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View Full Version : Any auctions that specialize in aeronautical antiques?


Pepper46
02-11-2014, 12:38 AM
Does anyone know of auctions that specialize in antique aeronautical stuff that would appeal to serious collectors willing to spend top dollar for rare pieces?

I've thought about putting it on ebay, but not sure that venue would attract the kind of buyers I am seeking.

Thanks in advance!

Dave
02-11-2014, 08:46 AM
I believe Sotheby's periodically auctions off large lots of aviation memorabilia.

You can always take a shot with eBay and just have a large opening bid or place a reserve on it. There is certainly a lot of exposure on eBay, and I think some of the ones that get listed and not sold still connect a buyer and a seller and result in sale after the auction period closes.

D.Hicklin
02-12-2014, 08:05 AM
Purely out of curiosity, I would be interested in knowing exactly what you have that you consider to be a " rare aeronautical antique ".

So many times, unless the individual is deeply rooted in the realm of aviation, its easy to be fooled by what they have bought or have found and thinking its rare and worth high dollar.

For instance, if you have a NOS pioneer earth inducting compass that isnt a fake and is functional, then its " rare ", even more so if you have the case it came in from the pioneer company. Or perhaps a NOS liberty engine in cosmoline in a crate, something of that nature might be brought to a high end auction house. But rarely will you see the high end collectors in such places holding up bidding paddles for these elements, they are out there in the real world chasing leads by word of mouth and yes, even e bay.

Indeed treasure troves are surfacing daily from estates of those that have passed away, or barn finds, attic finds, basement finds, etc.

But a true " rare " aeronautical antique, it has to be something of a grand nature to even consider the hassles of a house like sothebys or christies, and the fees and the picky nature of these places that can be very frustrating if they deem your pieces to not be worthy of thier catalog. I am sure you get the point.

By posting some high quality clear and in focus digital pictures of what you have here on this site, surely will not have any effect on any potential sale of your items, it will give you a good opportunity to see if indeed what you have is " rare ", there are some pretty well versed people on this site that are a wealth of knowledge.

I know a lot of us world wide would appreciate pictures of your items very much.


Sincerely,
Dennis Hicklin
Seattle Washington

Dave
02-12-2014, 08:12 AM
Dennis see this thread (http://woodenpropeller.com/forumvB/showthread.php?t=2605) posted earlier. I would certainly consider this propeller "rare" in the sense that it is an earlier style Paragon, although it was manufactured after the move to Baltimore. How rare might depend on whether other provenance exists about its history.

D.Hicklin
02-12-2014, 08:22 AM
Hey dave, thanks for the link to the thread, it refreshed my memory. Indeed the prop is a rare one. I had not noticed that this person had posted before. That paragon prop would indeed be a prime piece at a high end auction house, I hope they post more pictures of any other items they have as well.

Thanks for the update.

Sincerely,
Dennis Hicklin

Pepper46
02-12-2014, 01:48 PM
Here is the Provenance which my husband signed and notarized.

Provenance: Paragon Propeller

I am the owner of a vintage wooden propeller made in about 1912 by “Paragon, Baltimore, Maryland, USA” indicated by decals on the tips of the propeller.
The approximate size is 8’6”in length and weighs about 10.6 lbs. It is comprised of two different woods, one type of wood for the center and another type for the tips.

During the summer of 1966, I received the propeller from my father-in-law. Mr. Garold Mikel, in South Bend, Indiana. He was an engineer at Bendix Aviation Company, South Bend, Indiana, a prominent manufacturer of commercial airline brakes. One of his administrative duties at the company was to manage the air museum. However, about in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s, Mr. Mikel indicated that the company hired a new chief executive officer who subsequently decided to close the museum. Mr. Mikel was directed to dispose of all the museum contents, even to the degree of discarding many items. He felt that he could not discard the propeller and brought it home to store in the rafter of his garage for many years.

I married Carol Mikel, daughter of Mr. Mikel, on July 25, 1964. When visiting the Mikel’s home, I noticed the propeller in the rater. Mr. Mikel then told me the story of how he acquired the propeller from Bendix Aviation. He explained that it was manufactured by Paragon, the same manufacturer of the propeller of the Wright Flyer in about 1912 and was fitted on the rear of the plane.

In the summer of 1965, Carol and I relocated to Long Beach, California from South Bend, Indiana. In the summer of 1966, Mr. and Mrs. Mikel visited us at our North Long Beach apartment. To my surprise, Mr. Mikel attached the propeller to the roof of his Volkswagen van while driving from Indiana to California.

