BRISTOL - What does it take to make it in Bristol as a businessman? For Tim Chapulis, it’s a passion for finding old treasures and reminding people that not everything has to be a do-it-yourself project.
Tim’s Inc. Auctions is celebrating its 25th year in Bristol and 38 years in the business of preserving and selling history - items, houses, cars and more that people no longer need or want. When families want to downsize, sell their home or a family member has passed away and left their estate for their children to liquidate, Tim’s Inc. Auctions helps with the whole process of clearing it out.
“I love discovering things that families think nobody in their right mind would want. Usually those are the things that people really fall in love with,” Chapulis said. “Some people don’t understand it.”
Many of the items sold by Tim’s Inc. Auctions were saved by grandparents during hard times, such as the Great Depression era, when people saved everything and items were kept because they were “near and dear to their heart.” At one recent auction, Chapulis auctioned off an old railroad lantern for almost $1,000.
“That’s because somebody out in the world fell in love with the lantern more than anybody else did,” Chapulis said.
Another woman had a book that was worth $25,000 sitting on a bookshelf upstairs that she wanted to get rid of.
These days, many people rent dumpsters when they are clearing out a house and throw some of the best things away, Chapulis said.
Some of his favorite pieces that clients want to get rid of are Victorian era marble-top furniture and rosewood and antique clocks.
“There’s nothing like going into an attic after years with all the cobwebs. Most people would think that’s dirty and unfresh, but for us those items are fresh and right out of the attic for people to love. Attics have old train sets, china dolls, a trunk or two with a whole life of vintage clothes, books, family albums, photos. This is what people want today,” Chapulis said.