The Gun That Killed Vincent Van Gogh Is Up For Auction

Most famous for The Starry Night Vincent Van Gogh became a very influential figure in Western art. Although he was a very accomplished artist, he did not gain notoriety until his death in 1890. Van Gogh suffered from mental illness and died due to gunshot wounds from a  7mm pocket revolver.

In 1888, after a mental breakdown, Van Gogh mutilated himself by cutting off his own ear. After cutting off his ear things began to spiral out of control, and he was admitted to a mental institution. It was during his time in the mental institution where he created Starry Night and a number of other notable paintings.

Issues Surrounding His Death

There are some conflicting elements surrounding Van Gogh’s death which have led historians to question whether he committed suicide or was murdered. Some historians believe he did not commit suicide but, was shot by a group of teenage bullies. Van Gogh as shot in the midsection which isn’t typically a place that someone would shoot themselves. Van Gogh also had a letter in his pocket, at the time of his death, which was addressed to his brother. The letter was not a suicide note but a casual letter to send to a sibling.

This revolver was discovered in the 1960s in the northern French village of Auvers-sur-Oise, the same place he was shot. It is believed to be the gun that killed Van Gogh because it is the same caliber as the bullet that was retrieved from his body.

Auction Details

The gun is set to be put up for auction, by Paris auction house AuctionArt, this coming June 19th.

The revolver is projected to be auctioned at around 67,000 dollars.

For more information on upcoming auctions check the Smith & Co. Auction & Realty blog.

George Michael’s Art Collection Hit the Auction Block for Charity

Art exists in many forms, and the colliding world of music and visual art creates something truly magical.

No one understood this quite like legendary singer George Michael, who spent much of his life supporting charities and talented up-and-coming visual artists.

The world may have lost the legendary George Michael back in 2016, but the singing sensation’s philanthropic work continues into this year with a special auction that featured works from his private art collection.

The auction raised $15 million

Auction house Christie’s had over 200 pieces from the private collection of the British singing phenomenon in an auction this month. With a dedication to supporting upcoming visual artists, Michael’s collection included works from artists that created the Young British Art (YBA) movement, such as Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas, Michael Craig-Martin, and Marc Quinn.

With his collection, Michael supported young and emerging artistic talent, and this auction was meant to continue this work with the sale of these iconic creations.

Standout pieces from the collection

Key pieces in the auction included Tracey Emin’s “Drunk to the Bottom of My Soul,” a large applique blanket featuring poetry. Another sought-after piece was Damien Hirst’s “The Incomplete Truth” featuring formaldehyde-suspended animals and organs.

The proceeds from this auction will go towards continuing George Michael’s philanthropic work.

Check back on the Smith & Co. Auction & Realty blog for more auction updates and news! And when you’re ready to start bidding closer to home, we have plenty of upcoming auctions to try your hand at. Give us a call at 580-254-3975 to learn more!

Rare Super Mario Bros. Video Game Sells for Over $100,000

Gaming fanatic or not, you have heard of famed video game character Mario.

With his characteristic plumbing hat, overalls, and mustache, Mario quickly won the hearts of many and shot to heroic notoriety around the world almost instantly.

One of the most classic and known Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) games of all time, Super Mario Bros. was released in 1985 and changed the face of popular video games forever.

Super Mario Bros. hits the auction block

Recently, a group of collectors bought a mint condition original copy of the game for $100,150 at a Heritage Auctions sale.

This group of collectors joined together to make the record-breaking purchase.

They will share both ownership and bragging rights of the treasured game for years to come!

What’s so special about this particular copy?

The sold copy is unopened and very well preserved, looking practically new. The copy comes from one of Nintendo’s earliest test launches of the NES in New York and Los Angeles.

Nintendo reprinted the Super Mario Bros. game several times between 1985 and 1994 and the copy that sold at the auction was one of the first copies, matte sticker-sealed, with a seal rating of A++ and certified by Wata Games with 9.4 Near Mint grade.

This rare Super Mario Bros. game now exists as one of the most expensive copies of a game sold among professionally graded and certified games. With its important history and pristine condition, the game is a rare and exciting find for collectors.

First appearing in 1981 in the arcade game Donkey Kong, Mario is nearing almost 40 years of video and arcade game fame. As he continues to dominate the video game scene, collectors should stay on the lookout for more priceless Mario-themed games in the future.

Check back on the Smith & Co. Auction & Realty our blog for all the latest news in the auction industry! And to satisfy your live auction appetite, be sure to check out all of our upcoming live auctions in the Oklahoma area!

