.

IMPORTANT NOTE: what is not sold by 2:00 pm, will be sold in a lightening round auction session at 2:00 until?


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