Medina Estate Sale: July 26-27


4070 Wild Meadows Drive, Medina MN 55340

Saturday, July 26th (8:30-3:00)

Sunday, July 27th (9:00-2:00)


Everything is for sale in this gorgeous 6,000 sq. ft. home situation in the Medina Country Club.  ”We’re headed South after this past winter and we are changing our entire living style to costal living”.  We’re jealous, but lucky for us!  Our clients are “transplants” from Manhattan and they brought their cosmopolitan style to Minnesota.

From the upper-eschelon of Roche Bobois and Cantoni a ton of the ”looks expensive, but it isn’t” items.  Every room is meticulous.  Every room is gorgeous.

Please be sure to watch the video to see how incredible this Esquire Estate Sale is!

Look forward, as always, to see you.



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The JFK Sale ! June 21st, 22nd and 23rd


It is humbling to be in the presence of items that are a part of, not only American, but world history. It is especially so when these items are those of John F. Kennedy, our fallen 35th President of the United States. It goes up another notch when it provides a personal and touching insight into the personal lives of JFK and his beloved wife, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. Among the many wonderful and exhilarating items available at this sale are two pieces in particular that will give pause to anyone that appreciates the history of the Office of the Presidency of the United States and relishes in the romanticism of America’s version of Camelot. The first item is JFK’s signed Oath of Office of the Presidency of the United States and the second is the 18K gold signet ring which Mrs. Kennedy had commissioned at Tiffany’s for JFK’s 45th birthday in 1963. On the back is the following inscription: “JFK love JBK”. These are just the highlights in this most awe-inspiring estate sale.


You can check out the address on Friday at noon at


THE 18K GOLD SIGNET RING WHICH JACKIE COMMISSIONED WITH TIFFANY AND COMPANY FOR JFK’S 35TH BIRTHDAY, JFK’S SIGNED OATH OF OFFICE, Secret Service Pewter Bowl (VP Cheney), Secret Service Cuff Links (VP Cheney), Secret Service Coin, Secret Service US Flag Lapel Pin (VP Cheney), Kennedy and Johnson Campaign Bumper Sticker, Kennedy Sample Ballot, Stars and Stripes: “Johnson Appeals Fails to Appease Foes”, 2 Denny Haster (Former Speaker of House) Lapel Pin, President’s Club 2003 Pin , McCain Victory 2008 Pin, VIP Credentials to the Republican National Convention, Republican National  Convention Pin, Master Calendar of Events for the Republican National Convention, Reagan Bush Elephant Mug, 1960 Repulican Congressional Committee Ashtray



Drexel Heritage Baliwick Mahogany Double Pedestal Dining Table with Drexel Barrister Side and Arm Chairs, Queen Anne Dining Room Table and Chairs, Two Sets of Five Artistica Leather and Nailhead Bar Chairs, Hancock and Moore Tufted Nailhead Wingback Chairs, Sherrill Upholstered Sofa , Many Sherrill Upholstered Occassional Chairs, Kravet Upholstered Occassional Chairs, Stanford Furniture Co. Upholstered Ottoman, Room and Board Leather Sofa, Two Club Chairs and Ottoman, Designer King and Queen Bedroom Sets, Woodbridge and Milling Road Coffee, End and Accent Tables, GORGEOUS RUGS, Designer Four Poster Bed and Matching Nightstands, Sligh Furniture Co. Executive Desk, Filing and Storage Cabinet with Leather Executive Chair, Mikhall Darafeev Game Table and Game Chairs (Two Sets Available), Three-Piece Wall Entertainment Cabinet, AMAZING Handcarved “Up North” Queen Beds (Four Available), Dressers, Nightstands and Bookshelves



Bobby Orr Signed Derek Lee (Chicago Cubs) Signed Baseball Helmet, Clutterbuck Signed Wild Jersey, Vast Sports Jersey Collection, Ryan Sandberg (Cubs) Signed Baseball, Jeff Reardon (Twins) Signed Baseball, 1969 Team Signed Cubs Baseball, Ernie Banks Signed Baseball, Nicholas Backstrom (Goalie for the Wild) signed helmet, Ernie Banks Signed Baseball Bat, (Jason Varitek, Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz) Boston Red Sox Signed Baseball Bat, Ernie Banks Baseball Card 1968 (est. PSA–5 or 6)