The World’s Most Expensive Items Sold at Auction

Items sold at auctions verge on the artistic, the fabulous, the rare, and the iconic.

Some of the world’s most expensive items sold at auctions range from a balloon animal statue to an iconic dress worn by Marilyn Monroe.

Take a look at what some people were willing to pay for the following items.

“Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)”

Painted in 1972 by artist David Hockney, the “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)” sold for $90.3 million at a 2018 auction, breaking the world record in price of a work by a living artist. This work takes the place of the previous world record holder, the orange “Balloon Dog” by artist Jeff Koons.

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO

Cars fetch a hefty price in general, but nothing like the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, sold at auction in 2018 for $48.4 million. This sale set the record for the highest price ever paid for a car at a public auction.

Marilyn Monroe’s gown

Have you ever had anyone sing “Happy Birthday” to you in the style of Marilyn Monroe?

Monroe’s rendition which she sang to President John F. Kennedy in 1962 is one of the most iconic moments of her star-studded career and the dress she wore that night also gained its own popularity.

Ripley’s Believe it or Not bought the dress for $4.8 million in 2016, making it the most expensive dress sold at an auction to date.

The Pink Star

Weighing in at 59.6 carats, The Pink Star sold within the first five minutes of bidding at a 2017 auction in Hong Kong. The diamond sold for $71 million, making it the most expensive jewel sold at an auction to date.

At Smith Co. Auction & Realty, we strive to bring you the latest and greatest in live auctions around the world. Stay up-to-date on our auction blog and when you’re itching to start bidding, be sure to check out our upcoming auctions here in Oklahoma!

Upcoming Real Estate Auction: High-End Executive Home in Woodward, Oklahoma for Sale

Are you currently on the hunt for a high-end executive home? You may be sorting through a plethora of real estate listings, but if you’re ready to buy, perhaps a real estate auction is better suited for your search.

At Smith & Co. Auction & Realty Inc. we have a multi-parcel real estate auction coming up soon that might peak your interest!

A high-end luxury home in Woodward, OK is hitting the auction block on February 20, 2019.

Font View of Executive Home in Woodward OklahomaYour long days of searching will be left in the past once you see this elite executive home.

Learn more about the executive home and all its features below! Further auction details and a photo gallery of the home are available on our website.

Feel free to look around and call our team at 580-254-3975 with any questions you may have and we’ll see you on February 20th!

Features of the executive home for sale

Before you bid and then buy, here are the essentials to know about this executive home up for auction!

Luxury Kitchen in Executive HomeThis home was custom-built in 2008 on 4.83+ acres of land. The home offers a spacious living room and the kitchen has sleek granite counter tops, commercial appliances, a breakfast bar and more.

Now let us paint you a picture: you walk through the front door, the entryway greeting you with a wet bar with built-in cabinets made of solid wood.

You immediately feel relaxed and at home ready to head to the large master bedroom suite with a walk-in shower, designer bathtub, and several home accessories that do not disappoint.

From here, you’re able to walk through atrium doors to your own personal outdoor oasis to relax out on your covered patio.

Within the lower level of the home, you’ll find a large area housing another wet bar, a bathroom, and a traditional safe room.

Theater Room in Luxury HomeThe upper level features two bedrooms, two full bathrooms and a half bath.

For work, you’ll find a beautiful home office, but for play, you can take advantage of the theater room, presenting you with your feature presentation and comfortable theater seating for 12.

Would you believe us if we said there’s more?

Extra executive home amenities

Within the three levels of this luxury home, there are plenty of amenities to indulge in.

Enjoy looking out over your property from an atrium-like area located above the front entrance.

Outdoor Entertainment Area and Pool at Luxury HomeAnd with this property, you’ll never want to keep the party indoors.

There’s a wonderful outdoor entertaining area, from relaxing in the hot tub, to splashing around in the in-ground pool, heated to your liking and always sparkling.

There is also a fireside gazebo, perfect for entertaining guests or relaxing under the stars.

Storage space is no issue with this home; the 4,900 sq. ft. garage with multiple overhead doors and an upstairs should meet all of your storage requirements, housing your vehicles and large enough to accommodate a motor home.

An executive home in a prime location

One of the most important factors in choosing a high-end luxury home is the area where it’s located.

This high-end home is located just west of Woodward, OK offering potential buyers a spacious and beautiful area to live in. You can enjoy your privacy while also indulging in the suburban feel of Woodward County.

The opportunity to buy land around the property

This prime piece of real estate offers a beautiful executive home, yes, but there’s also the opportunity to purchase more land around the property.

