(WKBN) — Jack Yavorsky was 69 when he died a year ago in December. What he left behind was the largest private camera collection in Ohio and possibly one of the largest anywhere. Much of the collection is now available at auction.
Bill Kostelic is a photography expert used by Basinger Auctions to help them with Yavorsky’s camera collection. He also knew Yavorsky.
“Jack took care of these. When he knew they were mint in the box, he put them into plastic,” Kostelic said.
“We spent weeks packing this stuff up into totes, into boxes,” said auctioneer Jay Basinger.
Basinger estimates that Yavorsky’s collection has 10,000 pieces, many of which were found in 270 5-gallon buckets in the attic of Yavorsky’s house on Southern Boulevard in Boardman.
“We’ve got a 24-foot box truck that we filled up eight times to bring all this stuff in here,” Basinger said.
Yavorsky learned photography while in the military and ran an antique store in downtown Struthers.
While Basinger’s warehouse in North Lima is filled with mostly cameras, there are also microscopes, telescopes, movie cameras and assorted lenses. Anything with optics.
“It’s both a camera and a binocular,” Kostelic said.
Kostelic pulled from a box a German-made Leica camera — some of the most valuable in the collection — one of which he said sold for $4,000.
“The inside still has the warranty and the price tag,” Kostelic said.
But alongside the valuable items…
“What took him to collect plastic disc cameras as well, we’ll never know,” Kostelic said.
Also among the collection, local history.
“From WKBN’s photo department. They probably used this camera for advertising purposes,” Kostelic said.
This is the third time Basinger’s has filled the warehouse with Yavorsky’s collection. There will likely be a fourth and fifth.
But why would he hoard, of all things, cameras?
“He wanted the cameras. For what purpose, we’ll never know,” Kostelic said.
The items are separated into lots and can be bid on at the Basinger Auctions website. There, the public can view the items on Feb. 6 from 3-6 p.m. The auction closes on Feb. 7.