Kimball Sterling


125 W Market St, Johnson, Tennessee 37604
423-773-4073

About Auction House

Family-owned and family-run Johnson City Tennessee auction business for 25 years. Selling antiques and collectables for 38 years. Kimball M. Sterling, Inc. was founded and is owned by Kimball and Victoria Sterling, time and again, they have laid solid claim to world-wide attention and renown with antique cane auctions, outsider art, fine antiques and with eight employees, an international client base of over 24,000, including many celebrities, antique cane collectors and conducting more than 30 auctions per year on their schedule.

Auction Previews & News

6 Results
  • Auction Industry
    Rare Painting by Tyeb Mehta Bags Top Price at Saffronart’s Summer Auction of Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art

    Saffronart unveiled its highly anticipated Summer Online Auction of Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art in June of 2023. It presented an impressive catalog of South Asian art, which provided an excellent opportunity for both seasoned collectors and art novices. The contemporary South Asian art canon featured a curated collection of masterpieces from the finest modernist artists from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. The sale also provided insight into the rich cultural heritage and artistic traditions of South Asia. Saffronart's stellar reputation ensured the artworks’ authentication as investment pieces. Bulls by Tyeb Mehta (lot #49; sold for $3,600,007). Image courtesy of Saffronart. The lot that achieved the highest sale price was Bulls by Tyeb Mehta (lot #49; sold for USD 3,600,007). It is an acrylic on canvas created between 2005 and 2007. In this extraordinary artwork, Mehta used bold brushstrokes in his iconic style to create powerful imagery. This masterpiece represents Mehta's exploration of themes like suffering and redemption, capturing the viewer's attention with its raw intensity. The bull, delineated as trussed and quartered, made its first appearance as a subject in Mehta’s work in 1956. “I wanted to show the violation of man on man but didn’t want to use a literal image […] I felt that if I showed a bull about to be slaughtered, a trussed bull, it would express the fact of man’s immense potential held captive. A bull running is raw energy, and here it was trussed up for slaughter,” explained the artist. Ram Kumar's Untitled (Two Figures) (lot #30; sold for $600,000). Image courtesy of Saffronart. Another captivating piece was Ram Kumar's Untitled (Two Figures), painted in 1960 (lot #30; sold for $600,000). This oil on canvas is signed and dated in Devanagari and was sold with an inscription and authentication stamp from Kumar Gallery. Kumar, a celebrated artist known for his abstract landscapes, skillfully captures the essence of India. Painted in 1960, this depiction of two figures marks the end of Kumar’s early figurative phase of abstraction. These early works are synonymous with his oeuvre. The two figures seem to be retreating slowly and hesitantly into…

  • Auction Result
    Walk This Way: Kimball Sterling’s September 2023 Antique Canes Auction

    Kimball Sterling of Johnson City, TN presented its Antique Canes auction on September 16, 2023. This event included 100+ weapon-, system-, folk-, and dress-style canes. Walking sticks, which appeared in Egypt as far back as 4,000 BCE, were first used by elite society members as symbols of affluence and authority. Fast forward several millennia, canes would go on to become an essential element of any proper gentleman's attire during the Victorian era (circa 1837 - 1901). Kimball Sterling's recent sale included many fine examples from that period. Here are a few highlights that caught the eye of the Auction Daily team. All prices noted include the auction house's 23% buyer's premium. Lot #2, a gold quartz dress cane, was estimated at $4,500 to $5,500 and sold for $4,920. Image courtesy of Kimball Sterling. The top lot in this sale was #2, a gold quartz dress cane. Estimated at USD 4,500 to $5,500, it traded hands at $4,920. This handsome example from around 1870 measured 37.5 inches overall and featured an octagonal gold quartz stone handle set in gold. The handle was elaborately carved and engraved with linear patterns and flourishes. The hardwood shaft had a dark brown, glossy finish and was tipped with a horn ferrule. Gold quartz is quartz stone with naturally embedded gold veins. It can be found in underground rock mines, usually near rivers and streams known for their gold mining potential. It was discovered in Alaska in the late 1800s and became a popular decorative element in the early 20th century. It occurs naturally in a number of hues but the rarest and most coveted color is white because of the contrast between the gold and the stone. Lot #74, a massive presentation cane, was estimated at $800 to $1,200 and sold for $1,938. Image courtesy of Kimball Sterling. Presentation canes– those given as a prize or as recognition for an achievement– were well represented in this sale. Lot #74, a massive presentation cane, was estimated at $800 to $1,200 and sold for $1,938. This impressive walking stick had a gold compartment-style ball-shaped handle. It was…

