SUCCESS STORY | THE WITTLIFF COLLECTIONS AT TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY

Shattuck auctioneers and appraisers recover top value for university

The Challenge

The Wittliff Collections at Texas State University’s library found itself needing to sell a valuable, sizeable collection of cameras, video cameras and camera accessories dating from the early 1900s to the 1970s. The collection was comprised of more than 850 pieces in total, each requiring careful preservation and handling. The contracted auctioneer for Texas State’s surplus property since 2007, Shattuck handled the sale of the inventory by public auction.

The Insight

Shattuck immediately kicked planning and coordination into gear, working closely with Texas State’s materials management team. To better preserve the pieces of the collection and limit the number of people who would be handling these valuable items, Shattuck took possession of the collection, opting to store and conduct the auction at its climate-controlled warehouse and showroom. Over the course of several days, Shattuck’s field services team carefully and methodically transported the collection from San Marcos to Shattuck’s premises in Austin.

Because the inventory boasted rare and limited-edition cameras including a WWII camera, 35MM film rolls and lantern slides, Shattuck’s appraisal team verified item history and value to appropriately group the items in auction lots. Shattuck’s marketing team then began raising awareness for the public preview and online auction of the collection, reaching a targeted list of camera industry enthusiasts. Promotions also went out to Shattuck’s 20,000+ registered bidders, attracting buyers at regional and national levels.

The Results

By thoroughly investigating and verifying item authenticity, Shattuck was able to assess the value of the collection and promote it in the most effective manner possible. As a result, Shattuck achieved record-breaking attendance at its public preview, fetching more than $36,000 for the collection – a significantly higher return than anyone had anticipated.

To this day, Shattuck remains the contracted auctioneer for Texas State’s surplus property.

at a glance

When Texas State University was bequeathed a significant camera collection for its library’s Wittliff Collections, it could neither find the appropriate fit within its archives nor the adequate space to showcase the items.

Choosing to divest the collection, Texas State was left to sell off the rare assortment of items, a collection of several hundred valuable pieces.

Given Texas State’s longstanding relationship with Shattuck, the university was confident in Shattuck’s ability to prepare the camera collection for public auction.

Shattuck investigated and verified the authenticity of each piece and initiated highly-targeted marketing efforts to bring buyers to a public preview event.

Record-breaking attendance was achieved, generating more than $36,000 in sales.