Hearne: Son Pulls Plug on Former KC Mayor’s Estate Sale, Hundreds Hung Out to Dry

Scratch one absolutely fabulous and historic estate sale…

Just like that, the executor of the estate of former KC Mayor Ilus W Davis and his wife, civic leader Bea Davis put the kibosh late last week on one of what would surely have been one of the grandest estate sales in recent Kansas City history.

"I was on my way over there when I got the email that it had been cancelled," says former Shawnee Councilwoman Tracy Thomas. "I was hoping to see if he had any mayoral memorabilia or maybe a copy of the Doubleday book I wrote with Walt Bodine that mentioned mayor Davis."

‘It was a helluva sale – not," says estate sale pro Kathe Kaul, who was quarterbacking the grand event. "I don’t want to say much more."

Then again…

So what happened?

"Well, the executor decide to pull back and not sell (some of) the things that were listed for sale," Kaul explains. "He wanted to retain many of the items, which is not allowed as you know…And there were 150 people waiting to get in and we had undercover and off-duty police officers and a dozen staffers."

The number of items up for grabs:

"Well, in addition to 1,300 books, I don’t know, it’s hard to say," Kaul says. "But I’d say, probably 500 other individual items that were tagged and appraised."

As for what the executor – son/author/bon vivant Chris Davis – wanted to keep, "For example, he wanted to keep the entire collection of books," Kaul says. "All 1,300 of them and we had every book open and tagged."

That after Kaul spent days and more than 100 hours researching, putting together and staging the event at the mayor’s Ward Parkway area home at 1001 West 59th Terrace in Kansas City, Missouri.

Items slated to be sold at the two day event include, "Fine 20th Century Art" like a "Pablo Picasso – Spanish/French, 1881-1973 – Femmeaux long cheveux (Franoise Gilot), lithograph…signed lower right in pencil" and Japanese artist Kikugawa Eizan‘s Five Holidays of a Green House.

"Fine Antique Furniture" ranged from a "Late 18th century Irish mahogany drop-leaf gate leg wake table, rounded rectangular single board top flanked by two hinged demilune drop leaves" to a "Tibetan polychrome pine & oak cabinet" and a "Venetian bombe chest with chinoiserie painted decoration & trompe l’oeil marble top."

Other upscale items of interest included a pair of Altec-Lansing "Voice of the Theater" A4 speakers, an "Apricot suede tuxedo loveseat" – even a "painted & silvered double bombe commode."

Double bombe…now that’s what I call toilet!

Needless to say, the list goes on and on ranging from fine jewelry, china and crystal, expensive rugs, statuary and "tribal, primitive & other collectibles."

In other words, it was HUGE!

But in the world of estate sales, Kaul says, it’s a no-no to advertise items that are not for sale.

"Not when those items were the things people came in for," she explains.

Kaul’s take on getting her world rocked and the sale torpedoed 15 minutes prior to opening?

"Oh, I’m disappointed," she says diplomatically. "But you know, I have other sales coming up and they’ll be good sales and I know I operated with integrity. Nobody was mad at me, but they were quite disturbed it was cancelled at the last minute. And some of them had driven in 150 miles and other waited two or three hours for it to begin."

Davis was reportedly in California, preparing to be married this week and could not be reached.

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10 Responses to Hearne: Son Pulls Plug on Former KC Mayor’s Estate Sale, Hundreds Hung Out to Dry

  1. E State says:

    I am just gald to see that “the real” hearne is back….. even if it means douchey glazer is back too.

    Estate sales are sad. I used to check a couple out, but man….., it juts bums me out to see all this cool stuff some man collected over his life, and now it is juts laid out for strangers to come in and touch and grab and try to buy for peniies on the Dollar…. it just seems sad, such a waste of collecting


  2. kcmonarch says:

    where was hearne
    and who was filling in?

  3. chuck says:

    Altec Lansing speakers suck.
    Those horns are brutal unless you got “Cat Scratch Fever” at 120 DB.

  4. Smartman says:

    @ chuck
    I had a set of A4’s in my bedroom back in high school. Smoothed out the high end with some JBL bullet tweeters and had ’em actively tri-amped with a Crown DCA 300-150-60. I used to be able to peg the needle on a Radio Shack SPL meter. Stranglehold by Uncle Ted and Smokin’ by Boston were the two songs that destroyed many an ear drum. The room, hell the whole damn house shook so much I had to hang the turntable from the ceiling on chain and springs attached to a block of granite. Life was tough before ferro fluids and Dolby or as they say in Spinal Tap “Doubly” but it was still worth every damn penny and the persistent to this day 8K ringing in my ears.

  5. Super Dave says:

    @ Smartman
    Some of the stuff we pulled back in the day with volume levels it’s a wonder any of us can hear at all.

  6. chuck says:

    I shot 3″ 50s for 4 years
    but Altec 19s did what the guns couldn’t do, wreck my hearing.

    Look at these fuckin horns, sweet baby Jesus they were shrill.


    You needed to have an amp you could weld with and took three phase 50 amp breakers to get the sound even out at 2,000 yards.

    Jesus they were brutal.

  7. chuck says:

    Oh yeah, and Heavy??!!!!
    You bet.

    I think Michelangelo carved each one out of a single piece of marble.

  8. chuck says:

    @ smartman & superdave…
    I am so deaf you gotta type in caps for me.

    The only posts I have ever been able to read here without great difficulty, are Harleys.


  9. Lance the Intern says:

    double bombe commode….
    In this instance, “commode” refers to a chest (or chest of drawers, if you prefer). “Bombe” is a specific curved style. It’s not a toilet.

  10. mermaid says:

    E state…
    Thanks for the encouraging words! It’s all my fault I have not been writing. Someone has been taking all my time up lately! I will write soon. Stay tuned….

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