Published: July 15, 2015
Abstract portrait, oil on canvas by Rufino Tamayo (Mexican, 1899–1991), signed and dated ’71 lower left, signed en verso, 18¾ by 22½ inches sight, 27 by 31 inches overall. It has small punctures and craquelure and sold for $29,000 against a $20/40,000 estimate.
Review and onsite photos by R. Scudder Smith
Additional photos courtesy William Bunch Auctions
CHADDS FORD, PENN. — William H. Bunch Auctions, with Bill Bunch wielding the gavel, kicked off the June 30 sale at 11 am and hammered down the last lot almost on the dot of 8 pm. During those nine hours, 727 lots were either sold or passed, a grouping of objects that included 355 pieces from the inventory of Raccoon Creek Antiques, about 150 works of art from one consignor, a selection of Oriental rugs and hooked rugs, and some Americana, including furniture and accessories.
The Raccoon Creek objects totaled just about 50 percent of the auction by lots, and brought in $161,170 hammer price. There were no reserves on those pieces. The art collection was about 50 percent sold for a total of $97,000 hammer, with the consignor donating five percent of that number to the Wounded Warriors Project. The total for the entire auction was $344,450, plus the buyer’s premium.
The auction house charges 15 percent buyer’s premium if paid by cash or check, 18 percent if paid by credit card. Four bidding platforms were available to bidders including Live Auctioneers and Bidsquare at 21 percent and Invaluable at 23 percent. Auction Zip was also available. The sale was 87 percent sold by lot, with about 38 percent sold to the Internet. The costs noted here are the hammer prices, the final price depending on the method of payment.
With about 35 people in the gallery at the start of the auction, a number that grew to about 90 people before the Raccoon Creek material was offered, Bill got things underway saying he hoped everyone would “buy what you want to buy at half of what you wanted to pay.” The first lot sold was an oil on canvas by A. Katz, Twentieth Century, geometric shapes, signed and dated ’73 lower right, measuring 17½ by 35½ inches sight. It sold for $125, under the $200 low estimate.
This oil on canvas, titled “Landscape,” is by Ralph Gagnon (American, 1919–1996), signed and dated Boston 1958 lower right, 45 by 44 inches overall. It carried a high estimate of $1,200, and sold for $800.
“Sea Serpent Fantasy,” an oil on canvas by a Twentieth Century American artist, monogrammed lower right, 20 by 31 inches sight, sold to the Internet for $2,000, above the $1,200 high estimate. “The Corridor,” a signed and dated oil on canvas by Ralph Gagnon (American, 1919–1996), 46¾ by 40¾ inches overall, went for $800, in the middle of the estimate. An abstract, mixed media on paper signed and dated Corneille 1954 lower right, measures 11 by 17 inches sight and sold for just below the low estimate at $1,300.
“Day Lilies and Calla Lilies,” an oil on board signed lower right by Mary Jane Peale (American, 1827–1902), 17¾ by 11¾ inches sight, went over the $1,500 high estimate, selling for $2,100. Dutch artist Johannes Weiland (1856–1909) did an oil on canvas of genre scene with mother and children, signed lower left, 31½ by 26 inches sight, that brought $1,700, just under the high estimate. A Continental School oil on canvas, Nineteenth Century, Indian scene with elephants and horse, 26 by 38 inches overall, three tears to the canvas and losses, opened at $600 and ended up at $3,500, well over the $400 high estimate.
A framed Lancaster County, Penn., quilt square in pink, green and yellow, circa 1860–1880, 16 by 17 inches sight, went over the $100 high estimate, selling for $300, and a Shaker crocheted table scarf mounted on later wooden stretcher for display purposes, found in Maine, early Twentieth Century, 51 by 20 inches, brought $650, just over the low estimate. Both lots were from the Raccoon Creek collection.
This double wall pocket, walnut, in oxidized salmon painted surface, signed “Lebanon County 1860” on back, this design shown in House of Deer pattern book, measures 13¾ inches high and 5 inches wide. With a high estimate of $1,600, it sold to a phone bidder for $2,200; Raccoon Creek collection.
Also from the Raccoon Creek collection were a pine splay legged Sheraton one-drawer stand with old dry brown varnish finish, southern New Jersey, Nineteenth Century, with an 18-inch-square top, that brought $350, just under the low estimate, and a primitive Shaker style fern stand, old red paint, arched tripod base, 13 inches in diameter swivel top, 32 inches high, also at $350, this time just over the low estimate.
A chrome painted pine chimney cupboard, scrubbed interior with four shelves, raised panel door, early to mid-Nineteenth Century 71¼ inches high, 28¾ inches wide and 12 inches deep, went over the $1,200 high estimate, selling for $2,000. A turned and carved acorn post red painted rope bed with cornucopia carved headboard, 54 inches between the rails, 72 inches long, went under the $400 low estimate, selling for $225. Both of these pieces were from the Raccoon Creek inventory.
Also with the Raccoon Creek provenance were a paint decorated pine tall case clock by Riley Whiting, Winchester, Conn., red and yellow painted decoration, early Nineteenth Century, 87 inches tall, at $1,800 against an estimate of $2/3,000; a stoneware milk bottle form jar, Nineteenth Century, Pennsylvania, 10 inches high and 4¾ inches in diameter, $175, over the $120 high estimate; and a redware flower pot with attached underplate, Nineteenth Century, 5¼ inches in diameter and 37/8 inches high, at $50, under the low estimate.
The most popular basket in the sale was this oak splint rectangular gathering basket with chrome yellow paint, functional split handle, Virginia origin, and measuring 12 by 21 inches by 13 inches high. It dates circa 1910, Raccoon Creek collection, and sold for $1,600, four times the high estimate.
A large number of baskets, all Raccoon Creek provenance, included a woven splint gathering basket with bent oak handle, probably Pennsylvania, 14 inches in diameter and 15½ inches high, $150; a pine cheese basket, red stained finish, probably New England, 24 inches in diameter and 11 inches high, $250; an oak splint basket, unusual weave, round stays with woven splint, Southern origin, mint condition, 5 inches in diameter and 7 inches high, $50; New England kidney-shaped gathering basket, oak splint, 14½ inches long, 7½ inches wide and 11¼ inches high, $125; and a Pennsylvania buttocks basket, oak splint, great patina, mint condition, 12½ inches long, 11½ inches wide and 9½ inches high, $125. All sold under the low estimate.
The auction closed out with a Clevenger glass water pitcher, Clayton, N.J., late 1930s, blown blue-green glass, applied handle and crimped foot, 9¼ inches high, at $25, under the $100 low estimate; a Clevenger glass storage jar and witch’s ball cover, Clayton, N.J., late 1910s, free-blown blue/green glass, 11¾ inches high, witch’s ball about 6¼ inches in diameter, just over the low estimate at $125, and ended with $550 being paid for a Pennsylvania rye straw basket with interior woven handles and wooden base, 22 inches wide by 18 inches deep and 9 inches high. It dated circa 1920s and was in mint condition. It sold over the $160 high estimate.
After the auction Bill Bunch noted that “anything with good paint did well, it was a good sale and we are happy with the overall results.” Just about every lot from the Raccoon Creek collection sold, excepting some pieces of ironstone which will be offered again in a forthcoming auction.
Rob Holber, the attorney handling the sale of the Raccoon Creek material, has told Antiques and The Arts Weekly that another 200 lots from Raccoon Creek will be sold, probably sometime in September, with the date to be announced. Attorney Holber also mentioned that “if there is more material belonging to Raccoon Creek Antiques out there, we would like information leading to the discovery of the pieces.” He can be reached at either 610-565-5463 or email@example.com.
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