As many of you know, our friend and teddy bear artist Steve Schutt has sold his house and moved into an apartment. Anyone who knows Steve can imagine the huge project this downsizing has been! I went to Clarion for a couple of sessions with him helping to sort out his bear-making supplies. To help him get a better return, I’ll be offering some of it for sale at the Kansas City Teddy Bear Jubilee on September 26, 2015 and probably beyond!
Last night my husband and I traveled to Eagle Grove, Iowa for Steve’s household auction. Some of his specialty collectibles have been sent to other more appropriate venues for dispersal, but the auction was still huge. Some of the items were from his parents’ home, but I think most of it was from Steve’s many collections and interests. We arrived at 3:00 so we had time to look it all over and visit a little with Steve who left when the auction started at 4:00.
I did my best to bid stuff up – I was there to support Steve after all. There were a few things I focused on and the first thing I won was this exquisite bear by Jeanette Warner. His growler needs to be replaced, but he is a stand-out in any crowd. Sixteen inches of perfect teddy bear love and probably an early one of Jeanette’s.
I purchased the little chair next and the flag was in another lot. There was only one other original artist bear in the auction. That was a beautiful blond dressed Kathy Wallace bear. I would have bought her, too, but there was a lady I talked to who really loved her and was on a budget. I think she got her. I hope so. I already have a large one of Kathy’s, so I was not sad.
My other big target item was a cabinet with lots of drawers that Steve had in his workroom. I thought my chances of getting it were slim, but I saved my money and didn’t bid too high on anything before it came up. The drawer pulls were ornate with “S” engraved on them. It was the perfect size to fit in the back of my car, too. It would have been a unique remembrance of Steve for my own workroom, but I reached my limit in the bidding and it went for a very respectable price.
So much for my disappointment. Here’s a sampling of what I did get. There were myriad boxes of Christmas items. It was often hard to tell just what was in some of them. About 2/3 of the way through the small items, a box came up which I didn’t remember, but they held up a little Santa and I went for it. Steve had many beautiful Santas in the auction. The large ones went for respectable prices. This one was about six inches tall and looks artist-made, although he is not marked. When I got the box, what to my wondering eyes should appear but six small lanterns! I know Steve was collecting things to make Santas himself and these were part of that plan. Coincidentally, I make Santas. What a nice surprise.
Another purchase was a couple of baskets with a few small rag rugs. All very useful and very nice baskets.
My last purchase was also a BIG surprise. I had spotted a little mohair teddy angel in one of the boxes, so was keeping a sharp eye out. Luckily, I happened to recognize her even though the auction was going really fast at this point – nearing 8:00 p.m. – almost 4 hours into it. Up went my hand and I got it just after they added a box of miscellaneous junk, but oh well. I had the little angel. We looked through the boxes quickly and I saw that there were more teddy bear ornaments and a bigger bear that I plan to donate to Good Bears of the World. Bruce took the boxes to the car while I paid.
The auction was still going on when we left as soon as I lost the bid for the cabinet. We were hungry by this time, so stopped at a Casey’s General Store and got a slice of pizza which we polished off in the car on the trip home. Since I might have had grease on my hands from the pizza, I didn’t examine my purchases on the way home and it was so late – nearly 10:00 – when we got home, that I went straight to bed.
This morning, I opened up the car in the parking lot at work to check out my boxes and bring things in to photograph for this report. Yippee! What a surprise awaited me! As I sorted through the teddy angel box, I turned up a tiny aviator bear by Linda Nelson. Steve’s dad worked at the local airport and repaired airplanes, so that must have attracted him to this little guy. Very cute!
Next I found this darling little red angel bear which looked very familiar. Under it was my friend Rita Loeb’s business card. Another unexpected treasure! How exciting! I looked further. Several unremarkable teddy ornaments, but not too bad. A box of red candles for one of those metal chiming Christmas things. And then, I spotted at the bottom of the box…
This tiny angel teddy by my friend Kelli Kilby whom I haven’t seen in forever! Sweet providence! All these tiny treasures hidden in this box that I purchased for $10! Wait – I’m looking at the tickets and $10 was the box with Santa and the lanterns. This one was only $2.50! Sorry it went so cheap, Steve, but if you are reading this I know you will be tickled that I found buried treasure!