SAN FRANCISCO – Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to present strategy board games from the Estate of Peter Dean, Part I, on June 26. Offering more than 325 lots from a passionate collector who captured his treasures during the course of 30 years, the sale features themed strategy board games of fantasy, sci-fi, history, wars, and battles. Most are unopened; many are collector’s or special editions. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
Peter Dean (1974-2020) was, in the current and best sense of the word, a geek – that is, an expert or enthusiast obsessed with a hobby or intellectual pursuit and with the newest, coolest, trendiest things that their subject has to offer. Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, he was interested – and skilled – in computers from an early age; in fifth grade, for example, he was pulled out of his classroom on occasion by the principal to help run the school’s computer system. Peter graduated with honors from the University of Manitoba in computer science. When his parents – Dr. James Dean, a professor of economics, and Dr. Ruth Dean, a professor of nursing, both at the University of Manitoba – encouraged him to continue his education with a graduate degree, he told them that, for his interest area of software development, a university was not the place to be, but high-tech business was. According to his father, “Peter said the interesting things were being done in industry.”
Peter began his career working for several companies in Western Canada. Interestingly, potential employers thought he already had a graduate degree because he had published a paper as an undergraduate and held several patents in his field of Search. After a time, however, he sought a larger pool of creative, like-minded people, and was drawn to Silicon Valley in Northern California – the nexus and epicenter of high-tech innovation, excitement, and activity. After working briefly for several start-ups there, he joined Amazon as a software developer in areas devoted to Search. Amazon’s corporate culture valued and encouraged straight speaking and forceful views until a decision was made, when all were to become team players. This was an ideal fit for Peter, and he spent most of his career there. Tragically, in 2020, his life was cut short by cancer.
Peter was an avid collector of strategy board games (this sale is Part I, with others to come) and fantasy miniatures (also to come) for more than 30 years. His interest began at around age 12, beginning with Dungeons & Dragons, then moving to Axis & Allies. This was the first major strategy game he played, and it got him hooked. He became an early adopter of strategy games and extensions; with new games, he would study them and share information, often purchasing them from Kickstarter, a funding platform that helps creative projects come to life. Others he purchased online from game manufacturers such as GMT Games, usually wanting the first copy.
Acquiring hundreds of choice games in the span of three decades, Peter would play, usually with five to ten people, in game groups, his home, or at Amazon after work. While many games were overtly competitive, some were cooperative. In any case, Peter was a consistent winner and notoriously hard to beat. Despite his cancer diagnosis three years ago and subsequent chemotherapy treatments, he continued to play his board games twice a week until the pandemic hit, when his group of gamers went online. Throughout his illness, thanks to his collecting passions and razor-sharp mind, Peter lived his life to the fullest – acquiring, playing, and winning. Now his collections are being offered to others who can enjoy them with the same zeal and pleasure as he enjoyed.
Highlights of the sale include the Battle for Berlin, which was published by Bolt Action, and carries an estimate of $200 – $300. Also of note are:
Lot 30: The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies: Collector’s Edition, number 303 of 1500. Its publisher is Ares Games, and its estimate is $200 – $400.
Lot 2: Star Craft: The Board Game. Published by Fantasy Flight Games, it is estimated at $100 – $200.
Lot 272: Sealed copy of Star Wars: Legion, published by Fantasy Flight Games and estimated at $30 – $50.
Lot 14: A group of Para Bellum Conquest games, among them Conquest – the Last Argument of Kings, The Spires Force Grown Drones Regiment Expansion Set (two copies), The Spires – Vanguard Clones Expansion Set (two sealed copies), a sealed copy of The Spires – Marksman Clones Expansion Set, a sealed High Clone Executor, a sealed Biomancer, and a Mimetic Assassin with a sealed Assault Preceptor. The group carries an estimate of $100 – $200.
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