Morphy Auctions acquires two Indiana-based auction houses

Morphy Auctions, based in Denver, Lancaster County, acquired Route 32 Auctions and the Indy Ad Show, to its organization.

Kevin and Jill Parker of Crawfordsville, Indiana, are the former owners of Route 32 Auctions and The Indy Ad Show. Route 32 Auctions was owned by the Parkers for the past five years, and The Indy Ad Show for the past four years.

Dan Morphy, the founder and president of Morphy Auctions, said dealing with the Parkers was one of the more enjoyable transactions he can recall since opening the gallery in 1997. 

“The Parkers have a genuine love for the types of antiques they sell and collect, and they are people of impeccable integrity,” said Morphy. “They’ve always run their businesses honestly and professionally, with an emphasis on treating all customers with respect. That’s exactly the way we strive to conduct ourselves at Morphy Auctions, so welcoming Route 32 and the legendary Indy Ad Show to our operation feels like branches of the same family coming together.”  

They will manage the show for the time being and Kevin will represent Morphy’s at major trade shows and expects to work on assignments with John Mihovetz, Morphy’s Automobilia and Petroliana Division Head. 

“Our talks with Morphy Auctions started when I mentioned in passing to John Mihovetz, who has been a friend for a long time, that we were thinking about selling our businesses,” said Kevin. “I had always felt that Morphy’s was a very respectable, high-end operation, with employees who have a positive outlook. They want to be there, doing the jobs they do.” 

Kevin recalls attending his first auction at Morphy’s and remembers, too, how welcoming Dan was. 

“I was a competitor, but he still invited me into his office for a chat, shook my hand and said, ‘If there’s ever anything I can do to help, let me know.’ So I asked John whether he thought Morphy’s might have an interest in our businesses. That got him excited, and he went to Dan and Tom (Tolworthy, Morphy’s CEO) with the idea. They were immediately on board.” 

Morphy Auctions’ Susquehanna Collection makes $2.3M

This Maximilian suit of armor sold for $270,600 at Morphy Auctions’ recent event. – PHOTO/PROVIDED

A Lancaster-area auction of Pennsylvania’s unique historical artifacts — from Revolutionary War firearms to Renaissance armor — totaled $2.3 million in sales last week.

Morphy Auctions’ Jan. 16 auction saw the sale of its 219-lot Susquehanna Collection. The collection included a pair of Revolutionary War flintlock pistols that sold above pre-sale estimates for $110,700 and an 18th century Kentucky rifle with a Pennsylvania State Seal on its patch box that sold above pre-sale estimates for $55,350.

But the most notable sale, says Morphy Auctions founder and President Dan Morphy, was of a suit of armor modeled after early 16th century styles that sold for $270,000. Standing at 75 inches tall, the suit was assembled in 1921 by Bashford Dean, then-president of the Arms and Armor Society of New York, using period elements to compose the historically accurate steel armor, according to Morphy Acutions.

“The suit of armor was a constant source of interest in the run-up to the sale and a very popular attraction at the preview,” Morphy said. “We were contacted by collectors from all over the world who wanted to bid on it. They were very familiar with its provenance and importance.”





Morphy Auctions ‘Susquehanna’ collection includes rifles, antique décor

Pennsylvania’s historical assets will be on full display at Morphy Auctions’ single-consignor auction event taking place Jan. 16 at Morphy’s Gallery in Denver, Pennsylvania, with estimates for the total value of the holdings ranging as high as $630,000.

The 220-lot “Susquehanna Collection” includes 18th century furniture, Revolutionary War long rifles, artwork and other antique items collected over the course of 40 years.

Guns are sold in pairs and collections, estimated from $40,000 to $100,000, event organizers say. Décor items and artwork are estimated to be in the range of $25,000 to $150,000 in value.

Morphy Auctions’ Susquehanna collection includes a pair of American Revolutionary War flintlock officer’s pistols, each inscribed for its original owner: ‘Robert Roberts 1775.’ Estimate $50,000-$100,000 PHOTO/PROVIDED BY MORPHY AUCTIONS

“There is no match for the quality of artistry and craftsmanship that emerged in the Susquehanna region,” said Morphy Auctions President Dan Morphy. “From gunsmiths to cabinetmakers, the bar was set very high. They used uncompromising Old World standards and techniques as the baseline for their distinctly American creations. This collection is a time-stopping showcase for what those talented artists and artisans produced, as well as other family treasures imported from Europe.”

Event organizers said they will accept bidding online at the Morphy Auctions website and remote bidding via livestream the day of the event.

Morphy Auctions to take over marketing for international gun show

The Las Vegas Antique Arms Show is one of the biggest events of the year for East Cocalico Township-based Morphy Auctions. The company has acquired a stake in the show’s production company to help sell it to younger collectors. (Photo-Submitted)

A Lancaster County antique auction house has acquired a stake in a popular Las Vegas firearms show with plans for marketing the show to a younger audience.

East Cocalico Township-based Morphy Auctions has sold antique guns at the Las Vegas Antique Arms Show for years.

As part of the deal, Morphy Auctions is buying a stake in California-based Beinfeld Productions and, in turn, will help the company with its marketing. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Morphy sells antique jewelry, toys, automobiles and more. But its focus in recent years has been on the antique gun market.

In 2017 the company acquired James D. Julia Inc., a Maine-based auction house specialized in antique firearm sales. After that, Morphy Auctions decide to put more of its time into gun sales and has since upped its presence in over 80 gun shows annually, according to Dan Morphy, president of Morphy Auctions.

One of them is the Las Vegas show, where Morphy Auctions has more than 20 of its employees making sales on the show floor. The Las Vegas Antique Arms Show attracts buyers and sellers from around the world.

“It’s the one venue where everyone makes a point to be at,” Morphy said.

The Las Vegas show has the added benefit of being a public event, which gives the auction house more exposure; other events are open only to sellers.

Beinfeld Productions did not disclose annual attendance at the three-day show, held in January, but noted that the event draws “thousands and thousands of people.” However, Morphy said, the industry at large is struggling to get younger collectors involved and interested.

“Think about technology, social media, new marketing and advertising strategies,” Morphy said. “If you don’t change with the times, you’ll be left in the dust.”

Morphy Auctions is in the process of creating a marketing plan for the show with a three-person team working on the project. According to Morphy, an in-house marketing team will yield better results than hiring an outside firm.

“I’ve hired three different marketing firms to help my company and none of them helped because they don’t understand the dealer’s mentality,” he said. “We are coming in already understanding the industry and the mentality of the collector and the dealer.”

Sarah Stoltzfus, director of marketing for Morphy Auctions, said marketing plan is expected to reach younger people.

“With the partnership with Morphy Auctions and the expanded reach we will have with the new marketing strategy, I think we will be able to attract new interest in the show and, hopefully, throughout the industry,” Stoltzfus said.

The show is expected to be held next year on February 28, 29 and March 1 due to a scheduling conflict but is planned to return to its usual mid to late January schedule in 2021.