Published: December 9, 2015
Review and Onsite Photos by R. Scudder Smith
Catalog Photos Courtesy Conestoga Auction Company
MANHEIM, PENN. — “It has not been easy watching Harry’s estate being sold at auction, but the people at Conestoga and our son-in-law Eric have made all the right things happen and it is now over,” Oliver Overlander, Harry Hartman’s longtime business partner and great friend, said a few days after the November 20 and 21 auctions. Oliver noted, “We have been pleased with each of the six sales, with some objects going for less than expected while others went for more, but in the end it all turned out well and we are glad it is now behind us.”
The first two sessions of the auction were on May 15–16, when 743 lots were sold for a total of $702,643. On August 14–15 sessions three and four saw 969 lots cross the block for a total of $656,776. The final two auctions on November 20–21 saw 829 lots sell for $620,769. In the end, 2,541 lots were offered for a grand total of $1,980,188, including the buyer’s premium. And, in addition to the main auctions, some Hartman property was worked into other auctions conducted by Conestoga over the recent months.
“We bought Conestoga Auction Company last December and we are pleased to have had the important Harry Hartman Estate auctions during our first year of ownership,” John M. Hess, president and auctioneer of the Hess Auction Group, said. He also noted that “over the years Harry was a regular at Conestoga sales and was a great friend of Jeffrey DeHart, the former owner of Conestoga and the one responsible for the accurate and well-done catalogs for all three sales. We all worked hard together on this sale and were very pleased with the results.”
Two Internet platforms were in action for the sale, Live Auctioneers and Bidsquare. On Saturday, Live Auctioneers failed twice, causing the auction to be halted for a 15-minute break the first time, and about 30 minutes the second time. “Bidsquare remained active for the entire auction, but we stopped the sale to give Live Auctioneers time to fix its problem in fairness to our consignor,” John announced. He then invited people to go to the snack bar, saying, “It’s all on me.”
All of the Hartman auctions started at 9 am, with 452 lots listed for Friday, November 20, beginning with 158 lots of books from Harry’s vast library. First up was Early American Wrought Iron, Scribner, 1928, selling for $94; the category ended at 10:30 am with a lot comprising Brunschwig & Fils Style, Mark Hampton on Decorating and The Great American House bringing $17. “Very often when we were out shopping Harry would pick up a book and buy it even after I told him that I thought we already had a copy,” Oliver said. Harry’s reply was always, “It never hurts to have another copy.”
Yellowware, a favorite of Harry’s and always offered at the antiques shows he participated in, followed the books along with other smalls, including tin, wrought iron, redware, other pottery and copper items. A blue seaweed mocha decorated yellowware bowl, 11¼ inches in diameter, went for $354; a Pennsylvania Nineteenth Century copper tea kettle, signed “John Getz,” Lancaster County, Penn., circa 1780–1841 12½ inches high, brought $501; and a Hubley Southern mammy cast iron doorstop, red and white bandana and black dress with white apron, 12 inches high, sold for $413. All prices noted include the buyer’s premium.
Another Lancaster copper tea kettle, signed Schaum, circa 1785–1814, domed lid with brass mushroom finial, 12½ inches high, sold for $2,124, while a Hubley cast iron squirrel holding a nut doorstop, 9 inches high and green painted surface, went for $531. Among a number of tin cookie cutters in the sale was a large trotting horse design signed “Thomas Mills & Bro., Phila,” 7¼ inches high, that brought $501.
A pair of late Eighteenth Century wrought iron ram’s horn strap hinges with penny ends, 39½ inches long, sold for $531, and a Nineteenth Century wrought iron swivel toaster with footed base, fleur-de-lis toast supports, went for $295. A heavy cast iron sitting black cat doorstop, yellow painted eyes, 9¾ inches high, brought $708, followed by an Eighteenth Century wrought iron combination splint candlestand, 31¾ inches high, tripod base with scrolled feet, at $501.
A bid of $501 took a Pennsylvania Nineteenth Century copper apple butter kettle with wrought iron bail handle, 13 inches high and 20¼ inches in diameter, and an Eighteenth–Nineteenth Century wrought iron hanging combination rush/candleholder, 30¼ inches long, went for $354.
