WICHITA — Some people may wonder how Woody Auction in Douglass, a Butler County city of fewer than 2,000 people, could have a glass auction that brings in millions.
John Woody, founder of the auction house, likes to say you could have an auction in a cornfield, and the right people would come.
"Literally, it doesn't matter where you hold it," says his son Jason, who now owns the company, which specializes in antique-glass auctions.
"Quality will bring out the buyers."
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The art glass that Wichitan Karin Rieger is selling is of such quality that buyers are coming from around the country and as far away as Japan for a series of auctions that will sell about 3,000 pieces.
The first was March 20 and brought in $1.3 million.
"Kansas has never seen anything of this caliber – ever," Jason Woody says of the art glass auctions.
"There's just nothing like the antique glass that is being shown in this collection."
He says that's particularly true of the first three auctions.
"You'd have to go to New York to Sotheby's or Christie's to see anything of the quality that's being shown here."
The next auction is May 29, and Jason Woody expects it to do as well as the first. More are scheduled for Aug. 1 and 2, Sept. 6 and one more yet-to-be-determined date.
Rieger, 83, and her husband, Ernest, a surgeon who died last fall, collected glass over five decades.
"We didn't sell," she says. "We just hoarded."