On The Square

Own a Piece of California State History

By Derek Koffi-Ziter

Apr 19,2023 | 16:00 EDT

1901 $10 Bison Note

Turner Auctions + Appraisals is very pleased to present The Pebble Beach Estate of Norman Lausten on Saturday, April 22, 2023. Reflecting Mr. Lausten’s passion for collecting that spanned more than seven decades, this online auction features an eclectic array of over 330 lots in diverse categories, reflecting the wide range of items in the estate. Among the antique, vintage and/or contemporary items are books, directories and other printed material; jewelry, clothing, shoes, and accessories for women and men; objects related to automobiles and bicycles; knives; silver certificates; artworks; Asian collectibles; musical instruments; war items; and a variety of mechanical devices such as cameras, radios, steam engines, telescopes, and more. In addition to Lausten's stunning collection, several lots featured come from other collections or estates.

Norman Lausten’s life was shaped by his family’s rich history and his passion for collecting automobiles and other antique items. Born in San Francisco in 1942, Norman spent his early years at the family ranch in Williams, California. His family later divided their time between the ranch and their Carmel home, where Norman attended high school and college. After college, Norman became an automobile mechanic and eventually a mechanical supervisor for the City of Pacific Grove, repairing city vehicles. His passion for collecting started at an early age, when he found a carbide bicycle lamp in his grandfather’s basement at age four. Over the next 70+ years, he built a museum in his Pebble Beach home, filled with antique radios, books, paintings, headlamps, and other automobile memorabilia. Norman’s collection included a 1913 Simplex and 1922 Locomobile, which were his pride and joy. He attended every Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance from 1958 onwards, the world’s most prestigious car show.

In addition to his love of automobiles and collecting, Norman was also a gifted musician, playing guitar, banjo, and fiddle. His wife, Jeanne Richelieu DuCasse, was the famed early California artist Xavier Martinez's granddaughter and an avid collector of antique clothing and jewelry. Together, they enjoyed traveling, vintage car club rallies, and expanding their stunning collection.

Norman was a proud fifth-generation Californian with a notable family history. His great-great grandfather Francis Drake Brown was one of the earliest California Pioneers. Francis joined a 15-wagon train with 150 others in 1846 at the age of 23 and worked as a scout in payment for his food and shelter. The trip, which usually took four to six months, was said to be uneventful until the foot of California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range. After several days of unsuccessful attempts to climb the mountain, they finally succeeded, thanks to the good plans of a Methodist preacher and Buffalo Jones, long pine poles lashed together, 16 yoke of cattle, “and no furlough on “cussin’”. Three weeks later, the ill-fated Reed-Donner party was snowed in at the same camp where Francis’s party had stayed. The party was trapped by exceptionally heavy snow, and when food ran out, some members of the group reportedly resorted to cannibalism of those already dead.

Despite this tragedy, Francis’s remarkable adventures and achievements continued. He fought in the Bear Flag Revolt under Colonel John C. Fremont in 1846, made his fortune in the 1949 Gold Rush, and became the first sheriff of Solano County in 1850. Over his lifetime, Francis made six subsequent trips back to Missouri buying and selling land, including one in 1848 to marry his sweetheart Frances, who bore him 10 children. In 1876, he settled in California and set up a 3,000-acre farming operation in Colusa County, where he said the Browns were “useful, true citizens.”

Norman Lausten’s life was characterized by his family’s rich history and his passion for collecting and their significant contributions to California state history. This is a unique opportunity to own a piece of this rich history which will be available on Bidsquare.com on April 22 for The Pebble Beach Estate of Norman Lausten auction. Some highlight pieces from this auction include:

King Large Format Camera with Tripod, c. 1900

19 th -Century Chinese Jade Belt Buckle

Early Bicycle Lapel Buttons Collection

E. Howard GF Keystone Railroad Grade Pocketwatch.

Vintage Chanel Skirt Suit

Egyptian Revival Beaded Embroidered Purse


Browse them all and register to buy these these unforgettable lots in the upcoming Pebble Beach Estate of Norman Lausten sale on Saturday, April 22, 2023 at 1:30pm EDT.


Derek Koffi-Ziter | Social Media and Content Manager at Bidsquare

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