This blog is about items that are to be auctioned on June 14, 2014, in Green Bay, WI and online.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014



Nellie Beland, Licensed Auctioneer/Certified Appraiser & Estate Specialist 
Gene Beland, Certified Appraiser 

1107 Thirteenth Street Menominee, MI. 49858 
Phone: (906) 864-2942                     


Watch & observe before bidding.   You will quickly get a feel for the auctioneers'  rhythm.  You will  find that they are not hard to understand.
Feel free to ask questions.  People are friendly and willing to help, even other auction-goers.  Purple shirts work for the auction and are there to help.

At the Freward & Alk Antique Auction the Terms & Conditions are as follows:
Payments accepted: Cash, Good Check with picture ID, Visa/Mastercard/Discover.
10% Buyers Fee.
Everything sold as is, where is with no warrantees expressed or implied.
All sales are final.
Announcements on sale date take precedence over printed matter.
WI Sales tax applies without resale exemption certificate.

Most auctions have a preview time for customers to inspect the items to be sold. The preview time for the F & A auction will be from 8:30 in the morning until the auction start time at 10:00.  Take advantage of this time to carefully inspect the items you are interested in.   Items are sold as is, so know what you are bidding on ahead of time. Ask questions. Let the auctioneer know if this is the first auction you will be bidding at - we’re very happy to help you feel comfortable!

It’s a good idea to make a list of the items you’re interested in, along with the amount you would be willing to pay. This will help prevent you from getting “caught up in the excitement of the auction” and spending more than planned. (Although it IS okay to get carried away once in awhile as long as your checkbook supports it!)


Arrive early so you can secure a good viewing spot. Most auctions require a bid ticket to purchase. This is obtained from the cashier & usually requires a photo ID (driver’s license) and other basic information. Once this numbered card is issued to you, DON’T LOSE IT! You are responsible for the items purchased with that number. Once the auction starts, be sure to pull the bid ticket out of your pocket or purse & have it readily available to show the auctioneer when you buy something.

Make it obvious to the auctioneer when you are bidding on something - don’t be shy! Ring people, who help the auctioneer spot bids, are usually used during a large auction.  Be sure the ring person nearest to you knows when you want to bid.

Listen carefully once the auctioneer starts calling bids. When sets of something are being sold, the auctioneer may decide to sell “so much each & times the money.” This means that you are bidding on one piece of the set but are buying the entire set times the quantity in the set. (6 piece chair set = final bid price of one chair times 6). Sometimes the auctioneer will sell “choice” which means that the successful bidder may take one or more of the items being bid on, times the money.
If you are unclear, ask before the bidding starts.

Feel free to get up and move around at an auction - they’re wonderful social events and meeting and visiting with friends is very acceptable. It’s important to remember to be courteous when visiting - talk away from other bidders and away from the auctioneer. Try not to obstruct another customer’s view. If at an outdoor auction you are using an umbrella, stand to the rear of the crowd, etc.

If you can’t attend an auction, but would like to bid on an item, most auction companies will take an absentee (proxy) bid. Also available is Internet bidding prior to the auction. Someone from the auction company will take care of your bidding & notify you if you are the lucky winner. Call in advance of the auction & find out what that auctioneer’s specific policies are for proxy bids or bid through our website at

If you need to leave the auction early, you can ask to have items put up for bidding early.  Just let a purple shirt know which items you would like to bid on.  There is a $10 minimum bid for this service.

It’s a good idea to keep track of your purchases during an auction. Most people write the item & successful bid amount on their bid ticket. Come prepared to move your items the same day as the auction. If you plan on buying furniture, make sure you have a vehicle to move it. Occasionally, items can be moved at a later date, but unfortunately, that will not be possible for this auction.

Remember that all sales are final at an auction. Once the auctioneer recognizes you as the successful bidder, a legally binding contract has been established. You cannot change your mind even though you have not yet paid for your purchases.

Before leaving the premises, all items must be paid for in full with the cashier. Auctions are operated the same way as any other business, and most auctioneers are very serious about collecting bad debts or collecting from buyers who have left without paying for their purchases.

Restrooms and food will be available.

Most of all, HAVE FUN! Feel comfortable asking questions, visiting with other customers - you’ll be surprised at how much you will learn!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Glass Negatives: Wisconsin History

To go directly to the auction site:

We have a large collection of glass negatives that appear to be from the the early 20th century (early 1900s-1930s) depicting Wisconsin people, places, and history.
Specific areas of interest are circus / Vaudville, sharpshooters, Wild West Show, street views, portraits, logging, camping, fishing... the list goes on.