EXTREMELY RARE 28″ Tall Tiffany and Co. Ginger Jar (only 100 made worldwide), 110+ Pieces of Waterford including a Jim O’Leary Trifle Bowl, Baldi Italian Crystal and Gold Plated Jar, 79 piece Reed and Barton Sterling (including serving pieces), 56-Piece Sterling Coin Set, Royal Doulton “Tennyson” China (including serving pieces), Spode Christmas China (including serving pieces, Remy Martin Louis XIII Decanters and Presentation Boxes, Tiffany and Co. Crystal Hors d’ Oeuvres Plate, Tiffany Desk Clocks and MORE



Vidal Bronze and Amethyst Statues, Jim Davidson Bronze “Girl and Boy on Bench”, Max Turner Signed Bronze Statue “Girl Playing with Two Dogs”, Lladro and More

Darrell Bush Original Oils and Lithographs, 7 Framed Terry Redlin Lithographs (All Signed):  House Call, Wednesday Afternoon, Lights of Home, Heading Home, Almost Home, The Sharing Season and The Sharing Season II, Stephen Henning Giclee, MANY MORE


Wurlitzer W64 Vintage-Style Coke Machine, Two Electronic Touchscreen Bar Top Gaming Machines, Beautiful Brunswick Briarwood Pool Table, Rack and Cues, Foosball Table, Two Mikhall Darafeev Game Tables and Game Chairs and a Jimmy Buffet “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere” Chair



Chris Craft Model Boat Collection (One in box, five in total), “The Griffins” Davidoff Cigar Humidor, Dupont 18K Cigar Lighter, U2 Signed Guitar, John Mayer Signed Guitar, James Taylor Signed Guitar, “Rat Pack” and Vintage Vegas Collage which includes Dean Martin’s Cancelled Vegas Casino Check, Orion Aristocrat 60mm Brass and Mahogany Refractor Telescope and a Minichamps Bentley GTO Convertible Model Car (Given to our client by the Bentley dealership when he bought his!)



MANY Wrought Iron Pots and Urns, STUNNING Hand-Crafted Mahogany and Teak Canoe, Polaris Snowmobiling Coats and Bibs, Fishing including Many Good Rods and Reels, Watersports Accessories including Ski Ropes and Life Jackets and Top-Tier Golf Club Sets



Chanel Evening Gown (with the Tags Still On–Never Worn), Armani Collezion Evening Gown, St. John Caviar Line, Two Beautiful Full-Length Bjorkman Furs, Ferragamo Riding Boots, Louis Vuitton Purse and Matching Wallet, Prada Clutch, Giorgio Armani Evening Bag, Many Coach Handbags and Wallets.  There is also Men’s Clothing which includes a Burberry Trenc
View full details at EstateSales.NET: http://www.EstateSales.NET/estate-sales/MN/Wayzata/55391/636576


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JFK’s Ring: It’s all in the hands.


After about a week of working to set up the sale on Lake Minnetonka, the Esquire Estate Sales team had gained a great rapport with our client.  At the end of day six, he called me into his office and said, “I’ve been waiting to see how you all work and understand your level of diligence.  I wanted to see if I could trust you all before I decided to put a particular item in the estate sale”.

Earlier in the week, he had unveiled JFK’s signed oath of office.  Now, there was something else that was more grand?  The answer was “yes”.  This item was even more spectacular than the signed Oath of Office document.

According to our client, it was the 18K gold signet ring with the Presidential Seal that Jackie had commissioned at Tiffany’s for JFK’s 45th Birthday.

He pulls it out from his safe and shows it to me.  Not knowing what to do or say, the following words came out of my mouth.  ”I want to put it on.”  At that moment, I had completely lost my professionalism and became like a 13-year old seeing his first Playboy centerfold for the first time.

Trying to compose myself, I said, “how did you acquire this item”?  He responded by saying, “put it on”.  I grabbed the Tiffany blue box with my left hand and guided my right towards the ring.  I remember grabbing a hold of it as if it were a delicate Fabrege egg.  For heaven’s sake, I thought, it’s a gold ring.  Grab it!  So, I did and admired the precision of the engraving of the Presidential Seal.  Actually, Tiffany’s didn’t take a plain gold signet ring and engrave the Seal into it.  Instead, they would have created a carved mold into which the gold was poured.  Only this would allow a final result that was so fine and detailed.  Once the ring had been crafted, it could then be engraved on the back with whatever one wants and when I turned it over, something struck me.

