Published: January 12, 2021
Review by Greg Smith, Catalog Photos Courtesy Forsythes’ Auctions, LLC
CINCINNATI, OHIO – Forsythes’ Auctions, LLC hosted a 390-lot January 3 sale, pulling from the estate of Lynne and Walter Dingus and a slew of other estates. The offerings included early Americana, a collection of South Carolina silver, dolls, folk art, glass and 85 lots of advertising. The sale was held live with gallery, online, phone and absentee bidding.
Leading the sale at $9,680 was a wood doll described as early Queen Anne with porcelain eyes and cloth arms from the estate of Lynne & Walter Dingus. The firm said the doll came with its original dress and measured 26 inches tall.
Auctioneer and owner of Forsythes’ Auctions, Dave Forsythe, related that Lynne was well-known throughout the Midwest antiques community, producing antiques shows in Northern Ohio and other area locales. Her collection was acquired over four decades of buying and Forsythe has been slowly releasing it for the last two years.
Other dolls from the Dingus collection performed quite well, the auctioneer noting that in addition to the internet and phone/absentee interest, around seven bidders on the floor were vying for the lots. A German papier mache doll from the 1840s featured blue eyes, closed mouth, molded hair in a high braided knot, cloth body with carved and painted wooden lower arms, hands, lower legs and feet. It featured its original glazed brown cotton gown and sold for $5,220. Another papier mache shoulder head doll measured 22 inches tall with a cape and gown featuring a clover design. It brought $2,180.
A collection of South Carolina coin silver featured the name of the Adams family, prominent in that state for planting, military rank and political clout. The elder Joel Adams led the South Carolina militia forces during the American Revolution. His son, Joel Adams II, served in the South Carolina House of Representatives. His grandson, James Hopkins Adams, was the 66th Governor of South Carolina, while his other grandsons, James Uriah Adams and James Pickett Adams, were members of the South Carolina House of Representatives. Featuring among the top of the Adams family silver were two lots, each featuring two coin silver julep cups with the engraving “Joel Adams.” Both featured the mark of William Glaze, a silversmith active in Columbia, S.C., who also produced other luxury goods such as clocks, firearms, jewelry and swords. One pair sold for $5,748, while the other brought $5,142. Both Joel I and Joel II were in adulthood at the time of their manufacture.
A coin silver cann engraved for Mary G.H. Adams measured 5¼ inches high and sold for $1,694. It featured the touch of Gregg & Veal, a partnership between William Gregg and John Veal Sr, which lasted from 1824 to 1827. Notably, Veal also had a partnership with Glaze from 1828 to 1831. A pair of coin silver chalices sold for $1,089, bearing the inscription for “S.P.A.” & “Jno. A.” The touch mark to the bottom was unclear. A pair of 1880 coin silver salvers, each bearing engraving for “H (indeterminable) Adams/and/Lulla H. Adams,” brought $363. They measured 5½ inches diameter and were unmarked. Forsythe said many of these pieces are headed back to South Carolina.
There were only two Shaker lots in the auction, but a yellow mustard three-fingered measure, 13¾ inches diameter, stood out as it sold for $9,075. With copper braids and original lip band, it featured an engraving that may have read “Butternut.”
Signs were popular among bidders, the top selling example for Buster Brown Shoes ringing in at $4,640. The 35-inch-long sign was chromolithographed tin and featured Buster and Tige sitting on opposite ends of a seesaw. The paint was in very good condition.
Forsythe said the advertising collection hailed from a collection that was local to the auction house.
“They had been buying for 40 years,” he said. “They owned a local drug store. There was a lot of surprises in that section. We probably had 25 bidders on the floor just for the advertising.”
Bidders took a sheet tin sign for Hotel Bodmer of Ripley, Ohio, above the $350 high estimate until it landed at $3,016. The historic hotel was abandoned and collapsed in on itself in 2017. A chromolithographed sign for the Gambrinus Stock Co., advertising Cincinnati beer in bottle and keg, went out at $2,299.
Folk art saw a number of highflyers. A $3,146 result was tallied for a watercolor marked to the back with the name A.W. Dow, circa 1800-20. The work featured a floral design around a central oval depicting a scene of a woman holding her baby and a basket of bread in one arm, while handing a small child a loaf with her other. Another related work by the artist featured the same woman without children amid fruit trees, holding a bushel of grapes in her hand. It brought $1,936. In objects came a stoneware pig flask with dark spotted glaze decoration, 9 inches long, that brought $2,552. A redware bust featuring a polychrome painted Native American in headdress, 7½ inches high and the date 1908 on his forehead, sold at $1,102.
In furniture was a $1,936 result for a dovetailed candle box with eight chamfered sliding lids in six rows signed “Sept. 1, 1874 By R. Ramsey/Wilmington (Ohio?).” It sold to the internet after 21 bids. A regal carved drapery wall shelf with old yellow paint, circa 1830-40, hung up at $1,392. Forsythe noted that a serpentine front inlaid stand was likely from Kentucky, Tennessee or Southwest Virginia. With inlay and well-formed spiral legs, the stand sold for $1,331.
“From beginning to end,” Forsythe said, “it was probably the best auction we have conducted in decades. Not necessarily total value, but there was hardly anything that went through the cracks. That’s the way it seems to be right now and the internet has something to do with that. People are eager to get out and participate in auctions.”
All prices reported include buyer’s premium. Forsythe’s January 24 sale will feature the estate of dealer/collector Carol Lewis of Amelia, Ohio. For more information, www.forsythesauctions.com or 937-377-3700.
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