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News Article  
Mel White auction
By Nancy Kelly

LANSING, Mich. — From military items to useful household appliances, a recent storage unit sale hosted by Mel White Auctions provided a variety of clean and appealing lots. There was a 10 percent buyer’s premium charged, which is not reflected in the prices listed here.

While pretty items adorned the room, it was the practical lots that proved most popular. An Amana washer and dryer set in great condition drew much attention before finding a new job with a high bid of $90 each, or $180 for the pair. A Sanyo brand dorm-sized refrigerator/freezer which looked like it had never been used was claimed for a high bid of $50 while a Sanyo tiny washing machine left for $45. The popular Dyson DC-33 vacuum cleaner drew a bidding volley before finishing at $90. Three flat-screen televisions were also in demand.

A Dynex 18-inch model finished at $50, while the Samsung 46-inch TV missing the remote closed at $55 and a Sony 32-inch topped out at $60. An LG surround-sound sound bar 300-watt system proved popular, requiring a high bid of $85.

Several army-issued pieces of clothing and other items were on display for consideration. One very large deployment bag with wheels that was stuffed with camouflage clothing and still bore the name of the soldier it was assigned to was eagerly picked up with a final bid of $65. A stack of camouflage clothing consisting of two jackets, a shirt, and a pair of pants, all in excellent condition, was scooped up for $17.50. Other back packs, medals, sunglasses, and more clothing also left with similar bids. A very handsome navy pea coat bearing a patch in Russian that read “Poccnr Boehho-Mopckon” along with a United States navy backpack was claimed with a high bid of $20.

A small estate was also included in this sale, which provided some interesting items. A nice Lionel train set featuring 3 cars (Baby Ruth, Shell Oil, and Lionel Lines), an engine, caboose, track and transformer found a new owner with a high bid of $30. Numerous stacks and boxes of dishes, glassware, and collectibles were located on tables for viewing. Most sold inexpensively, but one stack of large plates drew a moment of excitement as two bidders vied for ownership.

The bidding concluded at $37.50 and it was revealed that the coveted prize in the stack was a brilliantly-colored yellow enamelware Catherine Holm plate. Produced by this Norwegian company in the mid-1900s, the cheery pattern can also be found on pots, casserole pans, teapots, and other kitchen items.

Another attractive item sleeping on the table was a blue Blenko glass owl bookend which was identified and eagerly claimed with a high bid of $20. A large, unmarked cookie jar shaped like a beehive with a kitten on the lid went home with a high bid of $16. Located among several silver-plated items, four sterling silver pieces stood out. The two candle holders, one long-stemmed bowl and one small cake plate were pulled out and were claimed by the same bidder for a total of $32.50.

Inconspicuously located on the floor, a hand-knotted Oriental rug became an item of interest when it closed at $30. A limited amount of furniture was located in this estate. The lot that drew the most interest consisted of six oak dining chairs in very good condition which closed with a high bid of $50. Furniture on a different scale was also available in the form of a doll house and boxes of accessories. The handmade house itself closed at $10, but the boxes of furniture and other items proved more popular. One lot consisting of wooden doll house furniture closed at $25, while a large box of plastic furniture finished at $15, and a Marx metal cabin went for $20. There were also other dolls and toys offered.

While waiting for the auction to begin, White reflected on what is currently selling well and what is not. The category he describes as “rusty and dusty” is very popular for some reason, which he finds baffling. Pyrex items are very much in demand, more now than they ever were in the past. Also, he feels that high-end collectibles are making a comeback. However, large furniture does not sell well at all. When asked what he thought of the current trend of painting antique wooden furniture, White said it depends. Some furniture actually might look better painted, but if it is a beautiful wood such as mahogany, cherry, or oak it should be left alone to be enjoyed.

Mel White Auctions of Okemos, Mich. has been around since 1972. Contact information and details about some great upcoming auctions can be found at or (517) 394-3006.