Published: April 2, 2019
Review by Anne Kugielsky / Photos Courtesy Norman C. Heckler & Company Auction
WOODSTOCK VALLEY, CONN. – The renowned Dr Charles and Jane Aprill Collection of bottles and glass is being sold at Norman C. Heckler & Company Auction throughout 2019. The first session, March 11-20, was a resounding success with prices above expectations and the rare and beautiful objects going to new homes.
“Charlie and Jane were known to have the best collection of blue glass anywhere,” Norman Heckler, owner of Heckler Auction said. “Jane died a few years ago, but they had decided to sell their collection in 2019. We [Norm and his son] went to New Orleans two years ago to pick it up. Charlie was a gracious host; we stayed with him for several days, appraising, packing and filling the truck.”
The top lot of Session I was an early American Masonic arch and emblems with eagle and “J.K / B.” historical flask blown at the Keene Marlboro Street Glassworks, Keene, N.H., 1815-30, which sold at $71,370. With a powerful presence and extremely rare color – a rich cobalt blue in the lower half shading to a medium cobalt blue in the upper half – the pint-sized bottle was formerly from the Edmund and Jayne Blaske collection. “There are other similar flasks in blue, but this has the deepest color I’ve seen,” Heckler said, “and that contributes heavily to its value.”
Following immediately after the top lot, a pattern-molded covered sugar bowl sold very well at $9,360. “I am pleased to see blown and pattern-molded glass again doing well,” Heckler said.
Not surprisingly, some of the Aprill’s collection came from or through Norm Heckler. One such piece was an Ira Harvey, Providence, R.I., soda water bottle, America, 1840-60, in a cylindrical “teepee” form and medium sapphire blue that was offered with a $2/4,000 estimate. The 7-3/8-inch bottle sold at $6,435.
Another lot that Heckler handled and even once owned was a pattern-molded bottle, 24 ribs swirled to the right, Midwest, 1815-30. In a brilliant medium sapphire blue, this “rare and most desirable bottle has been treasured by many noted collectors” including ex George S. McKearin collection, ex Arthur Barrus collection, ex Norman C. Heckler collection, ex Bill Pollard collection, to the Aprill collection. It sold above high estimate at $12,870.
Several early fruit jars did “exceptionally well,” Norm said, “mostly because they are blue, and in the case of the half-gallon early petalled fruit jar, it could be the only one out there in this dense color.” The 1845-60 jar had a $5/10,000 estimate, but strong competition pushed the final price to $16,380.
An early figural wine bottle also sold above its high estimate, realizing $28,080. Heckler admitted that this was his favorite: “it is clean, crisp, bold, blue and big!” he said. This striking bottle is heavily embossed with grapes and grape leaves, which are enhanced by the brilliant blue color.
In several instances it was the color blue that sent what are relatively common molds well above expectations. An Eagle and “Pittsburgh / PA” historical flask, Pittsburgh district, Pennsylvania, 1860-70, in a medium cobalt blue sold at $11,115. The half-pint GII-109 was in a beautiful, unlisted color and in fine condition. “Today’s collectors are more concerned with condition than were collectors 25 or more years ago,” Heckler said.
“We were honored and pleased to have been offered this collection to sell. I’ve known Charlie and Jane for years – as friends and collectors – they have been the most gracious and wonderful people.”
Heckler’s Auction is now preparing for the first session of the beautiful and important non-blue bottles and glass of the Aprill Collection, which will be May 6-15. The non-blue auctions in particular features a fine selection of freeblown and pattern molded creamers. “Jane Aprill loved her creamers. She had a discerning eye in putting together a wonderful collection.”
The second blue session will be September 2-11, and the second non-blue session will be October 14-23.
Prices, with buyer’s premium, as reported by the auction house. For more information, www.hecklerauction.com or 860-974-1634.
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