There are technically 10 separate tracts available for purchase at this live on-site auction, each tract offering something different to our potential buyers. With Tract 1 housing the high-end luxury home, the multi-parcel method of sale will be implemented, giving the buyer a chance to take advantage of the additional 13 tracts available before anyone else.

Additional land for sale

Land for Sale in Woodward OklahomaOnce Tract 1 and it’s accompanying purchases are completed in a combination sale, the multiple tracts of land available in this location will hit the auction block.

Additional tracts range in what they have to offer to a bidder.

You’ll have the chance to purchase an acre of land with an already built, beautiful brick home, or five acres of land with a 1,162 sq. ft. mobile home.

If by chance you’re more interested in purchasing land to build upon yourself, there are many tracts that offer various acres of land and great building sites. We have tracts that offer excellent hunting and cattle grazing, as well.

No matter your interest or use for the land, there is a tract that you won’t want to miss out on.

Learn more detailed information about the separate tracts in our auction description.

This is a live on-site auction with no opportunity for online bidding. However, you may register as a phone bidder if you cannot physically make it to the auction site. Register as a phone bidder today by calling our office at 580-254-3975 today!

Einstein, Sinatra, and Rockefeller: Big Names Hit the Auction Block

Hot items have been recently hitting the auction block across the country. From a letter written by Albert Einstein, to jewels from famous names like Sinatra and Rockefeller, the auction scene is ripe with exciting items sold and up for bid.

Albert Einstein’s letter sold for approximately $2.9 million

The year before he died in 1955, Albert Einstein wrote a letter discussing his thoughts about God and religion that British auction house, Christie’s recently sold for close to $2.9 million at a New York auction, according to CBS News.

Known as the “God letter,” Einstein wrote the blunt letter to philosopher Eric Gutkind, and in it discussed what God means to him and his Jewish faith.

Questioned throughout his life about his religious views, people looked to the genius Einstein for answers about the universe. In this letter, we get a glimpse into some of Einstein’s beliefs and ideas about religion–ideas so intriguing they are apparently worth millions of dollars!

From Einstein we move on to a few other big names lighting up the New York auction scene:

Sinatra and Rockefeller gems

British-founded Sotheby’s in New York City recently held an auction of jewelry pieces from Frank and Barbara Sinatra and Happy Rockefeller, the wife of Nelson Rockefeller.

According to Forbes, Sinatra’s jewelry collection included Barbara’s “Lady Blue Eyes” engagement ring from Frank, diamond and colored gemstone jewelry, and a ruby and diamond butterfly pin. The collection sold for a total of $4.7 million. Happy Rockefeller’s jewels sold for just under $1 million.

For the latest in live auction news, check out the Smith & Co Auction & Realty, Inc blog! And when you’re looking to buy or sell land, heavy equipment, real estate and more, our experts are ready to help. Give us a call at 580-254-3975 to learn more about our upcoming auctions!

“Wizard of Oz” Draft Scripts Will Hit the Auction Block in December

It has been nearly 80 years since we skipped down the Yellow Brick Road with Kansas farm girl Dorothy and her three loyal pals: the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, and the Lion. Timeless and classic as ever, “The Wizard of Oz” still delights audiences young and old with its catchy show tunes, dazzling colors, and the heartwarming message that there truly is “no place like home.”

Dozens of screenwriters worked together to adapt L. Frank Baum’s children’s book into the musical film we know and love today. Now, the world’s largest auctioneer of original Hollywood memorabilia, Profiles in History, is holding an auction with more than 150 handwritten pages of manuscript highlighting the evolution of “The Wizard of Oz.”

The auction is to include the first three original drafts of the screenplays written by Noel Langley, lead screenwriter for the movie. The three drafts date between April 5 and May 14, 1938. The auction also includes Langley’s fifth draft from August 1938 and the movie’s fourth draft written by Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan Woolf. Fans of the movie will love reading the draft scripts highlighting the treasured film’s genesis and development.

Other beloved tokens from “The Wizard of Oz” up for auction

Fans of the movie will not forget the iconic tornado sequence that first brings Dorothy to Oz. About 16 photos of the tornado scene and other special effects are included in the auction. An additional lot includes Margaret Hamilton’s “Wicked Witch of the West” hat.

A private collector is selling the archive, which Profiles in History estimates will value around $800,000-$1.2 million. The auction will be held in Los Angeles from Dec. 11-14.

Be sure to check back with us at Smith & Co. Auction & Realty for all your auction industry updates! And if you’re looking for the next live auction to attend, browse our upcoming auctions today!

