Billy's 3 Most Prized Auction Items
What does Billy Leroy from Baggage Battles treasure most? These are the auction purchases that are closest to his heart.
1. French Cavalry Helmet & Breastplate
This heavy French cavalry helmet and breastplate is from 1845. It's very rare to find this set in such an untouched condition; it hasn’t been polished since it was out of service. When the French wore this into combat it was polished and bright … dressed to kill, I guess. The helmet has a long horsehair ponytail … this was not only decorative but also served the purpose of preventing a saber blow from chopping off the wearer. In today's market this matching numbered set can bring up to $8,000. I bought it in a New Jersey auction house called Manion's 20 years ago for $1,200.
2. World War I British Tankers Mask
This World War I British tankers mask is extremely rare. I bought it at a Toronto estate auction for $700. What’s so unique about this mask is its medieval appearance. It was worn by the crew of English tanks to prevent shrapnel wounds. I have only seen 2 in my life as an antique dealer, and it is worth $3,000 to $4,000.
This oversized taxidermy raven is in perfect condition, and has a wingspan of 33 inches. I bought it on eBay 12 years ago for $300. For some strange reason, ravens are hard to find, especially this size. My wife, being an Edgar Allan Poe fan, loves this raven. I have several offers from fellow dealers and collectors to buy the raven -- it’s worth $1,200 -- but my wife would kill me.
The auction specialists travel to Nashville, TN, where pop-culture memorabilia can be found everywhere. One buyer scores a "Golden Ticket" after finding a Willy Wonka candy bar.