When I think of JFK and Jackie, I think that everything that they did, saw and felt must be so much grander in scale than anything I could ever imagine.  When our client told me that there was an inscription on the back, I though surely that Jackie had written something in French or maybe even Latin……you know, something that Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy would have had inscribed.

Instead, when I flipped the ring over, I was immediately reminded of the valentine that I once gave to my 7th grade girlfiriend, Deborah Lynn Yancey.  On that valentine I wrote “DLY love GCH” (for George Cooper Hipp) and it was that same simple structure that I found on the back of the ring:  JFK love JBK.

At the end of the day, JFK and Jackie were still two people that would have had their first date.   There was the first time they held hands, kissed and, yes, made love.  We forget that they were two people that had fallen in love and that it didn’t take a fancy French or Latin phrase to remind another of those sweet and innocent times.

When I was finished gawking at the ring, I tried to put it on my ring finger.  It was too big.  Then came my middle finger.  Too big again.  Finally, I put it on my thumb and it was a perfect fit.  Now, I don’t have small fingers and this ring would only fit on my thumb.  Could this be a clue as to why JFK bagged so many gorgeous women?  After all, you know what they say about men with big hands?

Big gloves.


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Camelot has come to town!


When our recently-signed client asked me to come out to his beautiful estate on Lake Minnetonka, he asked me if I knew much about John F. Kennedy documents.  Honestly, I said “not much”.  Nonetheless, he wanted to be there at 3 o’clock sharp.  In preparation for the meeting, I studied everything I could about signed JFK letters so that I could, at least, participate in the conversation.  I learned that the values of JFK items depend on whether it was during his year as a Massachusetts Senator or in the White House.  Did he sign it Jack?  Or John.  To whom was he writing?  If it was to Jackie, it might as well be a goldmine.  The last element that helps determine its value is the subject matter.  A letter of condolence for a fallen soldier brings a little bit of money and a “thank you” note goes much higher than that.

As I greeted our client, we started talking about the item and I anxiously listened in anticipation of seeing it.  Was it a Jackie letter?  Correspondence to a Head of State?  A note written to Caroline or little John John?

In an attempt to show our client that I had started our diligence on this unseen JFK piece, I started talking about how the subject matter of the item contributes significantly to its value (yes, I wanted to sound as educated as possible).  Stupidly thinking that I could actually teach HIM something, he got a little smile on his face.

With calmed confidence with a hint of giddy excitement he says, “Yes, I think you might find the subject matter kind of impressive.  Do you want to see it?”

Yes, dangit.  Show it to me!  As he pulls it from his safe, I can clearly see that it is a nicely framed letter of some sort.  I can’t yet see what’s on the letter, but it’s definitely a letter with the seal of the White House at the top.

He starts walking toward me and begins telling me about his adoration of and respect for JFK and then he says, “but, it’s time to say goodbye to this” and he lays it in front of me.  Suddenly I realized that I didn’t have my glasses.  I can’t see crap without them.  I was doomed.   What is in front of me?

With exasperation, I asked him “are those glasses readers and, if so, can I please borrow them for a second”?  He obliged and I as put them on my face, there was no question about what the document in front of me was.  There was the White House Seal on the top which was perched above the date of  20 January 1961.  Right there at the bottom was JFK’s signature.

But, it’s what was right in the middle that made my heart and time stop completely.  You just think to yourself, can this be real?  Yes, it was real.

It was the Oath of Office for the Presidency of the United States.  The date at the top of the document was, in fact, inauguration day and this is one of five copies that he signed immediately after making his inauguration speech as the 35th President of the United States of America.



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My Southern Roots and the Iron Skillet


Mama Juel was my grandmother (her real name was Juel Victoria Winstead Hipp). Her name sounds quite regal and, in my mind, she was. However, she was a “roll up your sleeves” and get it done kind of woman. As a child, growing up in Arkansas, she used to tell me about cutting the heads off of chickens in preparation for frying it up. She talked about the curing of meats from their hogs which included bacon and country ham. If you don’t know it already, bacon grease is a staple of southern cooking. Mama Juel and my other grandmother, “Nanny”, used to keep a Mason Jar full of bacon grease in the cupboard right next to the stove. Much like fresh oregano and basil are mainstays of our cooking today, bacon grease was (and still is for many true southern cooks) a requirement for good flavor. Mama Juel used to add it to her green beans, cabbage rolls and even in her soups. But, the dish that I love (and still love) is biscuits and gravy. And, in order to make good biscuits and gravy, you need a good well-seasoned iron skillet–period. It doesn’t matter if you cure your own bacon or buy Oscar Mayer, it’s the seasoned iron skillet.