A Look Inside the Upcoming Stephen Hawking Auction

On March 14, 2018, we lost one of the world’s most brilliant scientific minds. A Cambridge theoretical physicist known for his contributions to cosmology, general relativity, and quantum gravity, Professor Stephen Hawking changed the world for the better with his amazing discoveries and unwavering zest for understanding the universe.

Stephen Hawking suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and therefore spent much of his life in a wheelchair. One famous, red wheelchair he used in the 1980s and 90s along with many other important and personal items of Hawking’s, will soon be up for sale to the public.

“On the Shoulders of Giants” online auction from Oct. 31 to Nov. 8

To highlight his remarkable achievements and inspirational life story, British auction house Christie’s, with the help of Hawking’s daughter Lucy, is holding an online auction entitled “On the Shoulders of Giants” from Oct. 31 to Nov. 8.

The auction includes 22 items, including a signed copy of Hawking’s PhD thesis from 1965, which famously crashed the Cambridge University website when posted online.

What’s on the auction block from Dr. Hawking?

In addition to the leather-backed wheelchair of Dr. Hawking, other items up for bid include a copy of 1988 best seller “A Brief History in Time” (signed with Hawking’s thumbprint), medals, significant awards, and 12 of Hawking’s scientific papers. One of Hawking’s personal leather bomber jackets and a copy of the script of the 22nd season premiere of “The Simpsons,” which Hawking appeared on, also make the cut for this auction.

Proceeds from the auction will go to the Stephen Hawking Foundation, the Motor Neuron Disease Association, and Hawking’s estate. Bidders will also find possessions from Albert Einstein, Sir Isaac Newton, and Charles Darwin included in the auction.

This special auction is a true testament to the life and work of Stephen Hawking, reflecting his personality and achievements in a beautiful dedication to his life.

Winners at the auction will truly take home a monumental piece of history.

Check back with the Smith & Co. Auction & Realty blog for more updates in the auction industry, and maybe attend an upcoming live auction yourself!

Marilyn Monroe’s 1956 Ford Thunderbird Hits the Auction Block this November

Few people reach the iconic status that Marilyn Monroe did, and 56 years after her death, she’s still making headlines.

Monroe’s 1956 Ford Thunderbird is set to come to auction

Later this year, the Thunderbird will hit the auction block and fans are floored over the opportunity to own her iconic car. The car is a raven black convertible which was owned by the actress between the years of 1955 and 1962, the same year the actress died.

It was purchased in December of 1955 in Westport, Connecticut and was believed to have been a present from Milton Greene, Monroe’s business partner and personal photographer.

Monroe passes the Thunderbird on

She gave it away a few months before her death when she gifted it to her acting coach’s son for his 18th birthday. However, she was known for loving the car and used it for important life events. In fact, the car was used to transport Monroe and playwright Arthur Miller to their wedding ceremonies (civil and private) in 1956.

Julien’s Auctions will be responsible for the sale of the vehicle and reportedly has proof from the current owner of its origins. The car was recently restored but looks and drives as it did in its heyday. The car is expected to sell for between $300,000 and $500,000.

If Monroe’s car isn’t what you’re after, then we may have a few suggestions. At Smith & Company Auction & Realty, we sell everything from farm machinery, to 3100-acre ranches, and beyond. Browse our upcoming auctions and give us a call at 580-254-3975 with any questions!

Auction Chant: How to Better Understand the Auctioneer

It’s no surprise that many people find it confusing to unpack exactly what an auctioneer is saying.

Auctioneers are required to be very specific with their language, but we’re here to help you decipher the chant so you’re better prepared for your next auction!

The basic elements of an auction chant

An auction chant basically consists of two numbers, the have (which is the current bid price), and the want (the higher bid that is being requested by the auctioneer).

Between these two numbers is a wide array of sounds and other words inserted to add rhythm to the chant and increase the entertainment element. These filler words have purpose though, as they give bidders an opportunity to decide if they want to bid higher. In order to make it seem like they are talking faster than they really are, auctioneers will purposely slur words to shorten them.

This means there’s less time between the have and the want.

In addition to the have and the want, there is the next. When someone accepts the want and that number becomes the new have, the new want is known as the next.

At any time, the auctioneer will have 3 numbers in mind, the have, the want, and the next.

When the highest bidder is found, the auctioneer will give audiences one last chance to bid on the item. When they say “going once, going twice, sold,” it’s the last call for anyone to take the current want.

Now that you know the rules, it’s time to test your knowledge at one of our upcoming auctions! Give our team at Smith & Co. Auction & Realty a call at 580-254-3975 to learn more.