  • Auction Preview
    Gold-bearing Quartz Cane & Late-19th-Century Folk Carved Cane by Thomas Craddock Highlight Kimball Sterling Sale

    This summer, the Antique Canes Auction from Kimball Sterling will offer an octagonal gold quartz stone handle cane as a leading lot. The gold quartz is set in a gold case with a presentation on the side and various other decorations, a hardwood shaft, and a horn ferrule. Gold-bearing quartz like this is a rare form of natural gold found only in a few locations in the world. Gold quartz has natural veins of gold formed millions of years ago by hydrothermal pressure deep within the Earth. It is mined 1,500 to 2,500 feet below the Earth's surface. The quartz comes in various colors but the available pearl white is considered the most desirable in jewelry. A late-19th-century Thomas Craddock (1845 - 1918) relief carved wooden walking stick is notable as well. This cane was cut near President Thomas Jefferson’s tomb. This cane is profusely chip carved with multiple inscriptions about President Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence. It also has carved animals and symbols like birds, a flag, leaves, feathers, and several four-legged animals. Thomas Jefferson Craddock was born in 1845. The son of a carpenter, Thomas enlisted in the Confederate army, serving as a private and remaining active in local veteran groups until his death. Craddock was noted as a gifted cane carver from Albemarle, carving canes cut near the grave of Thomas Jefferson. The available cane is a fine example of his skills. Another notable cane in the auction features a 20th-century carved handle depicting two snakes wrapped around a tree trunk. The snakes have painted eyes, a signed sterling silver collar, a thick Malacca wood shaft, and a 1.5-inch matching stag horn ferrule. View the complete catalog of the Antique Canes Auction and find other online auctions by visiting Bidsquare.

  • Auction Preview
    Exotic Hardstone and Enamel Bird Head Cane, Antique Dress Canes Come to Auction

    The Passed Cane Auction, presented by Kimball Sterling, offers a collection of canes from unpaid auctions and passed lots. Highlighted in the catalog is a hardstone and enamel exotic bird head cane. Dating back to 1900, the cane features a large rose quartz knob that is intensely pink and translucent. The carved gem-grade stone on the top depicts an exotic bird’s head with a frosted feather coat and polished beak. Canes with hard stone knobs are rare and dear to collectors owing to their high cost and difficult production. Also featured in this timed auction is an 1895 Nephrite prestige cane. Topping the available piece is a wheel-cut handle with an oversized pommel shape. It has a spinach-green color and waxy translucency. Below the handle is a tapering silver collar engraved with the initials “JA” and Birmingham hallmarks. Another notable lot is a rare 1860 figural marine cane. The available piece shows a substantial whale tooth knob carved to depict a bird, possibly a seagull. Other interesting items include a Malacca sword cane, an 1890 porcelain dress cane, and a collection of Viennese "Giggerl" crops. To view the complete catalog and register to bid in the upcoming Passed Cane Auction, visit Bidsquare and browse other online auctions.

  • Auction Preview
    Antique Cane Auction

    A device used primarily to assist in walking and providing postural support, walking sticks and canes come in many shapes and sizes. Historically, walking sticks have also been used in self-defense with a concealed knife or sword. Considered a fashion accessory by many, some of the designs have also become collector’s items. A gold quartz dress cane is one of the highlights of the upcoming Antique Cane auction, presented by Kimball Sterling. Dated 1856, the cane has a piece of heavily veined gold quartz on top. The side panels are engraved: "H. Cohn to A. Gump San Francisco June 21, 1856.” One of the most prestigious families in California, the Gump family founded Gump’s Store. Both the Gump and Cohn families were active in the Jewish community and are featured in the San Francisco Jewish Museum.  Also of interest is a Native American cane. The late 20th-century piece bears carvings showing a full-figured warrior stabbing a knife into the head of an alligator. It has an ornate silver collar, a mahogany shaft, and a brass ferrule. Another noteworthy highlight belonging to the late 20th-century is a silver skull cane. A snake wraps around the signed sterling handle. To view the complete catalog and register to bid online, visit Bidsquare.

