Published: July 16, 2002
HATFIELD, PENN. – The Alderfer Auction Company held its quarterly cataloged fine arts and antiques auction at their auction center June 5-6. Featuring more than 900 lots, the catalog was bolstered by the Collection of Kenneth and Helen Gemmill of Bucks County, Penn. Their diverse collection featured American furniture and decorative accessories.
The fine art and jewelry sold on Wednesday, June 5, and the decorative accessories and antique furniture was sold on Thursday, June 6.
The auction gallery was full on both days. To compete with these bidders, there were many at home bidding by phone and through www.ebayliveauctions.com.
Alderfer’s 200-plus lot jewelry session included a 4.63-carat GIA certified diamond engagement ring. This brilliant cut stone sold for $15,400 to the floor.
Men’s wrist watches in the auction included a Patek Philippe and Rolex, which sold for $2,750 and $1,320 respectively. The jewelry session was followed by the fine arts auction that featured many works by Bucks County and Philadelphia artists.
More than 200 lots of artwork were sold during the Wednesday evening art auction. Included in this auction was an Edward Redfield painting of a winter landscape with snow covered riverbanks and farm buildings that measured 151/2 by 22 inches sold for $33,000.
Walter E. Baum’s painting titled, “In Bethlehem,” 30 by 36 inches, sold for $24,750. Others by Baum in the auction sold for $5,500, $4,400, $4,125 and $3,850. Two Alfred Nunamaker paintings, one of a mill scene and one of a seascape, brought $14,300 and $6,600, respectively.
Items from the estate of Kenneth and Helen Gemmill nearly topped the June catalog auction at Alderfer’s. The Chippendale chest of drawers featured from this estate sold for $55,000 to a dealer on the phone. This exact chest was attributed in Hornor’s Blue Book of Philadelphia Furniture to Philadelphia cabinetmaker Jonathan Shoemaker. The mahogany chest (circa 1760-80) featured a molded top with invected corners and a large overhang over four graduated drawers flanked by quarter columns on ogee feet.
The chest placed second in the auction to the Daniel Garber painting that was the top lot in the auction. Titled “Mechanic St. Environs – Old Houses,” the painting measured 22 by 18 inches and retained the hand carved and gilt Frederick Harer frame. It sold to a collector on the floor for $165,000.
Other rdf_Descriptions from the Gemmill estate included a George Jouve sculpture that sailed past its estimate and sold for $4,675 after receiving international attention prior to the auction.
Session two also featured many pieces from the Gemmill Estate, including a piecrust top tea table that soared past its estimate and sold to a dealer on the floor for $19,800. The table, having a replaced top, had a very heavily carved tripod base that had been previously refinished.
An English William III burl veneered secretary bookcase sold for $18,700 to a collector who was bidding by phone; $14,300 was the final price of a Philadelphia Queen Anne walnut lowboy. This piece was also from the estate of Kenneth and Helen Gemmill. A large Empire mahogany step back bookcase sold on the floor for $11,000. A Pennsylvania dower chest dated 1770 decorated with large hearts on a mottled red ground sold for $18,700 to a dealer on the phone.
Although it had a chip on the inside rim, the interest on the Pairpoint Puffy “Begonia” reverse painted lampshade was not greatly affected. The colors were vibrant and the shade was in otherwise good condition. The shade sold to a bidder on the floor for $38,500.
A monumental Gorham sterling silver vase weighing in at 99 troy ounces sold to a collector on the floor for $3,850. Another strong decorative rdf_Description in the auction was the Clews historical blue Staffordshire platter with a view of the “Landing of Gen. Lafayette at Castle Garden New York, 16th August 1824.” This piece sold to a phone bidder for $2,200.
The auction featured a rare sixth plate daguerreotype by noted American photographic pioneer Robert Cornelius. The image was a bust portrait of an unknown gentleman dressed in simple but elegant attire common to the 1840s. The photograph was housed in a brass frame displaying a repeating diamond pattern.
The reverse of the photograph featured Robert Cornelius’s affixed yellow paper label giving his studio’s address at Eighth Street above Chestnut in Philadelphia. After much competitive floor and phone bidding, the daguerreotype sold to a phone bidder for $13,200.
Other photography rdf_Descriptions in the auction included a daguerreotype of an Afro American woman that sold for $4,675, a daguerreotype of a storefront for $5,225 and a stereoview titled “Interior View. Anthony’s Photographic and Stereoscopic Warehouse” sold for $1760.
The Oriental rugs in the auction sold to various phone and floor bidders. Some of the highlights included an antique Heriz Rug that measured 3’9″ by 4’10”. This rug sold for $2,750. A larger Heriz sold for $5,225 and a large Serapi rug sold for $7,150. Hooked rugs in the sale brought $3,025, $1,210 and $1,100.
Prices quoted include the 10 percent buyer’s premium.
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