The Ultimate Rhode Island Auction—Complete with Pirates, Sharks and Glass Saddles

Saturday, January 19, 2019


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Among the auction items - a life-sized pirate figurine

Forget the record sale price of a piece of Newport Colonial furniture in 1989 for more than $12 million, or the infamous 1988 “two-day auction of English furniture and paintings, porcelains and silver belonging to Claus and Martha (Sunny) von Bulow …with sales of $11,562,980, $3.5 million above the auction house's high estimate.”

The "most" Rhode Island auction may be coming in February when the life-size pirate figurines which adorned former Cranston nightclub Mardi Gras -- and more -- go on auction on February 15.

While Sotheby’s auctioned off the von Bulow collection and Christie’s in New York collected at the time “the highest price ever paid at auction for an object other than a painting” for the desk — this auction will be all Rhode Island.

The items derive from some of Rhode Island’s most celebrated nightclubs — JR’s Fastlane, Mardi Gras, Mustang Sally’s and others.

The clubs are interwoven in Rhode Island history as concert venues and nightclubs. In 1992, Foreigner played at JR’s Fastlane at its original location in Providence. In 1993, the Kinks played — the location is now the Providence Public Safety facility.

As the clubs moved and rebranded — the lifecycle ran out.


In the fall of 2017, it was announced that Mardi Gras and the related clubs would close.

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Von Bulow's Bellevue Avenue Newport mansion - record auction price in 1988

In May 2018, the final performances for the club were held. “JRS FASTLANE in Club 5 FINAL 2 SHOWS this Friday and Saturday, May 11 and 12. Featuring Black Jade and the rockin country band Side of the Road on Friday. Saturday Psycle will open for a special Appearance, and first show of the year, HOLY DIVER, celebrating the memory, music and anniversary of the great, late, Ronny James Dio !! Please join us on us this one last time and thank you for all the years, John Readey, Club 5, Staff, Family and Friends," the club posted to Facebook.

One woman posted to Facebook at the time of the announced closing, “The days of people going to see live bands have faded the generation after us do not go out to see live music and metal and rock is dying if the clubs don't have the people to support local music they can't make it RI has lost so many great places that you could see great bands does anyone remember picking up a Phoenix to see who was playing were and you went from place to place to try and catch a set or two it's just not that way life has taken place for those of us in our 50s our jobs family.”

Tabbitha Quigley continued, "Let's face it just too tired by the time the weekend comes so there are many reasons for these great places go out it's too bad too because there's nothing better then going to see live bands great metal and putting your phone away and be an experience and take it all in.”

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The shark head is one of the hundreds of items to be auctioned

350 to 400 Auction Items

Beyond the pirates, there are sharks, a custom signed guitar by the Eagles, and hundreds of other items.

“I estimate it will be about 350 to 400 items in the auction. I am sure there will be something for everyone! Not only will they be able to take home some memories, but also unique one of kind pieces. The clubs have had so many personalities and transformations over the years that the items in the complex read like a timeline of history for a generation or two,” said Michael Salvadore of Salvadore Auctions, Inc.

“The pirates were designed especially for the club Johnny Bahama (inside Mardi Gras) by an artist for the owner of the club John Ready. These are one of a kind and reflect the character of Caribbean pirates who roamed the seas preying on unsuspecting commercial vessels. They reflect the adventurous spirit of the club,” said Salvadore.

Disco Balls and Glass Saddles

Some of the most ornate and unique items being auctioned are made of glass.

“The beauty of these items is that they are made from glass. Can’t find mirrored walls of that size anymore made in glass. There are round and triangular mirrored drops in the club," said Salvadore.

Another unmistakably Rhode Island club icon is an all-glass saddle.

“The glass mirrored saddle is a one of a kind saddle made by a local saddler. The [saddler] spent 5 days at the club cutting mirrored glass by hand and gluing the glass to the saddle. The saddle along with the mirrored disco balls are made from glass mirror. The saddle is a one-of-a-kind creation that is absolutely spectacular and a work of art,” says Salvadore.

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Foreigner played at JR's Fast Lane in the early 1990s

The Old JR's

“I personally remember going to JR’s Fast Lane when it was in Providence across from the old Mohican Hotel. Providence was a different city than in their world a lot of characters not only in the club but around the neighborhood! It was Halloween almost every night. Around the corner from JR’s Fast Lane was Dukes on Fountain Street and Dean Street, the raunchiest sleaziest dive bar you could ever imagine," said Salvadore.

"It was only a building or two away from our family's metal stamping facility, but [Dukes] did have great and cheap food on Fridays. We would go right from Dukes to JR’s Fastlane!" he added.

The auction details: 

DAY OF SALE  9:00 AM – 11:00 AM | Bidding begins at 11:00 AM

Click Here for More Information


Related Slideshow: Salvador Auction - Sharks, Pirates and Disco Balls - January, 2019

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Auction Item: Live size female Pirate figurine

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Auction Item: Guitar signed by members of the band, The Eagles

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Auction Item: Sharkhead

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Auction Item: Lifesize sharks

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Auction Item: Mirrored Saddle

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Auction Item: Disco Ball

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Auction Item: Bullhorns

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Auction Item: Lifesized male pirate


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