ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - Collectors across the world will soon have a chance to own beautiful artifacts that once belonged to the founder of cosmetics companies Aveda Corp. and Intelligent Nutrients.
The same curiosity that led Horst Rechelbacher, known as "the father of safe cosmetics," to improve the beauty industry also led him to travel the globe. When Rechelbacher died in 2014 at age 72, he left behind a massive collection of rare items from across the world.
Several years ago, Rechelbacher’s heirs approached the partners at Revere Auctions in St. Paul. They've spent weeks this year helping the family clear out Rechelbacher’s home in Osceola, Wisconsin, to get more than 1,000 treasures ready for auction.
"It's a really incredible experience as a fine art auctioneer to get one of the greatest collections in the United States to come to you," said Sean Blanchet, co-owner of Revere Auctions.
Rechelbacher was born in Austria, so some items are a nod to his Austrian roots. But Rechelbacher was interested in many different cultures, and her pieces are indicative of that.
"For people who are looking through the auction, they can expect to see an extraordinary range of items: anywhere from 16th and 17th Century European oil paintings to Ming Dynasty Chinese ceramics, and incredible bronze and metalwork, as well as several masterpieces of Victorian furniture," Blanchet said.
His talents as a hairdresser led Rechelbacher to New York, Chicago, and Minneapolis in his early twenties. After a traumatic car accident in Minneapolis, Horst opened a salon to pay his hospital bills. One salon soon became three.
"One of the things that makes this collection so incredible is because of who he was. Horst Rechelbacher is like an icon in the Twin Cities," Blanchet said.
The partners said one of the highlights of the auction will be a work by Carlo Bugatti, brother of the famous luxury carmaker.
"We've had tremendous interest in this piece all over the world, especially in Europe," said Robert Snell, co-owner of Revere Auctions. "This is like the epitome of his furniture and we expect this is going to go for tens of thousands of dollars. It could even break a record for (Bugatti)."
Blanchet said tens of thousands of people all over the world have expressed interest in bidding in the auction, hoping to take home a piece of Minnesota and world history.
The live auction begins Wednesday at 10 a.m. at Revere Auctions, 755 Prior Ave N, Unit 235C, St. Other items are available through timed sales online.