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What is a Schtockschnitzler?

Here we go again….here's what happened, "Last Week at the Auction"...America's Favorite Top 10 List of Auction Results from around the globe as hand selected by me Josh Levine, your blog post host and guide to the world of auctions. And, can you believe it…we are already here at Episode 10 of Season 2.

I decided to make this a supersized edition…so there’s not just 10 results but a sweet 16 ! I hope it holds you over for a few weeks….

So, before you go Subscribe Below. That way I can keep you up to date on all the exciting news…I’d love you to leave a Comment, and please share with a friend. Sharing is caring. Oversharing is annoying…

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Why So Much ?

Coming in a #16 is a Ralph Lauren Luggage Rack that brought $225 @ Abell Auctions in LA….why do I point this out? Luggage racks. One of those things that has always amazed me at auction. Such a simple design and not much too them but they always bring money. I have seen them bring $50 to $100 on average at auction, yet I know many a picker and even auctioneers that just pass them buy or throw them in to lots. Keep your eyes peeled at the estate and yard sales. $5 may quickly become $50 or more.

Smoking is So Cool

#15 Bronze Dwarf Smoking Stand just did $275 @ Leland Little in Hillsborough NC. Tobacco collectibles are still performing, and this little desk accessory included a built in match holder and ash tray insert. Oh…remember the days of smoking indoors. Today’s its crazy to think but I remember my mom smoking in the car, on an airplane and of course, in the house. I think dinosaurs still roamed the earth…not really, it wasn’t that long ago, but keep your eyes peeled for all things smoking. Vintage Lighters, Tobacco Boxes and Tins, Figural Ashtrays, Advertising and more. Its quite the collectible genre and maybe smoking’s coming back…its like vaping but so retro.

Snake Pot

#14 is this NC Folk Pottery Snake Jug by Fred Johnston that sold for $375 also at Leland Little…you see, you really need to your signatures or do a little research. I find many signed pieces of Art Pottery are missed. Usually due to the fact that the signature is so challenging to decipher. If you buy a piece at an art show or gallery, I strongly suggest putting a little note in, or on, the piece for your next of kin. It can solve a lot of mysteries later and help you or your heirs get top dollar when the time comes to sell. This very well could have been a $20 buy at an auction if it was simply called, folk art pottery and no one knew who the artist was. Its also what makes the great auction houses, like the one’s I feature, stand out. They understand the need in today’s world for keywords.


#13 a beautiful BLOWN GLASS, ENAMEL DECORATED, CHEESE DOME just sold for $475 @ DuMouchelles in Detroit. Circa 1870….it’s so nice to see glass prices tick up. This is more like the prices we would have seen 20 years ago. Could be a trend to follow and why I bring it up.

Cross Collectibles

#12 is a Double Sided Fishing Tackle Trade Sign that caught a bid of $900 @ Leland Little. This checked several boxes for the collectors out there. Fishing and Sporting Collectibles, Advertising, Folk Art just to name a few. We call these cross collectibles in the business and it means there is a larger audience of collectors and therefor bidder & buyers that are willing to step up. Always take note of that when you antique hunting for a little extra money.

Flick Yer Bic

#11 This Rowenta Electric Table Lighter sold for $1000 @ Wrights in Chicago. It was just 3.25” tall, silver plate and circa 1960. Again, with the smoking collectibles. See how I like to beat a point home. Have you ever left $1000 lighter on the table, pass by one at a thrift store or yard sale. Maybe you will take a second look now.

Wild Ride

#10 A Chinese Bronze Covered Hand-warmer hammed for $2200 @ Heritage. From the Qing Dynasty and approx. 4” x 5” for perspective, this further illustrates the wild ride that is Chinese Antiques & Collectibles at auction. If I was conducting an appraisal on this piece, I would have valued this in the $300-$500 neighborhood. The demand is strong, and bidders will decide what the value is these days. I don’t see a “book value” coming to assist appraisers or antique dealers in the field of Asian antiquities anytime soon. It is just so unpredictable, but on the very awesome side.

Gold is on the Rise

#9 is a Wells Fargo 1908 No Motto $20 St. Gaudens Double Eagle Gold Piece that brought $6000 @ 1 Great Deal in Meridian ID. I could not end the season without these guys featured. They have the most amazing Coin and Currency Auctions, week in and week out. And have you been watching gold prices ? Crazy…finally shooting up and making sense with the economic times we are in. Historically, that’s what gold does, but oddly when our economy first hit the skids with The Corona Quarantine, the prices of metals dropped too. I really thought this was one of strangest things….but just when I started really questioning it, gold and silver began to climb as they should, specifically when the markets look the way they do….so….we are still living in the Twilight Zone, but if you have a strong position in gold, you will be fine with our new Zombie Overlord Masters that will be landing on our planet soon. ZOD 2020

What was in that Trunk ?

Did I tell you this is going to be my best episode ever….#8 This Japanese Meiji Period Trunk just sold for $6000 @ Abell’s Weekly Sale….it had a $200-300 pre-auction estimate. And again, that what I would have guessed as well. Notice I said guessed. An auction estimate is typically just that. An educated guess. The market will decide the worth of an item. Just a side note….I love when some tells me, this is worth X. I often want to respond with, “oh….do you have a buyer?” Because, most things are not truly worth anything until you sell it or have a willing buyer.

