Dan Ripley’s Antique Helper Doubles Sales Third Year Running
(Indianapolis, IN) Dan Ripley’s Antique Helper, Inc. is pleased to announce
year-end sales doubling those from the past year for the third consecutive year,
and the action is full steam ahead for this pioneering company in the fine art,
antiques and online trade business. "Extensive marketing, attention to
detail, sensitivity and respect of the collections assembled by our consignors"
are what sets Antique Helper aside from the competition, says owner Dan Ripley,
who earned his CES ("Certified Estate Specialist") designation by
the National Auctioneers Association Education Institute in 2004.
Full Service Auction Company
In an auction year that included sales running the gamut from fine art and
antiques to modern design to fishing collectibles to estate and costume jewelry
to Christmas gifts and collectibles, diversity has proven to be this auction
company’s best friend. Drawing customers from a worldwide audience and consigners
from across the continental United States, news of Antique Helper’s sales and
services continued to spread throughout the year. Highlights of 2004 included
spring and fall specialty auctions offering Vintage, Costume, Estate and Bakelite
Jewelry, Fishing Collectibles, and Modern Design. Among the high points of these
specialty auctions was the sale of a Trifari Crane pin at the December Jewelry
Auction. This fantastic pin hit the block and proceeded to streak past all expectations.
By the time bidding ended on this piece, the selling price had doubled the low
estimate of $4,000, closing at $9,200, including 15% buyer’s premium.
But general Fine Art and Antiques auctions hosted their own share of exciting
times as well. Proving that a widespread audience increases competition for
in-demand objects, the year was off to a great start when, in January, an Oscar
Bach signed Art Deco lamp, estimated between $1,500 and $3,000 brought $8,900,
including a 15% buyer’s premium. In May, a modern Chinese scroll depicting a
scholar viewing a waterfall (est. $100-$200), exceeded all expectations when
the ending price soared to $6,325, including 15% buyer’s premium. An oil on
canvas depicting a ship (est. $3,000-$6,000), attributed to American illustrator
Harvey T, Dunn (1884-1952) sold in July, ending far above anyone’s wildest expectations
to close at an impressive $18,500, plus 15% buyer’s premium. Another show-stopping
scene occurred in August, with the sale of an old porcelain 2-sided Marathon
Oil advertising sign. Measuring 57" H x 48" W, this sign was expected
to bring between $400 and $600, but the price swiftly soared to an impressive
$2,300, going to an eBay bidder.
Ripley points to many significant moments in Antique Helper’s past year: the
Costume Jewelry sales, the first fishing auction held in March, and the Modern
Design auctions. But, perhaps the most notable offerings came in the package
of the Dukoff Consignment, an acquisition so vast that objects found their way
into more than half the auctions offered in the past year. Says Ripley, "In
these times of change for the antiques business, Ken Dukoff, an experienced
dealer and collector, took advantage of the active auction markets by liquidating
inventory that wasn’t getting enough exposure," says Ripley. Liquidating
items and experiencing a welcoming worldwide market worked like a tonic for
Dukoff; according to Ripley, "Ken is now actively dealing and exhibiting
at shows with renewed enthusiasm for the antiques trade."
In a year that included so many strong points, it could be challenging to recollect
just one defining moment. However, when pressed, Ripley quickly recalls one
outstanding Antique Helper event: "I’d say that selling the Wayland de
Santis Gregory ceramic fountain to the Cleveland Museum of Art was pretty exciting,"
he says. This important Art Deco mermaid fountain by Waylande de Santis Gregory
(American, 1905-1971), for Cowan Pottery, c.1930. was gleaned from the Ken Dukoff
collection and offered at auction on September 2; this piece is believed to
be only the second example of this design to appear on the market and was estimated
to bring between $12,000 and $18,000. A fulfilling moment turned ecstatic when
the fountain finally closed at a solid and impressive $24,750 to a floor bidder
representing the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Partnering with other auction companies, providing online services is another
pioneering path for Antique Helper. Such a union proved worthwhile in November,
when, in partnership with Christy’s of Indiana, Antique Helper listed several
paintings by Hoosier Modernist painter, Lorena Phemister on eBay, to a worldwide
audience. The excitement ballooned early in the sale when Phemister’s award-winning
"Phantasmagoria" sailed beyond its estimated $600-$900 to an ending
price of $5,464.50, including 15% buyer’s premium, to a California collector.
Shortly after, another painting, "Twilight," also exceeded its high
estimate of $900, closing at $3,325, including buyer’s premium.
Branching Out, Looking Ahead
Joining the Antique Helper staff is house Auctioneer DeWayne Butler. In addition
to market areas where Antique Helper has already excelled, Butler brings with
him a new level of expertise in areas including books and ephemera, pattern
glass and traditional antiques. Butler’s presence enables Antique Helper to
surge into the New Year, offering more frequent general antiques and consignment
auctions as well as increased appraisal and estate services. "It’s an exciting
time to join Antique Helper," says Butler, "As an auctioneer, I’m
excited to be involved with a company that continues to be a cutting-edge, forward-moving
force in the antiques industry."
With fine art and antiques auctions scheduled on a bi-weekly basis, as well
as several specialty auctions planned through the coming year, Antique Helper
staff is constantly kept on their toes. Highlights for the coming year include
rare Tiffany pieces consigned from the Gluck collection in Florida. Upcoming
specialty auctions include Modern Design and Jewelry, as well as a special auction
featuring books and paper, all slated for spring. If past specialty sales give
any indications, each of these auctions holds great promise, in keeping with
Antique Helper’s forward-moving tradition, for an active and exciting 2005.