  • Auction Preview
    Important Jewelry Estate Auction

    The first documented use of a diamond engagement ring can be traced to the Archduke Maximilian of Austria in 1477. Since then, the tradition has taken root in many Western cultures. Among the highlights of the upcoming Fine Estate Jewelry auction, presented by Kimball Sterling, is a diamond and platinum engagement ring. It is designed with one 3.19-carat emerald-cut natural diamond and two brilliant-cut diamonds. One of these stones exhibits a faint blue fluorescence. The diamonds are set in a platinum, hand-wrought mounting.  Another lot of interest is a diamond and sapphire bracelet. This piece was constructed with four strands of gems, each including round brilliant and Old European-cut natural diamonds. The mounting features a 14-karat white gold concealed box clasp with dual safety latches. The sale also includes a rhodolite garnet and diamond dress ring. Rhodolite was first discovered in Cowee Valley, Macon County, North Carolina. To view the complete catalog and register to bid online, visit Bidsquare.

  • Auction Preview
    Antique Cane Collections Auction

    A gold-filled compartment cane with an ebony shaft is a highlight of the upcoming Antique Cane Collections Auction, presented by Kimball Sterling. Named after a U.S. Marshall, the Bat Masterson compartment cane has a high relief casting and can be used to store money, medicine, or other small objects. The auction also showcases several carved ivory and jade dress canes, among which a sterling silver sea monster cane by Charles Daugherty is notable. To make this hand-carved contemporary cane, Daugherty used the lost-wax technique. Other cane designs offered in this auction include an 1860 percussion gun cane and an 1890 umbrella gun cane with a working mechanism.  Art Nouveau canes were known for their functionality and their use as an accessory. A featured Art Nouveau silver opera dress cane has a curled vine shaft wrapped with ribbon, a silver handle, and a button end cap. Folding suitcase canes and convertible trick seat canes are offered as well. Interested collectors can explore the full listings and register to bid online on Bidsquare.

  • Auction Preview
    Antique Canes

    The Antique Canes auction, presented by Kimball Sterling, offers a collection of folk, Art Nouveau, dress, and porcelain canes from the 17th century to the present. Introduced in the 16th and 17th centuries by English and French aristocrats, walking canes often served as symbols of power, wealth, and social stature among the nobility. Highlighted in the auction’s lots is a gold quartz presentation cane. This piece has an octagonal handle and gold quartz on top. Also featured in this timed auction is a late 20th-century memento mori dress cane. The philosophy of memento mori, Latin for ‘remember that you must die,’ reminds the viewer of their mortality using symbols and art. Topping the available piece is a carved ebony female head, one half of which exposes the skull. Also offered is a late 19th-century folk art cane. Made by untrained artisans, folk art canes cast attention on the artist’s individual skill and personality. The available piece shows a carved monkey eating a coconut. Explore the full listings and register to bid online on Bidsquare.

  • Auction Preview
    Antique Cane Auction

    Walking sticks came into fashion during the 16th and 17th centuries, after English and French aristocrats introduced them to society. By the 18th century, canes had become an important status symbol among noble gentlemen. Eventually, every gentleman in London was required to procure a license for carrying a walking stick. The upcoming Antique Cane Auction, presented by Kimball Sterling, will present canes from the 17th century to the present. Highlighted among the auction’s lots is a gold quartz presentation cane. This piece has an octagonal handle and gold quartz on top. Featured in this sale is an Art Nouveau-style sword cane by Richard Lebram. During the 18th century, when the popularity of swords diminished, many aristocrats and noblemen concealed their swords in walking canes. Also offered is a late 17th-century ivory pique cane. The pique technique was brought to England by the Huguenots after 1665. Explore the full listings and register to bid online on Bidsquare.

  • Auction Preview
    David Berry Estate

    General Motors introduced LaSalle, the American luxury automobile brand, as a “companion” marque in an era when automobile companies usually built only one model every year. General Motors' CEO at the time, Alfred P. Sloan, created the brand to bridge the pricing gaps in the company’s product portfolio. Manufactured and marketed during 1927-1940 by General Motors’ Cadillac division, LaSalle is named after a French explorer, René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle. A 1935 LaSalle car is one of the highlights of the upcoming David Berry Estate auction offered by Kimball Sterling. With a burgundy leather interior and light gray carpet, the car has all original instruments, a straight 8 engine, and a banjo steering wheel. The two-door convertible sports coupe was restored by David Berry himself. Another luxury car featured in the auction, belonging to the same era, is a 1936 Ford Cabriolet. It has a Chevrolet 283 and a 3-speed transmission. With the original chrome body, the car has a tan leather interior with a black loop.  The sale also includes mascots and hood ornaments mounted on marble stands, auto emblems, drug store cabinets, and country store items. To view the complete catalog and register to bid online, visit Bidsquare .

