Rare cigar-tip cutter brings $60,500 at Showtime sale An extremely rare cigar-tip cutter and trade stimulator sold for $60,500 at a sale of items from the Jim Cate Collection held April 20-22 by Showtime Auction Services in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
News-Antique.com - May 13,2007 - RARE COMBINATION CIGAR-TIP CUTTER / TRADE STIMULATOR BRINGS
$60,500 AT SHOWTIME AUCTION'S SALE OF THE JIM CATE COLLECTION
(Ann Arbor, Mich.) - An extremely rare cigar-tip cutter and trade stimulator sold for $60,500 at a sale of items from the Jim Cate Collection held April 20-22 by Showtime Auction Services, based in Chino, Calif. The auction was held at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds in Ann Arbor, Mich. Prices quoted include a buyer's premium (10% for cash or check, 13% for a credit card).
“The sale was a huge success and everybody had a great time,” said Mike Eckles of Showtime Auction Services. “Advertising signs especially did very well, with many examples hammering for over $10,000.” Mr. Eckles said more than 1,700 lots changed hands over the course of the three days. Total sales grossed $2.1 million. Approximately 450 people were in attendance.
Jim Cate is an avid collector and long-time resident of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. His lifetime accumulation of country store and advertising items comprised a museum inside The Penny Candy Store in Coeur d'Alene. “The store was in an old bank building,” Mr. Eckles pointed out. “Two of the back walls were roped off and set up like a country store, to showcase Mr. Cate's massive collections.”
Additional consignments were secured that complemented Mr. Cate's offerings. “The things Jim didn't collect much – like coin-op, trays, toys and banks – were what we sought out, from a variety of quality estates and other sources,” Mr. Eckles said. “Everything was high-end merchandise, and almost all of it was fresh to the market. Collectors had a field day. Three field days, to be exact.”
The cigar-tip cutter/trade stimulator is regarded as “the mother of all cigar-tip cutters.” It was featured in the Marshall Fey Slot Machine Book. When the user places his cigar tip into the top of the head to be clipped, a wheel is set into motion. The piece is one of only three known to exist, and was made more desirable by having the original marquee and dial. It was in overall fine working order.
Another item also sold for $60,500, to share top lot honors. It was an oak Regina musical china cabinet, one of only 13 made. Of those, only seven are accounted for, and of those, only two were made in quarter-sawn oak (as was the example sold). The bow front piece with stainless glass panel was in excellent, all-original condition and even included a set of discs for the 15” Regina movement.
In other highlights:
A salesman's sample Hires Root Beer Dispenser, one of only two known, realized $55,000. The fact that it had no carrying case and exhibited some chips didn't deter bidders who recognized it as a must-have for serious soda fountain collectors. The marble piece, in overall fine condition, stood just 12” tall (the actual dispensers were 30”). The other known example sold for $70,000 twelve years ago.
A Sleepy Eye flour tin embossed sign, in period wood frame, garnered