In the fall of 1966, to learn more about the propeller, I put the propeller in my blue Volkswagen Beetle and visited a propeller manufacturer located Huntington Beach, California. I got a lot of notice on the freeway with stares and blowing horns-this is the first flying VW! The propeller manufacturer made custom propellers for various airplanes. In addition, the owner was often a movie stand-in for such stars as John Wayne and his many war movies. When showing the owner of the company the propeller, tears started welling in his eyes at he looked at it. He said “this is very valuable and should be in a museum.” He could not provide me with any more details about the history of the propeller.

I have owned the propeller since 1966. The only other similar propeller that I have seen has been in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. Since my wife, Leslie and I are retired, we wish to sell the propeller to an individual/company that will value its history.
Sincerely,

Michael R. Granat
(address)
mrgranat@comcast.net

~~~~~~~~~~

I have sold items on ebay for about 4 years on and off, so I am familiar with how it works. I don't think we are up to building a crate as you describe, so would go with either having UPS pack it, or preferably have the buyer send his shipper to pick it up. If we go this route, we are thinking about either a starting bid or a reserve of $10,000. Any suggestions?

Pepper46
02-12-2014, 02:02 PM
Thought I would add that I sell on eBay to supplement our only income, Social Security. We aren't rich, and we are hoping that selling this prop could help us stretch our meager income.

My concern with eBay is that while I am "Top Rated" I have a monthly selling limit of $22,500. I normally sell only about $1,000 a month, though this month is a bit better. So if bidding should exceed my limit, how will eBay handle that? I will post this question on the forums at the eBay site, but thought I'd post it here as well.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

pmdec
02-12-2014, 04:41 PM
Hi,

Before you sell it, could we have pics of the sides of the hub which I have asked for in the other thread ?

Regards,
PM

Pepper46
02-12-2014, 06:15 PM
Per your request, please see attached photos.

Pepper46
02-12-2014, 06:22 PM
More photos

Please let me know if these photos are what you are looking for, and if not, let me know how I can improve.

Thanks,
Leslie

D.Hicklin
02-12-2014, 08:50 PM
[/COLOR]ck"] Hello to you Michael and leslie.

Thanks for the additional pictures, just a tip for you in the future. Try shooting outside in the sunlight with out the additional flash, wood grains show a lot more detail in natural sunlight, most of the newer digital cameras and even smart phones have a great ability to get good detail if the auto focus is used with out the flash.

That being said, I was curious if you were able to procure any other items from the bendix musuem when it closed, I would imagine that there were some very unique pieces there.

Being that there is history with this prop you have, I would contact Mr. Kermit Weeks who is the owner of the Fantasy of flight musuem down in polk city florida. He has an extensive collection of world class aircraft and has a top notch restoration facility as well. He also has the deep pockets that could meet the asking price, and it could save a lot of goofing around with auctions as well.

The museum is easy to find on line, and that is a great place to start in regards to selling your prop. I hope that is helpful to you.

Thank you both so much for posting the other pictures, good luck on a sale that will command the price you seek.

Sincerely,
Dennis Hicklin
Seattle Washington

pmdec
02-12-2014, 09:11 PM
Hi,

Many thanks for these pics. I was very curious about how the "hub" sides were made. Are the six circle shapes details dowels?
Another question: you told there are two kind of wood, one look like oak, but do you know what is the other?

Regards,
PM

Dave
02-12-2014, 09:29 PM
Can you take a photo from a distance with the camera "looking straight through the center bore"? All of the propellers shown on this page (http://www.woodenpropeller.com/US.html) are done that way, and it's the only way you can see the propeller symmetrically.

It's probably due to the complex curvature, but you can see how this picture can make it look as if one blade is longer than the other.

http://woodenpropeller.com/forumvB/attachment.php?attachmentid=4499&stc=1&d=1392254787

Pepper46
02-12-2014, 10:06 PM
Will do Dave, but give me a couple of days. I have "Grandma Duty" tomorrow, so the earliest is Friday.

How were you able to take those pictures? What was the procedure to hold it up, or did you put it on the floor, put a rope through the hole and hang it, or what?

Asked the hubby about the wood, and he believes the tips were made from something that is "flexible" like maybe willow.

Dave
02-12-2014, 10:32 PM
How were you able to take those pictures? What was the procedure to hold it up, or did you put it on the floor, put a rope through the hole and hang it, or what?



I set up a stand in my living room and have a painted plywood background and some set-up lighting. I've probably photographed 60 or 70 propellers that way so it's been worth the effort (primarily I've been interested in getting good quality photos to make available to collectors and other interested people, so I've tried to have "standard" comparable photos). But the easiest way to do it is just have someone holding it upright and if necessary tilt it a little bit until you can center the camera on the hole and make the hole look perfectly round. (Imagine a long rod fitting snugly in the center bore and the camera lens at the other end of the rod, far enough away to see both blades.