For more than 25 years Art Heritage of Delaware County, Ind., collected farm items. Yet, his cast-iron seat collection brought him widespread attention even after his death. That collection will be available to bidders at the Art and Martha Heritage public estate auction on May 10, 2003, at the Delaware Fairgrounds in Muncie, Ind. "The collection is probably the premier cast iron seat collection in the country," Kenneth Ellenberger, president of Ellenberger Brothers Inc. Auctioneers says. The Heritage collection includes about 500 cast iron seats - one of the most complete and unique in the world.
The assembled collection is special in part because of Art's friendship with John D. Friedly, Jr., author of Cast Iron Seats V, which features a selection of Heritage-owned seats. Some seat styles for sale have never been sold and will set benchmark standards for their respective varieties. A handful of the seats are rated as "10" (very rare) or higher in Friedly's book, which makes them extremely desirable to seat collectors. The collection will include seats from across the United States, Europe and Canada.
A preview of the seat collection will be held on Friday, May 9 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Some of the seats for sale include a #123 Blount, No. 10; #125 Boby, No. 9; #418 Forlows Stalk Cutter, No. 10; #968 Springfield M'F'G' Co., No. 10; #227 Chapman, Donnelly & Co., Lima, Ohio, No. 10; #24 Aetna, No. 10; and #228 Charmer, No. 10 1/2. Thirty two cast iron hog oilers will also be sold.
Other Heritage-owned valuables will be sold, including antique furniture, machinist tools, autos, a coin collection, an International Harvester 574 tractor with loader and more. The main auction will be held on May 9 at 10 a.m., a separate event from the seat auction.
"Just the fact that this is Art Heritage's sale will interest people since he was such a prominent collector," Charolette Traxler, secretary of the Cast Iron Seat Collectors says. Heritage was a long-time member of the Cast Iron Seat Collectors and a retired tool and die machinist in Muncie, Ind. FC