Published: November 30, 2004
The recent, two-day Autumn Antique Sale by Pook & Pook featured 951 lots of period furniture, decorative accessories and fine art from various owners, as well as rdf_Descriptions from three prominent museums and the National Society of the Colonial Dames, Cincinnati.
In addition to the normal “brown wood” lots, such as three highboys, there were 11 tall case clocks from which to select and more than 185 lots of paintings – by mostly minor and some major artists – scattered throughout the well-done, color catalog.
A collection of 30 watercolor on paper frakturs by David Y. Ellinger, American Indian rdf_Descriptions, and more than 50 American and English samplers were also offered to bidders.
The Friday morning sale opened with the 92-lot collection of the late J. Liddon Pennock, Jr, of paintings and china that included the top lot of the sale, a Severin Roesen (American, 1815-1872) oil on canvas still life of fruit and a champagne flute. This sold to the floor against three active phones for a bid above its $90,000 high estimate for a total of $115,000.
According to Ron Pook, early on no one knew what frakturs were and nobody cared about them. In the 30s and 40s Dr Shelley started doing some research and tried to establish who the artists were, what fraktur was, and what purpose they served. He was the guy who put it on the map, pioneering the whole fraktur field.
In discussing the Shelley collection during the Friday sale, Ron Pook stated, “The collection has integrity not for just the quality of each piece, but the variety of the collection. The collection, as a whole, is a pioneer collection and is a statement as a whole.”
Not surprisingly, three of the top selling lots of entire sale came from the Shelley collection. “Adam and Eve,” a 73/4- by 61/2-inch fraktur, sold for $97,750. It had been estimated at $40/60,000 and was a hand drawn and hand lettered watercolor and ink on laid paper by an artist active 1760-1799 in Pennsylvania who has since been named Sussel-Washington Artist. A late Eighteenth early Nineteenth Century southeastern Pennsylvania fraktur drawing of four colorful roosters caught bidders’ attention. Estimated at $6/9,000, it easily made $74,750. The Samuel or Martin Gottchall (Montgomery County, Penn.) Mennonite hand drawn watercolor and ink on wove paper depicted two angels with a large bird in the center. Estimated at $25/35,000 it ended at $86,250.
Among the 11 tall case clocks the Hilltown, Penn., painted poplar, circa 1780, with 30-hour brass works, struck the highest note selling for $57,500 ($15/20,000). The Victorian mahogany clock, late Nineteenth Century, with an eight-day musical works, went off at $14,950 ($8/12,000). Always popular, the painted dower chest (Berks County, Penn.), circa 1800, with lift lid and three white and blue tombstone panels, closed the bidding at $36,800 against a high $30,000 estimate.
The collection of David Ellinger works sold at or above their average estimated range of $400/1,500. The most sought-after was the oil on velvet theorem titled, “Flowers in Canton Bowl,” that rose to $5,750 ($1,5/2,500).
A landscape with buildings, 58 by 24 inches, by W.E. Winner (American, 1815-1883) sold at $9,200 ($15/20,000). The 24- by 36-inch naval battle scene by Dominic Serres (British, 1722-1793) with provenance of the Colonial Dames, sold to one of five phones against a bidding gallery at $27,600. The Mary R. Smith 9- by 13-inch oil on board (American, 1842-1878) depicting two chicks, made a tad above its $9,000 high estimate.
The large 23- by 44-inch oil on canvas of New York Harbor by Guy C. Wiggins (American, 1883-1962) sold below its low estimate at $8,625. Of the two E.D. Lewis landscapes, the smallest (30 by 50 inches) was a buy at $8,050 ($8/10,000), the larger one (44 by 69 inches) was passed. A very rarely seen at auction William J. Glackens (American, 1870-1938), small ink on paper portrait of a seated man smoking a pipe made $977 ($800/1,000).
Prices quoted include the 15 percent buyer’s premium.
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