An entire thesis could be constructed on what turns an otherwise normal person into a collector. Whether it be fine art or beer cans, passion for collecting things knows no bounds. Take Bob and Paul Milhous for example. They started out working in the printing industry, and along the way Paul discovered an interest in musical instruments after buying a piano, while Bob kicked off his fascination with desirable motorcars with a 1934 Packard. Eventually a decision to combine the two individual, and very eclectic, collections into one saw four changes of location before finally settling in at a huge, purpose-built private complex in Florida.
But now you have the opportunity to buy history, and most have no reserve. Over the weekend of February 24-26, 2012, RM Auctions in association with Sotheby's will be auctioning 839 rare and exquisite items from the Milhous Collection.
The RM Auctions site showcases the amazing collection, from musical instruments, such as the 1913 Welte Wotan Brass Band Orchestrion worth potentially US$2.5m to rare cars, and everything in between.
Surprisingly, the motorcycle section is somewhat bland, but other things make up for it like a 1941 Ryan trainer, 1920's carousel, a big number of early American revolvers, gas-powered model cars, chandeliers, grandfather clocks, neon signs, artwork by Renoir and various Americana ... all in superb condition and representing fabulous times long gone.
It's the sort of stuff that many of us would buy if we were fabulously wealthy, or drunk. Being neither, I've chosen my top 20 wishlist based on what tickles my fancy, or the one that is simply expected to bring the most money in that particular category, or would look good in my lounge room ...
To wrap up, here's RM Auctions' video overview of the Milhous Collection: