Saturday, April 16, 2016

Treasures of Herbert Armstrong

These pictures are from an auction held in New York City, April 11, 1995 at Christie's.  This was just one of many auctions held in New York and Los Angeles concerning the sale of Herbert Armstrong's collection of gold, silver and fine art.  Much of  the fine art and metalwork were purchased during the time HWA was mailing out letters to the membership demanding that they cut back and send in more money.  The "Work" was always in a state of distress. Many members did indeed sacrifice and mailed in more money.  The result - HWA was on treasure hunting trips to Harrod's in London and other UK locations buying treasures for his three homes and college campuses (St Alban's, England, Big Sandy, TX and Pasadena, CA).

While Mrs. Armstrong was alive and in the early years of the church they lived in a modest house on Hill Ave (now owned by Cal Tech).  When Loma Armstrong died Herb began shedding his 'simple' life style for the extravagant one.  This was also the time Gerald Waterhouse and Dean Blackwell started blabbering that HWA was an Apostle.  And as you all know from the Bible, Apostles were meant to travel around the world speaking to world leaders, give them gifts of Steuben crustal, and play host to them at extravagant dinner parties at the various campus homes.  Apostles were ordained by God to live lives with the finest the earth and humankind has to offer.  This easy justification lead to multiple millions of dollars in extravagance by HWA,  evangelists, faculty, certain department heads and many ministers.

Click on picture to view larger size -

 Elizabeth II Gold Table Service 14 karat
Used at all dinners in HWA's dining room
Auction estimate $50,00-80,000


 Regency Silver-gilt Four Light Candelabra, Benjamin Smith, 1812
These sat on the buffet in the dining room.  They were also used on the dining table.
Auction estimate $80,000-120,000


George III Silver-gilt Candelabra and matching candlesticks, Paul Storr, 1802
Auction estimate $60,000-90,000


The Duke of Norfolk's Coronation Cup
William IV Silver-gilt Paul Storr, 1831
Auction estimate $20,000-30,000


 Regency Silver-gilt Centerpiece, Paul Storr, 1818
The Three Graces occupied the place of distinction on HWA's dining room table.
Auction estimate $30,000-50,000


Regency Silver-gilt Wine Coolers, Paul Storr 1813
Used to keep the hundred dollar wine bottles cool
Auction estimate  $60,000-90,000

 A pair of George IV Silver-gilt Wine Coolers 1826
Imagine chilling your wine and champagne at home in these! 
Auction estimate $50,000-80,000


The sterling silver pictured here is an Elizabeth II Table service. Service for 12.  
This was HWA's everyday silver.
Auction estimate: $10,000-15,000


While various COGlet's splinter personality cults are idolizing HWA on this the 25th anniversary of his death, I thought I would give you a peek into the apostles lifestyle.

While the membership toiled and struggled in the 60's and 70's HWA was on a spending spree in Europe.  Millions of dollars were dumped over the years to furnish the home of the  end time prophet.  This was all during the time the pleading letters were sent to the members to send in as much money as they could because the work was 'in crisis.'

Of course we had morons that justified these artifacts as necessary for the entrainment of  world leaders and dignitaries coming to hear about a "Strong Hand From Someplace".  Others claimed all these goodies would be used to take care of the brethren as they were struggling in Petra.  These items would buy us food and drink and shelter by the Muslims.

One other idiot in Pasadena claimed that the Pasadena campus would never be destroyed during the tribulation.  The invading armies of Germany would use the Pasadena campus as their military headquarters.  They would be so in awe and taken back by it's beauty that they would not destroy it.  Because of that the Pasadena campus would be the new earthly HQ of God's people when the Kingdom was established.  Never mind that the city is supposed to be Jerusalem, but heck, this is typical WCG mythology and it sounded cool!  Never mind that these armies would be torturing and killing fellow citizen's while they dinned and enjoyed music in the Auditorium.
Click on all pictures to enlarge them. 