My job was to take photos of some negatives,  then to digitally reverse a few, but I found myself becoming more and more curious about who, when, and where.

The photographic glass negatives were bought locally, and the images looked like Wisconsin, but I couldn't be sure.

One big clue came on an envelope from Kodak.  Could John A. Schulz of Clintonville, Wisconsin be our photographer?

There were more clues on the other side... handwritten notes, perhaps the subjects of the photographs: Schultz - Bill + J / Mosquito Hill.

Mosquito Hill is near New London.   Another reference to New London appears in the following negative:


If we zoom in on the box:

The box is from Western States Envelope Co. in Milwaukee, Wis.  The handwriting on the box says (illegible) / The Press / New London / Wis.

Harding is also a Wisconsin town.  Is it someone + Lou?  Hud? 

Logging and Lumber are a common theme:


There was a railway accident, that if identified would give us a time and place. 

You can read on the train cars Chicago and North Western and Frisco.

This interesting scene features a sign that says "New London".  

And there are many local people and places that could be potentially be identified by the right person.

Central House:

I'm convinced that many, if not most, of these photos were taken in Wisconsin, many in the New London area.   Local historians and genealogists may recognize some of these people and places.  I'd be grateful for any help I can get.
Do any of these places look familiar?  Does anyone know anything about John Schulz or other Schultz family in the area, possibly a Bill Shultz?  

I'll be selling these soon, and I may never know who our mystery photographer is, or his connection to the sharpshooters Lou and Dell and the other performers depicted in these negatives and lanterns slides.

Lou and Dell will be the topic of my next blog.  In the meantime, here is preview:

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Original Oil Paintings by Chicago Modernists Louis Alexander Neebe and Minne Harms Neebe

To go directly to the auction site:

Among the fine art offered at our auction, we have an unusual pair of oil portraits by Chicago artists Minnie and Louis Neebe.  

Minnie Harms was born in Chicago 1873, the same year that her future husband Louis Alexander Neebe was born in Philadelphia. Louis was an artist, whose day job was in newspaper lithography, and the young Minnie assisted her husband printing color ads and cartoons. During that time, she began sketching and eventually studied art both at the School of the Art Institute (SAIC) and under Charles Hawthorne in Provincetown, Mass. In his classes, she often sketched fellow classmates instead of the model. Other influential teachers included Lorser Feitelson, Walter Ufer, Charles F. Brown, Ambrose Webster, and Wellington J. Reynolds. Minnie and Louis’s home and studio—at 1320 North Clybourn Avenue, then a working-class Italian neighborhood—was decorated over the course of their thirty-five-year marriage with objects from China, India, Mexico, and the West American Indians (though she never went to China or India). It also was a hub for progressive artists and poets of the day, visited by notables such as Carl Sandburg, George Bellows, and Leon Kroll—one of her teachers at SAIC who was associated with the Ashcan School of urban realism in New York. Neebe and her husband were both active in Chicago in the 1920s and 30s within a circle of radical artists who called her “Aunt Minnie.” She was a member of progressive artist organizations, including the Chicago Society of Artists, the Neo-Arlimusc (founded in 1926 by artist Rudolph Weisenborn to further interaction between art, literature, music, and science), and Chicago No-Jury Society of Artists.
She typically used vivid colors, and, as she explained in J. Z. Jacobsen’s 1933 book on art in Chicago, “The purely abstract in art occupies a most important place, although I always fuse it with the more realistic phases of my canvases.” Her 1930 oil in the Friedman collection,Waukegan, shows colorful row houses standing against a snowy white foreground with barren trees, and the bluish grey lake in background. Above, a billow of white smoke drifts across the horizon, bringing together city and nature, and conveying an unmistakably modern sensibility.
Lisa Meyerowitz

This first portrait is by Minnie.  The canvas board is warped and the canvas is separating.  The surface of the paint is lightly creased, visible in the photo.

Label on the back identifying the subject as "Fisherman's daughter".   She also lists the address of their Chicago home and studio described as a "hub for progressive artists and poets of the day."

The second portrait is by Louis.  The board has chipping at the edges and the painted surface also is lightly creased, visible in photo.

Each is a beautiful oil painting by itself, but they are a very unique pair.   

Both are for sale at auction in Green Bay, June 14, 2014 at the Beja Shrine Hall.  Internet bidding will be available for both paintings at

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The History of F&A Antiques. Part 2.

Jon and I opening our De Pere shop in 1997.  

Located on the west side of De Pere, many people discovered us during the Annual De Pere Antique Show and Sale, just up the street at St. Norbert's college.

