Saturday, March 31, 2007

Farm auction a rite of spring

Farm auction a rite of spring
Thursday, March 29, 2007

By Steven Hepker -- 768-4923

Henry Beckord rubbed his cowhide gloves on the chalky, weathered bow of his 1979 Caravelle boat, revealing a shiny robin's-egg-blue finish.

"It's a good old boat, worth the time and effort for someone," the Sweezy Lake resident said Tuesday at the Napoleon Livestock Commission's auction grounds.

The boat is among hundreds of gadgets, machines, tools, vehicles and what-nots on sale Saturday in the 22nd edition of the annual spring farm auction.

It is Jackson County's largest recycling event and a social gathering for thousands across the region.

Beckord is typical of consignors. He lives nearby, he attends no matter the weather, and he plans to take something home, possibly a flatbed trailer.

He won't miss the old boat.

"I have 11 more boats at home," Beckord said. The Caravelle, complete with a trailer, was purchased new by a family member in 1979 and could last another few decades. It needs a motor, and don't be surprised if one is consigned by Saturday morning.

The Napoleon auction thumbs its nose at the disposable world. Most of the offerings have endured many decades and several owners.

Tractors aged 50 or 60 years are standard fare. Newer ones might be 20 to 30 years old. The line of tractors draws the biggest crowds and is the centerpiece of the pasture that becomes a living history display on the last Saturday of each March.

The Heselschwerdt family, which operates Monday livestock and hay auctions and a Western tack store, started the farm auction 22 years ago as a service and business venture. It has expanded every year.

Not all of the items are farm-related. There are dozens of cars and trucks, including some classics, plus lumber, feeders, gates, potted trees, lawn tractors, lawn mowers, horse trailers, travel trailers, and sporting goods including dozens of guns.

Father Dale and sons Rick and Randy Heselschwerdt are the auctioneers, and they sometimes work two rings to move things along.

Generally, no household items or junk are allowed, although some might see junk where others see treasures.

The auction starts at 9 a.m. and stretches to late afternoon.



March 22, 2007

Boca Raton, FL
February 25, 2007

American art pottery, especially Roseville, comes on strong in Boca Raton at J.K. Galleries February sale.

BOCA RATON, FL - Almost all of the pottery lots at the J.K. Galleries sale on February 25, in Boca Raton, FL sold over the high estimate. The 300 lot sale included 21 lots of Roseville Futura that all sold over the estimate with many selling for over $1,000. Gallery owner Jay Kielstock seems to have found a solid market in South Florida for American art pottery and the market is strong, especially in middle period and Arts & Crafts.

The Sunday afternoon sale saw 60 registered bidders on the floor competing against 46 phone bidders and the 478 who registered to participate in the sale though All of J.K. Galleries sales are carried on LiveAuctioneers. At this sale 26 percent of the lots sold online including the top lot of the sale, a Pairpoint Puffy lamp with a superb Venice shade. The shade, with dark red and pink roses and emerald leaves mixed with white scroll work, had a 14in diameter. The brass finish base was stamped with the Pairpoint mark of the P in the diamond trademark. It sold to a LiveAuctioneers bidder for $6,600 including the 20 percent online premium. Other significant online sales included a North Dakota School of Mines cobalt blue vase, 6 by 7in, with carved leaves outlined in beige which brought $2,160 after premium, a French cameo glass vase, 26in high, signed Mont Joye, in shades of green with carved thistles and leaves in gold and bronze colors, $3,360 and a Weller coppertone urn, 5½ by 6½in, with a full bodied frog climbing at the top, exceeded estimate at $1,440.