This was to keep HWA's roast beef warm.  Estimated value $5,000-$8,000

A Victorian Parcel-Gilt Silver Plated Table for your guests to place their calling cards on. $4,000-$6,000

Set of late 1800's silver centerpiece with glorious naked women on it.  $10,000-$15,000
late 1800's Gold Desert dishes $4,000-$6,000

German Silver Knight   $3,000-$5,000
Pair of German Silver Figures, Sir Lancelot and Lady Guinevere  $10,000-$15,000

Elizabeth II Equestrians  $6,000-$9,000 each

Elizabeth II 14 kt Gold Table Service (This was used for formal dinners) $50,000-$80,000

Sterling Silver Everyday service $10,00-$15,000

Silver Goblet's to drink your Harvey's Bristol Cream In $8,000-$12,000

Set of 22 Silver Dinner Plates $8,000-$12,000

George V Sterling Silver Umbrella Stands $10,000-$15,000

Updated with final auction prices

More important tools 
that every modern day Apostle needs 
preach the gospel 
"A Strong Hand From Someplace." 

Click on picture once to enlarge, then again for x-large closeup's

 Victorian Gilt Centerpiece  1888
Goddess Ceres in a field of wheat
Sold for $23,300.00

Victorian Silver Four-light Candelabra  1857
Sold for $57,500.00 

 Victorian Silver-mounted Frosted-glass Claret Jug and Stand 1845
$4,000 - 6,000
George IV Silver Egg Cruet 1820
$2,500 - 3,500 
(HWA had this on his breakfast table in the kitchen for his soft boiled eggs)
Sold for $27,600.00  

 Victorian Silver-gilt and Agate Desert Service 1854
$3,000 - 5,000
Sold for $4,370.00 

 Victorian Silver Vase 1874
$2,000 - 3,000
Sold for $2,700.00 
Edward VI Silver-gilt Warwick Vase
$5,000 - 8,000
Sold For $5,650.00 

George IV Silver-gilt Wine Coolers 1826
$50,000 - 80,000
Sold for $74,000.00 

Regency Silver Salver 1813
$7,000 - 10,000
Sold for $24,150.00

George IV Silver Tea and Coffee Service 
$10,000 - 15,000
Sold for $16,100.00 

Important Regency Silver-gold gilt Candelabra 1812
$80,000 - 120,000
Sold for $222,500.00


These items are vital tools for Ambassadors of World Peace!
You too can talk to Mrs. Sadat about a world that is ready to be spanked!
Well, I guess that one came true........

Regency Silver Bowl  1818
Paul Storr
$15,000 - 25,000
Sold for $27,600.00

Regency Silver Soup Tureen, cover and liner
Paul Storr, 1814
Sold for $28,750.00

Regency Silver-Gilt Wine Coolers
Paul Storr, 1813
Sold for $107,000

George III Silver Tureen and Cover and Stand
Paul Storr, 1809
Sold for $51,750.00

Regency Silver-gilt Centerpice
Paul Storr, 1818
Three Bacchic Nymphs
Sold for $48,300.00

Twelve Regency Silver-Gilt Dinner Plates
Paul Storr, 1815
Not listed as sold
Regency Silver Gilt Salver
Paul Storr, 1815
Sold for $1,950.00

Duke of Norfolk's Coronation Cup
Paul Storr, 1831
Sold for $18,400.00

Regency Silver-gilt Serving Tongs Made For The Prince Regent
Paul Storr, 1811
Sold for $10,350.00

George III Silver Gilt Centerpiece
Sold for $40,250.00

George III Silver-gilt Centerpice
Paul Storr, 1808
Sold for $52,900.00

George III Silver Wine Collers
Paul Storr 1798
Sold for $48,300.00

George III Silver Epergne
Sold for $12,650.00

Charles II Silver Caudle Cup
Sold for $3,680.00

Six Queen Anne Silver Fluted Dishes
Sold for $74,000


Pictured above is the current price of Louis XIII Remy Martin Grande Champagne Cognac.

This was one of Herbert Armstrong's favorite evening indulgences.  The container  the cognac is in is a baccarat crystal decanter and comes in a velvet lined red case.

At HWA's death there were three of these sitting on his liquor shelves in the basement, along with loads of other expensive alcoholic delights.  Upstairs there were two more in the cabinets.

When HWA was buying these (or should I say the church members were with their tithe money) he was paying around $750.00.  That was in the mid-1980's.  Twenty-five years later the price is running at $2,195.00.  That is one expensive indulgence!  Particularly when he was drinking it out of his St Louis Excellence Cognac/sherry glasses that were appraised at $250.00 each  in 2000.



