|By Eric C. Rodenberg
SHIPSHEWANA, Ind. – The Chupp Brothers — Lyle, Dale and Devon — certainly know how to throw together a good party and lively auctions.
In the tiny town of Shipshewana, Ind. (population 700), located in northeastern Indiana, Chupp Auctions & Real Estate LLC has been drawing bidders both far and near for 25 years.
In typical Chupp fashion, the brothers and their families pulled out all the stops June 14-15. Hosting the 14th Annual Hay Tool Collector’s Show, the Chupps opened their auction facility for the Hay Tool Collectors Association who set-up, swapped and bragged about their wares June 13, from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m.
The next day, the show continued, beginning at 8 a.m. in the auction facility, until 4:30 p.m. Shortly afterward the Chupp brothers provided a feast for some 225 hay tool buyers and sellers.
The food was catered, according to Lyle Chupp, followed by a small “warm up” auction of some 225 uncataloged items that already had some of the bidders cranked-up for the big auction set for the following day.
Shipshewana is the perfect location for buying, selling and displaying antique farm tools. Located in LaGrange County, abutting the Michigan state line, the area has the third largest Amish community in the country. Throughout the gently rolling countryside, colorful quilt-pattern murals adorn historic barns, family homesteads and public spaces.
On Saturday, the real action began at 8:30 a.m. when around 300 bidders from 17 states, plus Canadian bidders, began queuing up for the auction featuring 500 lots of farm equipment, country store, advertising, petroliana, pocket watches, antique firearms, farm primitives and more.
“People were ready for this auction,” Lyle Chupp said. “When I arrived at 7:30 (a.m.), there were already people waiting to get in.”
The crowd was not disappointed, for the offerings were truly spectacular. Selling for $20,000 was an early Success No. 21B horse-drawn manure spreader. In excellent condition, thought to have never been used, the museum piece had its original early paint and stenciling. Bidding was very strong — both onsite and live Internet bidding — for what was described as one of the best early original manure spreaders. The Success company was later purchased by John Deere.
Speaking of John Deere, there were four of the old hit-and-miss tractors, dating from the 1930s, that crossed the auction block. One tractor, a 1934 John Deere Model GPP A, completely restored and featuring a dazzling green color, sold for $9,000.
The prices quoted are hammer prices. For onsite auctions, Chupps Auctions does not charge a buyer’s premium. Internet bidders, however, pay a fee.
Other items selling for top dollar, included an Advance salesman sample hay carrier on a homemade stand, which reached $14,000; and an early one-horse delivery wagon, identified by excellent stenciling (and original paint) as a “Chas. Ulmer of Holland, NJ with a Geo. Snyder maker’s tag, bringing $11,000.
A 28-inch by 16-inch Kreso Dip Livestock and Poultry stand-up counter sign sold for $5,750; a salesman sample of a Bull hog oiler, measuring 4-inches tall, brought $5,000; and a Studebaker cement pillar topper from Studebaker Proving Grounds, went for $4,700.
A 4-foot by 54-inches Brahmans cattle sign sold for $3,000; a 35-inch tall metal Cow-Ease Sprayer display sign with superior graphics, sold for $2,500; a Perfection cow tail holder with original 1891 label, earned a top bid of $2,750; a 42-inch in diameter “Studebaker Authorized Service” sign, brought $2,900; and a 48-inch in diameter “Studebaker Authorized Sales & Service” sign with a metal frame brought $4,500.
A 42-inch in diameter Tydol Gasoline neon sign, in fair condition, sold for $1,800.
Chupp Auctions next big sale is scheduled for the last weekend of October, where they will be selling country store items, advertising, farm items and much more.
Contact: (574) 536-8005