Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Mummy Man's Auction

The Portland Press Herald ran a story today on its front page about the auction of Terry Lewis' mammoth antique collection [Source]. Lewis, who ran Nonesuch House Antiques, became the subject of international scrutiny when he attempted to sell a mummy, advertising in such publications as Uncle Henry's.

"Lewis acquired the mummy in 1992 at a museum liquidation sale in New Hampshire. The U.S. Customs Service placed a seizure order on the mummy, which prevented Lewis from selling it. The controversy, which was reported by various news media, ended in 1997 after two Egyptologists from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston inspected the unwrapped, blackened specimen and determined that it had no cultural value to Egypt." [Source] The mummy, according to the Wiscasset Newspaper, was sold to a museum in Canada.

Lewis died in June, and now, three months later, the Cyr Auction Company in Gray, Maine, will be selling off his collection of curiosities (mummy not included), as well as his old Colonial style home in Wiscasset, Maine. The auction takes place at 10:00am on Saturday, September 30th. Click here to see the advertising flyer put together for the auction, with many color photos (a PDF).

Among items included in the sale are "a plaster head of a British soldier who was killed in India, an old dugout canoe, ship models, paintings, duck decoys, tennis rackets, snowshoes and a hand-carved World War II vintage chair." Lewis' irascible sense of humor remains in the handwritten notes attached to many of the items' tags. "Take the three-hole wooden toilet seat, for instance.
Lewis's handwritten note lists its price as $135 and says, 'Usually in crappier condition. Most rare today.'"

If there is anyone who wants to e-mail me photos from the auction, it would be most appreciated, as I am going to be stuck at work all day! Please drop me a line at michelle.souliere[at] if you manage to snap some shots for the blog.


Katherine Morse said...

I am trying desperately to track down the mummy from Egypt that was my great grandfather's (Ira Morse). It was sold at an auction and made headlines in the New York Times and ended up in Maine. If someone knows where it ended up, please let me know along with anything else in the museum.

Katherine Morse said...

I am searching for the mummy from the Morse Museum in Warren, NH. It was auctioned off along with everything else and I am searching for the history and where everything went. I am the great granddaughter of Ira and Julie Morse. I know the mummy ended up in Maine and the man who had, may he RIP, but I want to know where it is since 2006. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Ben said...

Katherine did you find the mummy? I have an interesting story to tell you about the mummy if you are interested. BENL5@COX.NET