Published: April 7, 2020
Review by Greg Smith, Images Courtesy Jay Anderson Auctions
WABASHA, MINN. – Jay Anderson told bidders to his March 28 online sale that he would not levy a single dollar in storage fees for up to a full year if they were successful in his 434-lot auction that day. They responded appreciatively by bidding on large cabinets, dining room sets, chandeliers and pool tables, all of which made up the auctioneer’s top 12 lots.
“It was the perfect storm on some stuff, I’ve never had that consistent action before,” said auctioneer Jay Anderson. “All because of Corona – everyone’s stuck at home, nobody can go anywhere.”
The sale was not without its speedbumps for Anderson.
“We were going to hold the sale in an armory 30 miles from here. We unloaded it, got it all set up at the armory for preview, and at 4:30 in the afternoon the captain calls and says we can’t have it there. It took two days to pack it up and drag it back to the warehouse. At that point, we just thought we’d have it online only.”
Even amid the shuffle, the sale found solid bidding and participation.
“It was a very good auction for me,” Anderson said. He owns 99 percent of the items he puts up for sale in now once-a-year auctions. “Online-only was a first for me, I’ve never done it that way. Most of the houses in the cities are used to that – they’re used to having three people in the gallery. A lot of people in Minnesota aren’t accustomed to that, they don’t know the online transition, so they want to see the stuff.”
The top of the sale was found in a signed desk cabinet from the Wooton Desk Company that brought $8,338 over a $5,000 estimate. The 1874 example was in original finish, according to Anderson, who said he owned this same model desk, though in oak, in the 1970s. “I’ve had 30 or 40 Wooton desks, but this model is rare,” he said. This was the only other Wooten desk in that model that he had ever seen. He dug this one out of a St Paul, Minn., mansion and it had its original silverplate gallery, hardware and gold painted trim.
Just behind at $6,324 was a circa 1880s Eastlake three-door curio bookcase in American burl walnut with carved cornice and rosette moulding. The bookcase had been bought at Anderson’s auction three decades earlier. Anderson’s storage offer was appealing to the winning bidder of a ten-piece 1880s carved oak dining set, including eight chairs, a round dining table and a massive sideboard, all with intricate carving. Anderson found it in a Waterloo, Iowa estate and it brought $5,520. A circa 1880s Brunswick Balke Collender billiard table featured rosewood and maple inlay all along its knees and skirt and went out above estimate at $4,370.
“Bookcases were hot,” Anderson remarked after the sale. “I’m standing there with my jaw on the floor.”
The bookcase bacchanalia continued on with an 1880s example in carved burl walnut that took $4,370 above a $1,000 estimate; a heavily carved oak example with lions heads, circa 1890, took the same price; and a three-gallery bookcase circa 1870s, also in burl walnut, brought $3,910, nearly double its estimate. Per the latter, Anderson had again sold this example three decades ago.
Bidders lit up the chandelier section, aiding a $4,600 result for a six-arm gasolier with six period scenic gas shades and three putti seated on the stem. It measures 36 inches diameter and 48½ inches high. Anderson sold 130 lots of lighting this sale. Also selling for $4,600 was a circa 1880 six-arm gas crystal-drop chandelier with period etched shades. Just behind at $4,370 was a circa 1860s gilt brass and patinated metal figural three-light gasolier by Philadelphia maker Cornelius & Baker. With vibrant orange lustrous carnival glass shades was a 12-arm gas and electric chandelier that brought $4,140.
Rising above its $300 estimate to catch $2,990 was a large studio plate camera for 22-by-18-inch plates. It was marked Empire State – Rochester Optical Ed., Rochester, N.Y. A 96-inch-tall #1 regulator by New Standard Watch Co., in oak with original finish, sold at $2,990. The large-size regulator was made by the company from 1896 to 1903.
All prices reported include buyer’s premium. For information, www.jayandersonauction.com or 651-565-4801.
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