Originally Published: January 1, 2009 10:23 p.m.
Despite the weak economy, or maybe because of it, many people began 2009 looking for a bargain, a good deal. They found it at Batterman's annual New Year's Day Premium Antiques Auction.
While Batterman's conducts theme auctions throughout the year, Thursday's event included "the best of the best" that the company has acquired throughout the year.
"Today is the culmination of gleaming through items that have come in during the past year," said owner Kurt Vogel.
The auction included items from Batterman's consignment gallery.
Prescott collector Richard Straub stopped by the auction. He had already looked at the on-line catalogue and planned to enter an absentee bid.
Straub said he usually visits Batterman's every day.
"They have a wide variety of antiques and collectibles that attract a wide variety of customers," Straub said.
Vogel said people could buy items one of three ways: submitting an absentee bid on the web, attending the live auction or using a proxy bid.
"Our offering to the community is to get their items out in front of the world. The web has opened up a whole new dimensionality," Vogel said. "We have customers in Germany, England and Japan. The Internet is "So good for our customers and consigners. We are not just a small town auction house."
Gayle Tanber took advantage of the nice weather to drive from Phoenix to attend the auction. She said she had nothing special in mind to bid on, but she likes jewelry and art.
Tanber said the auction house she previously visited in Phoenix closed its doors, so she decided to visit Batterman's.
Vogel served as a guide for the Daily Courier, pointing out a few of the "hot bid" items up for bid before he stepped up to the auctioneer's podium.
A turn of the century Swiss "orchestrial box" was valued at $2,5000 to $4,5000. However, Vogel said bids could reach $10,000 to $12,000.
The orchestrial box differs from a music box because it includes drums, bells and a zither.
Vogel said the box has all three components that make something desirable - age, beauty and function.
Another item with all three components was an antique working cash register.
The beautifully crafted cash register was complete and functional, Vogel said.
One of the most unusual items in the auction was a Naval Officer's Chapeau Kit from the Spanish American War. Vogel said the 1890s kit belonged to a Prescott resident and included the original box issued to the officer. The kit contained a chapeau, sword belt and epaulettes.
Prescott resident J.R. Williams said some of the furniture in the auction caught his eye. Although he planned to bid, Williams said he "likes to watch auctions. The whole environment is a lot of fun."
Batterman's Auction is located at 400 W. Gurley St. in downtown Prescott.