Roseville Futura items were competed heavily on the phone. The best Futura was a bulbous balloon vase on open legs, shape #404, 8in tall, 6in wide, in a multi green drip glaze with balloons in pale pink, yellow and blue. It sold to a collector on the phone for $2,300 including the 15 percent inhouse and phone premium, well above the $900 estimate. A 10in tall vase in Futura shape #410, beige and green, brought $2,185 against the $1,200 estimate, a 10in mottled green Futura Pine Cone vase, shape #433, sold for $1,380, above estimate and a square Futura footed planter, 4in tall and 5in wide, with tan interior, blue exterior and mottle green feet tripled the $400 estimate at $1,265. In addition to the Futura line Roseville had significant other entries such as the 15in tall Baneda floor vase, shape #600 in stunning blue with outstanding detail. It sold over estimate for $3,105 and a beautiful blue Pine Cone jardiniere and pedestal that brought $1,610.

In addition to the coppertone urn by Weller that sold online, a number of other Weller pieces did very well on the floor. The top Weller lot was a figural lawn ornament in the shape of 12in tall, 10in wide chicken, in matte finish with glossy eyes. The pale greens and blues contrasted nicely with the tan and coffee background. It sold for $2,645. A glossy Louwelsea 12in vase with a large central portrait of what appears to be Davy Crockett in raccoon hat in excellent detail, more than doubled the high estimate of $700 bringing in $1,495 and a Weller 7in oval tray with a full bodied fox in naturalistic colors, in good condition, sold for $978, more than doubling its estimate of $400.

Kielstock said most of the bidders were dealers and collectors from Florida who have grown to trust J.K. Galleries to provide first rate merchandise. He noted that the four hour sale was very consistent throughout with no low spots. For more information call Kielstock or Auction Manager Amanda Watkins at (954) 421-2800, or email at or visit the website at J.K. Galleries is located at 8221 W. Glades Road, Suite # 13, Boca Raton, FL 33434.

Boca Raton, FL
Sale February 25, 2007

Puffy – The top lot of the sale was this Pairpoint Puffy lamp with roses on the shade. It sold online for $6,600.

Chicken – A Weller chicken figural lawn ornament brought $2,645.

Cobalt – A North Dakota School of Mining cobalt blue vase went for $2,160.

Balloon – A Roseville Futura balloon vase on open legs, 8in tall, sold on the phone for $2,300.

Baneda – This 15in tall floor vase from the Baneda line of Roseville went over estimate at $3,105.

Cameo vase – A French cameo glass vase, 26in high, signed Mont Joye, brought $3,360 online.


March 29, 2007
Melbourne, FL
Sale March 17-18

Two important local collections crossed the block at Matheson’s AA Auction in Melbourne, FL on March 17 – 18. But while the collections had a Florida provenance the bidders came from all over the country and some from Europe even bid by phone.

MELBOURNE, FL - The sale opened at 11:00AM on Saturday March 17 with over 400 lots of art that included works by Picasso, Leroy, Chagall, Greuze and Faulkner. The house was full with all 200 seats taken and five extra phone lines were at the ready plus five staff members with cell phones to field call in bids. The sale was not offered online.

The sale also included a good collection of African and Oceanic art and artifacts and that got the sale off to good start early on. The third lot of the sale was a large Costa Rican stone carving of a female figure from the Atlantic watershed region, 48in tall by 21in wide that quickly soared to $6,325 including the fifteen percent buyer’s premium. That loosened up the audience and by the 10th lot the sale was rolling. Lot 10 was a pencil signed color lithograph, 27½ by 20in, entitled "The Bluebird" by Marc Chagall (Russian/French 1887-1985). This was the first of five Chagall lots in the sale and it made the top Chagall money, selling on the phone for $9,200. It was followed several lots later by Chagall’s lithograph, 16 by 11 ¾in, entitled "Eve Incurs God’s Displeasure" that went for $4,888.

Spaced between the Chagall lots was an etching by Pablo Picasso (Spanish 1881 - 1973) entitled "Man Uncovering A Woman" from "Vollard Suite". It was signed lower right and numbered lower left "XX-VI-MCMXXXI", size 15½in by 12½in. It sold on the phone to a New York dealer for what will probably establish a new record for a Picasso etching. Including premium the Picasso closed at $14,950.

