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History for Sale: Richard Allen Collection for Sale

Richard Allen

Richard Allen has been hunting out old ski gear, skiwear, posters and patches since childhood. The collection grew into a business, Vintage Ski World, based in Aspen and Carbondale, Colo. Today, Allen owns about 800 pairs of skis, dating back to the 1890s, plus boots, bindings, poles and parkas.

There’s no ski-swap junk in this collection – it’s all of historical significance. Most of the skis are suitable for “decor” sale: handsomely finished wooden skis it near-perfect shape, found in an attic but destined to decorate a luxurious home at some ritzy resort. But many items have a real story to tell. Allen has inherited gear from Steve Knowlton, Sigmund Ruud and even Charlie Proctor. He has a pair of the innovative Clement aluminum ski from Canada, a set of hinged steel Bilgeri bindings from WWI, and a gleaming pair of Hvam release bindings – unused, in the original box. He even has a pair of early Scott poles – engraved for use by Buddy Werner. The warehouse archives the commercial history of the sport. Ski brands are Strand, Lund, Northland, Eriksen, J.C. Higgins, Dartmouth, Paris Ball, Flexible Flyer, Macy’s, Bancroft, Tey, Dow, Vogg, Allais, Mitchell-Rossignol, Dynamic and Aluflex; there are signature-model skis from Toni Matt and Friedl Pfeiffer.

Now Allen wants to retire. He wants to sell the collection and the business. The package could include his mountainside home, on five acres of sundrenched ranchland above Carbondale – the complex houses the cream of the collection ski collection, the poster inventory and the Vintage Ski World office. If you’ve dreamed of running your own business in the Colorado Rockies – without paying rent on commercial resort property – call him: 970-963-9025. --Seth Masia