From the beginning, vintage jewelry was a interest of mine.  I went to "jewelry camp" twice, eager to learn more.

We also continued to put items in Olde Orchard Antique Mall in Egg Harbor, during the summers.

We combined Jon's mail order experience with my comfort with computers, and started doing online sales on newsgroups and eBay.

In 1998 I registered our main URL, and built our first website.  We began to establish a reputation both on eBay and our site.  

When we decided to focus more of our time and energy on mail order, we moved nearly our entire store into one room at JJ Antique Mall in Manitowoc.  

Unfortunately, over the years health problems made the large spaces harder to maintain, so we gradually lessened our presence in local malls.  Over the years Jon, or Jon and I together, have been in a variety of malls in Door County, Green Bay and Manitowoc.

When Jon also developed health problems, business slowed even more, until eventually, our entire inventory was packed away.   Some things have been in storage for for decades and many items have never been offered for public sale before now.  

Jon's house by the river is sold.  My own house is overpacked.  We are ready to let it all go, no reserves.

Please join us on Saturday, June 14, 2015 at the Beja Shriner Hall in Green Bay.  If you can't come in person, online bidding will be available at

Hope to see you there!

Friday, May 9, 2014

The History of F&A Antiques. Part I.

Before there was Freward & Alk Antiques, there was Jon Alk Antiques.

Jon Alk started attending auctions while he was in college, buying items for himself, mostly art.After graduation, sometime in the 1970s, he started selling his finds to antique shops.  He had a good eye and established a reputation early on.

His first shop of his own was called 900 South Jackson Antiques, on the corner of Jackson and Porlier streets, in the Astor Park neighborhood.  

A recent photo of 900 S. Jackson St.

Jon also started to do mail order, advertising in special interest publications like The Antique Trader.  One of his specialties was ephemera (paper collectibles), and one business name he used for his mail order was The Paper Lion.

His next shop was  on 1515 S. Webster, in an old house across from Schreider's flower shop, next to the monument shop.  No one seems to remember what it was officially called, it's simply remembered as "the antique shop on Webster."

A recent photo of the Webster location.  The first house on the left still sells monuments.

Inside Webster.  If you look closely, you can see Jon reflected in the mirror.

Jon also had a small shop in Fish Creek during the summers.

For a while, Jon was a nationally known expert on Rookwood art pottery.  He provided most of the photos and information for a price guide on Rookwood pottery. He would travel to New York, Ohio, Georgia... for estates, major auctions, shows, and private collections. 
Unfortunately, the Rookwood is sold, so we can't offer any at our auction.  Yet, it remains an excellent example of the many areas of expertise that Jon developed over the years, the quality of the items he preferred to deal in.

I started working for Jon in the early 1990s.  By that time, he had closed up his Webster shop and was focused on mail order, local antique malls, and private sales.

In 1996 I brought my laptop and used it to help Jon run mail-order postcard auctions through the Postcard Collector, and for the first time we used the name Freward & Alk Antiques.  

Jon had the experience and the expertise.  I had a good eye, the enthusiasm of youth, and most importantly, computer skills.  Eventually, the day came when I was no longer content to be an employee, and Jon had to make a choice.  I was his partner, or I was his competition.  

The rest of that story is for another day.

Do you remember Jon in the early days?  Did you shop at one of his shops?  Please share your stories, or even your photos if you have them.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Steampunk Inspiration

Antique is not steampunk.

However steampunk is inspired by the past, and antiques as props, inspiration, or a source of materials can create a greater realism for steampunk projects.

This illustration could easily be mistaken for a steampunk fantasy, but it is, in fact, one of a series of published paintings depicting the aviation technology of the time, from a bound volume of Scribners magazines for sale at our auction.
I love the earphones, the goggles, the gloves, and all the wood and brass... that guys mustache!  But I think what impresses me the most is that these guys FLEW in that thing.

Another item that stirs my imagination is this cool old watchmans clock.  A conversation piece as-is, I can imagine it's potential as decor, fashion, or part of some wild invention.  
The leather strap makes it easily wearable as a prop or fashion accessory.

Cameos are often part of steampunk fashion.  Why not upgrade from mass-produced plastic to a unique antique work of art, hand carved in shell from the Victorian era? 

Little tiny gears are fun and all, but how about some big wooden gears and machine parts?  You could dust them off and hang them on a wall, as unique art.
My research he suggests they were foundry molds, and this is only a sample of what we have.  I'm still trying to round them all up.

We have many more cool items, selling without reserve.  June 14, 2014.  Online bidding will be available.

Nellie at Superior Auction has started listing official photos on her website as well.   
You can find her at