Porcelain is Promising

#7 A Lladro Porcelain Group Titled “XVIII Century Coach” just hammered for $9500 @Alex Cooper in Towson MD…that’s a great price for Lladro these days. Lladro, like Armani, Royal Doulton and Goebel Collectible figures have been so soft over the past 5 years, however if you have been watching this season, you might be seeing what I've been seeing. A little bit of a trend up here. Not the prices of a decade ago or any where the original retail, but nice to see….and if you are downsizing or offering a collection at auction, you might be a little happier with the results.


#6. This 1934 Famille Rose Table Screen just hammered for $16,000 @ Heritage. Attributed to Wang Dafan and only 16” tall overall. It featured an 8 by 5-inch hand painted panel and falls in to that “Chinese Antiquities at Auction” craziness. What a great price and I hope these results have you looking for these treasures from the orient. Many of these amazing finds were scattered across the world, during and after, the Cultural Revolution in China. And now with China’s historic burgeoning economy, many with newfound wealth and a hunger to collect the past, the prices are rising to meet the demand. You see, sometimes simple economics makes sense.

Mid Mod Madness

#5 A Carlo Mollino Chair just crushed it…….$30,000 @ Wright in Chicago. This circa 1953 Mid mod beauty is an excellent example of the craze in all things mid century. Italian architect, designer and photographer, Carlo Mollino was instrumental in bringing Italian Industrial Design Style to America. I recall an oak and glass table of his, circa 1948, held the world record price for 20th Century Furniture for some time. In fact, it may still stand. At $3,824,000, I am not sure that little beauty has been beat, but I am sure, one of you fans will tell me if I am wrong.

$3,824,000 !!!

Alright I love this next one…

The Man

#4 George Stouts Diaries hammered for $40,500 @ KC Auction & Appraisal in KC MO. Who’s George Stout and why so much? Why he’s George Clooney…okay, okay…Lieutenant Commander George Leslie Stout was one of the first to be asked to join "The Monuments Men” and was one of the first to go ashore at Normandy. If you have seen the movie "The Monuments Men" George Clooney played a role that was loosely based on George Stout's service. These were his actual diaries and an amazing glimpse into the real-life adventures of a fascinating man and time.

Get ready for cuckoo….okay, not cuckoo, but the birds….

What is a Schtockschnitzler?

#3 Is Carved & Painted Bird Tree that sold for $103,700 @ Pook and Pook in Downingtown PA…One of the finest examples of turn of the Century Folk art, this example was by Schtockschnitzler Simmons of Berks County Pennsylvania.

Simmons, a German immigrant, was known only by his nicknames "Schtockschnitzler" which translates to “cane carver” and "der alt"…the old man. He traveled from town to town with canes on his back. Known for carving birds from bedposts and for his amazing bird trees.

He was active from 1885 to 1910 and this highly prized folk art beauty did not disappoint. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to see Antiques like this coming back. Did I mention, I actually went to Auction School in Berks County, many years ago but this next one, really, freaked me out a bit.

That's a lot of Box !

#2 Is The John Drissel Painted Pine Slide Lid Box the brought $134,200, again @ Pook and Pook in Downingtown PA. This painted pine box, was inscribed and dated by John Drissel of Bucks County Pennsylvania in 1796 and retained its original decorated surface. It was approx 3 x 5 x 7 inches for perspective. It got weird for me when I read the provenance. The original owner, Anna Von Red, inscribed on the box was found in New Goschenhoppen Church Register, a small town not far from where I was raised. I actually had attended a few services at that church and loved their legendary Folk Festivals as a child, but further…I saw it was purchased several years back at auction in Lower Milford Township. That was the same site, the lower milford fire co, where I held my first auction, and where I went to Elementary School….and with a descendant of John Drissel. Larry…..anyway, I don’t what the universe was telling me with this lot, but it defiantly took me down memory lane. You have to realize how small this township and area is.

The John Drissel Painted Pine Slide Lid Box the brought $134,200

Okay season 2…what am I ending you with?

It's a Ming Thing...

At #1 is Two volumes of the 400 Ming Dynasty’s Yongle Encyclopedia Volumes known to exist…that were estimated to bring between $6000 to $8000 US and they sold for just under $9 Million Dollars ! - Beaussant Lefèvre, the Paris-based auction house absolutely crushed it. So….if you can find one or more of the 398 left … enjoy your retirement. This is what makes auctions so much fun & Wow…. that was a lot of show…. Last Week at the auction!

And now it is time for VIEWER EMAIL….

And This week's question comes from Lisa J from Cincy…represent!

Lisa asks, “Are you always as hyper as you are in the videos?

What are you talking about…..i take horse tranquilizers before each show….no, I kid. I just so get amped to when ever I have the opportunity to spread the word. The Auction Word.

Thanks again everyone for your great questions and remember….you can always email me at even while I take a short break from this show series to work on a few more.

And remember….if you like my stories, buy or have a free listen to my new audiobook release….Why Don’t You Want My Stuff….link is below.

So, before you leave Subscribe Below…if Free! Give Me Thumbs Up and Post a Comment or Question.... I hope you enjoyed today's episode, check out all the great auction houses I talked about on today’s show and give my book a free listen. Also….see my 6 Ways in 6 days you can help Small business. #6in6d It my way and should be your way too, of giving back or paying it forward.

Until next Season...or Last Week at the Auction!





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Anyway....that my update. If you ever need help an estate, just a free consult or a real estate agent. I would be thrilled to help you.

All my best!


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