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Framed historic maps filled the walls of Jeff Sahadi's Oakland hills home, including a large Oakland vicinity map rendered in 1868.

OAKLAND -- During 30 years in business on Piedmont Avenue, Jeff Sahadi earned a reputation as a talented and artistic jewelry designer, a dedicated professional with a passion for his craft.

Sahadi developed an equal passion for collecting, especially for items that pertained to the history of Oakland and its surrounding communities.

Sahadi died on Oct. 9, just five days after turning 62. Though many mourn the loss, memories of Sahadi surely will come alive again this weekend when the items from his collection go up for auction at Clars Auction Gallery.

Some items will auction on Saturday, though the majority will go up for auction Sunday.

Jeff Sahadiís collection up for auction includes important historic documents such as this letter from pioneer Joaquin Miller. (Clars Auction Gallery )
Jeff Sahadiís collection up for auction includes important historic documents such as this letter from pioneer Joaquin Miller. (Clars Auction Gallery )

"I've never seen an Oakland collection like it," said Clars president Redge Martin, who had known Sahadi for 20 years.

"Whenever we got something about Oakland, he told us to let him know.

He was as passionate about this as he was about jewelry design."

Sahadi's Oakland hills home often seemed like a museum to visitors.

Most of his collection, accumulated in a span of more than three decades, dates to the late 19th or early 20th century, the vast majority of it connected to Oakland and surrounding East Bay communities.

Born Oct. 4, 1951, at Oakland's Providence Hospital, Jeffrey Charles Sahadi gained an appreciation for the East Bay at an early age.


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A graduate of Sacred Heart School in Oakland, Sahadi went on to St. Mary's High School in Berkeley.

When his family moved to Alameda, Sahadi transferred to Alameda High, from which he graduated in 1969.

Through Laney College and Cal State University Hayward (as the school then was known), art remained Sahadi's main focus.

Judging from his collection, Sahadi had a love for history, too.

Not all of his collection has a local theme --Sahadi had a photo of Ulysses S. Grant as a Union Army general (up for auction Sunday) -- and most of Saturday's auction items are pretty generic.

But collectors of old license plates, bottles and miniature replica metal vehicles will find a lot to like.

As for Sunday's items, Sahadi enjoyed old atlases and telephone directories.

He also had framed maps, one of which shows Oakland and Alameda as they were before dredging of the estuary separated the cities in the early 20th century.

Prospective bidders will find plenty of photos, too -- all in black and white, of course.

Given this area's proximity to water, many of the shots are of ships.

One view of an Oakland pier makes it seem stranded in the middle of San Francisco Bay.

As with many Oakland history aficionados, Sahadi had an interest in Joaquin Miller, the poet, traveler, explorer and pioneer.

A photo of Miller sits in one display with a framed letter written by him, dated Dec. 15, 1896, nearby.

Sports fans will find a few items of interest, particularly photos of baseball teams.

Fans of the old Pacific Coast League surely will appreciate one of the more modern pieces, a team photo of the Oakland Oaks.

Though no date appeared on the display, the photo is likely that of the 1951 Oaks, given the presence of Artie Wilson and Johnny Vander Meer.

Wilson, an African-American who integrated the Oaks in 1949 and was instrumental in the team's race to the 1950 league title, played his final year with the Oaks in 1951.

And Vander Meer -- a lefty pitcher best known for throwing consecutive no-hitters for Cincinnati in 1938 -- played his only year with Oakland in 1951.

Hall of Famer Mel Ott managed the team that year and fellow Hall of Famer George "Highpockets" Kelly served as a coach.

FYI
The Clars Auction Gallery is at 5644 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. In addition to the Jeff Sahadi collection, the auction will include items from other consignors.
Previews take place from 1 to 6 p.m. Friday and beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Saturday's auction begins at 9:30 a.m., and Sunday's at 10 a.m.
Bidding can take place in person, by phone, via absentee or live online at www.clars.com, or through www.liveauctioneers.com or www.artfact.com. For more information, contact Cristina Campion at 510-428-0100 or Cristina@clars.com.