Published: March 19, 2002
LUDWIGS CORNER, PENN. – Of the 20 American and English needlework samplers offered during Pook & Pook, Inc.’s February 22 and 23 auction, the most spectacular example was illustrated on the front cover of the catalog and brought the corresponding high price of $57,500 (including the 15 percent buyer’s premium).
The elaborate Burlington County, N.J. needlework sampler, wrought by Rachel Haines in 1830, is referenced in Girlhood Embroidery by Betty Ring in a discussion of a very similar sampler, which is itself identified as one of the most famous New Jersey samplers.
Not surprisingly, the Haines example, which similarly depicted a Federal brick house and a gentleman in a top hat with a long rifle hunting a fox on a fenced green lawn, as well as additional images of ducks, chickens, goats and trees, all surmounted by verse within additional birds, animals, baskets of flowers, spread winged shield breasted eagle and trailing floral border, created quite a stir among auction previewers. Ultimately, it became the subject of a battle between two phone bidders selling to a private collector.
While the sampler was the high ticket rdf_Description of the weekend, the 844-lot sale also featured more moderately priced rdf_Descriptions being sold to benefit the Children’s Crisis Treatment Center of Philadelphia. Generously donated by approximately 20 dealers such as Diana Bittel, David Wheatcroft, Gregory Kramer, M. Finkel & Daughter, Olde Hope Antiques, Frank Gaglio, Inc., and the benefit organizer, Phyllis Sauter, rdf_Descriptions such as an English child’s scalloped crest cupboard, a folk art carved cane, quilts, and several Windsor chairs were sold without reserve or auctioneer’s commission.
Auctioneer Ronald Pook often reminded the audience that the proceeds, which totaled just under $10,000, would be benefiting the non-profit center, which provides assistance to Philadelphia children and families in need.
The event also included an array of hunt and horse racing material out of the estate of the owners of a Chester County, Penn. racing stables including bronzes, paintings, prints, riding apparel and boots, silver trophies, and more.
Two horse and jockey bronzes by well-known British artist John Rattenbury Skeaping were among the more popular rdf_Descriptions in this category selling for $4,600 and $4,888. A large watercolor of race horses thundering down the straight-away by the same artist made $3,163.
A late Nineteenth Century English oil on canvas interior scene depicting a hound studying a fox head mounted on a wall above a hunt painting fetched $2,875 despite being unsigned.
Assorted silver plated figures of seated and recumbent foxes often doubled and tripled pre-auction estimates, selling for $431, $1,035, and $1.093. An oil on canvas portrait of a recumbent fox in a landscape, signed lower right by Danish artist, “P.T. Tax,” sold for $4,025. A lot including 12 pairs of leather riding boots, eight bowler hats and three top hats went to a new home for $1,150.
A Chester County Queen Anne walnut chest on frame, circa 1760, with a seven-drawer configuration on the upper section above a frame with a boldly molded and scalloped skirt supported by cabriole legs terminating in stockinged trifid feet, brought $11.500.
The same family was pleased to add the Lancaster County, Penn. walnut schrank, circa 1770, to their inventory for $25,875. Measuring just 7 foot, 5-½ inches high, the schrank also featured recessed paneled sides, double raised panel doors, and a base with bold ogee feet.
Two Pennsylvania Dutch cupboards with minor retroactions sold well at $7,475 and $5,463. A pair of Philadelphia bow back Windsor side chairs, stamped “Henzey,” circa 1790, retaining the old brown painted surface over the original green, went for $3,450. A late Federal mahogany breakfront, circa 1820, in which the secondary wood appeared to be poplar, went to an absentee bid against several bidders in the audience for $11,500.
A selection of furniture and accessories descending in the Peirce-Nichols family of Salem, Mass. was sold with good results. A Massachusetts Federal mahogany tall-case clock, circa 1810, with an eight-day works and painted dial inscribed “Warranted by John Holbrook Medway” went to the phone for $18,400.
A Connecticut Chippendale mahogany low chest, circa 1775, with bold ogee fee and a central shell carved drop sold to a private collector for $10,925. A Connecticut Federal cherry inlaid candlestand, circa 1800, with line and fan inlaid square top, urn turned shaft, and modified cabriole legs sold for $3,450.
A Connecticut cherry hanging pipe box, circa 1770, with a pinwheel carved drawer front, made $2,875. A New England painted pine chair table, circa 1760, with a large circular batten top tilting over a chair form base with drawer on shoe feet achieved $7,590. An English William and Mary oak dressing table, circa 1680, with a molded rectangular top over a boldly scalloped skirt with drawer, supported by baluster and ring turned legs joined by shaped flat stretchers and terminating in ball feet also sold above estimate at $4,715.