My grandmother, Nanny, passed her iron skillet down to my mother. My best estimates date the iron skillet back to the 1920s. The handle broke off long ago, but the magic of that skillet still remains.

It takes many years to get a good seasoned skillet. After all, many slabs of bacon, slices of country ham and legs of fresh chicken to get it ready.

Fortunately, you have the opportunity to pick one up that has seen many mornings and has experienced a lot of fried eggs and bacon. A inside bottom of a good seasoned skillet will look somewhat shiny. It will be very smooth (a texture that is quite different from its handle). Not only does it mean that the iron has picked up and held a lot of flavor, it also means that you won’t have to use any non-stick cooking spray–it’s better than that chemical that they use in the pots and pans at Target.

The critical thing about keeping a good iron skillet seasoned is that you never, ever wash it with soap. If I have cooked fried chicken in my skillet and some of the droppings or skin are sticking a little, I put a little water in the bottom of the skillet and throw it back on the burner until the water is boiling. Once boiling, I gently use a spatula to losen it up. Pour it out and wipe it out with a paper towel. You’ll notice that the bottom is a little greasy. Not to worry ! That is exactly what you want to have happen. It adds to the existing seasoning and keeps the skillet moist–ready for your next batch of cornbread, or whatever it is that you want to taste amazing.

If your skillet is looking a little dry, I like to put a little vegetable oil in the skillet and rub down the skillet–again keeping it moist.

This past weekend, Kevin and I were in Cape Cod with a group of friends. They asked that I make a batch of biscuits and gravy. Unfortunately, the only skillet they had was one of those new fangled Calphalon skillets–the kind that looks brand new. Biscuits were made and the gravy was too. Everybody loved it, but I couldn’t help but think (and know) that my gravy would have made my family proud–only if I have had my Nanny’s iron skillet.

Next time you see a good iron skillet, griddle or cornbread pan at an estate sale, do NOT hesitate. Although your arteries may not thank me, your stomach will find itself in pure nirvana.

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All About Tinyan Chan and His Original Oil at Our Sale This Weekend!


We have a spectacular Tinyan Chan original oil at this weekend’s sale. Thought I would shed some light on this amazing artist.

Tinyan was born to a family of artists in China. He was encouraged and instructed by his brother, a well-known portrait painter in Hong Kong, and gained admission at 16 to the Mid-Southern China Academy of Fine Arts. At age 19, Tinyan entered the Canton Academy of Fine Arts to continue studying.

In the early 60′s Tinyan moved to Hong Kong and exhibited with the famous Konn Gallery and established the Hong Kong Artist Club. Soon after he was appointed Chief Designer of the United Nigerian Textile Company, West Africa. Tinyan’s life experience was laying the foundation for his ability to diversify and explore with subject matter, media and colour. The artist went on to hone his craft in Ecole National Superieure de Beaux-Art in Paris – study that Tinyan credits in being a primary factor in his success today.

Tinyan ended the 60′s by immigrating to Canada where he continued his exciting and emotive work. The artist finds himself constantly inspired by both the roots of Canadian culture and the perfection of nature and its tranquility.

In 2011, Tinyan was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Federation of Canadian Artists in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the world of art.

The fine paintings of Tinyan F.C.A. are found in numerous public and private collections around the world including several royal collections.

Hope to see you all at this weekend’s sale to snap up this beautiful piece !

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We View It As A Donation To The Arts


A young, aspiring 17 year old and his mom came to our estate sale last weekend. We gave up our $950 commission on a beautiful baby grand piano so that his mom could buy it for him. Hugs and Tears of joy were the best commissions ever !!!

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A Tangletown Sale This Weekend! What is the history of Tangletown?


The neighborhood now known as Tangletown was founded as Washburn Park by milling tycoon Cadwallader Washburn in 1886.

