Published: April 7, 2020
Review by Greg Smith, Catalog Photos Courtesy Hartzell’s Auction Gallery
BANGOR, PENN. – Over 1,000 lots crossed the block at Hartzell’s Auction Gallery’s online sale March 28-29, finding a new era of owners for a quality mix of merchandise. The two-day sale sold at least four collections from New York City; Sussex County, N.J.; Stroudsburg, Penn.; and Reading, Penn.; in addition to a number of individual consignors.
“The sale was strong in certain respects,” said John Hartzell, vice president of sales and operations at the auction house. “We had very good bidder participation throughout, but it was different. We didn’t have an auctioneer, we used the computer to do that. We had 2,000-plus online bidders registered for the two days, 500 to 700 following on LiveAuctioneers each day. We had a high increase in phone bidders, more than 200, and another 75 people who left bids. We’re an auction house that usually does 100 lots per hour. So to sit in a room with nobody there – with phone, absentee and three live platforms to bid on – it was slower.”
In regards to performance, Hartzell related that he didn’t really see a decline in prices, but getting up to the point of value took longer, the auction had to give bidders more time.
Fine art produced the sale’s top lot in a $8,303 result for an Eric Sloane oil on board painting titled “Acoma Pueblo,” numbered 332 and painted in 1984. It measures 15 by 30 inches. A small winter landscape by Walter E. Baum, measuring 6 by 8 inches, sold at $2,460. Rising well above its $150 estimate was a finely executed unsigned still life painting, 24 by 32 inches, that brought $1,560 after 27 bids.
Pottery was led by a $2,706 result in a 12-inch-long white slip-washed redware sleeping lamb doorstop attributed to Strasburg, Va., potter J. Eberly & Co. Behind at $2,214 was an 8-inch-tall Grueby vase in a matte green glaze with a carved broad leaf design, marked “C.H. 136-11.” At $1,968, square between estimate, was a Wagner dog bank in a multicolor glaze with coleslaw hair and a coin slot on its back. Logging 26 bids was a blue decorated advertising jug that read “Michael Martin, Mauch Chunk, PA,” which settled down at $1,230.
Among precious metal offerings, an American coin silver ale mug bested the $300 estimate to take $2,091. It was double stamped with the hallmark EG to the side of body near the top of the handle. A five-piece Tiffany & Co sterling tea set from 1982 with monogram and weighing 112.77 ozt fetched $1,845. Two sterling flatware sets brought the same price at $1,722. A nice gold top presentation cane for the Odd Fellows took $1,230 on a $300 estimate. The top featured a nice appliqued foliate design with four etched plates appearing on the sides depicting a heart and hand, three link chain, an hour glass and a skull and bones. The cane was presented “To Provillo Cooper, The Members of Penn Ave. Lodge #801 I.O.O.F. November 24th, 1881.”
Another presentation piece was a wooden handmade folk art model three-mast steam ship that brought $5,412. The model Friendship was presented to the Friendship Fire Company #1 of Harrisburg, Penn., by the Friendship Fire Company #1 of Wilmington, Del., on March 16 1882. It came with original documents, wooden lifeboats and wooden figures.
Furniture saw the sale of a Bergen County, N.J., Nineteenth Century blue painted cupboard on shoe feet that brought $3,690. It featured early blue over green paint with two doors and was once in the Burton Culver estate. The top moulding had been replaced. Another Nineteenth Century New Jersey cupboard, this one a stepback in old light blue paint with a salmon interior, over doubled estimate when it sold for $2,214. Catching $953 was a profusely carved Nineteenth Century miniature tramp art dresser with carved hearts and stars throughout.
A collection of 21 carved and painted European mangle boards lured bidders in, selling at $1,200 on the top end and $123 on the low. Some of the better examples featured women, including the top board that was dated 1683. Another example with a mermaid handle and carved birds and pinecones sold at $892 after 23 bids. A board with a mermaid handle beneath a carved putti playing an instrument sold at $830
All prices reported include buyer’s premium. For information, www.hartzellsauction.com or 610-588-5831.
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