Rich Penn Presents An Auction Event, November 12th - 14th

Three Sessions Two Sites

Over 1700 lots with famous names like, Tiffany, Steiff, Les Paul, Rolls-Royce, Jaguar and more!

Session one begins Friday November 12th, at 10am in the main floor of the Historic Black’s Department Store Building, 501 Sycamore St. in downtown Waterloo, IA. This impressive eight story building, built in 1913 was once recognized as “The midwest’s finest department store”. It serves as the perfect venue for a “walk through time”. Now the elegant 501 interior showcases a fantastic offering selling to the highest bidder with no reserve. This Friday event features the incredible collection of Verner & Donna Nelson. It begins with two hours of non-cataloged last minute finds. These lots were recovered from years of storage in the remote corners and caverns of this 8 story building and will sell only to on-site bidders. There will be no internet participation until the cataloged session, beginning at noon.

According to Penn, “Excavating the 501 building was a real adventure. Great pieces were stuffed away on just about every floor. In the catalog session at noon, if there were to be a department store for stained glass, this could be the beginning! Dozens of stained glass window sets with monumental examples from the 1900s are included. And that department store would have had an elevator. A British lift cab, or elevator was uncovered as well. Numerous entryways with doors & sidelights & several with overhead stained bay panels will all be sold.” Those entries could welcome you into homes with elaborately carved Victorian furnishings including mantles, marble topped dressers, dining tables and carved chairs sets, even a Hallet & Davis Concert Grand piano. For the more traditional era homes, country pine, oak ice boxes, stacking bookcases and more. Also offered are early apothecary wall cabinets and a variety of country store cabinetry, plus post office & bank tellers windows. With well over 200 “Room ready” pieces to choose from, there is something to fit any collector’s home.

Other unusual offering includes a monumental 5ft dia. copper cheese vat and a Brunswick “Monarch” pool table, vintage & antique floor showcases, even vintage medical room equipment. For the aspiring publisher, there’s a Chandler & Price printing press circa 1900 with hundreds of cuts and historic local advertising signs from the area.

Session two and three continue at 9am on Saturday & Sunday, November 13th & 14th. These two sessions are at the newly renovated Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center, just two blocks south of the 501 site. Penn went on to say, “The two sessions at the Convention Center have a fun feeling and fun flavor completely different than the Friday session.” Saturday, found for sale in the automotive department, are two classics: a low mileage 1979 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow and a 1963 Jaguar Mark 2. But there are smaller classics as well, turn to the toy department. Choose from dozens of antique Teddy bears, including Steiff, early hand carved rocking horses of all sizes and cast iron toys & mechanical banks.

As would be expected in most Rich Penn auctions, there are many pieces of country store items from the 1890s to 1950s including counters, product displays, tin & paper containers, spool cabinets, dye cabinets, a “Christmas” candy display case and more. Also featured is a huge lifetime collection of lightning rods & weathervanes. Many of these lots include assembled sets with antique vanes ranging from horses, chickens & cows to automobiles, plus well over 300 glass lightning rod balls. In the textile department, a great collection of early quilts dating as far back as the 1850s. For a decorative selection, 19th century Norwegian rosemaled folk art; plus a small but fine collection of vintage guitars incl. a 1960s Gibson “Les Paul”, Gibson mandolin, a Gibson “Arch-Top”, Fender acoustic & others. Also featured on Saturday is the contents of a 1890s drugstore from West Point IA. That collection had been in storage for well over 60 years. You’ll be offered window displays, cardboard advertising for products of all kinds, items for health & beauty, as well as quack remedies, veterinary remedies and more. Many pieces are new old stock.

Session three on Sunday, November 14th starts at 9am with another 100 lots of non-cataloged items, just for on-site bidders. Many of these lots are drug store related. Cataloged lots begin at 10:00am featuring many things soda fountain with not one, but two antique back bars and hundreds of vintage ice cream dippers. Among them, a rare heart-shaped dipper. Other rarities include cash registers, counter displays, syrup dispensers and Coca-Cola signs. For coin-op enthusiasts, a figural Black Americana slot machine, or ride the coin-op Champion Horse, a figural Uncle Sam fortune teller, a fantastic restored player piano & unusual mechanical guitar. There are also trade stimulators, kiddie rides, juke boxes, carved wood carousel animals, Cretors popcorn popper, a 1920s mechanical arcade Steam Shovel claw machine and more.

Also featured on Sunday are quality fine art & decorative art items. In the decorative Department, select from a Tiffany “Pomegranate” table lamp, hanging Steuben chandeliers & other hanging stained glass lamps. From the Orient, Chinese cloisonné pieces from the Qing dynasty and Tang dynasty pottery figures. In the photographic Department an Edward Curtis “Orotone”, original photograph print of Native Americans and antique & vintage cameras & photography advertising and much, much more.

Penn added, "The Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center, is just two blocks from the 501 Sycamore site. Between these two sites, those that attend will have a massive variety of great pieces. They will also be able to participate in the on-site only bidding. A lot of reasons to come join us. And the Best Western adjoins the Convention Center. Both are connected by an enclosed skywalk. Great restaurants are close by too. Just ask for the Rich Penn Auctions special $84 room rate. We think folks will enjoy this fun auction!" The two sites are conveniently located in downtown Waterloo, just a few blocks off the freeway.

For those who can't make it, Penn offers multiple bidding options, including absentee, telephone and live bidding online through LiveAuctioneers. Find the links to the online catalog on Penn's website. Full color catalogs will be available for $40. Prices realized will be posted online. Just contact Rich Penn Auctions at 319-291-6688 to order yours. Go to to register or to preview the auction. Absentee and phone bidding are always welcome.

For additional information on this auction or to order a fully illustrated color catalog contact Rich Penn Auctions at 319-291-6688 or visit