Published: August 9, 2022
The action heated up at auction this week with warmer tones matching the weather. Two tigers pounced at the block; an Esso advertising tiger figure and a tiger maple secretary from Eldred Wheeler found new homes at great prices. A couple of cowboys had a standoff at Copake and a Claudel figural bronze stoked the fireplace in an unimaginable act of increasing the temperature. Cooler heads prevailed at Wiederseim with a bronze bust of Abraham Lincoln and the goddess of Spring arrived at Bonhams Skinner, then departed again shortly after. Read on for more late summer discoveries.
MOUNT VERNON, N.H. – An online-only estate auction conducted by George S. Foster III that closed on July 28 was full of items rarely found these days, including a slew of antique automobiles, tools, signs and advertising. The latter category was topped by an Esso Tiger that went for $7,650. The now famous advertising phrase, “Put a tiger in your tank” stemmed from the popularity of the Esso tiger, which became extremely popular in Canada in the 1960s and was featured in numerous ads, jingles and television commercials. “It had been locked up in the garage for 38 years since being taken off the gas station roof where it greeted families for many years,” said auctioneer Foster. “He has a big smile because he will now get a chance to be out and greet many more families.” For information, 603-736-9240 or email GSFoster3@aol.com.
COPAKE, N.Y. – Copake conducted an online estate auction on July 30 featuring 800 fresh lots and dispersing several collections and estates. Included were the complete contents of a Millbrook, N.Y., hunt country home, with period and decorative furniture, accessories and antique hunt and equestrian prints. Topping the sale was a cowboy painting (shown) that shot its $100/150 estimate to smithereens when it sold for $8,700. Initialed in the lower left corner, the oil on canvas measured 26 by 26½ inches and overall 29 by 29 inches. A barbershop collection included poles, advertising signs and a towel warmer and was led by a large, early iron barber pole, 80 inches high, that similarly bettered its $300/400 expectation to reach $1,800. For information, www.copakeauction.com or 418-329-1142.
PHOENIXVILLE, PENN. – A life size bronze bust of Abraham Lincoln, made by George Bissell (American, 1839-1920), signed “Geo. E. Bissell, S.C.” and bearing the copyright for the Gorham Founders took top lot honors at Wiederseim Associates’ 501-lot summer sale on July 29. Estimated at $800-$1,200, the 26-inch-tall work from a local estate realized $10,000 and sold to a phone bidder from the American Midwest who prevailed against spirited competition from online bidders. For more information, www.wiederseim.com or 610-827-1910.
CRANSTON, R.I. – An online buyer from France, bidding with Bruneau & Co., for the first time, paid $150,000 for a bronze and hardstone sculpture of a woman in a chair by French artist Camille Claudel (1864-1943) when it was offered in the firm’s August 1 online fine and decorative art sale. The piece, which had carried a $3/5,000 estimate, came from a Warwick, R.I., estate and was signed “C. Claudel” on base with a “Eug. Blot/Paris” foundry mark beneath signature. It was the top seller of 337 lots in the auction. For information, 401-533-9980 or www.bruneauandco.com.
MARLBOROUGH, MASS. – Spring sprung a little later than usual during the online European Decor & Design sale at Bonhams Skinner. An allegorical marble figure of Flora, the Greco-Roman goddess of spring, sold for $59,375 at the top of the lots. The sculpture was carved by Anton Werres (German, 1830-1900), most likely between 1858 and 1867 when he was studying antiquities in Rome. Flora was reportedly housed in the Flora Temple of Werres’ native Cologne, which was demolished after World War II. For information, 508-970-3211 or www.skinnerinc.com.
NEW YORK CITY – The top price at Auctions at Showplace’s August 7 New York City Estate Auction was a 76-piece Tiffany & Co sterling silver flatware part dinner service, in the Bamboo pattern, which left its $3/5,000 estimate in the dust and brought $19,200. A service for eight, the set also included four fish forks, four fish knives and four steak knives. It was the highest price realized in the 280-lot sale. For information, 212-633-6063 or www.nyshowplace.com.
AMESBURY, MASS. – More than three boxes of material belonging to the Reverend John S. Emerson and his descendants and allied families achieved $65,100 on the first day of a three-day auction with John McInnis Auctioneers, August 4-6. The lot included both handwritten and printed genealogies of the Emerson and Elio families, a CDV album of Emerson family members as well as Hawaiian kings and queens, drawing of the “Waipuolo” homestead in Oahu, books, schoolwork, letters and journals from Emerson’s missionary work in Hawaii from the 1830s to 1860s. For information, www.mcinnisauctions.com or 978-388-0400.
EAST SCHODACK, N.Y. – Two Feathers Antiques & Auction Services/Schillaci & Shultis conducted its Antiques, Collectibles, Firearms and Sportsman sale on August 4, featuring property from a prominent family local to the auction house. The top lot was a flat-top tiger maple secretary desk in Queen Anne style from Eldred Wheeler, made in the Twentieth Century. The original retail price of the desk was $19,325, according to the documentation included with the sale, making it an excellent purchase at $3,750. For information, 518-766-3865 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CARLISLE, PENN. – The Antique Glass & Bottle auction at Rowe’s Auction Service took place on August 6, offering almost 400 lots of glass from the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Centuries. The highest price burned bright at this sale with a rare and unusual “Horn Of Plenty” Sandwich glass oil lamp that sold for $2,240. Mold-pressed around 1860, this lamp was made to burn whale oil but is now retired as part of a larger glass collection. For information, 717-574-1008 or www.rowesauctionservice.com.
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