Byker Bob said...

For those who felt compelled to break out the ol' calculator, remember, this is only the metalware! There were also paintings, and other objets d'art. More clearly than anything else, this hoarding of luxury shows where HWA's heart was! How many people who have ever walked the face of the earth could afford multi-million dollar hobbies? His false teachings and scary false prophecies made him a very rich man, although he claimed to own practically nothing.

Also, remember the most key principle: If you offered evaluation of, or constructive criticism of "God's" apostle for any reason including this extravagance, you were damned to hell like Korah. It was your lot in life to drive an old, unsafe, rattletrap car, to dress in rags you got from Goodwill, or the used clothing department, and to cheerfully finance any and all emergencies and gunlaps proclaimed by the fossil, oops, I mean apostle.

Chuckles said...

What got me was all the letters from HWA telling us how the financial needs of the church was in a crisis, almost every letter for over 50 years. He knew what he was doing and intentionally lied to suck us in to give more. Then used that money the church so desperately needed, for his own enjoyment and lusts and coveting the finer things of life, like gold and silver, jets, houses, maids, flying around the world and paying for his own banquets to honor himself, deceiving everyone that it was all for the purpose of preaching the gospel. We should have caught on when his preaching the gospel didn't even mention Jesus, there is no gospel without Christ in it, there is no gospel without saying repentance was needed, something HWA didn't bother to teach, obviously it was all about him all along but some still don't get it.

Anonymous said...

All that gold and silver stuff is blood money, or not far from it. He lived, wined and dined, just like king George.

Anonymous said...

Let them eat cake.

Anonymous said...

HWA was a man of quality, just not for the dumb sheep.

Anonymous said...

I am still in an ACOG (judge me if you must) and it makes me sick how people idolize HWA. When I hear people wax on about what HWA did or did not teach, while preaching or debating doctrine, I always want to shout, "who cares?". I could care less about HWA. In fact, he almost reviles me. I care only about the Father, Jesus Christ and their inspired Word. HWA's thoughts and beliefs mean no more to me than the opinions of the man on the moon.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DennisCDiehl said...

It also shows what sycophants, kiss ups and gutless men he surrounded himself with who would had no courage to confront him and those who enabled this waste in the guise of "God wants us to have quality things". This kind of compulsive buying of expensive gold and silver tells one all they need to know about the mentally dysfunctional HWA and the men who he chose to agree with him or else.

Dave Pack will continue this tradition as he falls deeper in to his own delusions and self appraisals. We already know he is surrounded by gutless and cowardly misfits making up the 16 . Just one needs to stand up to Dave's machinations and asinine ideas about himself and his horribly flawed theology and come here to Banned , anonymously even , and share the fact that he knows his head is telling him Dave is a "holy man" as he tip toes through the tulips of ridiculous proof texting leading to his foregone conclusions but his stomach, which is telling him to speak up is telling him the truth.

I did stand in awe however looking at the detail of the all silver model of the Santa Maria in the Hall of Ad almost every time I passed it. Joe Tkach got a genuine restored Kentucky Flintlock, found in an attic in one of my members homes when pastoring in KY. Joe spent a lot on two restored Gas pumps , if you can imagine and kept them in his living room last I saw. I also understand he was big on Rolex watches and had a dozen or so. God is good to the faithful.

What a bunch of losers. "May God bless and keep them the chains of guilt and shame."

Anonymous said...

Dennis, where did the silver replica of the "Half Moon" go, or are you mixing the two?

NO2HWA said...

Yes, technically the church owned all the gold,silver and fine art, however these were for the exclusive use of Herbert in is private residence. They were bought to furnish his home and his home only, all bought with tithe money and not his private money. He dropped cash so frequently that Harrods would have private showings of expensive gold,silver and art, knowing he would buy most anything they could pawn off on him. That's where the two candelabra came from for the auditorium that Flurry now prostrates himself to in idolatrous worship. Almost all of this was bought during periods of time he was writing lengthy letters screaming and accusing members of not sending in enough money to the work.

Anonymous said...

if it was the replica of the "Half Moon" you saw I can understand your awe, since that ship is part of your personal heritage.

