Published: March 18, 2003
Drexel Self Portrait Brings $225,000 At Pook & Pook
DOWNINGTOWN, PENN. – The first catalog sale of 2003 by Pook & Pook, Inc. was conducted February 22 at their newly renovated facility, a state-of-the-art setting that is both patron and consignor friendly.
The 650-lot sale included a plethora of fine Eighteenth Century brown wood and 300 pieces of spatter deaccessioned by Franklin & Marshall College of Lancaster, Penn., from their Dr Robert J. Schaeffer, Jr’s collection.
Three percent of the lots failed to find buyers, while all spatter lots found new owners. The sale grossed a robust $2,028,251, including buyer’s premium.
The cover lot of the profusely illustrated catalog was a family portrait of and by artist Francis Martin Drexel, 1793-1863, with his wife and daughter posing behind him. It was also the top lot of the sale. As reported by the gallery, a representative of Drexel University in Philadelphia, Penn., took the fiercely contested prize to $225,000 against a modest $15/20,000 estimate. Drexel University was founded by the artist’s son, Anthony Joseph Drexel, 1826-1893.
Of 38 hand woven carpet lots offered, a room size Serapi, with a larger central medallion on a peach field, made a bid below its low $10,000 estimate. Depicting an allegorical garden scene, a fine silk and painted oval needlework picture left at $9,775 ($3,5/4,500). A walnut drop leaf table, circa 1780, sold to the gallery against two phones at three times its high $6,000 estimate.
A fine winter landscape titled “Sunny Brook,” 26 by 32 inches, oil on canvas, by Edward Willis Redfield, (1869-1965) sold to a persistent floor bidder against the phones at $115,000 ($40/60,000).
A watercolor ink on paper birth certificate, dated 1801, by John Van Minian (1805-1842), made $20,700 ($7/9,000). A vivid 38 by 53-inch oil on canvas racing scene depicting 20 jockeys on their mounts, by Peter Howell, made $3,565 ($3/5,000).
Seldom seen in its form, a Thomas Willis (1850-1925) oil on canvas and needlework portrait titled “St. Yacht Susquehanna,” sold for $6,057 ($5/7,000). In pristine condition, a very fine carved giltwood girandole mirror, circa 1780, brought an expensive $10,975 ($6/8,000).
Collectors of Lancaster County carver Joseph Lehn had nine lots to choose from. The prize, an 8 by 10-inch bucket, painted in vibrant salmon and orange graining with typical trailing vine design, made $9,200 ($8/10,000).
Featuring four short drawers and original brasses, a Queen Anne walnut dressing table was a good buy at $21,850 against a $12/18,000 estimate. In cherry, a Chippendale two-part tall chest, circa 1770, made its low $20,000 estimate. The phones at $28,750 won a fine Queen Anne walnut candle stand that featured a circular dish top and birdcage support ($12/15,000). The phones were active but failed to win a fine walnut single drawer tavern table, circa 1760, balls of feet restored, that walked far past its $6,000 low estimate at $17,250.
Perhaps it was a signed and dated alphabetic sampler, wrought by Annie E. Forney, offered with a Chippendale mahogany tea table, circa 1770, that had two phones bidding against the gallery to $14,850 ($1,5/2,500). Provenance may also have dictated this sum as the table was originally owned by General Forney of Revolutionary War fame.
Rare in form, a 2-inch high by 6-inch long Nineteenth Century redware bank disguised as a beetle with wings and eight legs sold at $9,200 against a low $6,000 estimate. Also rare, a Moravian redware bowl attributed to Auston Christ, circa 1800, made $8,050 ($2,5/3,500).
Patience was required for collectors of spatter, as 210 lots were placed at the end of sale, but it was worth the wait. There were many spatter cups with saucers, even miniatures; some bowls, both shallow and deep; pitchers for cream and larger; some platters and plates; and a plethora of plates, all sizes, numbering 50 lots. Patterns, colors and different designs seemed to have made the extreme difference in the lot prices of these similar yet dissimilar plates.
An 18-inch long octagonal platter in vibrant black and purple rainbow brought $14,950 ($6/8,000). An 81/4-inch rainbow swirl plate in unusual brown, green, yellow and red made four times its high $5,000 estimate. A blue and red rainbow plate with a center sprig climbed to $6,325 ($500/700).
Miniatures elicited the major interest. Selling at $16,100, a miniature red, blue, green and yellow rainbow cup and saucer in the drape pattern carried a teaser estimate of $700/800. Again in miniature, a red and purple horizontal rainbow with tulip, cup and saucer, brought $17,250 ($400/500).
A fine 13-inch pitcher and its 14-inch bowl in rare, vibrant five-color red, green, blue, black and yellow was the lead lot of the Schaeffer group. Featured on the catalog back cover, it made a strong $25,875 against an $18,000 high estimate.
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