“Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!”

This is probably one of the most famous lines from The Wizard of Oz, one of my favorite movies of all time. But this line also applied to our auctions over the last couple of months! Okay…we might not have sold any tigers…but we did sell a couple of lions and bears and even a rooster that brought $2,000! Let me explain!

After taking a break for our county fair, which is always a highlight of the summer, our auction calendar has been full of incredible sales. It’s been a while since my last blog and there is no way to cover everything so I’ll hit the highlights – and there have been quite a few!

But first, let me explain the rooster. Some of you may have eaten at Big Boy’s Restaurant in Wright City. Meals served family-style were one of the well-known features of Big Boy’s but so was the 10-foot tall rooster that became the landmark associated with Big Boy’s. Unfortunately, the restaurant closed at the end of May so in late July, we sold the contents of the business…including the famous rooster! The fiberglass rooster sold for $2,000 and is standing proud at the home of the new owner.

And now on to the lions and bears! In mid-August, we held a four-day auction for the Late Donald Thompson, Sr. Much of the talk prior to the sale was about the number of firearms in Donald’s collection – well over 800 – but the first night of the sale included not only his collection of pocketknives but a collection of his safari mounts. On this night, we sold two full-body lion mounts…one with a warthog and one with a duiker. The lion with the warthog sold for $8,500 while the lion with the duiker sold for $4,000. But then we moved on to the bears – and again sold two of them. These were full-body, standing mounts of Russian Brown Bears – the first one sold for $14,500 with the second one selling for $12,000. The buyer was adding these two beauties to his personal collection.

But the lions and bears weren’t the only mounts that we sold that night. A full-body crocodile mount sold for $3,500, the giraffe shoulder mount sold for $3,800, and a hippopotamus shoulder mount sold for $4,250! The collection also included a bison, zebra, eland, a cape buffalo and even a full-body mount warthog that sold for $1,200! What a collection! And let’s not forget about the pocketknives that were sold. Donald’s collection contained approximately 600 pocket and long knives with approximately 150-200 Case knives and the highlight of the knife sale was a Dave Yellowhorse knife that sold for $2,200!

But that was just the beginning. Each of the next three days were focused on Donald’s firearm collection – and what a collection of rifles, shotguns and pistols it was! Friday’s highlights included a Colt Sauer 7MM Mag bolt action NIB that sold for $2,500; a Winchester Model 42 410 pump that sold for $1,800; and a Colt Python 357 Mag with a 6-in. barrel that sold for $2,100. But there were two more pistols that sold that topped the sale – a Colt Tiffany-type heavy engraved piece sold for $4,500 and a Smith & Wesson Tubler Fed sold for $9,000! And this was just the first day!

Saturday continued the firearm auction – and again, there were some great items! Two pistols – a Colt Frontier Scout 22 Missouri Sesquicentennial 1820-1970 96MOS with a case and a Colt SAA 45 Missouri sesquicentennial 1820-1920 NIB – sold for $2,200 for the pair. A Ruger Red Label Over & Under 12-gauge sold for $1,200 and a Colt Python 357 Mag sold for $2,350. But we had more to sell on Sunday!

The final day, Sunday, included many commemorative and limited edition guns. If you were a collector of rare pieces, this was the day for you! A Winchester Model 28-gauge pump sold for $7,300 while a Henry 44 caliber, lever-action rifle sold for $7,100. We went on to sell a Krieghoff Model 32 5-barrel set (410, 20, 28, 12 & 12-trap w/5 gold and 1 platinum inlays) for $14,000. A Browning Superposed 3-barrel set (410, 20 & 28 gauge over & under) which was hand-engraved by R. Kowalski & Diana Grade sold for $12,500. Working up to the highlight of the sale, we sold a Winchester Model 21 Proof Gun 2-barrel set (12 & 14 gauge) #50 tournament skeet grade, 26” selective ejection, single trigger and straight grip, Beaver Tail Forend, inspected in 1934 with paperwork for $15,700. AND the highlight…drum roll please…was a Browning Superposed 20-gauge 2-barrel set, hand carved and heavily engraved that sold for $16,000! What a collection and what an auction! Definitely the largest privately owned firearms collection we’ve ever sold!

But we didn’t stop there. We continued on through the month and by the end of August, we had a sale in St. Peters and two in Vandalia, MO. Real estate, steam engine whistles, a military saddle, coins, Ducks Unlimited items, along with antiques, collectibles, and antique furniture were just a sampling of the items on the sale bills.

As I’ve mentioned before, auctions held on holidays are sometimes the best auctions and the sale held for Bob and the Late Carole Sommer on Labor Day was no exception. Selling in two rings (and three for a short period of time) kept everyone busy that day but the rain held off until after the sale was finished and many of Bob’s collections found new homes! If you were a collector of dairy memorabilia, this was your day – butter churns, crocks, butter molds, dairy bottles and more! A Fro-Joy Sealtest Ice Cream sign sold for $200, a World’s Fair Cup sold for $190, and an Evan P. Jones crock sold for $250. We even sold a 1-qt. butter churn for $1,500! WOW! And in addition to Bob’s collection of antique toys and tractors, we sold a 2006 John Deere 5303 diesel tractor for $17,500! This sale also provided the opportunity to play with my photography a little bit – there are a couple of pictures that may end up framed and in my kitchen!

NASCAR die-cast toys, sports memorabilia, and horse tack highlighted the sale on Saturday, September 6th at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds. And then we headed to St. Charles on Saturday, September 13th for another day of selling in 2-rings. Antique farm equipment, firearms, woodworking tools and more highlighted this sale held on one of the old farmsteads in St. Charles. We gave out 237 bidder numbers and to quote my little bluebird “things were hot”. And then onto Middletown where antique toys were the hot item on Saturday, September 20th. A John Deere pull-type combine sold for $200, a Smith Mille Smitty Toys tin toy dump truck sold for $265 and a Nylint #2400 electronic cannon with box sold for $335. After the real estate sold for $42,000, I think we can say it was a pretty successful day!

But that’s just the beginning! Dave has us booked solid for the next several weeks…and you don’t want to miss out! So, you MUST check out our web site at www.thornhillauction.com for all the latest information. Click on the ‘Upcoming Auctions’ link on the left-hand side of page – there you will find all of our upcoming sales, open house dates for real estate to be sold at auction and benefit auction dates. Please be sure to read the ‘Auctioneer’s Note’ for each auction – this will provide you some background information on the auction as well as if we’ll be selling in 2 rings. However, it’s always best to come with a friend – just in case we split up! You don’t want to miss your favorite item of the auction!

We have sales on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays! Something for everyone and with the weather as nice as it’s been, where else would you want to be than at a Thornhill Auction? We hope to see you soon!

Lori Biehl
Clerk and Cashier

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