Recently I was looking for evidence of hwa's pentagon and state department connections (secretary was world tomorrow listener) and by incident I ran across you plea for the Kentucky brethren struck by economic hardship.

Did they not receive a substantial sum of money from "the church body?"
In any case I would like to acknowledge your service to them in that instant even if you are not soliciting such acknowledgement.


DennisCDiehl said...

PS While I was so out of the HQ loop in my years of getting moved all over the country and what , to me, was my sincere yet naive, idealistic and sometimes in denial of what little I did know or see, I am sorry I ever heard of any of it. I am glad I never grew up in it at least and had my 18 years of Presbyterian perspectives to keep a bit of balance. I did my share, I suppose, of "sitting down on the outside but standing up only on the inside" myself for which I am regretful. My outside and inside now match just fine. Very stressful experience to work for WCG at anytime it turned out for me.

I did call Joe Tkach Sr to talk about getting tired of having to answer members who know a hell of a lot more than I did questions that I would not even think to ask. That one was "Is HWA getting a divorce?" Whoa...wrong question. He yelled "Squelch it!!!" at me over the phone and hung up. What was only in my head switched to my stomach and I credit that moment with , "it's over" and how do I get out of this church in tact. I almost didn't and Mr Anxiety and Depression came for a way too long visit. It did rewire me , however, and drive me seek coping skills and an over view that I wish I had been given much sooner in life so now everything is a "this too shall pass" and "Life is short, enjoy".

One of my greater moments was telling Gerald Waterhouse to his face before he bored us for the last time with his talk that his visits caused me more problems than they solved and from now on I was telling members to simply write him with their questions and fears. I always felt the man was full of baloney and hated to see him coming.

Now I sit writing this and living about a mile from Downtown Portland and the infamous Portland library where I believe HWA's "six months of intense study" took place 80+ years ago. Next time Flurry has his HWA historic tour of Portland, I should sign up. I'm sure they'd be happy to have me... lol

Well off to the Columbia Gorge and Vista House for a day of regrouping after a five day week doing what I now love. AND...IF there are any former , intelligent, theologically liberated and equally having moved on WCG survivors, minister or member wanting to sit and chat over here in Portland over am I . I did leave a few messages with old minister "friends" in the area who I actually worked with but they did not return my calls. No one ever has yet lol

Thanks for listening. I have no idea why I am writing this. This posting showing all the ridiculous materialism of HWA and current wanna be's must have punched my last button. Ranks right up there with watching HWA build the Auditorium in 1971 and that niggly feeling that, when I was 21, "No one in this organization really believes any Jesus is returning all that soon."

I am personally, historically and theologically confident Jesus is not returning a second time because he never left the first time and probably is a literary construct. Paul's Cosmic and Hallucinatory in his head Cosmic Christ came first and long before any Gospel manifestations were written.

Being a conscious, hairless Ape is far more interesting me to than religion.

Anonymous said...


You are right.
I am just making a point on the allocation of funds by the Wiltshire people.

Co-worker letters were directed to the "broader" audience also.
There was "the Church" serving "the Work" and "the Foundation." All different allocations.
Not just one big pile of money and not the allocation I would authorize under 501 c3.

Dignitaries eating in Pasadena and the private mansions ate from those plates. So it was explained the cutlery it served "the Work", not "the Church" (very different).

I am glad HWA did not pay for it himself. Otherwise Mark Armstrong would be on all tv station with the inheritance.


Anonymous said...

The silver ship model was bought by a guy on the landscape department for around $5,000.00

DennisCDiehl said...

Doh...too much! lol I was thinking more in the budget, say around $250?

Anonymous said...

well said anon sentiments exactly.

those in The Church don't care what HWA said, we care about what Jesus said.

DennisCDiehl said...

Not familiar with the "Half Moon" The ship was the Mayflower I believe.

DennisCDiehl said...

I do understand RCM, when Gold was a couple hundred bucks or less, went and got $10,000 worth for himself with church funds. Or so I hear from authoritative on location sources.

DennisCDiehl said...

NCK said;Recently I was looking for evidence of hwa's pentagon and state department connections (secretary was world tomorrow listener) and by incident I ran across you plea for the Kentucky brethren struck by economic hardship.

Did they not receive a substantial sum of money from "the church body?"

I was very free with giving real people in need 3T assistance and "emergency fund" checks. So much so, and it seemed my only way to justify a good use of my some 35 immediate family member , members, elders, deacons and deaconesses and score one for the little people. I thought I would have gotten more "stop it" memos but they never came.

I recall helping one fellow in KY, down on his luck, in great family need for food and rent to the tune of thousands when it was all added up. He was almost suicidal in a long walk we took along a lonely KY road. Somehow he had acquired cases and cases of super toiled bowl cleaner which I asked for , for the church to sell and recoup a bit of all I gave him which he gladly did. Everyone in London and Somerset remembers selling them lol! He later went on to win 6 million dollars in the Kentucky Lottery. When we got back in touch years later and he was even more wealthy with wise investment and business, he was that kind of guy down deep, he said he was coming to take me to dinner someday. Then he read my stuff. Last I ever heard from him lol.

Anonymous said...

Common Dennis,

I know there was the "half moon", according to this thread there appears to have been an entire fleet. Presbytarian mr Diehl should be proud of the "half moon." The investor of that ship loathed the thought patterns of those on the Mayflower as the records show. Perhaps the ignoramusses at HQ placed a plaqard with "Mayflower" on it.

Yes Dennis, much more was bought by the corporation and sold by the wiltshire people, especially real estate.

A shame my posting on gold was deleted by the moderator.
To summarize that posting. All items were from an investor perspective extremely good acquisitions. All of the items increased in value over time.


Anonymous said...


You should ask the moderator to remove your postings.
The moment one googles Herbert w armstrong in combination with your name, all the fine gold and cutlery surfaces in the google picture department. LOL :-)

It could entice one to set up an observation post in the ptland library for the next tour. :-)

I apologize for the word "substantial". Your note was next to hwa shaking hands with the empire state building owner so I got the figures mixed up in my brain.

Still good job.


Byker Bob said...

I am certain that other ministries had their eyes on HWA/WCG back when this was all in pioneer mode, and that certain well-known preachers from the mainstream who have come along since that era have allowed their ministries to become contaminated by the same conspicuous consumption in which they witnessed HWA and GTA participate. And, of course, they mask it in the prosperity gospel, which is a bit different, because at least outwardly they profess to want their particular sheep to be prosperous as well. They claim to be examples of what happens when one lives by their precepts.

Personally, I think Mother Theresa had it closer to right, and on multiple levels.


Anonymous said...

This reminds me of a couple of things-

First and foremost, that churches should not be allowed the tax-free status that they're currently given.

Before anyone takes exception to this notion, please let me say this: That I believe ANY philanthropic "branch" of ANY church that meets certain standards should be allowed to have tax-free status, whether it's Islamic, Christian or Raelian, etc.

Secondly, that I put a few cheap-o Armstrongist-era items on ebay , and they were gobbeled up for FAR more money than I had imagined!

I can only imagine if I were to put "HWA's Embalmed Foreskin" on ebay-
I have no doubt that thousands of crazy Armstrongites would LOVE to have Herbie's foreskin floating in a jar above their computer screen -shining down on them while they type their stupid creeds.

Anonymous said...

Rod Meredith DID buy gold with 3rd tithe money back in WCG and it is still in his possession today. He keeps it in his home safe if anyone wants to rob him, now they know...

Unknown said...

There are loads of pagan and neopagan imagery on these "works of art". Didn't that concern Armstrong? HWA was obviously a very duplicitous and inconsistent person at all levels.

AK said...

Obscene, ostentatious and over the top.
The pagan goddess candlesticks with ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus design giving birth to the 3 graces is a nice touch for a church that railed against paganism.

All that money average folks wasted on this mess of a church.

DennisCDiehl said...

I have an original decoupaged WCG ordination certificate signed by HWA and David Antion. I also have an updated on3 Signed , or I mean backdated for some reason to 1975 and signed by Joe Tkach Sr. who was no where to be found in 1975.

I'd be willing to let them go for $75,000 each. I'd also consider a trade of one for the Silver Mayflower or whatever ship that was. First come first serve.

Unknown said...

I want that soap shaver thingy that was in the bathroom at the Auditorium and dispensed a "soap leaf".

