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WDAY: The News Leader

Published April 11, 2012, 10:22 PM

O'Rourke Estate sale a treasure trove of unique artifacts

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - One of this area's most impressive art and antique collections is about to go on sale. When Moorhead's James O'Rourke died suddenly a year ago, the gallery and museum founder left an old, drafty home full of some of the most unique pieces a collector could find. Friday and Saturday's big sale, is one of a few scheduled to liquidate the estate.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

One of this area's most impressive art and antique collections is about to go on sale. When Moorhead's James O'Rourke died suddenly a year ago, the gallery and museum founder left an old, drafty home full of some of the most unique pieces a collector could find. Friday and Saturday's big sale, is one of a few scheduled to liquidate the estate.

Tucked into the quiet 5th street neighborhood in south Moorhead, the 1880’s home of James O'Rourke sits teeming with an incredible collection of world and American History.

Chuck Marx – Marx Estate Sales: “He had so many interests; just you know he was a fascinating guy.”

Chuck Marx has spent the last several months trying to sort through O'Rourke's belongings.

That means at least three sales are scheduled this summer, including this weekend, to begin the process of clearing the home of an incredible world collection of Asian, African, Native American and pop art.

Chuck Marx: “And he collected posters on all sorts of things.”

O'Rourke's tastes were so wide ranging, collecting everything from musical instruments to items from the Civil War. The list includes the diary from a Civil War soldier, ammunition and items from archeological digs. Art work O'Rourke created, art he bought and traded from across the globe.

Odd things; a home full of, well, everything.

Chuck Marx: “Nice banjo. Weather vane, I found in the attic.”

And there is more to come. There is a living room of reading material - enough to keep you educated for decades.

Chuck Marx: “I estimate about 4000 books.”

Things like this unique light will be sold later.

Chuck Marx: “It has the 12 disciples in figures all the way around it. I thought that was really interesting.”

O'Rourke's beloved museum remains open and proceeds from the estate sale will go toward keeping his gallery open which is just south of the home.

The big sale starts Friday morning. Because of space in the house, tickets will be handed out beginning at 9:30. Doors will open at 10:00 AM. There is a preview of items tomorrow night at 4:30. The house is located on the one way at 3rd avenue and 5th street south in Moorhead.

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