CHESTER SPRINGS, PENN. – On April 20, Ted Wiederseim conducted a cataloged sale at the Montgomery School, which was brimming with Oriental carpets, furniture, paintings, silver and period accessories.
Illustrated in color on the front cover of the catalog was the historically important Paul Storr seal box and document.
The circular seal box, engraved with the Royal seal of King George III, was made by one of London’s most famous silversmiths, Paul Storr and attached to it was a Royal document on parchment empowering one Phinius Bond with “Full Power” to negotiate parts of the John Jay Treaty with President George Washington.
Phinius Bond was a Loyalist born in Calvert County, Md., lived most of his life in Philadelphia and was buried in London. The seal box descended down through the family to the consignor.
With five phone bidders and lots of interest in the room, it soared to $35,200 and was knocked down to one of the phone bidders who said it was going to an East Coast private collector. Other pieces of silver also did very well, with a large silver ewer by Dominick & Haff realizing $2,090, a mint julep cup brought a surprising $880 and an egg-shaped condiment container with vermeil interior did $632.
Perhaps the strongest performance in the sale was in the paintings and prints. The biggest surprise was an impressionist oil on panel snow scene with stone bridge by Schofield. It was literally picked out of the trash and consigned late. It opened at $500 and quickly rose to $34,100.
An English overmantel landscape painting titled “View in Surry Near Gatton Park Showing Reigate, Nutfield, Bletchingley” painted by D. Wolstenholme, Jr, and in need of restoration, made $14,000 and an oil on panel of a jockey and horse titled “Glencoe” and signed J.F. Herring raced to $9,900.
Sporting art was strong throughout the sale with another English painting of two terriers attacking a hare jumping to $2,200. Several Sir Alfred Munnings signed artist proofs were sold, all in very good condition, the best being “Our Mutual Friend the Horse” selling for $1,870; several Richard Stone Reeves prints were also sold.
Furniture was offered throughout the day, with the best being a circa 1790 Baltimore Hepplewhite mahogany two-part secretary bookcase. Its rare features included line inlays and églomisé tablets in the cornice. With several phone bidders and competitive bidding in the room, it went for $48,400. It was consigned by the same family that consigned the silver seal box.
A German walnut inlaid dower chest with inlaid tulips and birds in square panels brought $4,070. A Sheraton-style mahogany sideboard sold for $2,475 and a Pennsylvania walnut dish-top tea table for a reasonable $1,375.
Also from Pennsylvania, a Northampton County walnut tall-case clock with a badly flaking enameled face and 30-hour movement sold within estimate at $3,190. Several pieces of Mission oak were in the sale, a strong showing by a set of six mission oak chairs signed “Limberts” with replaced seats selling for a $2,035.
A walnut spice box with a multidrawered interior, tombstone paneled door and despite the replaced door and feet still managed a hefty $5,500. A line inlaid Hepplewhite walnut chest-on-chest with flaring French feet did $7,000 and a cherry two-part corner cupboard went out at a reasonable $4,000.
A diary of Dr Richard Harlan’s 1815 trip to India from Philadelphia sold for $4,950 and the next lot was grouping of ephemera including some Civil War letters, which flew to $11,550. Two early Quaker marriage certificates brought $577 and $770, respectively.
A pair of brass andirons signed Bailey realized $880, a mahogany cased brass telescope by James W. Queen, Philadelphia, selling for $1,650 and a small tortoise shell casket with brass paw feet and silver label bearing the name of Mary M. Ricketts sold for $1,760.
A Tucker porcelain pitcher dated 1828 did $990 with a large selection of spatterware and stoneware, some in “as found” condition, bringing good prices such as a nine-gallon water cooler going for $770.