I will open bidding at 99 Cents!

Anonymous said...

"Prepare to lower your standard of living!"

If you join the Armstrongists.

Anonymous said...

Great post that many current COG members should review and contemplate.

One statement struck me as being too kind to both HWA and Loma:

"While Mrs. Armstrong was alive and in the early years of the church they lived in a modest house on Hill Ave (now owned by Cal Tech). When Loma Armstrong died Herb began shedding his 'simple' life style for the extravagant one."

This process of shedding a simple life started earlier than most of us had thought. They moved in to this home in April 1947 right after their 6-week first class tour of Europe. You can read about Loma's reaction to this home when they first looked at it with an agent in HWA's autobiography. He quoted Loma and her statement confirms it was far from modest.

I would love to live in this home but could not afford it. Maybe I am off base but a 7 bedroom, 4,159 square-foot, well-crafted home does not seem modest to me. It was valued at $2.4M in January 2016. Of course it was far less in 1947, but there were also numerous other reasonable homes available for 60% less than what they paid for this one.

Read his logic for justifying this luxurious home and you'll see that Connie got it right that "HWA was obviously a very duplicitous and inconsistent person at all levels" and he may have been this way from the start of his ministry.


Anonymous said...

“Treasures of Herbert Armstrong”

Different people are attracted to different things. It is a matter of personal preference. Some of those things shown are not the sort of junk that I would want to collect myself. There are much better things out there.

The world is full of Catholics and Protestants who go through literally BILLIONS OF DOLLARS to teach and practice paganism. You can be sure that HWA was not the only person on earth financially supporting the sellers of expensive junk and alcohol.

Byker Bob said...

Interesting information, Kevin. When I was an AC. student, we were often told that HWA and Loma had had to eat beans in the early years of the college, just to keep the college alive. From what you shared, apparently they lived quite well even in those early years. I'm convinced that just about everything we were ever taught was manipulative hype and marketing.


Steve D said...

These items were purchased with church money for the church, but exclusively used by HWA. As Stanley Rader said, its not what you own, it what you control that's important. It's like when I had a company car. I didn't own it, but I had the use of it and the best part was that the company was responsible for maintenance and repair costs. HWA had the best of both worlds. All the benefits, none of the responsibilities. As Jesus said, where your heart is, your treasure will be there also. His heart was in the finer things in life. Perhaps it was to soothe his sense of inferiority, being a high school drop out and failed businessman.

Anonymous said...

HWA was struck with the same affliction of so many who presume to speak for the Lord; namely, greed. The jackals on TV today, who instruct people over the airwaves to give them "seed gifts" in order to release God's blessings in their lives, then drive luxury cars and live in palatial mansions, are nothing more than con artists.

Let's not forget that these things were being purchased in an era when $20,000 a year was a significant salary. My dad's salary ranged from $300 a month in the early 1960s to $800 a month in the '70s. No doubt Herbert dropped that in restaurants.

This is no small thing. There was a sense of entitlement, but worse, a duplicitousness evident in HWA's actions and character. Kevin is exactly right. This is a post that many COG members should review and contemplate.

Consider: When millions were being sent to Pasadena, much of it by people who could barely afford to make ends meet, and HWA and the powers that be mapped out that opulent campus, it was thought that those buildings had major significance. That was the nerve center of the Work of God. The most important work on the face of the earth was being done there! No one could have envisioned how, three or four decades later, developers would just tear them down and plow them over, relegating them to the dustbin of history.

So much sacrifice. So much indulgence. Gone in a puff of smoke. Let that be a lesson to us.

Anonymous said...

“Pictured above is the current price of Louis XIII Remy Martin Grande Champagne Cognac: $2,195.00.”

That does appear to be quite pricy. Have you shopped around?

What is needed at this time of the year is some red wine. Jewish red wines like Manischewitz and Mogen David are available for less than $10.00 a bottle. Both bottles are usually labelled “Kosher for Passover.”

Byker Bob said...

Thanks for the reminder, 12:29. I'm enjoying some Manischewitz Concord Grape as we speak. It was under $5.00 for 750 ml, and will probably last for the better part of the coming week.


Anonymous said...

Gah, what horrible taste he had. He must have had Liberace's designer. That stuff is butt ugly!