Published: February 22, 2022
Review by W.A. Demers, Photos Courtesy Copake Auction
COPAKE, N.Y. – More than 800 lots of estate items crossed the block on February 12 at Copake Auction with a Chinese four-part screen with ceramic panels surpassing its $300/400 estimate and landing at $9,440. The screen featured two end panels measuring 16½ by 72 inches, plus two center sections at 16 by 73 inches. It went to a new buyer to the firm, a Canadian bidding on Invaluable against four phones and other online competition, according to Seth Fallon. “We were super excited about that,” he said.
The online unreserved estate auction featured 823 lots of estate Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century furniture, artwork, folk art, political items, period accessories, china, glass, stoneware, primitives and more. It totaled $250,000 with just 16 of the lots remaining unsold. “We don’t have reserves,” Fallon explained. “We get offered a lot of estate material and that was kind of like the old days, taking reserves. Everything’s changed.”
Before the auction, Copake had 3,600 absentee bids and there were 419 successful buyers out of a universe of 10,000 bidders registered among four online platforms plus the gallery’s list.
The sale also included session two of the Myron and Carolyn Neugeboren collection featuring contemporary folk art, period furniture and accessories. This well-known collection has been featured in Yankee Magazine and the Litchfield County Times. According to Mike Fallon, “They had a keen eye for modern folk art and collected some of the best artists in that genre, including names such as Gil Russell, Larry Koosed, Don Cadoret, Bruce Murphy, Walter and June Gotshall, Barbara Strawser, Gina Hosfeld, Bill and Phyllis Duffy, William Kautz and more.”
It would not be a typical estate auction at Copake without at least one choice weathervane making a notable appearance. Antique weathervanes are a staple for Copake sales, and this was no exception as a pig weathervane, the porcine form on a stand, 28 by 16¾ inches, rooted out a final price of $2,950. “That sold to a collector,” said Fallon.
From the Neugeboren estate came a circa 1900-15 Amish wool quilt made by Emma Stoltzfus, 88 by 88 inches. In overall good shape, it ignored an estimate of $500/700 to realize $2,360.
Low estimates in fact were pretty much demolished throughout this sale, and a large lot of various folk art soft sculptures, dolls, ceramics, etc., also from the Neugeboren collection, was bid to $3,304 against an estimate of just $50-$75. Names included Eve Thew, Gail Wilson Duggan and Richard Palan. “That surprised me,” said Fallon. “I thought it did phenomenal.”
Likewise at an expectation of $300/500, a watercolor landscape with figures and boats by Martin Rico y Ortega (1833-1908) outperformed, bringing $3,304 on the phone, and is going to a gallery in Spain. Signed in the lower left corner, the painting measured 20½ by 14½ inches. Ortega’s works are in institutional collections such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 1862, having been awarded a prize by Madrid’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts, he traveled to Paris to develop his talent for landscape painting, eventually choosing to study with Charles-François Daubigny. He is known for his smooth brushwork and precise realism.
Noted by Copake as “heavy for shipping” at 40-50 pounds, an early brass with wood carriage signal cannon, estimated $200/300, shot up to $3,068, going to a buyer on the phone. It was marked “Man.F By / Strong Fire Arms / Co. / Pat Jan 9 83. / Jun 19 83. / New Haven Conn. USA” and measured 16 inches long by 8 inches high.
A furniture highlight was a pair of decorative upholstered chairs that brought nearly 20 times high estimate at $3,835. With feet raised on casters and a 19-inch seat height, the chairs were 38 inches high.
The same price was posted for a lot comprising six boxes of various postcards, while a Tiffany Garland dining set, including ten 10½-inch plates and eight mugs, estimated just $50-$100, surprised at $3,068. The postcard collection comprised holiday themes and was a curated lot that had been assembled by a collector. “It was a very nice group, but it surprised me,” said Fallon.
Prices given include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction house. Copake’s next online sale is on March 19 and will include part three of Neugeboren collection, with about 150 additional items. For information, 518-329-1142 or www.copakeauction.com.
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