Turner Auctions + Appraisals Presents The Pebble Beach Estate Of Norman Lausten

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Online Auction Features Over 330 Lots on Saturday, April 22

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA, April 5, 2023Turner Auctions + Appraisals is very pleased to present The Pebble Beach Estate of Norman Lausten on Saturday, April 22, 2023. Reflecting Mr. Lausten’s passion for collecting that spanned more than seven decades, this online auction features an eclectic array of over 330 lots in diverse categories, reflecting the wide range of items in the estate. Among the antique, vintage and/or contemporary items are books, directories and other printed material; jewelry, clothing, shoes, and accessories for women and men; objects related to automobiles and bicycles; knives; silver certificates; artworks; Asian collectibles; musical instruments; war items; and a variety of mechanical devices such as cameras, radios, steam engines, telescopes, and more. Some lots from other collections or estates round out the sale.

Title/Description: "Lincoln - Then and Now" (original art for the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2008). Signature: Signed lower right. Date created: c. 2008. Medium/Ground: Watercolor and gouache on paper. Size: 15 1/2in x 22 1/2in (sight); 23in x 29 1/2in (frame). Condition: Good. Estimate $600-$800.
Title/Description: “Lincoln – Then and Now” (original art for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance 2008). Signature: Signed lower right. Date created: c. 2008. Medium/Ground: Watercolor and gouache on paper. Size: 15 1/2in x 22 1/2in (sight); 23in x 29 1/2in (frame). Condition: Good. Estimate $600-$800.

Turner Auctions + Appraisals begins its online auction on Saturday, April 22, 2023, at 10:30 am PDT; sale items are available for preview and bidding now. The online auction will be featured live on multiple platforms:  LiveAuctioneers, Invaluable, Bidsquare, iCollector, and Turner Auctions + Appraisals’ free mobile app, which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Apps (“Turner Auctions”). All are easily accessed through ‘Upcoming Auctions’ at the company’s website:  www.turnerauctionsonline.com/upcoming-auctions.

About Norman Lausten and His Collection

Born in San Francisco, Norman Lausten (1942-2023) was the only child of Charles and Winifred Lausten. Young Norman spent his early years at the family ranch in Williams, California, where his great-great grandfather, and his grandfather and two brothers were pioneer rice farmers in Maxwell, northeast of Sacramento. Later, his family divided their time between the family ranch and their Carmel home, moving there permanently in 1956. Norman graduated from Carmel High School in 1960, then attended Monterey Peninsula College. He became an automobile mechanic, and eventually was promoted to mechanical supervisor for the City of Pacific Grove, repairing city vehicles. 

Norman’s passion for automobiles started as a baby: his first word – at 10 months! – was “car.” Likewise, his interest in collecting began very early: at age four, he found a carbide bicycle lamp in his grandfather’s basement, setting in motion an obsession for early automobile items and many other antique collectibles. As Norman would later say, this happenstance discovery as a young child “was the impetus for the whole madness.” Over the next 70+ years, he would build a literal museum in his Pebble Beach home, filled with antique radios, books, paintings, headlamps, other auto memorabilia, and much more – welcoming friends and other automobilia aficionados to enjoy his collections. Along the way, according to his cousin Richard Lausten, Norman became an antique automobile historian and “walking encyclopedia” of the early automobile up through the 1930s. His collection’s pride and joy were his 1913 Simplex and 1922 Locomobile. Not surprisingly, from 1958 on, he attended every Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the world’s most prestigious car show. (Photo top left, Norman Lausten)

Other aspects of his life are very interesting as well. Norman was a gifted musician, playing guitar, banjo and fiddle. He inherited a beautiful tenor voice from his father, an opera singer; his mother taught piano and organ. His wife Jeanne Richelieu DuCasse (1945-2000) was the granddaughter of famed early California artist Xavier Martinez, whose family was showcased recently in a very popular and successful sale at Turner Auctions. Jeanne was an avid collector as well, of antique clothing and jewelry. Together the couple enjoyed traveling, vintage car club rallies, and picnic gatherings.