Eight oil on board works by the eccentric American artist Henry Faulkner (1924-1981) came from the Ft. Lauderdale estate of a friend of Faulkner’s who had received the works directly from Faulkner. Foremost among the works was a crowded village architectural scene, 13¼ by 16½ in, secured in a rough hand carved frame. Legend has it that Faulkner often scoured trash bins for frames for his work and this appeared to be one of them. That didn’t bother a collector on the phone who bid the work up to $9,200. A collector from Lexington, KY snapped up three of the Faulkners paying $8,913 for figure with a hand across the chest, $6,038 for a flower cart and $4,600 for a work entitled "Two Winged Friends" with the original receipt dated 1965.

An important oil on board portrait by Jean Baptiste Greuze, French (1725 –1805) that had been passed down in the Chase Banking family, brought $10,350 and the top lot of the sale, an elaborately framed oil on canvas portrait of a woman and infant, 29 by 31in, by Paul Alexander Leroy, French (1860-1942) sold on the phone to a New York collector for $18,400.

The Sunday March 18 session of the sale featured over 200 items from an important Melbourne Napoleonic collection. The top lot of that session was a saber that had belonged to an officer of the Carabiniers, Napoleon’s two elite regiments of cavalry. The saber with wire handled grip, bronze guard and 36in curved blade sold in the room to a Pennsylvania collector who had flown in the night before the sale. He paid $10,637. A 37¼in long regimental saber, Model XI, sold on the phone to a California collector for $5,290 and an elaborate infantry sword engraved "NK" under the langet went to the same buyer for $4,888. A French naval blunderbuss captured by an English officer went for $3,163. Other period firearms included several flintlock pistols that sold in the $1,100 - $1,300 range and one police model that brought $2,875.

Non weapons included a polychrome wood carved Napoleonic coat of arms that sold on the phone for $6,325, a hand painted standard with wire tassels, 20 by 22in, emblazoned with "Pro Gloria Et Patria" brought $4,888, an infantry officer’s Shako hat, Model 1812, made $3,738 on the phone and a brass cavalry bugle engraved and dated 1812 led a new charge for $1,380.
Matheson’s AA Auction is located at 600 E. New Haven Avenue in Melbourne, FL. For more information on this sale or future sales call auction owners Lloyd and Jan Matheson or Auction Manager Carrie Lucas at (321) 768-6668, visit the website at

Sale of March 17-18, 2007

Leroy – This touching scene by Paul Alexander Leroy sold on the phone to a New York collector for $18,400, the top lot of the sale.

Faulkner – This jumbled architectural view by Faulkner went for $9,200.

Picasso – An etching by Picasso may have established a new record at $14,950.

Greuze – A portrait by Jean Baptiste Greuze with an impeccable provenance closed at $10,350.

Sword 605 – A Carabinier officer’s sword was the top Napoleonic lot at $10,637.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Large Collector Tractor Auction

MORSE BLUFF, Neb., March 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Stock Auction Company will be auctioning off an impressive collection of antique Allis-Chalmers tractors and equipment at an estate auction at the Double R Farms located at 2723 County Road 25, in Morse Bluff, Nebraska on Friday, March 30, 2007, at 10:00 a.m.

The auction will include a collection of over 40 rare tractors, trucks, vehicles, trailers, harvest equipment, livestock equipment, shop equipment and other miscellaneous items that Larry Racek purchased over his lifetime. The collection includes: AC G, AC D14, AC D15, AC 17, AC D19, AC D21, AC 220, AC 170, AC 175, AC 180, AC 190, AC 200, AC Two-Ten, AC 616, AC 8050, to name a few. There will also be other collectible tractors, including John Deere, International Harvestor, Case, Farmall, Oliver and many others.

Larry Racek, a fourth-generation Racek farming the family's beloved Double R Farms, was diagnosed with colon cancer on July 28, 2005. He passed away on January 8, 2007 at the age of 57. Double R Farms has been in the Racek family for over 125 years and recently was honored with the Nebraska Pioneer Farm Award by the Knights of Ak Sar Ben Foundation. Throughout the years, the Racek family has raised various crops, cattle and hogs, as well as did custom farming. Larry loved his farm, farm equipment, and collections, including an impressive farm toy collection given to his nephews. He was also a family man and a musician.

