Published: May 28, 2002
COPAKE, N.Y. – The Annual Antique and Classic Bicycle Auction conducted by Copake Auction, Inc has become a popular yearly auction and swap meet and the eleventh such event, held April 13, was another success according to the firm.
Bicycle highlights included an 1889 Eagle 52-inch direct spoked safety ordinary bringing $11,000. A sum of $18,150 was paid for a circa 1880s adult tricycle from the Victor, Overman Wheel Company, Chicopee, Mass., and $8,800 was paid for a late 1880s 46-inch Springfield Roadster model #3. A seldom-seen model in this size, The Springfield Bicycle Mfg. Co. of Boston produced these safety ordinaries from 1887-1889, the cost was around $110.
Artwork included a 1890s litho, measuring 22 by 47 inches, that brought $3,850 and depicted “The Factories of Pope Mfg. Co., Hartford, Conn.” by artists Keyes & Woodbury of Worcester, Mass.; $2,200 was paid for a 56 by 41-inch French Nineteenth Century poster, “Cycles Liberator” by artist “Pal,” Kossuth & Co., Paris; $1,045 secured the 48 by 321/2 poster, “Cycles Marcot, Le Velo des Champions” by artist L. Husson, printer “Imp. Vidoux & Cie Nancy” depicting a track racer. And $770 bought a rare Major Taylor newsstand poster, a supplement to La Vie Au Grand Air, September 18, 1901. The poster depicts Taylor in patriotic racing uniform with his Iver Johnson track racer. The poster was matted and framed, measured 91/2 by 7 inches, and was in mint condition.
Additional bike sales included an 1880s adult tricycle, probably a Hillman, Herbert & Cooper, with 28-inch front wheel and 36-inch rear wheels, in excellent restored condition that sold for $4,730. A “Boneshaker” — a circa 1869 Michaux having restored wheels, frame and seat — brought $4,620. It retained an original name badge “Michaux & Cie. Btes 5.G.D.G. 27 Rue Jean Goujo Paris” and was in excellent restored condition. A late 1930s one owner “barn fresh” Elgin Bluebird realized $3,520. Found in Pennsylvania as it was parked in the 1930s, the bike was mostly complete but missing some parts and needing chrome replating and sheetmetal work.
A circa 1903 Pierce cushion frame safety featuring Kelly bars with rare Kelly lamp bracket holding a Columbia model-C carbide lamp featured leaf sprung front forks, unusual three-sided pedals, odometer, Pierce script, proper Pierce hubs, Kelly saddle and was fitted with Dunbar 28-inch black wall tires. This original and restored example sold for $2,640. A circa 1897 Punnett Companion manufactured in Rochester, N.Y., with correct handlebars, Mesinger seat and original name badge had an older, incorrect restoration, but sold for $3,190. A 1940 Elgin Miss America, ex-Steve Castelli Collection, had a concourse restoration, Bluebird stem, Carlisle all white tires, Persons signal pedals and realized $2,090. A 1930 Indian, manufactured in Germany under license from the Indian Motorcycle Co., Springfield, Mass., and sold through the American dealers, boasted unrestored original Indian red paint. This very rare, unrestored example pedaled off with a bid of $15,950.
Related material featured The John Van Benschoten Archive, which included a framed collage consisting of eight photographs of Van Benschoten’s factory located at 14-20 Catharine St., Poughkeepsie, N.Y., with calligraphy decoration, in period frame 27 by 37 inches; a Van Benschoten bicycle head badge “Van-Special P’ksie NY”; a period 11 by 141/2 photograph depicting the Poughkeepsie Bicycle Club’s club house located in Eastman Park; a small advertisement showing the bicycle club house and announcing the Third Annual Race Meet on Labor Day, September 3, 1894; a newspaper article from the Poughkeepsie Star – Enterprise, December 11, 1937, giving the business history and photographs of John Van Benschoten on his highwheel and his car (Van Benschoten was one of the country’s first auto dealers, opening in 1900) and a circa 1940s Poughkeepsie newspaper article showing the “Club House” and information on the various bicycle clubs.
The most important element in the archive was a Victorian shadow box having 21 various gold and silver medals awarded to John and Elias Van Benschoten in Dutchess County and the Hudson River Valley between 1889 and 1897. Highlights included a “Qt. Mile World’s Record” August 15, 1894; a May 30, 1889 “Dutchess Road Race P’ksie to Wapp. Falls; Dut. Cty. 2 Miles” from September 27, 1889 and an 1890 “1 Mile Ordinary Championship Mileage PBIC 1897 2000 Miles.” This rare intact historical collection was offered for the first time, being consigned by Van Benschoten’s daughter. All rdf_Descriptions were in excellent condition and sold for $7,700.
A circa 1868 Hanlon velocipede (attribution by David Herlihy, Gertjan Moed and Lorne Shields) was purchased for $7,150. The Hanlon Bros velocipedes were manufactured by Calvin Witty, 638 Broadway, New York City, and Witty controlled the Lallement patent and was able to bypass the $10 patent fee. Witty sold machines in the $90/130 range. The style and construction are unique and most velocipedes were made in the French Diagonal Pattern: 39-inch front and 35-inch rear wheels. The Hanlon troupe was a group of famous acrobats from the 1850s to the 1880s and presented a velocipede act on stage.
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