News-Antique.com - Oct 13,2011 - ORANGE, Calif. – A breathtaking 40,000-piece collection of motion picture and TV memorabilia, original animation art and other historically important entertainment collectibles will be offered to the public on Oct. 29 in an auction that is shaping up to be one for the history books. Purchased sight unseen from an abandoned self-service storage unit, the collection is described by California auctioneer Don Presley as “the find of a lifetime.”
Don Presley Auction Co. – best known for its high-profile auctions of antiques and fine art from prominent Southern California estates – is producing the sale together with Dave Hester (Dave Hester Auctions) and celebrity auctioneers Dan and Laura Dotson. The Dotsons, who own American Auctioneers in Riverside, Calif., are known to millions of viewers as emcees of the hit TV show Storage Wars. Hester is also a regular on the show.
Presley said the collection to be auctioned is one of “tremendous quality and value.” He described the consignors as “two very hard-working individuals who have been business partners for 25 years. They routinely attend auctions to bid on the contents of storage lockers whose rent has gone unpaid, but they never expected to end up with a bonanza like this collection has turned out to be.” Storage-locker auctions can be a huge gamble, Presley said, because the bidders don’t know what they’re bidding on. They get a quick glimpse at the contents of a storage unit before bidding commences, he said, but boxes and other containers are kept sealed, so their contents are not revealed.
“At these auctions you might end up with something of genuine value or you might pay thousands of dollars for boxes of old office files that have to be hauled to the dump at the buyer’s expense,” Presley said. “In this case, the buyers hit the jackpot, fair and square.”
The prior owners of the collection, who are well-known motion picture industry executives, amassed the remarkable trove of Hollywood memorabilia over a period of several years. The collection was neatly boxed and kept under lock and key at a storage facility, but at some point in time, the rent on their storage unit fell seriously into arrears. Despite repeated notices, the rent remained unpaid until such point the contents were deemed “abandoned” and sent to a storage-locker auction to be sold to the highest bidder.
The two business partners who placed the winning bid on the goods have been buying and reselling storage-locker contents for more than 25 years. However, they had never before come across anything quite as special, or as valuable, as the entertainment archive.
“At first, we knew nothing about the identity of the collection’s prior owners, and we had only a vague idea of what the items were worth. It was only later that we learned it was a very famous and valuable collection. We wanted to make sure there were no legalities that could prevent us from selling its contents,” one of the purchasers said.