A recap of some of the stranger items sold at the Marion Antique Auctions Saturday

Jun 11, 2018

If you were in the mood for some casual Saturday shopping this past weekend, a number of shopping centers and boutiques across the South Coast might have done the job.

But if you were in the market for a narwhal tusk, a war club from the Fiji Islands or a spoon personally crafted by Paul Revere, there was only one place for you.

All of these unusual antique items --and about 500 more-- were sold on June 9 at the Marion Antique Auctions at the Music Hall on Front Street.

The bulk of the items sold Saturday came from local estate sales, auction organizer and Marion Antique Shop owner Frank McNamee said. Some items, however, came from further away -- perhaps most notably from the Park Avenue, New York estate of Bokara Legendre, a prominent philanthropist, performer and socialite.

While McNamee said many of the buyers were local, wealthy collectors, he also received live bids from as far away as China, France and London via online auction services.

“It was an exciting scene,” McNamee said. “On top of the in-person bids, we had ten people working the phones and the websites too.”

Mixed in with the more traditional antique items like paintings, coins, silverware, furniture and jewels were a variety of stranger items, ranging from ancient sculptures to a 19th century clown automaton that blows bubbles.

A 17th century German knight’s helmet sold for $2,300, while a Swiss crossbow from roughly the same time period brought in $2,000. Three war clubs from the Fiji Islands, auctioned individually, all sold for over $1,500 each.

The spoon made by Paul Revere, sold in 1941 for $15, fetched $2,400 at auction Saturday. A painting by Astley Cooper, found at a yard sale, sold for $4,100.

That narwhal tusk from the 1800’s: $3,500.

A collection of French paperweights that had been donated to the Elizabeth Taylor library brought in a total of over $28,000.

While these prices may seem high, McNamee, who sells most of the antiques for clients for commission, said that Saturday’s auction was pretty much par for the course. In 2013, McNamee sold an original, handwritten poem by Edgar Allan Poe that he found in a desk for $300,000.

Marion Antique Auctions holds two major auctions each year. The next one will take place on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.