SCOTTS VALLEY -- The Slawinski Auction Co. turned into a museum on Saturday with dozens of people filing into the showroom to eye ancient Asian art pieces collected by the late George Ow Sr.
Several hundred valuable Asian antiques owned by the former real estate investor, who died in 2004 at age 84, will be sold at auctions that take place Sunday and Monday. The collection was available for public viewing on Saturday.
Word of the Ow art auction drew local folks curious about the Santa Cruz man's immense collection of vases, bowls and paintings created hundreds of years ago, many from his native country of China.
"I've lived in Scotts Valley pretty much my whole life and I've heard about the Ows," said Felton resident Kathy Hopping. "There's a little bit of history here. I think it's neat to see what he had."
A successful real estate career allowed Ow to amass a vast array of Asian art spanning 3,000 years of Chinese, Korean and Japanese history. After his death, Ow's family boxed up the thousands of antiques and stored them under the house until calling the Slawinskis this past summer.
Mary Clifford of Marina visited the auction house on Saturday, carefully viewing porcelain bowls behind a glass counter. She said she'll also be at the auction on Sunday, possibly putting in a bid if the price is reasonable.
"I just came to look," Clifford said. "I've lived in Europe and Japan. This is one place you can get some extraordinary
Highlights include a Shang Dynasty bronze wine vessel estimated to have been made around 1600 B.C. and a Neolithic clay pot.
Auction house owner Bob Slawinski said he's received several phone calls and emails from interested buyers. He's been busy providing condition reports on pieces to help potential buyers craft bids.
While some pieces are expected to fetch many thousands of dollars, Slawinski said you never truly know an item's value until it's on the auction block.
"The true appraisal is what someone is willing to pay for it," he said.
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If you go
LIFETIME COLLECTION OF GEORGE OW
WHEN: 11 a.m. Sunday and Monday
where: 1500 Green Hills Road, Scotts Valley