The Brinkman Collection to be sold May 24-25 in Iowa An outstanding single-owner collection of European and American art glass; china; vintage lamps; miniature kerosene lamps; furniture and more will be sold May 24-25 by Woody Auction in Aurelia, Iowa.
SINGLE-OWNER COLLECTION OF EUROPEAN AND AMERICAN ART GLASS, CHINA,
VINTAGE LAMPS AND MORE TO BE SOLD MAY 24-25 BY WOODY AUCTION IN IOWA
(Aurelia, Ia.) - An outstanding single-owner collection of fine European and American art glass; china; vintage lamps; miniature kerosene lamps; period furniture and more will be sold over the weekend of May 24-25 at the Aurelia Community Center, currently under construction. Over 900 lots will be auctioned. The collection is from Mary Brinkman and her late husband, Jim, both of Aurelia.
The sale will be conducted by Woody Auction of Douglass, Ks. “Jim and Mary specialized in Victorian glass and china, and furnished their home with an eclectic mix of furniture styles in oak and walnut,” said Jason Woody of Woody Auction. “With Jim's passing (in 2006), Mary is turning her attention to another passion, foster parenting. She is sharing with the public her wonderful treasures.”
The Brinkmans began collecting in 1978 and in 1982 opened an antiques shop called The Cedars-Antiques. The store thrived at several retail locations over the years, and they did business from home, too, for mail-order and anyone who wanted to stop by and “talk antiques.” “We enjoyed visiting with people who had similar interests, as they enjoyed looking at the things in our home,” Mary said.
Before 1978, neither Jim nor Mary had much interest in antiques. Then, they inherited a set of Haviland china that was identified by a friend as rare and collectible. They decided to display the set in an antique curved-glass china cabinet, which they bought at auction. But it wasn't until they moved into the family farmhouse – a rambling, four-story home in rural Iowa – that things got interesting.
“Here was this big house with good old woodwork and wonderful hardwood floors, and it just seemed natural to want to fill the place up with antique furniture,” Mary said, “so that's what we did.” Again, they attended area auctions to find what they wanted, and noticed that the first items that always came up for bid were “the dishes” -- an auction catch-phrase for glass, porcelain and china.
“It amazed us that some things sold for $10, while others went as high as $500 or even more,” Mary recalled. “We couldn't figure out why, so we started asking questions, and the more we learned the more interested we became. Before long, we were out scouring the shops, yard sales, flea markets, auction houses and elsewhere for items. They'd often take detours while on a fishing trip.
Today, the collection comprises nearly 1,000 items, although the Brinkmans had always expressed a personal preference for R. S. Prussia; C.F. Monroe (Wave Crest, Kelva and Nakara); and miniature art glass lamps. “Those are the things we loved, but we knew from a business perspective it made sense to diversify,” Mary said. “But I couldn't ever learn it all, so don't ask me anything about jewelry, dolls or vintage clothing.”