Published: November 16, 2004
Cowan’s Auctions’ October 21-22 sale of the Americana collection of the late J. John Auraden generated $660,000 from 800 lots of furniture, decorative and fine arts, folk art and historic Americana.
The highest selling rdf_Description was a southern Ohio curly maple and cherry tall case clock that sold for $25,300. Auraden of Hamilton and Fairhaven, Ohio, was a longtime dealer who amassed an enormous collection of antiques, including many fine examples of furniture made in the German settlement of Oldenburg, Ind.
Cowan Auctions’ founder Wes Cowan said he was pleased with the auction results, noting that “Cowan’s was thrilled to be able to offer this unique collection, representing one man’s lifelong passion for Americana.” Andrew Richmond, Cowan’s furniture and decorative arts specialist, concurred, saying, “The Auraden collection features arguably the largest and finest collection of Oldenburg furniture ever assembled.”
The auction’s top seller, the cherry tall case clock, was an exceptional example of early Ohio cabinetmaking in a fine, old finish, circa 1820. Although the cherry was veneered, the curly maple was all solid with fantastic figure. The works, which may be original, were an eight-day Black Forest movement signed on the back of the dial Felix Dold, and with polychrome-painted decoration with flowers in the spandrels and in the dial arch, 94 inches high by 181/2 inches wide by 11 inches deep.
A total of $10,925 was paid for an Oldenburg walnut two-piece eight-pane cupboard. The upper case featured two glazed doors, cove-molded cornice and “sleigh-front” ends. The interior had shelves with plate grooves and old, blue paint. The lower case had two paneled doors, two drawers, scroll-cut skir and bracket feet. Retaining its original pulls and original, dry surface the cupboard measured 87 inches high by 571/2 inches wide by 19 inches deep.
A folk art painting of a cat sold for 16 times its original estimate. The anonymous naive painting of a seated gray cat with red collar, painted on a poplar beveled panel, measured 81/4 by 161/4 inches, unframed. It sold for $6,400.
A John Cromwell School cigar store Indian sold for $12,600. The carved full-figure male Native American sported a feathered headdress and a blanket draped across his left shoulder. In his right hand he held a bundle of cigars, perched atop a square snuffbox, while in left he clutched a knife and held two wrapped packs of tobacco to his chest. Featuring carved feather necklace and fine carved drapery fold clothing, the figure stood 48 inches high and was mounted atop the original tapered wooden base with four cast iron wheels for a total height of 74 inches.
An unsigned oil on canvas depiction of an Indian standing atop a rocky outcropping overlooking an expansive river valley brought $10,300. The Indian, wearing a red tunic and moccasins, was shown gazing toward the luminous sky while light streamed through the clouds. Appearing to be in its original ornate gesso and gilt frame, the painting measured 46 by 383/4 inches with the frame.
Prices reported include the 15 percent buyer’s premium.
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