By Steven Wayne Yvaska for the Mercury News
Article Launched: 09/26/2008
"More Skeletons from the Closet," an auction of items related to the
Grateful Dead, will take place Oct. 5 at Bonhams & Butterfields in
With more than 170 lots it's the firm's second sale devoted
entirely to the doodads "Deadheads" desire this is one auction that
will rock. The first sale was in May 2007.
A Bosendorfer ebony grand piano used by Vince Welnic (1951-2006), the
group's last keyboard player, may be the most expensive object to be
sold. It's likely to fetch $150,000. A Kay acoustic guitar owned by
Ron "Pig Pen" McKernan (1945-1973) may get plucked for $15,000.
Bidders also can vie for six packages of unsmoked cigarettes said to
belong to Jerry Garcia (1942-1995). These could go as high as $1,200.
A group of Garcia-designed silk ties plus a leather wallet presents
from Garcia to Welnick are estimated to bring in $350.
Another object receiving a great deal of attention is a customized
1956 Chevrolet Bel Air sedan painted purple and white. The vehicle,
replete with vintage California black license plates (GPX 323) and a
"Steal Your Face" logo embroidered on the rear deck, carried Garcia
and many notables. The classic might garner $10,000 or more.
No sale of memorabilia associated with the Dead would be complete
without wildly colored, psychedelic concert posters the kind that
beckoned many fervent fans to a performance. Some feature the band's
widely recognized, unforgettable icon of a skeleton and roses. Expect
them to sell for as little as $100, or as much as $2,200.
Of special note is a poster hand-colored by Garcia as a house-warming
gift to Welnic and his wife, Lori, in 1991. The poster, "Can You Pass
the Acid Test," was decorated using various shades of colored pencils
and publicized various "happenings" arranged by Ken Kesey and his
Merry Pranksters in the mid-1960s. A letter of provenance written
by Stephanie Kesey, the daughter-in-law of Ken Kesey comes with the
poster, which could sell for $10,000 to $12,000.
Auction items will be available to preview Oct. 2-4. The preview and
auction coincides with three shows of the Grateful Dead tribute band,
the Dark Star Orchestra, Oct. 2-4 at San Francisco's Fillmore Auditorium.
For auction details, call (415)"‰861-7500, or check out
www.bonhams.com/us to see the online catalog.
An extraordinary batch of more than 60 antique Oriental rugs goes on
view Oct. 3. This collection is part of the exhibition "The Art of
Timeless Beauty" at the Claremont II Gallery, 1813 Fourth St., Berkeley.
This is a chance to see rugs seldom available for sale. According to
Claremont Rug Company founder and president Jan David Winitz,
"Virtually all of the rugs on display were acquired from
long-established collections and have not been viewed publicly during
The public is invited to hear a lecture, "Antique Tribal Rugs:
Unchanged since Biblical Times," at 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 5. Admission is
free, but seating is limited. To make a reservation, call (510)"‰654-0816.
Lace sale and exhibit
The Lace Museum will conduct its semi-annual sale Oct. 3 and 4. If
you're into vintage textiles, this is a great place to hunt for lace
pieces to use on your own projects. You also can purchase ready-made
items, including table runners, pillowcases, bedspreads, napkins and
By the way, the museum staff is busy preparing for its next exhibit,
"Victorian Lace Remembered." The group is looking for anyone who
wishes to participate in a juried show of dolls dressed in Victorian
attire. Interested folks must submit a photo(s) of their entry by
Oct. 15. The dolls selected will be on display from Nov. 15 through
Jan. 9, 2009.
The museum is at 552 S. Murphy Ave. Sunnyvale. Hours: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Tuesday-Saturday. Details: (408)"‰730-4695, or www.thelacemuseum.org.
Proceeds from the sale support this all-volunteer organization.
It's been wonderful to see so many readers the past six weeks at a
variety of events. I'll make my final appearance for the month at the
Meridian Square Bazaar at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. today.
The semi-annual show features a variety of vendors with all sorts of
arts and crafts, antiques, bric-a-brac and even entertainment. I'll
be around to offer evaluations of your family keepsakes or newly
found prizes. Cost is $10 for your first object, $5 for each
additional item. Admission and parking are free.
The event is 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Meridian Square Shopping Center,
corner of Branham Lane and Meridian Avenue, San Jose. Details: (408)"‰761-6913.
Next week, I'll have the full scoop on one of the most eagerly
awaited events of the season the 36th annual Pumpkin Patch Boutique.
Contact Steven Wayne Yvaska at firstname.lastname@example.org