Nadine and Jerrine Racek (Larry's mother and sister, respectively) recalled, "Larry loved the farm passionately, desperately wanted to live and fervently prayed for a miracle to farm just one more year. He was so certain he could beat the cancer he even ordered his seed corn for 2007. It sadly was not meant to be." Nadine added, "As a small boy, Larry wanted to drive Lorin's [his father] tractor so badly that Lorin finally gave in and braced him to the seat of his Farmall so he wouldn't fall off!" Although the last few weeks of Larry's life he was unable to speak and visit with his beloved neighbors and friends, some of the last words he was able to utter were "Market-to-Market, tractors, combine and soybeans."

The Racek family hopes that whoever buys Larry's prized collection of tractors and equipment will love them as much as he did.

"This will be a well-attended auction both live and on the Internet," said Mark Stock, Company President. "We are expecting a larger turnout than the local county fair! This will be a wonderful event and auction - a real tribute to Larry and his passion for farming and tractors!"

To view the complete list of auction items or other information about Stock Auction Company visit or call 1-800-WE-Sell-8 or 1-800-937-3558.

About Stock Realty and Auction Company

Based in Saint Edward, Nebraska, Stock Auction Company employs 56 people in 4 offices in the U.S. The Company is one of America's largest auctioneers of industrial equipment and agriculture equipment, as well as farm land and airplanes. The Company sells, through unreserved public auctions, a wide range of new and used equipment, including equipment utilized in the construction, transportation and agricultural industries. The Company also sells farm land primarily in the Midwest through private treaty sales, as well as unreserved auctions. Please visit the web site


Thursday, March 01, 2007

@gOnline video

Here's another posting covering our visit to the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville Kentucky. I was interviewed by @gOnline and here it is online. Scroll down the link to The New and the Used

Ice, snow, wind and fire

Greg Peterson
Publisher, F.A.C.Ts Report

You've heard of Earth, Wind & Fire, the disco band from the '70s?

That's nothing. Last Saturday (February 24, 2007) on a farm auction near Riceville, Iowa, auctioneer Dean Eastman and those attending the sale had to put up with ice, snow, wind and fire. Still, business got done. Farm equipment got put up for sale and sold, and sold very well in fact.

Which is amazing, given the nearly 12 inches of snow and blizzard conditions that descended upon northeast Iowa last Saturday. Nasty is about the best way to describe it.

"The weather wasn't good to say the least!" reported auctioneer Eastman. "There was ice, snow, wind, and everything in between. The electricity went off at the sale part way through. The power poles, in sight of the sale, broke off just down the road and one was even burning."


Modern technology helped the sale reach a fruitful conclusion.

"Because the weather was so bad, I had buy orders on almost every piece and sometimes multiple bids on one item," said Eastman. "The dryer took the cake. We had five ringmen on cell phones at once and two guys in person all bidding at the same time. What a zoo!"

The grain dryer Eastman is referring to was an Airstream 260C model. It sold for $8,500. Eastman said he and the owner (selling out) had over 30 calls on the dryer alone in the days leading up to the sale.

Other items of note at this auction included a 1989 Deutz-Allis 9190 mechanical front-wheel drive tractor with 3,115 hours, sold for $22,300;, a Loftness 20-foot stalk chopper for $5,300; a White 226 field cultivator, 26-foot in just fair shape, sold for $1,700; a NH 855 round baler also in just fair condition for $3,400; a White 5100 12R-30 planter in good shape for $3,800 and a 1989 Gleaner R40 combine with 3,075 hours for $8,200.

Click on the link above to see how these sale prices compare to other similar items sold over the last few years at auction.

It's been such a mild winter. We've been free of snow up until recently here in the upper Midwest. I was beginning to think we'd all gone a little soft. My two daughters have grown weary of my tales of real winters in the good old days. A second blizzard with another predicted 12 inches of snow is bearing down on us as I write this.

Good to know little things like ice, wind, snow, blizzards and broken, burning power poles can't slow us down.