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The John Barr Collection of Horse-Related Items and Other Fine Objects will be Auctioned February 26

22-Feb-2023 | Fullerton, California | News-Press Release

Fullerton, CA, USA, February 22, 2023 -- An amazing collection of horse-related items and other objects from the estate of John Barr, who was heavily involved in the horse racing industry over the last half a century, will come for bid in a live online auction scheduled for Sunday, February 26th, by Golden Sun Auctions, Inc. (formerly Appraisal & Estate Sale Specialists), at 3 pm Pacific time.


Mr. Barr was the owner of Oakcrest Stables, the former director of Oak Tree Racing Association and president of the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association. He was originally an oil man and real estate developer, but later became a prominent breeder who had several winning race horses. Some of his trophies will come up for bid in the auction.


His love of horses is evident in the collection, which ranges from Lladro to Tiffany and everything in between. The Barrs loved art, whether it was displayed on shelves or hung on a wall, like an original LeRoy Neiman jockey painting from 1965. The 11 inch by 17 inch (framed size) expressionist painting is artist signed. It should fetch $2,000-$20,000.


Mr. Barr's wife shared her love of horses with a fine selection of jewelry, some featuring horses and others, just beautiful, including a spectacular 1.8-carat diamond ring set in 18kt gold and platinum appraised for almost $40,000 in 2004 (est. $4,000-$20,000); and a 14kt gold, sapphire and diamond ring with six deep blue sapphires (est. $5,000-$10,000).


Even some of the jewelry pieces are equestrian-themed, like the darling 18kt yellow gold horse brooch encrusted in diamonds weighing 2.25 carats, plus an emerald for an eye (est. $1,000-$2,000); and a pair of earrings that are 1.04-carat diamond studs, the diamonds cut into horse heads, stamped on the backs 14kt with a designer mark (est. $400-$800).


What could end up being the action's top lot is a lovely antique oil on canvas painting titled Young Girl, done in the manner of the British painter Arthur William Devis (1763-1822). The 30 inch by 35 inch work has a plaque giving the title and stating that the artist is Arthur Devis. It was obtained from a New York socialite (est. $1,000-$50,000).


A wonderful painting from William Robinson Leigh (N.Y., 1866-1955), featuring a cowboy wrangling a steer, signed, unframed and 18 inches by 22 inches, has an estimate of $500-$10,000. Also, an oil on canvas by the New Zealand impressionist artist Peter Williams (1934-2018), titled Breeding Barn - Greentree Stud Farm, Kentucky (1984), purchased at The Racing Scene Gallery and nicely framed, should reach $200-$1,200.


An amazing sculpture from artist Frederick E. Hart (1943-1999), titled The Ride, #330 of 350, 16 inches tall, depicting a woman on horseback and etched with Hart's signature on bottom and dated 1990, is estimated to finish at $500-$1,500; while a stunning Lladro horse grouping sculpture titled Born Free, No. 1420, originally produced in 1982 and still in production today, 15 inches tall and in perfect condition, should make $200-$1,000.


A Kirk Stieff sterling silver trophy for Bountiful Dreamer (owned by John Barr), winner of the California Cup Distaff horse race held on Oct. 31, 1998, 10 inches tall, weighing 940 grams, is expected to command $600-$1,000. Also, a remarkable metal table created by the visual artist Elizabeth Maria Becker (b. 1942) of Taos, New Mexico, showing an abstract horse with a landscape background, with a rustic finish, should hit $200-$1,000.


Barr and his wife were avid travelers and picked up a wonderful assortment of horse and non-horse related decorative pieces, including some terrific vintage and antique items from various countries, including Japan, China and more, which they were able to get shipped back to the US for free. Some of the pieces date as far back as the 11th century.


Just a few of the Asian items in the auction are as follows:


- A canvas on artist board by the contemporary Chinese artis Gao Xiaohua (b. 1955), titled on verso Portrait of Li Tribe Woman, featured at the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts in 1987, in a 19 ½ inch by 23 ½ inch frame (est. $1,000-$7,000).


- A carved Arhat Shoushan stone figure from the Fujian province of China, 13 inches tall, the figure draped in a robe with a bead necklace, his hands resting in his lap and books by his side, the artist's signature on back (est. $2,000-$4,000).


- A circa 11th-13th century sandstone Buddha bust from the Baphuon Period in Cambodia, 13 inches tall. The face is shown looking down, with a subtle smile, comes with a custom stand and a purchase receipt from 1992 (est. $100-$4,000).


- A large circa 19th century Chinese soapstone carving with a carved poem, 18 inches tall, the stone pale celadon tone with iron red blended passages, carved as a hatted scholar, a fisherman sheltering in a cave with stalactites (est. 200-$800).


Speaking of Asian pieces, the auction will also feature items from an avid collector, including porcelains, wood and jade carvings from the Han Dynasty, Ming Dynasty and Guangxu of the Qing dynasty, a wonderful assortment of fine jewelry, and pieces from a Japanese designer shop near downtown Los Angeles that closed down in the early 1970s.


Internet bidding will be provided by There will be no phone bidding. A live preview will be held on Friday, February 24th, from 12:30 pm to 6:30 pm; no appointment is necessary. The gallery is located at 720 East Walnut Avenue #B in Fullerton, Calif., zip 92831.


To learn more about Golden Sun Auctions and the February 26th auction of the John Barr collection, please log on to


About Golden Sun Auctions, Inc.:

Golden Sun Auctions, Inc. is a full-service appraisal, auction and estate sale firm, specializing in fine art, Hollywood memorabilia, antique and period jewelry, coins, vintage collectible cars, fine watches, designer clothes and accessories, musical instruments, dolls, old toys and more. Dan Wilson and Suki Hilger are Certified Personal Property Appraisers and Certified Gemologists. Golden Sun Auctions, Inc. is always seeking quality consignments for future sales. To inquire about consigning a single item, an estate or a collection, you may call Dan Wilson or Suki Hilger at 714-916-8119; or, you can email them at To learn more about Golden Sun Auctions, log on to


Media Contact:

Dan Wilson or Suki Hilger

Golden Sun Auctions, Inc.

720 East Walnut Avenue #B

Fullerton, CA 92831


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