Photos: Seattle WWII-era estate sale is 'the bomb'

SEATTLE - An incredible collection of military and WWII-era memorabilia is up for grabs in Seattle this weekend. (KOMO PHOTOS/ March 4, 2016)

SEATTLE (KOMO) -- The sandwich board sign outside says "estate sale." But the contents inside say "epic sale." Foss Appraisal Service unveiled a collection of old Army helmets, typewriters and World War II era knickknacks, and it brought out a unique breed of bargain hunters.

"Just stuff for the man cave," Bob Wotherspoon said. "Whatever doesn't get me in trouble with the wife."

And what could be more manly than buying a dummy bomb with no particular plan for where to put it? "I haven't thought about it, no," Jeff Bowman said of his $200 purchase. "Probably just put it in the corner. Maybe make a table. Maybe hang it."

The warehouse full of history is up for sale after a woman received the collection and decided to liquidate.

"This collection's been built over the last 40 years and it'll be dispersed throughout the Pacific Northwest," said Chris Foss of Foss Appraisal. "They asked me when they first contacted me, how do you go about selling a collection of this size, and I said one piece at a time."

But the biggest ticket item wasn't for everyone.

"I'm not sure I'd know how to drive it. It's a stick shift," Caty Burt said with a laugh. She was talking about an M5A1 Stuart Tank. There's also a 1945 White Half-Track, a 1942 Dodge Command Car restored as a radio command center and a 1942 Dodge Carryall.

Word spread that organizers asked the first person in line if he was interested in the vehicles. "On the spot, that person said yes. And so all vehicles were sold within the first minute," shopper Mark Henning said. "It really brings the people out with some money, because you do not see things like this very often."

It was a hey day for collectors, military reenactment buffs, history lovers and the sentimental.

"My dad was in WWII," said shopper Bob John. "He was an Army Corp in the Pacific. I've always had a fascination with things he touched and did, and this kind of keeps it alive for me."

It took 40 years to compile this collection, four weeks to set up the sale, and in three days, each piece should have a new home.

"You never know what you're going to find, and I absolutely love the history of it all," Bart said.

The sale will continue Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 7223 Aurora Avenue N.

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