Somerset County News

Bodnar Auctions Unlocks Time Capsule of Museum-Quality New Jersey Americana Collected by Navy Seal

54bb7086d076ea2b109c_kazarsomervillemap.JPG
Civil War-era map of Somerville. Credits: Rod Hirsch
6d76b4bf618a58f30946_kazarsomervillemapbig.JPG
Civil War-era map of Somerville. Credits: Rod Hirsch
c4df09ea36a0c1037bf5_kazardrumlot.JPG
One of the highlights in the sale is a lot that includes the personal belongings of Demarest Gordon, a Civil War drummer from New Jersey. Credits: Rod Hirsch
04d4b122b0851bd830f7_kazardrum.JPG
The Civil War drum of Demarest Gordon, a Civil War soldier from New Jersey. Credits: Rod Hirsch
f3bd01fa9ad52f3d3c15_kazardischargepapers.JPG
The discharge papers of Demarest Gordon, a Civil War drummer from New Jersey. Credits: Rod Hirsch
2ff90f4dd706d0677b08_kazarnjpitcher.JPG
The New Jersey state seal adorns this transferware pitcher from 1893. Credits: Rod Hirsch
30af554b3dc01d722dc8_kazarpitcherhudsondemorats.JPG
Transferware pitcher from 1893. Credits: Rod Hirsch
5cf425d962f5e9c4486e_kazarquiltdate.JPG
Handmade quilt from Millstone, NJ is dated 1846. Credits: Rod Hirsch
edbbaa0775678d18d097_kazarswordgrip.JPG
Intricate castings and engravings characterize each of the 26 Civil War officer presentation swords that will be sold at the Dec. 3 auction. Credits: Rod Hirsch
54bb7086d076ea2b109c_kazarsomervillemap.JPG

 

EDISON, NJ - A museum-quality sale of New Jersey Americana accumulated over a lifetime by a former Navy Seal will be sold at no reserve during Bodnar Auction’s Dec. 3 sale at the New Jersey Convention & Exposition Center.

Separate and apart from the Navy Seal’s collection are 46 vintage maps from a separate estate, including 19th-century maps of Somerville and Hillsborough.

More than 600 lots are included in the catalog sale,  including mint condition bank notes, engraved Civil War presentation swords, regimental Civil War flags carried in battle, backpacks, trunks, late 19th-century reunion ribbons, medals, discharge papers,  documents signed by Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Edison, a place setting of President Woodrow Wilson’s White House china, signed colonial-era silver with silversmith’s markings;  coins, pocket watches and transferware – teapots, soup tureens, water pitchers, wash pitchers and other pieces featuring iconic New Jersey sites and scenery.

Sign Up for E-News

A California collector called auctioneer Joe Bodnar after scanning advertising for the auction and offered to pay six figures for the entire collection, an offer that could not be entertained because of legalities and Bodnar’s commitment to the Bill Kazar estate.

Items in the sale date from the 1750s through the early 20th century.

Kazar was a proud American and proud veteran, a US Navy Commander and member of the elite Navy Seals. He had an eye for top-quality items and was a regular at high-profile auctions in the metropolitan New York area. He was also a member of Bodnar’s staff for many years, acquiring his taste for antiques and respect for history from his parents, who owned an antiques store in New Brunswick.

He had a penchant for historically-significant artifacts made in or having to do with New Jersey – bank notes from 19th-century New Brunswick banks; bowls and pitchers depicting Passaic Falls and the Passaic River; stoneware jugs from Johnson&Johnson, headquartered in New Brunswick; sterling silver drinking cups and other silver items crafted by New Jersey silversmiths; a collection of 26 Civil War-era presentation swords, each one documented, with provenance and photos of the officers who owned the weapons, all of them from New Jersey; photographs and signed documents belonging to veterans of the Civil War, and more.

All items are well-documented. Some include pages from catalogs where he had purchased items in his collection.

His modest New Jersey home, not far from the auction site, was crammed and stacked to the ceilings, a suburban time capsule bursting at the seams; every room was brimming with artifacts deserving of display in a museum, according to Bodnar.

Adding to the value of each item in the sale is the story attached to the lot; Kazar was a meticulous record keeper.

One of the highlights in the sale is a lot that includes the personal belongings of Demarest Gordon, a Civil War drummer from New Jersey. It includes his drum, drumsticks, partial uniform, discharge papers and a charcoal drawing of Demarest wearing the uniform jacket that will be sold to the highest bidder.

The catalog description reads:

Estimate: $1,500 - $3,000

Description: Demarest Gordon was mustered in on Sept 3, 1862 and was mustered out on June 27, 1863. The snare drum is wood with D Gordon stenciled around the peephole and just above the J W Pepper & Sons, Phila label. Is in very good condition with replaced ropes but the tighteners are in good condition. The coatee is blue with black piping and has large CW eagle buttons. His name is written in the inside pocket. It is in very good condition with the piping coming loose around the collar and in one spot, and a few tears to the lining. There are no moth holes to the jacket. The charcoal picture shows him holding the drum and wearing the coatee. The record of service is an Eagle Monument Association lithograph and has split near the middle.

The sale will be Saturday, Dec. 3, beginning at 10 a.m. The Kazar catalog sale begins at 11 a.m.

Previews are Friday, Dec. 2, 1-6 p.m. and 9:30 a.m. the day of the sale.

The 600-lot Kazar collection can be viewed online, complete with photos and a full description with estimated values and opening bids at:

https://connect.invaluable.com/bodnar/auction-catalog/New-Jersey-Historical-Collection-of-William-Kazar_KO9ZCEH2WX/

The catalog can also be accessed through a link on Bodnar’s website:

http://www.bodnarsauction.com/preview-the-december-3-sale

The New Jersey Convention & Exposition Center is in Raritan Center at 97 Sunfield Blvd., accessible off the New Jersey Turnpike Exit 10 and Route 287. The main entrance to Raritan Center is off Woodbridge Avenue.

Further information is available online at www.bodnarauctions.com or by calling (732) 951-2100 or (866) 349-7378.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Basking Ridge

Somerville Approves 40-Acre Transit Village with Route 206 Gateway

May 13, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Somerset Station, an expansive Transit Village featuring apartments, townhouses, retail stores and a community center alongside the NJ Transit Raritan Valley line - with an interior roadway providing access to Route 206 - was given site plan and subdivision approvals by the Planning Board following a 3 ½-hour meeting Wednesday night.

The final application is based ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, May 21, 9:00 AM

Dunellen

Spring Market , Craft & Vendor Show

Other

Mon, May 21, 6:00 PM

The Palace at Somerset Park, Somerset

Taste of Somerset 2018

Food & Drink Giving Back

Mon, May 21, 7:00 PM

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills, Somerville

Meta Performs ‘Dismantling the Racism Machine’: ...

Giving Back Other

Kids Can Change The World

May 19, 2018

Karen De La Maza is the founder of “Kids Can Change The World”, a program designed to instill humane values in children while developing essential life skills and positive leadership. Karen and her family relocated to NJ from her native Mexico City in 2008 for her husband’s job.

Karen has always had a strong passion for helping people in need. With ten years of experience in ...

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!