BRISTOL - Sitting quietly beside her son with a clipboard on her lap, Helen Chapulis watched him work, a proud mother.
The 86-year-old matriarch still helps her son Tim Chapulis, owner of Tim’s Inc. Auctions. She and her husband, Peter, raised him in the auction business, a legacy he has built upon over the last 40 years.
“At eight years old he started,” Helen said, a smile widening on her face. “He followed us with the business, then took it over after high school.”
Things run much differently now than they did then, with most auctions taking place online instead of in person.
One aspect that hasn’t changed? The Chapulis family is still in the business of preserving and selling history.
On Sunday Tim’s Inc. held its Summer Extravaganza, an auction featuring items from several different estates. Bidders vied for Native American art, bear traps, clocks and taxidermy, as well as a Triumph TR-7.
“We have people from 14 different countries bidding in today’s auction,” Tim said a few minutes before the event was set to begin.
A few thousand people registered to bid, hailing from all over the U.S. and the world.
Attorney Charles Brower offered up several collections from his home, which included southwestern relics and a John Deere lawnmower.
Local residents with large estates hire Chapulis to auction off items they no longer need or want. Families whose loved ones have passed away also use the company.
Bristol native Raymond Larson’s possessions were among those auctioned off Sunday.
Rare antique bear traps were highly sought after by bidders, in addition to timepieces from famed local clockmaker Eli Terry.
“He was a hunter, trapper and fisherman,” Tim explained. “He put his collection together 40, 50 years ago when you could actually find these items. You can’t find them anymore.”
Helen registered bidders ahead of the event and checked his work as the bids started coming in. Mother and son were assisted by Tracy Martin and Christopher Pierwola, each of whom collected bids from separate computer consoles.
“I have the easy job,” Helen said with a laugh.
Tim’s Inc. Auctions celebrated its 25th anniversary in Bristol this year. The business has been around for 38 years.
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at 860-801-5097 or firstname.lastname@example.org.