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Final gavel comes down on McClain


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POSTED: Saturday, April 25, 2009

Several rows of black chairs are all lined up, facing the auction stage and sound system at McClain's Auction House at 1 S. King Street.

The last auction at the 30-year-old business run by the late Martin “;Marty”; McClain takes place at 10 this morning.

Paradise Auction Ltd. is conducting the final liquidation auction, and after that, staff will have a few days to clean up and close up the beloved shop.

“;This is very, very tough,”; said Wendy McClain, the widow of Marty McClain.

In the next room, prospective bidders already have perused nearly 300 items up for bid, including a Sony big-screen television, dozens of antique chairs, dining sets, gilded mirrors, chandeliers, bookcases, ceramic foo dogs and framed art prints, among the many items left over from McClain's former Honolulu Furniture Antiques and Gallery shop in Kakaako.

McClain opened that antique shop on Halekauwila Street in 1996, before consolidating and moving to the King Street location about three years ago.

There are also rugs, display cases, koa doors, fake bamboo plants, old-fashioned cash registers (one of which actually works), and sound equipment.

There are also some unusual odds and ends, like an old rocking horse, studio backdrop panels from the “;June Jones Show,”; and “;Snoring Man,”; a life-sized male doll that comes with a cassette player of snoring sounds (which play as his belly goes up and down).

All sales are final, and payment is due in full at the end of the auction. All purchased items must be picked up by noon tomorrow.

While the King Street auction house is closing, Wendy McClain and the staff of 25 full- and part-time workers are hoping to open another in the near future with a different name.

Wendy McClain said she's shopping for a new location, and is working on getting her auctioneer's license to carry on her late husband's legacy.

“;We're trying to keep all our options open,”; she said.

She learned quite a bit from her husband in 16 years, she said. Their daughter, though only 2 years old, knows how to pound a small gavel and say “;sold.”;

McClain died in February of cancer. He was 58.