Lot 277 was sold at noon, three hours into the auction, a very heavy cast iron standing pig still bank, painted black and white, 8½ inches high and 17 inches long, brought $885, followed a few lots later by a Nineteenth Century tin birdcage, crown top with hanging loop, round bars with sliding door, central perch and water canisters, 21 inches high and 23 inches in diameter, at $649. Two Nineteenth Century bird-form cookie cutters made $649.
The quilt/coverlet portion of the auction began with a mid-Nineteenth Century four-color Robeson Township, Berks County, Penn., two-part woven jacquard coverlet, signed “M. by John Katchel [for] Jacob Becker, 1846,” floral pattern, 84 by 94 inches, very good condition, for $1,003, and a mid-Nineteenth Century York County three-color, two-part jacquard coverlet, signed “John Schwartz, weaver, York, PA 1842,” 72 by 92 inches, open field with floral and geometric motifs, at $649. An early Twentieth century Amish diamond pattern patchwork quilt, 76 by 73½ inches, went for $295.
A purple spatter ironstone china Acorn pattern plate, three acorns with teal caps and green leaves, 9¾ inches in diameter, very good condition, realized $767; a red spatter ironstone china thistle pattern plate, incised feather edge, red thistle with green leaves, 8¼ inches in diameter, sold for $472; and a yellow spatter china Tulip pattern cup and saucer, red tulip with green leaves, very good condition, garnered $826. An early Nineteenth Century mocha seaweed decorated mug, dark brown seaweed on orange, tan band and dark brown strip decoration, sold for $472, and a Nineteenth Century Canton blue and white Oriental porcelain pitcher, 8½ inches high, brought the same price.
A large Nineteenth Century Canton Oriental porcelain platter, 163/8 by 19¾ inches, very good condition, sold for $708, and three pieces of mocha decorated china — a pitcher, mug and bowl — brought $1,534 despite a condition report of “poor with breaks and losses.”
A selection of blown glass kugels ended the auction on Friday, with prices ranging from $11 to $472 for 28 of them in both ball and cluster of grape forms. Colors included red, green, red and gold.
A selection of redware began the Saturday auction, which got off to a good start with a Pennsylvania Eighteenth Century sgraffito decorated redware shallow bowl, mirror image decoration with birds, floral and foliate motifs, yellow ground glaze with green and red highlights, 11¼ inches in diameter, going for $2,714, followed by a Willoughby Smith, Womelsdorf, Penn., redware pottery plate, manganese and yellow scroll decoration, 7¾ inches in diameter, which brought the same price. A Pennsylvania Nineteenth Century redware pottery charger, signed in yellow slip “Simon Singer Earthenware Maker,” coggle wheel edge, 13½ inches in diameter, broken in three sections and glued back together, sold for $767.
Following the sale of the water cooler, pictured, a 2-gallon stoneware pottery jug with blue slip tulip decoration, M&T Miller, Newport, Penn., 13 inches high, sold for $2,360, and a Nineteenth Century Ohio sewer tile brown glaze pottery figure of a seated spaniel, inscribed under the base “W.E. Arblaster,” 10½ inches high, went for $1,888.
A large assortment of baskets in many shapes and sizes, again another favorite area of collecting that Harry really enjoyed, started off with a late Nineteenth to early Twentieth Century Pennsylvania large woven oak splint market basket, bentwood handle with God’s eye reinforcement and bentwood wrapped rim, 16½ inches high, at $885. A Pennsylvania Nineteenth to early Twentieth Century woven oak splint egg orsch backe basket, 4 inches high and 5½ inches wide, very good condition, brought $649. In total, there were 45 baskets that sold for $7,904.
