Published: February 23, 2021
Review by W.A. Demers, Photos Courtesy Blanchard’s Auction Service
POTSDAM, N.Y. – Blanchard’s winter antiques auction was a special affair, presenting the historic “Camp Manor” Sackets Harbor, N.Y., estate that was built for Col. Elisha Camp, one of the original founders of Sackets Harbor, after the War of 1812. This Federal home was a time capsule of American life and history from the infancy of the United States through the World Wars and into the present. With online bidding running February 7-14, the sale was all unreserved, dispersing 625 lots of antiques, most of which had descended through the same family for seven generations.
“I was very pleased with the sale,” said the firm’s co-owner Kip Blanchard. “This is all kind of new this year, doing everything online only, there’s still a lot of uncertainty going in. It would have made a great onsite auction; however, I don’t think it would have done any better. I think it actually sold better online. We had about 460 registered bidders, 185 unique buyers – and 100 percent of the items sold.”
Included were period furniture, fine art, brass andirons and fireplace accessories and an assortment of Oriental rugs. Notable among the latter was a hand-woven Oriental area rug, 50 by 90 inches, in good overall condition and colors, which sold for $11,500. “We had more calls on that darn rug than anything else,” said Blanchard with a chuckle, adding, “The best part was that the person who bought it came to the preview and saw it, then came first thing Monday, paid for it and picked it up.”
A fine art highlight was an oil on canvas painting attributed to Georgios Jakobides (Greek, 1853-1932). Titled “The First Steps” and depicting a nascent toddler taking her first steps on a farm table with the assistance of her mother, the 7¾-by-10¾-inch (sight) genre painting was in an ornate frame. It was described as being in as-found condition from nationally known wildlife artist Robert Sleicher’s estate in northern New York, signed in the top right corner, it finished at $7,910. Jakobides was one of the main representatives of the Greek artistic movement of the Munich School. He founded and was the first curator of the National Gallery of Greece in Athens. In Munich, he lived for 17 years where he worked in his studio, painting mythological scenes, genre pictures and portraits. His work is influenced by German academic Realism. His most famous paintings were of children, but it is said that after his wife’s death in 1889, he stopped painting happy themes.
There were several Oriental rugs that had seen foot traffic in “Camp Manor,” among them a handmade Oriental runner rug at $5,930. A total of 42 inches wide by 13 feet 4 inches long, it exhibited some wear and fading but was in overall good shape.
A notable furniture lot crossing the block was a massive inlaid Federal secretary that was bid to $5,650. It had a fitted curly maple desk interior, inlaid front, George Washington and Eagle pendant and had its original “bubble” glass. Deemed massive because its base section measured 66½ inches wide by 47 inches tall by 22 inches deep, it was surmounted by a top section with removable crest that spanned 78 inches tall by 62½ inches wide by 13½ inches deep. Catalog notes pointed out that the secretary desk had been custom built circa 1820s for Col. Elisha Camp for his Federal home and has remained in the South Parlor for almost 200 years. A man and his secretary desk are not parted – it was accompanied by a portrait of Col. Camp. According to Blanchard, it is going to Kinderhook, N.Y., where there is an exact same Federal home, designed by the same architect that designed the home it came out of.
The first lot across the block was as important as Col. Camp’s secretary desk. It was a pair of Federal Daniel King andirons, circa 1815. Hand forged of brass and iron, unsigned but attributed to the prominent Philadelphia maker, each featured an urn-form finial, tapered columns, patriotic punch work of the shield and eagle and stood on spurred cabriole legs with claw and ball feet. Measuring 30½ inches tall, 14 inches wide, 25 inches deep, the pair realized $5,085. Like the secretary desk and many other items in this sale, they had remained in the Camp family home for more than 200 years. The andirons were purchased by a private collector in South Carolina.
Fetching $2,825 was an Asian silk dragon robe, while some early Native American items also brought notable results. Comprising a riding crop with glass beads, a shoulder epaulette, a 4-inch finely woven covered basket and a photo of Indian “Boston Charley,” a group of four such items left the gallery at $2,712. Bringing $2,034 was a lot six of Native American cabinet photos of Kiowa Indians.
Additional highlights in the sale included an 1880s Westminster chimes bracket clock striking $2,599, a group of early bisque dolls making $1,356 and an 18K gold fashion ring earning $12,469.
Blanchard’s next sale is being planned for April and will comprise all the books, broadsides, historical documents, including an 1818 printing of the Declaration of Independence by Benjamin Owen Tyler, and ephemera that came out of “Camp Manor.” Prices given include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction house. For more information, 315-265-5070 or www.blanchardsauctionservice.com.
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