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Einstein, Dolly Parton, Wolf Man & more up for bid in Gettysburg

Written by Dustin B. Levy/Hanover Evening Sun | Apr 14, 2017 5:00 PM
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Pa Onsite Auction Company will hold an auction of around 60 wax figures on May 13 at the Eisenhower Complex in Gettysburg, including a likeness of Albert Einstein. (Photo: Submitted)

(Gettysburg) -- Dolly Parton, Albert Einstein and Billy the Kid are coming to Gettysburg -- in wax form.

Gettysburg, fast becoming a hub of wax figure activity, will hold an auction for a Georgia museum on May 13 at the Eisenhower Complex in Gettysburg.

This comes after the January auction of wax figures from the Hall of Presidents and First Ladies in Gettysburg, which closed in November 2016. Pa OnSite Auction Company, which held that auction, will run this one as well.

Around 60 life-size wax figures have safely shipped from Warm Springs, Georgia to Gettysburg to be cataloged and prepared for auction, said Randy Dickensheets, the owner of Pa Onsite Auction Co.

The figures come from the Follow the Leaders Wax Museum, which opened in 2011. Preston Evans, the 73-year-old owner of the museum, decided to shutter earlier this year.

"My wife has kind of insisted that I retire because I'm getting old," he said. "I've worked all my life. I'm a workaholic."

Evans' museum focused on 20th century history, with pieces from silent film actor Rudolph Valentino to former President Richard Nixon.

Follow the Leaders Wax Museum in Warm Springs, Georgia is shipping around 60 wax figures to Gettysburg for an auction at the Eisenhower Complex on May 13. Dustin Levy, The Evening Sun

 

Most of Evans' "lifelike" pieces are the work of artist Katherine Stubergh, "the Madame Tussaud of the United States, you might say," according to Evans.

"If you sat with her, you were doing something," Dickensheets noted.

Like the last wax figure auction, this will feature several presidents and first ladies, including George Washington, Dwight Eisenhower, Jacqueline Kennedy and Mary Todd Lincoln.

In addition, the museum's wax figures of famous American military generals, Civil Rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Bunche as well as cultural icons like Parton, Davy Crockett and Billy Graham, will be auctioned off to the public.

"The most outstanding one" is the wax sculpture of Einstein, which the famous physicist modeled for Stubergh in person, Evans said.

"He actually sat with her," Dickensheets said. "She did the casting right there with his face and everything."

Apparently, Einstein was so impressed with the work he signed the nape of the figure's neck for Stubergh, Dickensheets said. He inscribed the figure with a note for her that reads, "Katherine, Much Thanks, Albert Einstein."

"People will be impressed," Dickensheets said. "(Stubergh) did a heckuva job on these."

The auction will also sell antiques from Evans and his wife, Lauretta's, personal collection, according to a news release.

Evans, an auctioneer himself, decided to solicit Dickensheets' services because of his company's reputation, specifically when it comes to wax figure auctions. Evans noted the several successful auctions of wax figures Dickensheets has managed and said he trusted their handling of his prized possessions.

The Hall of Presidents and First Ladies auction earned more than $200,000 in January. Pa Onsite Auction Co. ran a total of four wax figure auctions in the past four years, according to a news release.

"He just felt as if we have a good record," Dickensheets said.

This auction will feature the figures on display in the same ballroom where the event will be held. People can preview the figures the day before with expertise from the Follow the Leader Wax Museum's tour guide, Steve "the Storyteller" Layne.

The Georgia museum's figures, compared to ones sold at previous Gettysburg auctions, are of the highest quality, both Dickensheets and Evans noted.

"I think anybody that wants the best in them figures will find them right there," Evans said.

If you go

What: Follow the Leaders Wax Museum Auction

Where: Ballroom at the Eisenhower Complex in Gettysburg, 2634 Emmitsburg Road

When: 9 a.m., May 13. Doors will open at 7:30 a.m. An auction preview will be held May 12 from noon to 7 p.m.

For more information about this auction, call Randy Dickensheets of Pa. OnSite Auction Company, at 717-630-9349 or 717-451-5999.

This article is part of a partnership between WITF and the Hanover Evening Sun.

 

 

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