A Pennsylvania Nineteenth Century cherry hanging spice box, double arched back with hanging eyelet, went for $590; a Lancaster Nineteenth Century grain painted decorated softwood seed chest, hinged slant lid, 12 drawers with porcelain pulls, 21 inches high, went for $4,720; a Lehn ware strawberry pattern egg cup, Joseph Long Lehn, Lancaster County, turned poplar wood, polychrome painted with salmon ground and interior, very good condition, at $1,062; a Nineteenth Century stylized tulip and foliate single piece butter print, turned wood with cylindrical handle, 4¾ inches in diameter, sold for $767; and a Pennsylvania mid-Nineteenth Century softwood tabletop desk, original red paint, gallery back, hinge slant lid, 11 ½ inches high, 17 inches wide and 15¼ inches deep, sold for $994.
Two antique wood cutting boards with hanging eyelets, circular form and pear-shaped, went for $1,121; a life-size carving of humming birds on trumpet vine by Frank Finney, 14 inches high, sold for $2,478; a folk art carved and painted wood rabbit figure, 31½ inches tall, made $1,534; and a D. Ellinger signed oil on canvas of an Amish farm scene, 30¼ by 40¼ inches sight, signed lower left, depicting the homestead, white picket fence, woman working in the garden and figures in the foreground, went for $4,425.
Lot 700, a hand drawn and hand colored birth and baptism certificate, attributed to Abraham Huth, with central cactus flower, angel, hearts and tulips, and suspended grapes, was inscribed for Anmaria Webbert. born April 14, 1822. It measures 12¾ by 15½ inches sight and went for $5,546. It was followed by another printed and hand drawn and colored birth and baptismal certificate, attributed to Martin Brechall, 10¾ by 16¾ inches sight, that brought $2,242.
In addition to the bull weathervane pictured, other forms included a Nineteenth Century cod, molded copper, 31 inches long, at $4,956; a Nineteenth Century copper hackney stallion trotting horse, original gilt with cast zinc head, 34½ inches long, $12,980; and a late Nineteenth Century copper setter dog vane, attributed to Washburn, remnants of the original gilt, 32½ inches long, at $12,980.
Furniture started with lot 733, a Jacob Gorgas, Ephrata, Penn., Chippendale walnut tall case clock, circa 1770–80, broken arch pediment with floral carved rosettes, turned urn and carved flame finials, foliate raised carved central plinth, ribbon scrolls, and shell carved pendulum door. It has an eight-day movement, measures 101¼ inches tall, and sold for $8,850. A southeastern Pennsylvania Queen Anne walnut tilt top tea table, circa 1760, three-board dish rim top, birdcage support, 36 inches in diameter, went for $3,540. A rare Jonestown, Penn., Queen Anne walnut lowboy, circa 1760, signed on the back “A. Zahn, Jonestown,” with molded top with duck bill corners, central heart drop frieze, cabriole legs with scroll carving at the back of the knee and cabriole legs, measured 48 inches high and went for $7,670.
An early Nineteenth Century bamboo turned Windsor settee, 39 spindles back with plank seat and stretcher base, 78¼ inches long and of Pennsylvania origin, went for $1,770, and a Pennsylvania early Nineteenth Century softwood hutch table, original reddish brown paint, three-board top, arched cutout base, 42 inches in diameter, brought $2,478.
Selling for $2,124 was a late Eighteenth Century to early Nineteenth Century open pewter shelf, scallop supports, 102½ inches high and 74 inches wide; several lots later, a Pennsylvania Chippendale walnut chest of drawers, circa 1780–90, three over two over three drawers, ogee bracket feet, 62½ inches high and 42 inches wide, brought $2,478. A New York City Windsor sack back armchair, circa 1765–80, old black paint, seven-spindle back, flat arms, turned supports, turned splayed legs, went for $2,006, and selling for $2,478 was a Mahotonga Valley, Penn., mixed wood hanging cupboard, original red and green paint, single four-pane glazed door, interior shelves, measuring 30¾ by 28½ inches.
A couple of lots before the end of the auction a wooden wheelbarrow, Pennsylvania origin, in the original chrome orange paint, went for $236, and the last item did not really go out with a bang, but just a ripple as a Nineteenth Century primitive drying rack in the original brown paint gathered in $11.80.
In addition to the regular schedule of auctions at Conestoga, the collection of Corinne Machmer will be sold on February 26–27. For further information, 717-898-7284 or www.conestogaauction.com.
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