October 10, 2007 (Indianapolis, Indiana) Clothing collectors, dealers and enthusiasts came from near and far to take part in Dan Ripley’s Antique Helper’s September 29 auction, featuring the contents of a Meridian Street estate, untouched for several decades. This jam-packed sale included multiple auction rings as well as catalogued items. There was the usual estate fare: furniture, dishes and linens in abundance. But, the main draw of the day was the racks and piles of vintage clothing, hats, shoes, jewelry and handbags dating from the 1940s through the 1970s, some never worn and bearing the original tags to prove it. Adding to the excitement of this offering, most items were presented apart from the catalog, making this an “every woman for herself” event.

As anyone who has ever dabbled in vintage clothing can attest, the opportunity to buy clothing in such quantities, of such quality and pedigree is extremely rare. Fierce competition drove prices on uncatalogued lots to unexpected heights. Tulle and taffeta formal gowns sold upwards of $200, while eager bidders competed to gain prime choice from racks of 1950s crinolines and Father Knows Best house dresses.

Among the catalogued lots was a high-style 1950s Hollywood-inspired ankle length black tulle strapless dress. Expected to bring between $50 and $100, this darling specimen rocked the house when it sold for a solid $500. Another 1950s selection, a sweet black satin charmuese skirt and sweater set (est. $50-$100) more than doubled estimate, selling for $225.

A three piece catalogued grouping of straw sun hats, including one labeled Saks Fifth Avenue and a Lilly Dache chapeau brought $425. A hat-wearing Indiana MD was the winning bidder on a five piece lot that included purses, a felt Hattie Carnagie handbag and a feathered Hattie Carnagie hat. Estimated between $100 and $200, this stylish group sold for $525. Another group of six handbags, including lucite and patent examples (est. $50-$100) brought $450.

There was plenty of jewelry offered in this sale as well. From vintage costume selections to rubies, diamonds and pearls, this sale had it all. One spectacular antique platinum bezel set ring, set with three European cut diamonds (est. $2500-$3000) sold for $2,600, to a floor bidder.

There were plenty of happy bidders leaving Antique Helper, laden with their purchases and eagerly anticipating the next auction event. It never hurts to make new friends. Antique Helper’s next Multi Generation Discovery auction will take place on Saturday October 27.

Other important Antique Helper fall auction events include: October 27 art auction, October 28 Fall Mission to Modern Auction; November 17 Hooks Drug Store and Pharmaceutical auction; December 1 Sports and Memorabilia; December 2: Ralph W. Burnsworth Native American Artifact Collection.

For more information about these auctions, please visit our website: or call 317-251-5635.