Norman Lausten was a proud fifth-generation Californian, whose family has a notable history. His great-great grandfather Francis Drake Brown (1823-1903) was one of the earliest California Pioneers. Born in Missouri, he joined a 15-wagon train with 150 others, in 1846 at age 23, working as a scout in payment for his food and shelter. The trip, usually four to six months long, was said to be uneventful until the foot of California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range, where “they hit up against a hard hill to climb,” according to Mr. Brown’s diary, as reported in the 1911 Grizzly Bear magazine. Then after several days of unsuccessful attempts, they finally prevailed. Thanks to the good plans of a Methodist preacher and Buffalo Jones, long pine poles lashed together, 16 yoke of cattle, “and no furlough on “cussin’”, they reached the top in one day. 

Brown’s diary continued: “Three weeks later, the ill-fated Reed-Donner Party were snowed in at this camp” – “the saddest thing I ever looked upon…” While a party of 81 pioneers began the trip, only 45 were able to walk out alive after the horrific winter in the Sierra Nevada. The party was trapped by exceptionally heavy snow; when food ran out, some members of the group reportedly resorted to cannibalism of those already dead.

However, several weeks ahead of the snows that caused that tragedy, Brown’s weary party joyfully took sight of the Sacramento Valley on October 4, 1846: “There it lay in its beauty, the grandest valley in the whole world.”

Francis Brown’s remarkable adventures and achievements continued. Also in 1846, he fought in the Bear Flag Revolt under Colonel John C. Fremont; made his fortune in the 1949 Gold Rush; and became the first sheriff of Solano County in 1850. Over his lifetime, Brown made six subsequent trips back to Missouri buying and selling land, including one in 1848 to marry his sweetheart Frances, who bore him 10 children. In 1876, he settled in California and set up a 3,000-acre farming operation in Colusa County, where Francis said the Browns were “useful, true citizens.”

Here is information on the upcoming online sale (please see online auction and lot details in the online catalog):  

Lot 48:  Virginia & Truckee Railroad Directory, 1873-74. John F. Uhlhorn. Embracing a General Directory of Residents of Virginia City, Gold Hill, Silver City, Dayton, Carson, Franktown, Washoe City and Reno, Together with a Business Directory, Also An Appendix… Sacramento and San Francisco: H. S. Crocker & Co., 1873. About 52 pages of ads at front, and numerous throughout on colored paper. Condition Fair-Good; the front cover is detached (hanging by the string), with staining/soiling to paper on both covers; wear and losses to spine; more recent owner’s inscription/notes on front free endpaper and one front leaf with tape repair; toning/soiling mostly at edges; some dampstaining at edges. Estimate $2,000-$3,000. 

Lot 153:  Vintage Chanel Skirt Suit. A c. 1980s Chanel Boutique black skirt and jacket with a white satin collar, pockets, and cuffs; size 42. Each with Chanel tags and hangers; style numbers match. Overall good condition; some light soiling on edges of the collar. Estimate $600-$800. 

Lot 202:  Artist: John Francis Marsh (b. 1936). Title/Description: “Lincoln – Then and Now” (original art for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance 2008). Signature: Signed lower right. Date created: c. 2008. Medium/Ground: Watercolor and gouache on paper. Size: 15 1/2in x 22 1/2in (sight); 23in x 29 1/2in (frame). Condition: Good. Estimate $600-$800. 

Lot 139:  Egyptian Revival Beaded Embroidered Purse. The 1920s purse with a gold-toned frame decorated with “jewels” and celluloid blue “stones,” and a blue and gold embroidered, beaded, sequined pouch. 6 3/4in x 7 1/4in. Condition overall good, with a few small spots of missing or snagged beads; the lining has been replaced. Estimate $100-$200. 

Lot 226:  Japanese Buddha Shrine. The small gilt ebonized two-door niche with decorative hardware reveals the Buddha on an ornate lotus stand. 10 3/8in x 5in x 4 1/4in. Condition: The halo is present but loose; wear to gilt. Estimate $800-$1,200. 

