Bonhams attracted the attention of collectors from around the world September 25-26, 2008 to the Owls Head Transportation Museum in Owls Head, Maine as the Richard C. Paine, Jr. collection of motorcars, motorcycles and automobilia achieved strong prices, totaling nearly $8,500,000.
Bonhams featured hundreds of motoring memorabilia, 23 motorcycles and 50 automobiles, including many of the cars on the market for the first time in 40 years, some having previously been in famed collections built by pioneering car collectors Dr. Samuel Scher and opera singer James Melton.
Validating the phrase last but not least – the final lot of the sale, the 1910 Mercedes 45hp 4-Seat Tourabout, drew the highest bids, selling for $887,000, while “The Hordern Ghost,” a 1913 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost 40/50hp Roi-des-Belges tourer, sold for $832,000 to a bidder in the room competing against multiple phone bidders from around the world. The Ex-Dr. Samuel L. Scher 1906 American Tourist Roi-des-Belges touring car 1783, which graced the cover of the auction catalog, sold for $612,000 after a slow volley between international telephone bidders.
Other top lots of the Friday/Saturday sale include: the ex-Dr. Samuel L. Scher 1910 Peerless Victoria (selling at $469,000); the 1913 Pierce-Arrow 48-B 7-Passenger touring car (sold for $315,000); and the Ex John Scheve, Matt and Barbara Browning and Tom Lester 1923 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Pall Mall Dual Cowl Phaeton (brought $315,000).
The motorcar accessories, known as automobilia, were auctioned on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, achieving exceptional results. A 1905 Gabriel ten note exhaust whistle sold for $16,380 – well above the presale estimate of $1,200; a painted tin advertising sign for Fogg’s Drug Store, a local Maine business, reached $7,020; and 24 assorted embossed tin Maine motorcycle license plates achieved $4,095.
Rupert Banner, Bonhams Director of Business Development within its New York-based Motorcar Dept., spearheaded the event and remarked, “This was an euphoric auction event which captivated local, regional, national and even international interest for the ‘Aladdin’s Cave’ of collector automobiles, motorcycles and motoring accessories assembled by Richard Paine – a man whose myth was well-fabled within the collector car hobby. The results showed collectors’ passion for supporting his legacy and for his taste — as they competed to secure the items on the auction block, many of which had not been offered for sale for over 50 years.”
Bonhams offered 651 lots for sale, with all finding a new owner, reflecting a 100% sales rate. The total sales volume was $8,476,347, inclusive of buyer’s premiums. All lots were offered without reserve.
Click here for full Richard Paine Collection auction results.
Notable auction highlights include:
1910 Mercedes 45hp 4-Seat Tourabout – Sold for $887,000 versus an estimate of $500,000 – 600,000. A stunning example of the kind of high performance four-seat automobile preferred by sporting customers in America in 1910. While the price paid blew away pre-auction estimates, the new owner purchased a Mercedes with an impeccable provenance that would be welcomed at nearly all concours. And good luck finding another one.
1913 Rolls-Royce ‘Silver Ghost’ 40/50hp Roi-des-Belges Tourer – Sold for $832,500 versus an estimate of $650,000 – 850,000.
1906 American Tourist Roi-des-Belges Touring Car – Sold for $612,000.
1910 Peerless Victoria – Sold for $469,000 versus an estimate of $300,000 – 400,000.
1907 Packard 30hp Gentleman’s Roadster 5175 – Sold for $284,200 versus an estimate of $300,000 – 400,000.
1929 Indian Model 402 Four – Sold for $49,140 versus an estimate of $65,000 – 85,000. This Indian Four was equipped with an oil pressure gauge, ammeter, Corbin speedometer and tire pump, and carries a 1929 Massachusetts license plate. While the paintwork and plating appear to have been redone at some time, the engine and gearbox appear original and unrestored.
1952 Vincent 998cc Black Shadow – Sold for $92,430 versus an estimate of $50,000 – 60,000. A matching-numbers example, this Series-C ‘Shadow was one of two delivered new to Vincent agents ISC in Springfield in January 1952. The Smiths Chronometric ‘150mph’ speedometer records a total mileage of 5,186 and the machine appears complete and original.