COVENTRY, CONN. — Fresh-to-the-market country merchandise created quite a stir at Ingraham & Company Auctions during the regularly scheduled Wednesday night sale conducted June 26. Auctioneer Bruce Ingraham, who cut his teeth in the 1980s auctioning for the late local legend Tommy LeClair of Clearing House Auctions in Wethersfield, was pleased with the capacity crowd on hand and the prices established throughout the evening.
In typical fashion, the night at Ingraham’s starts off with a huge assortment of miscellaneous merchandise that is offered in groupings during an early bird auction. Tom Gessey does the calling for the early bird portion of the auction and things are quick-paced and lively. Conducted in a walk-around fashion, session centers on the tables that line the gallery, filled with items that ranged from vintage trophies to a large Johnson outboard boat motor. A massive assortment of dolls included a couple of Barbie dolls that sold for $113, a group of Madame Alexander dolls at $68, some dental equipment brought $34, and the outboard sold for $23. A GI Joe — Great American Hero brought $226 from a guy who claimed he bought it because he owned one as a youth and his mother had thrown out all of his childhood toys, according to Ingraham.
It was then time for the main portion of the auction to begin. Attracting serious attention was a collection of country furniture that had been consigned from estates in New Jersey and Maryland. The paint decorated country furniture had been collected a long time ago and had passed down through family members, eventually becoming part of another estate liquidation. Cupboards in old blue paint, cupboards in green paint, wood boxes in paint, worktables in paint… it was a paint-lover’s dream come true. Adding to the excitement was a good selection of smalls from local estates that included hooked rugs, redware and stoneware, toys, silver and estate jewelry.
The auction started off with an unusual primitive foot warmer that went to a buyer in the room for $123; it was followed by a watercolor of the USS Cleo that went to an absentee bidder for $452. A candle box in a blue-gray paint with slide top sold for $390, as did a diminutive brace back Windsor side chair in black paint. A sword cane with carved bone dog-shaped handle was a bargain at $348, a Shaker-style coat rack in paint brought $308, and a four-drawer Chippendale chest with some noted restoration finished at $476.
A stepback cupboard with open canted back top section and lower blind doors in an apple green paint was the top lot of the furniture. The nice country piece, fresh from the Maryland estate, was bid on by several in the gallery, as well as three phone bidders. It opened with an absentee bid of $1,000 and was chased by a client in the room, but ultimately sold to a phone bidder at $3,472.
A small, delicate wood box in green over an old blue paint was another item to do well, selling in the room for $1,232, a dry sink with traces of the original red paint showing through a grayish paint realized $1,792, and a stepback cupboard with blind upper and lower doors went out at $1,568. A large jelly cupboard in a dark green paint realized $1,462, while a nicely proportioned small cupboard with blind doors and old paint finished at $2,016.
A small commode in a blue-green paint sold at $728, while a two-drawer work table in powder blue fetched $504.
Pottery included a nice redware jar, probably Massachusetts, with light manganese splotches all the way around the shoulder selling at $178, while a small Pennsylvania stoneware jar decorated with cobalt sprigs brought $156.
One of the bargains of the auction was an unadvertised Arts and Crafts rocker marked with the Roycroft logo carved into the front stile. With a newer leather seat, the rare chair sold at $308.
A hooked rug with a cat on the roof along with a couple of birds made $332, an unusual gas globe with glass Mobil insert was $332, and a rare 42-star linen flag realized $252.
A collection of World War II photographs had been picked from a local home and consigned to the auction. Originally belonging to a military photographer, the collection included photographs from World War II and the Philippines. One photograph depicted the photographer in the rear seat of an open cockpit plane on maneuvers. That lot sold for $222. The military-issued cloth flying helmet and goggles that the photographer was wearing in the photograph sold at $448. One large album of photos hit $616, with the entire collection bringing in more than $4,000.
A large collection of 45 rpm records was sold, part of a larger collection that has been coming into the gallery over the past couple months, with ten box lots bringing in more than $2,420. The consignor’s father had worked for RCA and all of the records were part of a selection of promo copies that he distributed to local radio stations. Elvis, The Monkees, even Clint Eastwood, were included, with the top lot selling at $448.
Auctions are conducted at Ingraham’s every Wednesday night. For further information, www.ingrahamauctions.net or 860-742-1993.