Lot 260:  Leni Kuborn-Grothe Collar Necklace and Clip-Earring Set. Circa 1940’s, designed of cloth, faux pearl, sequins, and rhinestones; lengths: 14 and 1 1/4in. (several pearls loose/missing). Austrian Leni Kuborn-Grothe of Kitzbühel was well known as a designer for Christian Dior and Elsa Schiaparelli. Estimate $500-$800. 

Lot 25:  Observations on the Importance of the American Revolution, and The Means of making it a Benefit to the World. Boston: Powars and Willis, 1784 (first printed in London, 1784). 16mo (6 3/4in. x 4 1/8in.). Marbled paper cover booklet. Includes section at back (p. 71-87) titled “Advertisement,” comprised of an introduction by the author and the text of a letter by Turgot. The last page with addendum notes for pp. 6 and 45. Condition: Fair-Good; the paper covers with rubbing, fading, creases, edge wear, tears (one approx. 3/4-in. long, one 1/4in.); toning, foxing/dampstaining; the title page considerably toned and with dampstains; the last page with outer corners clipped/torn off. Penciled notation on inside front cover: “Howes p 585.” Estimate $500-$700. 

Lot 106:  1901 $10 Bison Note. Creased, soiled, at least one tiny edge tear. Estimate $200-$400. 

Lot 1:  King Large Format Camera with Tripod, c. 1900. Consists of the camera box with tripod attachment; marked “King / Rochester & Optical Co.” Includes the three-piece tripod stand; Gundlach Optical Co. lens/slide-in panel; four plate holders; box of dry plates; mirror; and wide angle lens (panel broken). Condition: The bellows with damage, many of the corners with old repairs; surface scuffing to wood; untested. Estimate $300-$500. 

Lot 224:  19th-Century Chinese Jade Belt Buckle. Very well carved 19th-century Chinese jade belt buckle – 3 /4 inch high x 4 wide x 1 deep. Estimate $500-$700. 

Lot 216:  Early Bicycle Lapel Buttons Collection. Bicycle club and promotional pins, consisting of 78 buttonhole rivet-backs, and four pinbacks. Brands include Victor, Super Ajax, Keating, Mars, Duquid, Shirk, Bellis, Aetna, Iver Johnson, Ben Hur, and others. Estimate $200-$400. 

Lot 297:  E. Howard GF Keystone Railroad Grade Pocketwatch. Circa 1912, open face, series 0, extra case, Masonic Free Masons logo stamped on case back, movement #1155350, 23j, special adjustment 5 positions including temperature, J Boss, Boston; 50mm dia. (very good condition). Estimate $300-$500. 

Lot 35:  Collection of Simplex Automobile Ephemera. The grouping is in a binder and includes approximately 25 pieces of original ephemera (such as letters, receipts, advertisements/illustrations); a Simplex pin and triangular metal plate (glued to paper); original photos of cars/ engines mostly c. 1960s-1980s, a few older (total approx. 55); a 38-page facsimile book, and contemporary clippings. Together with a photocopy of The Simplex Automobile Company book/catalog, and other related copied articles (housed in a binder). Estimate $100-$200. 



Based in South San Francisco, Turner Auctions + Appraisals was founded by Stephen Turner to expand and complement the capabilities of Stephen G. Turner Associates, an auction and appraisal consulting firm founded in 2004. Turner Auctions + Appraisals presents online auctions in diverse categories of personal property (www.turnerauctionsonline.com). Among them are Fine Arts, Decorative Arts, Asian Arts, Toys, Jewelry, Militaria, Ethnic Arts, and others. The company offers a range of auction and appraisal services for buyers, sellers, and collectors. Online auctions are held several times a month. Working with leading live and online auction houses on the West Coast since 1991, Turner is a professional appraiser of personal property and seasoned auctioneer. His areas of expertise include fine art, decorative arts, antiques & residential contents. The company welcomes consignments and appraisals.

For more information about the company, please contact:

Stephen Turner, President, Turner Auctions + Appraisals, 461 Littlefield Avenue, South San Francisco, CA 94080

415-964-5250 / [email protected] / www.turnerauctionsonline.com

For media inquiries or photos, please contact:  

Jill Turner, Rodin & Shelley Associates / 707-944-2433 /  [email protected]

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