Published: July 18, 2006
The two-day sale of furniture, art and accessories, held by Pook & Pook Auction Gallery, featured items from area historical societies and museum plus collections from John Gordon and Clarence and Anna Deischer. Session One with 350-plus lots began Friday evening and Saturday’s morning’s sale had a tad more than 500 lots cross the block.
Session Two featured a rare Jacob Maentel (1763-1863) watercolor and ink on paper occupational portrait, 15 1/2 by 12 1/2 inches, of hatter John Mays of Schaefferstown, Lebanon County, Penn., depicting the hatter holding a top hat in his hand and standing in his millinery before shelves of top hats.
Placed at the last quarter of the sale, auctioneer Ron Pook opened the bidding at $30,000 against a $60/90,000 estimate. When the bidding passed $100,000, there was only one phone bidder, Connecticut dealer David Schorsch left standing and one very persistent gallery bidder standing just (out of view) outside the gallery.
At an astounding price of $469,000 the persistent phone bidder failed to meet the next bid and became mute with the prized lot going to Massachusetts dealer David Wheatcroft. Asked about the Maentel, Wheatcroft said, “It’s the only one of a hatter known and it’s very, very rare to have occupational pieces by Maentel. It’s a wonderful graphic and color. A masterpiece.”
Playing to a full gallery, Session One began with a large group of 50-plus fine carpets. The best of the group, an Agra, circa 1915, with central medallion on a green field, 9 by 7 feet, fetched $4,680. An unusually large number of lots failed to meet the reserves and were passed. A room-size Sarouk, circa 1920, made $3,978 against a high $2,500 estimate.
A good mix of collectibles followed the carpets includinglamps, paintings and furniture. The small group of watercolor andink on paper fraktur lots included a fine one from the late Gordoncollection. Dated 1846, retaining a Nineteenth Century frame, the9-by-7-inch fraktur made $10,530 against a high $4,000 estimate.Beautifully framed, the H.W. Barnitz (1864-1916), oil on canvasstill life of fruit exceeded its $9,000 high estimate and sold at$15,210.
A good Federal giltwood convex circular mirror, 52 inches high, circa 1790, made its low $10,000 estimate. A nice Pennsylvania walnut Dutch cupboard, circa 1790 with two glazed doors over three short drawers over two raised panel doors, doubled its $8,000 low estimate.
A Philadelphia Federal mahogany tall case clock, one of five by “David Weatherley,” with eight-day works and painted face, tripled its $4,000 low estimate.
A seldom seen turned wooden barber pole (Deischer collection) with red, white and blue stripes, 36 inches high ($2/2,500), sold for $10,530.
The Ghirardelli’s chocolate painted tin trade sign of a young girl and her doll having a hot cocoa party, 23 by 17 inches, in excellent condition, made a reasonable $10,530 against its high $2,500 estimate.
Of the 37 occupational shaving mugs from the Deischer collection, the best of the best was the Limoges mug depicting a man installing a wrought iron gate and fence, inscribed “O.R. Schellenberger,” that sold for a remarkable $4,680 ($300/500). An occupational mug depicting a barbershop with three barbers and five customers inscribed, “Andrew Bradford” made $2,574 ($1/1,500).
Of the Friday evening sale Pook said, “It was a great sale, a couple of surprises, the barber pole, brought more than $10,000. Most of the major things were today. A shaving mug brought $4,500.”
Anna Deischer, consignor of the matching cupboards, was on hand at the sale, “One was in the family. When I was a little girl, there it was,” she said. “The other piece I bought about 37 years ago at a country auction in Lehigh County, in the Straustown area. What was it, $500?
“The barbershop pole, I bought two identical, many years agoin the Williamsport area. I bought the two of them for $300 andshortly after I bought them, I sold the one for $300…I shouldhave kept the other one.”
An inordinately large number of Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century very fine silver lots sold Saturday morning. Included was a very large collection of more than 60 early Nineteenth and late Eighteenth Century silver nutmeg graters, etuis, snuff boxes and vinaigrettes in all forms, sold in lots of one to four items. Depending upon the bidder’s taste and form rarity, lot prices ranged from mid-hundreds to $2,000.
With a less than modest estimate of $500-$1,000, the rare New York silver nutmeg grater, circa 1778, with the touch of Sylvester Morris, inscribed, “This box given to Miss Elizabeth Putnam by Major General Sir John Vaughan at Newtown, Long Island, 1778,” had the attention of three phone bidders. But, to no avail; the gallery took this rarity at an astounding $35,000.
A good grouping of ten-plus lots of Gaudy Dutch plates, cups and saucers and teapots sold in the mid-hundreds range. The redware lots were a different story. The Matawan, N.J., 23-inch diameter charge, Nineteenth Century with yellow slip decoration of a bird on a branch, attributed to William Lowe, had four phones bid it to twice its $1,500 low estimate. A second “bird on branch,” 12-inch diameter, did better, selling to the phones at twice its high $3,000 estimate.
Of the 42 lots of known and lesser-known listed artists,several of the eight lots of David Y. Ellinger’s (1913-2003), had agood interest. The oil on panel interior scene of a boy praying,”The Lord is My Shepherd,” 9 by 11 inches, had three phones takingthe prize to $9,300.
Painting what he painted best, the 8-by-4-inch portrait of a black woman carrying cotton by William A. Walker (1838-1921), did not make its low $8,000 estimate and was passed.
Gordon collection standouts included seven-plus lots of crayon on paper works by Minnie J. Evans (1892-1987). The mixed media floral collage brought $3,300 against a $500-$1,000 estimate; the 10-inch-high carved and painted head of a black man, doubled its $2,000 high estimate; the small 6-by-5-inch mixed media on paper of a woman titled “Missionary Morgan” sold at three times its high $1,000 estimate.
Tiffany, in all forms, does well at auction. The green Favrile glass shade desk lamp, circa 1900, doubled its low $4,000 estimate. Of the three Pairpoint table lamp lots, the seascape decorated shade, resting on a dolphin base, also doubled its low $2,500 estimate.
A very good looking mocha covered bowl (origin not identified and sans photograph) featured a seaweed decoration with blue, black and green bands on a brown ground and sold, against an active gallery, to the phone at over three times its $3,000 high estimate.
The eight lots of Staffordshire plates and bowls ranged from the mid-hundreds to $2,000 for the three piece tea set, early Nineteenth Century inscribed “Mount Vernon the seat of the late George Washington.”
A good Nineteenth Century scrimshaw whale tooth with figureof Lady Liberty with eagle and flag, 6 inches high, doubled its$4,000 high estimate. The rare Berks County, Penn., wriggled tincoffeepot dated 1848, signed “W Shade,” with elaborate tulip andbird decoration, poured well at $7,600 against a high estimate of$2,500. The 15-plus lots of pearlware plate, bowls and creamerssold within the mid-to-high hundreds, except for the pair ofoctagonal Nineteenth Century plates that doubled its high $1,200estimate.
The (never seen before at a Pook & Pook auction) life-size composition figure of a horse, early Twentieth Century, 90 inches high, together with a wax mannequin stable hand, 81 inches high, ($1,500 high estimate) realized $1,700, sans photograph and hay.
All prices reported include the 17 percent buyer’s premium. For information, www.pookandpook.com or 610-269-4040.
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