Washburn came from a family of ten children and made his fortune through lumber, railroads, and building the Gold Medal Flour Company. Appreciative of his good fortune, Washburn became a philanthropist and provided in his will $375,000 to found and preserve an Orphan Asylum in honor of his mother.

The will specified that the orphanage should be, “no less that 20 acres in a desirable setting with ample shade, and within a few miles of the city of Minneapolis.”

A board of trustees appointed to oversee the orphanage chose a site between 49th and 50th streets bordered by Nicollet Avenue. The first children were admitted to the orphanage in 1886 and the facility went on to care for over 900 children in its 43 year history.

Changes in child welfare policy eventually made orphanages obsolete and in 1929, the orphanage was demolished.

The site chosen for the orphanage was picturesque and Minneapolitans would often take the streetcar down to the end of the line at 50th Street to escape the bustle of downtown Minneapolis and enjoy the park-like atmosphere and nearby creek.

The charming setting soon drew developers and a well-known landscape architect, Horace Cleveland, was commissioned to plat out ample lots that used the rolling landscape and creek-side views to their best advantage.

Cleveland’s foresight and interest in parks led him to develop the land in a way that maintained open and natural spaces.

The first non-farming resident of Washburn Park was Harry Wild Jones, the architect that designed the Lakewood Chapel at Lakewood Cemetery, the pagoda pavilion at Lake Harriet and numerous other Minneapolis buildings.

As an active park board member, Jones encouraged the Minneapolis Park Board to preserve the land directly surrounding Minnehaha Creek for public enjoyment.

The board took his recommendation seriously and by 1893, the land for Minnehaha Parkway was acquired. The pathway that was established to link the chain of lakes to Minnehaha Falls is still used and beloved today.

The second development in Washburn Park was platted by the Thorpe Brothers, and featured smaller lots in a grid that compromised Cleveland’s landscape design. The Thorpe Brothers intended to attract businesses and increase density by creating more homogenous lots.

When the proposed grid for Washburn Park was released there was strong public outcry. The Minneapolis Journal published an article titled “The Spoilation of our Woods” denouncing the development.

Charles Loring, who was Park Board president during this time, wrote a strongly worded letter to the editor which was published in the Minneapolis Journal. Loring said, “For years I have begged and pleaded for the preservation of what was left on Minnehaha Parkway, that most beautiful of all our drives, but each year, little by little, we see that it is disappearing.”

Loring predicted that if the “gridiron” plan were to be developed, “in a few years the charm of that drive will be ruined and it can never be restored.”

Without the advocacy of Loring and the attention the issue was given by the press, Washburn Park may have had its streets straightened to conform, and the neighborhood called Tangletown may have never gone by that name.

Ultimately, the Thorpe Brothers caved to pressure and restructured their developments to respect Cleveland’s design for the area. The curvy streets and large lots that define Tangletown were saved and stay with us to this day.

Written By: Allison Nowak for “The Neighborhood Files”, June 10th, 2011

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From One End of the Spectrum to the Other


We are setting up a sale for next weekend and this job provides the most variety I’ve ever experienced in my career.  Yesterday, I was researching and pricing some beautiful Chanel couture jackets and then, one hour later, I was researching and pricing outfits for American Girl dolls.  I now know more about American Girl dolls than I ever expected.  One thing I realized though is that I wish I had come up with the idea for American Girl Dolls–heard of a girl that was taking her doll into the American Girl store to get her doll’s ears pierced (it cost $12).  Wow.

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Life Lessons and the Estate Sale


As an estate sale company, you really get to know your client—their family, their history and even their secrets. I don’t know if every company experiences this, but it seems like we always earn the trust of them. Of course, at first, they are often guarded, but as we spend more time together, they begin to confide in Kevin and I. I sometimes say that, at Esquire, we have two roles: 1) to sell their things at the best price and 2) to be their confidante. I think it is the latter which makes my job fulfilling. I love listening to and learning about other people and their experience. I believe that you have to push yourself to continually learn through others and my job allows me to do that. I remember one of my most favorite clients. She was selling most everything in her life—her things and her home. I asked, “where are you going?” She said that she was moving into an apartment downtown. She didn’t want the hassle of having a home because she was going to travel the world and didn’t want to be weighed down. Her first stop was to be Africa in the Fall. She was 82 at the time. What an amazing outlook an approach to life she has. But, she is just one of many that I’ve learned from. I truly love what I do.

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