Many more quirky things at Alan Cohen estate sale, Part 2

Estate of Alan Cohen. Photo: John Storey

On July 25, Berkeleyside published my blog on the first part of the estate sale that Julie and Geneva Addison conducted at the home of the late Alan Cohen, “Quirky Berkeley: Large amounts of quirky things for sale.” The sale was a glorious Berkeley event, people who put the quirky in Berkeley walking through the museum of Cohen’s collections that the Addisons had assembled.

This second half of the sale will take place this weekend — Saturday through Monday — with thousands of objets collectés for sale. Nothing for sale this weekend was for sale in July: it’s all new old quirky things.

Cohen’s single most intense collecting focus was on depictions of the rhinoceros in both two and three dimensions. Hundreds of rhino figures and scores of framed prints and photographs were sold in July. This weekend’s sale is almost rhino-free.

More books will be for sale, from the sacred to the profane.


Estate of Alan Cohen. Photo: John Storey
Estate of Alan Cohen. Photo: John Storey
Estate of Alan Cohen. Photo: John Storey

There are several cameras for sale, including these:

Estate of Alan Cohen. Photo by John Storey.

Cohen collected kitchiana:

Estate of Alan Cohen. Photo: John Storey
Estate of Alan Cohen. Photo: John Storey
Estate of Alan Cohen. Photo: John Storey

The  kitchiana for sale this weekend far exceeds that sold in July, both in quantity and in quality.

Estate of Alan Cohen. Photo: John Storey
Estate of Alan Cohen. Photo: John Storey
Estate of Alan Cohen. Photo: John Storey
Estate of Alan Cohen. Photo: John Storey
Estate of Alan Cohen. Photo: John Storey

As was the case in the July sale, figurines of characters from post-war popular culture are prominent in the sale scheduled for this weekend.

Estate of Alan Cohen. Photo by John Storey

There are several dozen vintage telephones on display and for sale.

Estate of Alan Cohen. Photo: John Storey
Estate of Alan Cohen. Photo: John Storey
Estate of Alan Cohen. Photo: John Storey
Estate of Alan Cohen. Photo: John Storey
Estate of Alan Cohen. Photo: John Storey
Estate of Alan Cohen. Photo: John Storey
Estate of Alan Cohen. Photo: John Storey
Estate of Alan Cohen. Photo: John Storey

There is a table with paper ephemera for sale — photos, matchbooks, brochures and pamphlets.

Estate of Alan Cohen. Photo: John Storey

In the scrapbook, above, Cohen cut and pasted years worth of Peanut comics.

Walking through Cohen’s house which is now staged for the weekend’s estate sale, I was reminded of two things. First, it is amazing what a person can do in 40 years of collecting. Second, in the end it is stuff for sale. The sale philosophy is simply to pass what Cohen loved and collected on to others who will love it.

The combination of Alan Cohen’s collecting, his daughter Abby’s hopes for the sale and passing treasures on, and the genius and care of Julie and Geneva Addison makes this an estate sale for the quirky ages.

Tom Dalzell, a labor lawyer, created a website, Quirky Berkeley, to share all the whimsical objects he has captured with his iPhone. The site now has more than 8,000 photographs of quirky objects around town as well as posts where the 30-plus-year resident muses on what it all means. A longer and more idiosyncratic post about Alan Cohen and his collections may be seen at Quirky Berkeley.