Brass Era Thomases Fly Past Estimates in Bonhams White Glove Sale

Two Generations Collection 100% Sold in Newport

A pair of All-American Brass Era Thomas motor cars flew past their estimates, together achieving more than a million dollars, in Bonhams' white glove Two Generations Collection sale. The extraordinary single-family collection, offered in Newport, Rhode Island on Saturday (April 29), achieved a total of $4.3 million and was 100% sold.

1906 Thomas Flyer 50hp Touring Car

The 1906 Thomas Flyer 50hp Touring Car was the top lot of the sale, doubling its estimate to achieve $841,000. The magnificent and remarkably original machine – almost certainly the only unrestored example of its model – had been acquired from the esteemed William Fisk Harrah collection in the 1980s and was sold to a bidder in the room, with the audience breaking into applause when the hammer fell. Its sibling, a c.1903 Thomas Model 18 Single Cylinder 8hp Rear Entrance Tonneau, also doubled its estimate, making $257,600.

1903 Thomas Model 18 Single Cylinder 8hp Rear Entrance Tonneau

The stand alone sale offered 35 predominantly Brass Era cars, representing luxury marques from the dawn of motoring including Pierce-Arrow, Pope-Hartford and Cadillac, and an extensive range of collectibles amassed over 70 years by an enthusiast father and his son, with many lots being offered for the first time in more than 40 years.

Other highlights included:

1911 Palmer-Singer Model 4-50 Seven Passenger Touring, a three-owner car from new, sold at top estimate, realizing $550,000.

1906 Darracq Model 40/60 Runabout, doubled its estimate to sell for $218,400.

1907 Pope-Hartford Model L 25030hp Raceabout, achieved above estimate, making $147,840.

Impressive results were also achieved by the automobilia, ranging from pedal cars and spares to motoring art, which collectively sold for more than twice its high estimate, with selected posters achieving more than ten times their estimates. Notable results included:

Grand Prix de L'A.C.F. Dieppe poster after Bric, 1908, sold for £34,395, more than five-times its estimate

Grand Prix de L'A.C.F. Dieppe poster after Bric, 1908, made more than five-times its estimate, achieving £34,395.

A rare clockwork 'Gordon-Bennett' racing car by Bing, Germany, circa 1904, sold for $33,135, also five times its estimate.

A Michelin advertising "Le Pneu Michelin A Vaincu le Rail" poster after E Montaut, French, circa 1905, realised $25,500, again more than five times its estimate.

Rupert Banner, Global Head of Specialists, Bonhams Collector Cars, said: "Collectors from around the world and an enthusiastic room of buyers vied to secure cars and memorabilia throughout the day long sale. The results achieved reflect the sheer quality and rarity of the offering, so carefully gathered over decades. We would like to thank the family for entrusting Bonhams with this collection.

"The fantastic results reinforce Bonhams' position as the leading auction house in the sale of Brass Era collector cars."

The sale was hosted by the Audrain Concours Foundation as part of its partnership with Bonhams, and was the prelude to the second edition of the Audrain Veteran Car Tour, supported by the auction house.

Donald Osborne, Audrain Group CEO, added: "We are ecstatic to have expanded our partnership with our friends at Bonhams. This sale was a natural pairing for our Veteran Car Tour, with both events celebrating automotive history and cars that have lived a great life."

Bonhams will return to Newport for its autumn Audrain Concours Auction, this year taking place on September 29 as part of Audrain Newport Concours & Motor Week.

Meanwhile the Bonhams US team is consigning to its Greenwich Auction on June 5. Further consignments of important collector cars are invited. Contact [email protected] for more details.


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