  • Auction Preview
    Antique Canes December

    The Antique Cane Auction from Kimball Sterling showcases a collection of dress, folk, and porcelain canes from around the world. Featured in this timed auction is a 19th-century cane by Michael Cribbins. The patinated cane is carved with images of folk art, along with symbols such as a cross, foot, cloverleaf, and fish. The cane bears a scalloped lead ferrule on an elongated handle, which is Cribbins’ signature artistic style. A late 20th-century dress cane is another highlight of the auction. This lot is topped with an ebony carved female head, divided between a normal face and an exposed skull. The cane also includes a fluted walrus collar, silver skull lower collar, ebony shaft, and a metal ferrule. Also among the notable lots are a 1922 Art Nouveau-style dress cane with a silver German handle and a ladies’ cane with a Lalique handle. Made in 1920, the handle of the latter cane is cross-shaped with raised and frosted flower and foliage designs. A porcelain dress cane from around 1900 will also be included. The cobalt and gold decorated knob of this cane depicts a courting scene on the top and has a gold-filled collar and mahogany shaft. Browse the entire collection and bid online on Bidsquare.

  • Auction Preview
    Ted and Ann Oliver Outsider/ Folk Art Collection

    The Ted and Ann Oliver Outsider and Folk Art auction, offered by Kimball Sterling, presents fine and decorative art with non-traditional elements. Two pieces by Carlton Garrett are highlighted in this auction, Couple on Bench and Couple Dancing. Both lots juxtapose an everyday activity with the couples' lifeless stares and skeleton-white skin tone, achieved with acrylic paint on wood.  Also featured in this auction is a series of face jugs by Burlon Craig. As his profile by the National Endowment of the Arts notes, Craig spent most of his career making basic stoneware items for locals. The face jug series available in this auction contrasts the jugs themselves with stern faces carved on their side. Several paintings are also available in this auction, including Alyne Harris's Hell Dog Eating Bones of the Damned and Howard Finster’s Lady and Dove. Those interested in any of these lots can register to bid on  Bidsquare.

  • Auction Preview
    Antique and Collectible Gun, Sword, Folk Art & Dress Canes

    Dress canes have become a symbol of power, strength, and social prestige. Though canes were first used in ancient times as weapons, they now are used for the opera, theatre, or another black-tie events. In contrast, a gun cane is a walking cane with a firearm built into it. These are difficult to find since many qualify as concealed weapons. Most are in the hands of private collectors and museums, yet Kimball Sterling will present both gun canes and dress canes in the upcoming Antiques and Collectible Gun, Sword, Folk Art & Dress Canes auction. In this auction, a Remington dog head gun cane is featured. This 19th century cane unscrews to reveal a 22-caliber rim-fire cartridge. It opens with a straight pull for cocking and aims through a pop-up sight. Other highlighted items include a 20th century dress cane depicting a race car and two drivers, a silver dragon collar, and a brass ferrule. A witch’s stag folk cane shows a witch’s face on the handle and an exotic wood shaft. To view the collection and place a bid, visit  Bidsquare .

  • Auction Preview
    Absentee Cane Auction

    Kimball Auctions bring to its collectors the finest cane collection in the forthcoming Absentee Cane Auction. Kimball is popular for its Cane and walking stick collections. The auction house is considered as one of the prime antique cane suppliers in the world. Every cane from the auction will leave you wanting to get a hold of them, with their intricate handles, unique designs, and features. Shotgun canes have gained popularity since James Bond’s Casino Royale. The Belgium cane with a hidden shotgun is a unique and highly valued cane from the auction. The porcelain St. Cloud dress cane is a signature style of the St. Cloud porcelain factory. The white cane handles painted with blue floral patterns and shaped like a bulbous knob are highly sought after for their unique make of porcelain.  A lady’s cane with Lalique handle featuring frosted flower and foliage and the gold quartz presentation cane with an ornately worked gold-filled handle are interesting collectibles from the auction. Explore the full listings and register to bid online on Bidsquare.

  • Auction Preview
    Canes, Coins, and Firearms World Class Auction

    The upcoming Canes, Coins, and Firearms World Class Auction by the Tennessee house Kimball M. Sterling Inc. is full of history and highly collectible objects.  The coin portion of the auction originates from the Hamby Coin estate and includes many rare proof type coins that are all slabbed, as well as silver bullion and foreign currency.   The Hall gun collection was amassed over the collector’s lifetime and includes an automaton French monkey cane from the 1880s and a Victorian museum quality Belgium gun cane.  Also included in the auction is a rare boxed 1930’s carnival pitchman’s game with beautifully carved canes and wooden rings. To view the complete catalogue and register to bid go to Bidsquare.