DENVER, Pa. – Morphy Auctions has been awarded a one-year contract to sell unclaimed valuables on behalf of the Pennsylvania Treasury’s Bureau of Unclaimed Property. The goods to be auctioned come from safe deposit boxes located throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and have been stored in the state treasury’s Finance Building vault in Harrisburg.
“There are more than 75,000 items to inventory. Going through it all is like an amazing treasure hunt that produces one surprise after another. People don’t put cheap things in their safe deposit boxes, and some of these items have been untouched in 20 years – that’s what you call ‘fresh to the market,’” said Dan Morphy, CEO of Morphy Auctions.
Morphy said he and an assistant have been assessing and hand-selecting 400 lots of items for inclusion in a Feb. 8-9 Fine & Decorative Arts sale. So far, there are bags of silver coins, precious-metal bars, 1,500 watches and timepieces by Rolex and other makers; antique firearms and swords; musical instruments, historical documents – including one signed by Benjamin Franklin – and a large selection of fine jewelry.
“There are diamond brooches that we’ve set aside for the February auction that will probably bring $10,000 to $20,000 apiece,” Morphy noted.
The contract between Morphy’s and the Pennsylvania Treasury’s Bureau of Unclaimed Property is renewable by mutual consent at the end of the first year.
“I’m very excited about being awarded this contract and have every hope that our arrangement with the Bureau of Unclaimed Property will become an ongoing one. Morphy’s has the knowledge, experience and capability to sell the types of valuables the Pennsylvania Treasury is entrusting to us, and by using the auction method, they will benefit the people of Pennsylvania. It’s a win-win all around,” Morphy said.
“This is the first live unclaimed property auction in more than a decade for Treasury, so we want to get it right, which is why we selected an auction house with a sterling worldwide reputation and one with a proven track record of getting the best price for valuable items,” Treasurer Rob McCord said. “Morphy Auctions lends us the expertise to properly evaluate and price the items from our vault, which enables our team to focus their efforts on the work to search and reunite the remaining property in our possession with its rightful owners.”
All Morphy auctions containing goods from the Pennsylvania Treasury will feature Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers.com.
To contact Morphy Auctions, call 717-335-3435.
View the fully illustrated catalog for Morphy’s Feb. 8-9 auction and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet at LiveAuctioneers.com.
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