Final Federated Church Auction Breaks All Prior Records

Chair artisan and auction co-chair Tim Bardsley (blue tee shirt) celebrates with successful bidders Jessica Klein (left), who bid on the Sturbridge chair on behalf of Beverly Leaman, of Lancaster, PA; Andrew Allt of Sturbridge (center left), winner of the second Sturbridge chair and Karen Schoch, of Henniker, NH (center right), winner of the Publick House Chair. Ms. Schoch has been attending the auction annually since 1991 and has three additional Sturbridge chairs at home. Ann Maher, of Sturbridge (right) took home Publick House chair #50.

Bidding was hot and heavy at the 71st and Final Federated Church of Sturbridge and Fiskdale Antique Auction on the Sturbridge Common with the Sturbridge Chairs (#27 and #28 in the series) and The Publick House Chairs (#50 and #51 in the series) breaking all previous records, according to auction co-chairs Tim Bardsley and Bob Cordell.

“We had an outstanding day,” said Cordell. “The auction attracted a wonderful crowd that was ready to bid, the weather held out, and a number of items brought record prices!”

The enthusiastic audience hollered and cheered as auctioneer Gwen Carbone, of Robert E, Glass Auctioneers, deftly negotiated the price on both chairs to new heights with obvious emotion in her voice. When the dust settled, the two Sturbridge chairs sold for a new record for this series of $5,000 apiece, more than doubling the previous record of $1,900 set in 2019. The Publick House Chairs set another new record, selling for $3,000 apiece, beating the previous record price of $2,500, also set in 2019.

These highly prized chairs, artfully restored and decorated in bronze and gold powder stenciling with a lovely Sturbridge or Publick House scene by auction artisans Tim Bardsley and Brian Rhea, are part of a limited series with only one of each produced each year and they are only available at the Federated Church annual auction. Due to the pandemic-related cancellation of last year’s auction, two chairs were up for sale during this final auction.

Total sales for the final auction also set a new record, according to Bardsley. Previously, the top three revenue-producing auctions were the 70th, the 60th, and the 50th.

“We are extremely grateful to everyone who contributed in any way to our 71st and final auction,” he said. “Everybody had a part to play, and every part is important. Volunteers, donors, bidders, local businesses. God blessed us richly and we will be forever grateful.”

To watch a video of the exciting bidding online, visit the Federated Church of Sturbridge and Fiskdale Facebook page at

Federated Church of Sturbridge and Fiskdale to host 71st and Final Annual Auction

STURBRIDGE, MA – The Federated Church of Sturbridge and Fiskdale will hold its 71st and final Annual Antique Auction on Saturday, August 14, 2021, on the beautiful Sturbridge Common across from the landmark Publick House Historic Inn. The auction will be held, rain or shine, under tent, with a preview of items to be sold beginning at 9:00 a.m. and bidding starting promptly at 10:00 a.m.

A real old fashioned country auction, this event is known as the longest annually held church auction in the nation, according to auction committee chair, Tim Bardsley. Items up for bid include an assortment of antique items and collectibles donated by church and community members, many in original condition and some lovingly restored by local artisans.

As in prior years, any bidder whose purchases total $500 or more will receive dinner for two courtesy of The Publick House Historic Inn and Restaurant. Bidders whose purchases total $1,000 or more, will receive one night of lodging and dinner for two.

A highlight of the auction is the sale of two featured decorated chairs. As a special feature of this year’s auction, the Church will be auctioning off two of each chair – the Sturbridge Chair (#27 and #28 in the series) and The Publick House Chair (#49 and #50 in the series) – instead of the usual two because last year’s auction had to be canceled due to the pandemic.

These highly prized items, which always command a lot of attention, are decorated in bronze powder stenciling with a lovely Sturbridge or Publick House scene. The chairs are part of a limited series with only one of each produced each year and they are only available at the Federated Church annual auction.

The event also includes a silent auction featuring gift baskets, handmade crafts, gift certificates from local vendors, a bake sale and food booth. The auction is handicapped accessible and open to the general public free of charge with ample free parking around the Common and the Church.

The auction is being conducted for the 47th year in a row by the highly professional and entertaining Robert Glass Jr. and Gwen Glass Carbone of the Robert H. Glass family of auctioneers. For more information, please call the Church office at (508) 347-3915 or email