Some of the other spectacular prices of the day came from the sale of several wonderful architectural pieces being sold by the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village of Dearborn, Mich. With all the phone lines taken on almost every lot in the category, an elaborately carved pine mantel from the Whitehall Plantation outside of Charleston, S.C., was the piece in greatest demand selling for $14,950 to an out-of-state dealer.
A Maryland paneled room end with mantelpiece and two cupboard doors with reeded decoration came close to the top lot making $12,075. A pair of Philadelphia Federal mantels, circa 1820, for $3,450 and a group of French carved interior shutter panels, Eighteenth Century, with carved decoration for $7,475, also sold.
Of the fine art in the sale, a folk art painting by Jacob Maentel drew the highest price at $28,750. The watercolor on paper full-length frontal portrait of a young Elizabeth Preston flanked by her nephew, Frank Crumb, and her niece, Elizabeth Ann Crumb, with a dog in the foreground, was executed in Palmyra, Ill. and descended in the family to the present owner.
Unsigned American folk art rdf_Descriptions fared well too. An American oil on canvas scene of Blackville Park ($4,025), an American oil on canvas of Mount Vernon ($4,025), a small American pastel portrait of three children with toys and birds ($5,463), and an elaborate silhouette picture of eight people and a dog in a complete landscape ($9,775) all exceeded expectations.
A grouping of American miniature portraits on ivory garnered high prices too with a family group of three portraits making $6,038 and an individual portrait by Moses B. Russell selling for $1,323.
Among the other rdf_Descriptions deaccessioned from the Henry Ford Museum, an oil on canvas portrait of a woman in a silk dress holding a flower attributed to the Pollard Limner commanded a final sale price of $18,400 from a phone bidder.
A late Seventeenth Century British oil on canvas half-length portrait depicting Charles V, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire dressed in full military uniform, sold to the same phone bidder for $5,175.
The selection of fine art also included two works from a Wilmington, Del. corporate collection. An oil on canvas landscape titled “Canterbury Meadows” by Thomas Sidney Cooper, RA, depicting a flock of sheep in a meadow with a herd of cows in the background made $12,650.
An oil on canvas entitled “By Rushy Banks,” depicting two swans, by British artist A.E. Bailey prompted a final bid of $6,325.
An oil on canvas western scene of Indians camped beside a rushing waterfall with snow capped peaks in the background by German/American artist Hermann Herzog went for $9,775.
A pastoral oil on canvas landscape of cows beside a tree-lined rushing waterfall and river by Edmund Darch Lewis, dated 1871, realized $8,050.
A colorful landscape scene with boats on the water before a row of cottages by Anthony Thieme went well past its estimate making $13,225. An elaborate oil on canvas marine scene of the pilot boat Enchantress flanked by the American side-wheeler Alaska and other vessels in the background off a rocky shore by Conrad Freitag retained its original elaborate carved gilt frame with nautical embellishments, which propelled the work to a final price of $13,800.
A large Apache tightly woven tray, circa 1885, woven in willow and devil’s claw, with six human figures and six animal figures, made $4,830.
A rare Apache olla basket, circa 1890 with five human figures and 10-inch “rolling logs,” was the highlight at $5,175.
A Cochiti jar, early Twentieth Century with orange and black bird motif, made $4,600, while a Blackfoot or Crow Indian doll, circa 1900-1010, sold for $2,070 and a Sioux Indian doll, circa 1880-1890, reached $4,600.
A large German KPM porcelain dinner service for 12 with serving pieces was a last minute entry in the sale selling for $3,738. Two Federal giltwood girandole mirrors reached $7,475 and $8,050. An American Federal mahogany mirror, circa 1810, with a gilded broken arch crest with carved rosettes flanking an urn form finial with floral spray above an eglomise landscape panel sold for $6,900.
A George III Chinese Chippendale carved giltwood mirror, circa 1770, with overall C-scroll and foliate carved decoration enclosing a looking glass, soared to $9,775 despite some losses.
“Ethan Allen” and “Dexter” running horse copper weathervanes sold for $4,600 and $2,875, respectively. A New England carved pine eagle, early Twentieth Century, with spread wings over a banner and draped flag, retains a later gold, red, white and blue painted surface, and fell within estimate at $2,530.
A Pennsylvania appliqué quilt, circa 1840, with a red and green rose wreath with tulip pattern, within a red double swag border, on overall crisp quilted white ground, was unusually large which helped it along to a sale price of $3,680.
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