From Maine Antique Digest, September 2022:

Cultivate Collectors’ Services, Columbus, Ohio
The Coffees’ Americana Auction

When the family of longtime buyers at
Garth’s Auctions approached Amelia
Jeffers early this year to create a legacy
appraisal, she was all in. “Roy and Jo Ann Coffee
of Ashley, Ohio, which is just outside of Delaware,
were wonderful collectors and friends of the
Porters, the former owners of Garth’s,” Jeffers
explained. “Their sons, Paul and Michael, were
seeking a legacy appraisal to commemorate the
collection and possibly even make a coffee-table
book of the items for their dad after Jo Ann had
passed. We got together and agreed on a start date
sometime in May of 2022.”

 

 

 

 


The couple’s home, a lovely 1860s brick house
with a small kitchen and a sun porch added later,
was filled with early Americana items acquired
during the Coffees’ lifetime. Jo Ann bought in
the 1970s and ’80s and acquired many beautiful
pieces. She had a philosophy that items from one’s
collection should be lived with, and that’s what
the Coffees did. With so much material to catalog,
this appraisal would take some time. When Roy’s
health took a sudden downturn, the family’s
priorities quickly shifted.
“When his health mandated a move to an assisted
living facility, Roy and his sons decided it would be
best to instead sell the collection,” Jeffers said. “So
the cataloging continued with a focus on creating
auction listings. That plan accelerated when the
Coffees’ house, which Roy put on the market this
past spring, went into contract very quickly. He
needed to get out of the house as soon as possible,
so it was crunch time to get the auction done.”
“I need to say, I would never, ever conduct an
Americana auction without placing ads in Maine
Antique Digest and The Bee,” Jeffers stated. “It
would never happen, but that’s exactly what
happened with the Coffee auction. There was no
time to advertise in the trade publications. When
it was determined the auction had to take place in
early June, I had already missed the advertising
deadlines.”
Jeffers relied instead on “guerrilla marketing”
to get the word out. “I pulled up contact lists and
sent out texts and mass emails, posted on social
media—anything and everything I could think
of to inform collectors of Americana and folk art
about the upcoming Coffee Americana auction.”
Time was of the essence, and there was little to
be had. What Jeffers did have, however, was her
people. “I have an amazing group of professionals
that freelance for me when I need the help, and I
really needed the help.” Canfield, Ohio, dealer,
show promoter, and jack-of-all-trades Steve
Sherhag jumped in. Jeffers’s kiddos—Abby, Ellie,
and Maddie—auction veterans in their own right,
took on a variety of jobs and worked the auction. “I
have an Ohio University film school student who
does photography for me,” Jeffers added. “It was
amazing how it all came together.”
Shoppers could begin leaving online bids June 1,
using either LiveAuctioneers or Invaluable (with a
25% buyer’s premium added); phone and absentee
bidding (with a 20% buyer’s premium) were also
available. Three days, June 5, 8, and 9, were also
set aside for in-person, by appointment previewing
of the auction items. This online-only event closed
June 10.
“I was up until midnight for a week pulling this
all together, but it is easy to do if you love it, and
I love it,” Jeffers stated with a smile. “It was crazy
but fun.”
The auction results were typical—strong in some

“It was amazing how

it all came together.”