Published: April 7, 2020
CINCINNATI, OHIO – Following the guidelines of the CDC and the State of Ohio, Cowan’s Cincinnati salesroom floor was empty for its March 19 and 20 Americana auctions but that did not dampen bidders’ enthusiasm for the material. Nearly 600 bidders left absentee bids or bid live by telephone or online sending the auction past its low estimate to a $498,496 two-day total. More than a third of the bidders were bidding with Cowan’s for the very first time, suggesting that even in these uncertain times, there is still growth potential in the Americana market.
Speaking by phone after the sale, Wes Cowan told Antiques and The Arts Weekly, “I was very pleased with the sale. I thought that in spite of everyone’s fears, the sales performed quite well.”
The sale marked the first collaborative auction between the Cowan’s and the Hindman Furniture and Decorative Art teams with material sourced from across Hindman’s network of 12 regional offices. The teams will once again collaborate in the fall for an Americana auction currently scheduled to take place in September.
A pair of music boxes were among the top furniture highlights of the auction, both achieving a price of $9,375 in back-to-back lots and both going to the same buyer. The first, a late Nineteenth Century Regina upright 15½-inch disc music player having hand-painted illustrations, including an outdoor scene of a young man reading a book to a young woman. The second, a circa 1900 Regina Corona floor model 27-inch disc changer having illustrations of angels adorning the inside of the cabinet.
The top lot of the auction was a folk art portrait of a young boy with his hoop toy. The cover lot for the catalog, the oil on canvas painting sold for $15,000. Two lots dramatically overperformed their estimates during the two-day auction. The first, was a Nineteenth Century Rhode Island school pictorial needlework sampler that sold for $6,875, nearly seven times its estimate. The biggest surprise came near the end of the second day when a lot of six cobalt glass vessels achieved a price of $5,938, more than nearly 30 times their low estimate.
All prices cited include buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house. For information, www.cowans.com or 513-871-1670.
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