|By Barb Van Loo
CONCORD, Mich. — Staff Sgt. Barry Sadler quit school after completing tenth grade, hitchhiked around the country for a period of time and enlisted in the Air Force in 1958. At the end of his term, he spent a period of time traveling through the West with a friend, occasionally playing music at night and working odd jobs.
He became frustrated with this and again enlisted, this time with the Army. He volunteered to become a paratrooper, and based on his dedication, his superiors recommended him for Special Services. He then underwent grueling training and became a Green Beret. He became a member of the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and served in Vietnam as a Special Forces medic.
He was wounded and, while in recovery, wrote and sang for the other servicemen who were also in recovery. One of the songs he wrote and the one that made him famous was The Ballad of the Green Berets, which was released in 1966. It was used as the theme song for the movie The Green Berets, which starred John Wayne.
Tim Bos had the privilege of selling the Luger that had once been owned by Barry Sadler. The Luger, .30-caliber with a carved ivory handle accompanied by provenance and an autographed photo of Sadler, would be a wonderful addition to any collection and was sold to a telephone bidder for $3,000.
This was the top attention-getting items in an auction held by Tim Bos that he described as an “eclectic estate auction.” And eclectic it was, having everything from the very practical such as household items to fantasy items, including a large dragon collection and a very large collection of fantasy knives.
Rick Cain was the sculptor of many of the dragons and other sculptures presented. He has been an artist all of his life and seems to have the ability to visualize the shapes and images that are hidden in the wood pieces from which he creates his works. Seemingly, he had the ability to “release” these images as he formed his sculptures.
Most of his works are in wood, but he has also worked in clay and other media. All of his works are limited editions and are avidly sought after by collectors.
The Rick Cain sculptures at this auction were varied and interesting. Canopy depicted a woman holding a covering that appeared to be some type of organic umbrella over her head, while another, titled Hatchling, depicted a life-form, probably a dragon, emerging from an egg; others depicted dragons in various positions. Youth was a figure of a young giraffe lying down.
This was certainly a treasure trove for the person who wanted to add to or begin a collection of very interesting figures, all of which were very organic in nature. Selling prices for these ranged from $50 to $100.
Maiden of the Dragon Axe ($125), Maiden of the Serpent’s Sword ($125) and Maiden of the Golden Sword ($100) were three sculptures with a bronze overlay by Boris Vallejo and produced by the Franklin Mint. Boris Vallejo is a Peruvian painter and sculptor, and his works are almost exclusively in the fantasy and erotica genres.
Many of his paintings have been on the covers of science fiction paperbacks and often show well-muscled males and females engaged in battle. That was certainly the theme of these sculptures. He often modeled the male figures after himself and many of the female figures were models of his wife, who is a painter and a model.
Gil Hibben lives in Kentucky and is doing something he really enjoys – making knives. The knives he makes are not for the average household – they are fantasy knives with many edges, curves, and each one has its own character. The knives found in this auction carried names like Trident, Warbird Fantasy Dagger, Hornet, Dragon Head Damascus Dagger, The Zion, and Raptor. Most were in the box and all had protective tape along the edges. Many of these are used as throwing knives. Selling prices for these unusual items ranged from $50 to $100. Hibben’s knives have been featured in articles in and on the covers of many national gun and knife magazines. Collectors included Steve McQueen, Sylvester Stallone and Steven Segal as well as former Vice President Dan Quayle. Sylvester Stallone not only purchased guns for his own collection; he asked Hibben to design the knife used in Rambo III.
Among the fantasy items were also several items in other genres. Several pieces of furniture were available, most of which could be used in one’s home with perhaps a little cleaning. A bedroom set with an Asian theme sold for $150, and a queen bed and matching dresser sold for $120. An oak pedestal table with two leaves and four chairs sold for $100, and a walnut library table in need of restoration earned $130.
Chess is not dead yet as evidenced by the interest in the chess sets offered. A mid-century modern chess set in a wood frame sold for $450; a set from the Franklin Mint earned $350; a hand-carved set saw $200; and an alabaster set crossed the block for $100.
Several other guns, in addition to the Sgt. Sadler, crossed the block. A Boits Brazil double-barrel shotgun sold for $250; a Davis Industries D000582 Model D38 E9 Special with a black grip earned $200; and a Davis Industries Model .22-caliber .22 Magnum in its box also sold for $200.
Winchester guns included a Model 1200 12 gauge with full and deer slug barrels sold for $350; and a Winchester rifle Model 95 .32-caliber WS crossed the block for $325. A Remington Range Master Model 37 long with case sold for $900.
Pistols included one by H & R Inc., Model 939 .22-caliber, which sold for $160; an Interarms 347 Magnum Model 971 Rossi that saw $200; and a .70-caliber Czech Model VSOR earned $160. A Smith & Wesson Special CTG #9549 revolver also sold for $160.
Most of the dragons sold were quite large and very organic in nature, but there were a few that were much smaller and easier to display. There were two that reflected the light very well – they had been made by Swarovski with one of them, complete with its box, selling for $65. There were also several pewter dragons that were sold as a set.
“All you have to do is take them home, take them out of the box, put them on display and you’re done – you have your collection!” Tim Bos said about this lot.
There were several Lladro figurines including a dragon. This dragon sold for $110. Other Lladro figurines sold in the $50 range.
Music enthusiasts had a choice. They could either opt for the Fender acoustic guitar that sold for $130; the music system from Denmark complete with rosewood speakers that earned $325; or a box of records that earned $50.
There were also several pieces of jewelry, including several pieces of sterling, bracelets and rings. A squash blossom necklace entirely made of sterling with no stones sold for $80.
As advertised, this was an eclectic and interesting auction with many items crossing the block that are not always seen in an auction. For additional information, contact the auctioneer at (517) 784-2177 or check his website at www.timothybos.com