Prominent Coin-op Auction Houses, Victorian Casino Antiques
This 1904 Caille roulette floor machine is decorated with intricate repousse and nickel-plated ornaments. The William F. Harrah collection is the provenance. Victorian Casino Antiques, courtesy of Morphy Auctions
In the city of Denver, Pennsylvania. This week, Dan Morphy, the president and founder of Morphy Auctions in Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County, disclosed his company’s acquisition of the Las Vegas-based auction house, Victorian Casino Antiques (VCA). Morphy has always felt that a presence in the Western states was critical to his firm’s reputation as a national auction house, and this acquisition will help him achieve that goal.
Morphy declared, “We are now a coast-to-coast enterprise.” “Las Vegas is the playground of California and is merely a four-hour drive from Los Angeles.” Sellers and buyers on the west coast will appreciate the ease of access.
A Morphy Auctions company tagline will be added to Victorian Casino Antiques’ long-standing corporate moniker. VCA’s current 15-person workforce will remain in their current positions. More employees will be needed as the Las Vegas operation grows.
A broad range of auction services are offered by Morphy’s. Everything from fine and decorative art to furniture to antique weaponry to historic autos is for sale at our company, which just opened its newest segment. The city of Las Vegas is in need of an auction house that can handle a wide range of antiques and estate goods in addition to the specialties that Victorian Casino and Morphy’s share. It’s a win-win situation for both the local community and the consignors we serve, said Morphy.
VCA’s president since 2002, Peter Sidlow, 77, will remain in that position. One year after selling his business to Morphy, Sidlow says the transaction has revitalized him.
A top-notch company, Morphys, has hired me, and I’m excited to be a part of it. For the first time since joining the company, I’ll be primarily responsible for promoting the brand at trade exhibitions and securing consignments, “Sidlow stated.” ” “I’ve been collecting for over 70 years, and I’m able to bring in some fantastic collections due to the various contacts I’ve developed along the way.” I’ve tracked them down.
“A first-class team” is how Morphy described Sidlow and his crew.
Over the course of the years, I’ve grown to respect and admire Peter Sidlow. He knows a lot about a lot of things. Prior to acquiring the Victorian Casino, he had created one of the country’s most impressive classic vehicle collections. In addition, I admire Peter’s sales strategy. His employees are loyal to him because he treats them well. The combination of Morphy’s and Victorian Casino’s represents the pinnacle of a successful business model marriage. This merger will be a smooth one for us because we operate our businesses exactly how we always have.
By moving Peter away from the “nuts and bolts” of running Morphy’s Pennsylvania headquarters, Morphy says he will be able to meet with clients and talk to people at trade shows. “That’s how I changed my own role at Morphy’s Pennsylvania headquarters, and it made a very positive and tangible difference,” he said.
At least three to four auctions are held annually at the VCA, with a wide variety of artifacts from coin-op machines to antique advertising, jukeboxes, gameroom accessories, and novelties. In contrast to the growing trend seen around the country, VCA’s auctions consistently draw big crowds of buyers.
In spite of the fact that online auctions are becoming more and more popular, “we’ve continued to attract live crowds because people consider Las Vegas as a destination,” said Sidlow. It’s true that many come to Las Vegas primarily to participate in the auction, but they also stay to take advantage of the city’s many other attractions. All VCA/Morphy auction events will be accessible via phone, absentee or any of five online-bidding platforms, including Morphy Live, for bidders who cannot attend in person.
Victorian Casino and Morphy Auctions are teaming up for the first time this year for an auction to be held from September 19-21, 2014. Around 100 antique and vintage gaming machines from the legendary collection of William F. Harrah (1911-1978), creator of Harrah’s Hotel and Casinos, will be sold as part of the 1,700-lot auction. Caesars Entertainment Corporation purchased the collection from Harrah’s Corporation after Bill Harrah’s death. Caesar’s executive offices showed some of the equipment, while others were stored away. Recently, VCA purchased the collection, particularly to be auctioned in September.
“The thrill value is really significant,” said Sidlow of the Harrah’s collection that will be auctioned off. There’s nothing like Harrah’s. A 1904 Caille roulette floor machine is one of the collection’s attractions and might sell for between $150,000 and $250,000.
There will be a coin-op and an ad sale in Morphy’s Las Vegas gallery January 24-25. Also in Las Vegas, the company’s first West Coast Classic Car Auction is set for March 2015. Auctions focusing on antique firearms and fine and decorative art are in the works for the Vegas gallery.