At age 89, Dick Button has decided it is time to part with many fabulous pieces that form part of his vast collection.
The Dick Button Skating Collection, a diverse mix of paintings, prints, posters, sculptures, costumes, and folk art that honor the long history of skating will go under the hammer on Jan. 25 and 26. Collectors and investors from all walks of life will have the opportunity to bid on more than 90 items that form part of the auction, which also includes artwork and one-of-a-kind furniture pieces.
“I want to sell my apartment in New York City, but I can’t do that with all the things that are there. So I am selling a number of items to be able to do that,” said Button who began collecting skating memorabilia in 1947.
“I went to Stockholm for the World Championships and Cecile von Mendelsohn-Bartholdy, the wife of Gillis Grafström, offered me her entire collection. My father said he would buy it for me if I would like it but I said, ‘what would I do with all those things?’ So she gave me one Dutch tile from the 18th century – I now have 31 of them. She also gave me a print and I was so fond of it I started collecting.”
Among other items, the skating memorabilia includes a pair of skates worn by Charlotte Oelschägel (after whom the skating move “Charlotte” was named), which she personally gave to Button for his collection (Item 1050). Oelschägel was the first figure skater to be featured in a motion picture.
Antique skates and costumes Button wore during his career with Ice Capades (Lots 1077/1078) are also up for grabs, as is the torch he carried in the relay leading up to the 2002 Olympic Winter Games (Lot 1086).
Some of the artwork up for auction includes a five foot wide ice skating scene, “Snow Storm Threatening,” (1854) by Regis Francois Gignoux; “Skating on the Schuylkill” by American artist William Willcox, showing 113 highly detailed figure skaters on the ice; and rare skating scenes by Currier & Ives.
You can view the full catalogue online at brunkauctions.com. Information on live, phone or absentee bidding can also be found on the website. For a private viewing prior to the auction or for more information, contact Nan Zander at 828-254-6846 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Absentee bids are open now. If you wish to bid by telephone, register online and five minutes before the Lot you wish to bid on goes live, you will receive a call from the auction house.
Shipping costs are not included. In-house shipping is available or you can arrange your own. There is also a buyer’s premium that is not included.