Published: April 15, 2003
YORK, PENN. – York Town Auction’s sale on February 22 highlighted antiques and fine arts, with more than 800 cataloged lots. The sale began with a collection of contemporary wild fowl paintings and carvings from the estate collection of Perce Trone of York, which included a carved loon by Bob Biddle, 1975, selling for $650, an Art Lamay watercolor for $320, and a John Taylor oil onboard for $400.
Trone’s estate also included a collection of doorstops, focusing on animals, with a quail at $375, a left-facing bulldog at $200 and a bulldog facing forward selling for $350.
A York County collector, moving to smaller living quarters, had among her collection being sold some examples of advertising, including a Dr Lesure’s Veterinary Cabinet, which sold to a collector in Texas for $6,000. Also from the collection a small painted wood grocery sign in the form of an arm brought $1,000, and of local interest, a collection of Foust and Moul rdf_Descriptions. This local advertising stoneware and ephemera has attracted rising interest. Estimated at $2/300, a miniature Foust jug brought $575. The last Foust shot glass with red seal sold here this year brought $450, while one from this collection brought $500, plus the premium.
There were a few unusual, but not necessarily overly attractive, stoneware jugs that commanded good prices, including one stenciled “E.S.B., Jefferson,” selling for $850, and a brown and white Moul with paper label for Hellam Pure Rye Whiskey, $700.
Period furniture held its ground for a slacking economy. There were two Pennsylvania candle stands with dish tops. The first Philadelphia candlestand, estimated at $10/15,000, realized $12,000, while the second sold for $14,500 ($12/15,000). A Lancaster County blind door walnut dutch cupboard sold for $12,500, and a walnut Philadelphia flattop highboy did $11,000, both selling within their estimates. A cherry Hagerstown tall clock reached $19,500, and a folk art painted fireplace insert brought $2,600.
Another walnut piece that garnered interest was a corner cupboard with oversized ogee feet, which did well at $13,500. A Pennsylvania dower chest went to a collector for $5,600.
Stephen Etnier paintings were in demand. A Nassau scene titled “The Green Boat, Nassau” sold for $8,000, against an estimate of $4,5/6,500, going to a Nassau collector. Another Etnier, a Jamaican scene, brought $3,000. Among other paintings, an Emille Walters painting sold for $1,300.
Among York Town’s diverse offering of accessories, an oak trumpeter clock sold at $4,100 ($1,4/2,000); a Virginia Record Book Artist fraktur realized $5,750; a folk art cutout watercolor of a Confederate horse-drawn ambulance sold for $2,300; a small stoneware inkwell did $2,000; a redware measure stamped “V. Rudolph” (Shippensburg, Penn.) fetched $2,300; an early folk art portrait of a young girl ($1,2/1,500), brought $2,900; a small George Cope painting ($1,5/2,500) sold for $4,000; and a sawtooth bars quilt brought $1,600.
The surprise of the auction came late in the day. Lot 1331 was a Mary Ann Furnace stove plate, which was estimated at $800 to $1,200. The lot reached a final hammer price of $11,000, going to a telephone bidder against one in the audience. “This has to be a record price for a Pennsylvania stove plate,” said York Town manager John McClain. A particularly nice specimen, the plate had Dutchy tulips, the date 1763, and the names George Ross/ George Stevenson. (Ross was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence).
“The house was packed,” McClain said. “A lot of new faces and a lot of regulars.”
The above prices do not reflect the 12.5 percent buyer’s premium.
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