Published: June 1, 2021
Review by Madelia Hickman Ring, Catalog Photos Courtesy Jeffery S. Evans & Associates
MOUNT CRAWFORD, VA. – Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates’ May 21-22 auction kicked off with more than 600 lots of Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century glass and lighting that saw all lots sell. The white-glove result continued on the second day of sale with nearly 475 lots of Americana from the collection of Phoenix, Ariz., collector Nick Routson. A socially distanced group of bidders in the room competed against phone and online bidders as well as absentee bidders.
“We feel really good about the sale,” vice president and department head Will Kimbrough said. “It was quite strong on the whole and exceeded my expectations. Nick is very well-known and respected in the areas he collected, and people were looking forward to the sale.”
Routson’s collection was particularly strong in English Staffordshire transfer-printed wares, an area in which he spent 40 years amassing some of the rarest American Historical patterns and forms. It also amounted to about half of the sale by lot and saw some of its highest prices. The top lot of the weekend was realized for a Staffordshire transfer-printed “medallion portrait” series platter, featuring bust portraits of George Washington, the Marquis de Lafayette, Governor DeWitt Clinton and Thomas Jefferson above a landscape of the Oatlands estate in Surrey, England, with an Erie Canal inset vignette below, a combination of imagery that is thought to be unique. A private collector who had bid in previous Jeffrey S. Evans sales and who was bidding online, stepped up their game and fended off competition from both phone and floor bidders to take it for $18,720. “They’d never bought from us at that level before,” Kimbrough said.
Other noteworthy Staffordshire results include a transfer-printed covered soup tureen featuring the Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia on the base, the Brooklyn Ferry on the interior and the Battle of Bunker Hill on the cover, from the “vine border” series. The provenance of the piece included Staffordshire dealers William R. and Theresa F. Kurau, as well as the collection of William E. & Frances Clemson Cross. It brought $11,115 from a private East Coast collector bidding online. A transfer-printed ceramic foot bath jug or pitcher, which depicted the Boston State House and was made by John Rogers & Son, Longport, England between 1815 and 1842, also sold to a private collector online, for $5,558. That was the same price a private East Coast collector paid for a transfer-printed platter depicting the Temple of Fame in memory of Commodore Perry, which was made by Andrew Stevenson between 1810 and 1827.
Routson’s session started with nearly three dozen American and British samplers and memorial pictures with all selling within or exceeding expectations, sometimes several times over. Most notable among these was a modest-looking silk on linen example that had been worked in 1880 by Ada Pullan, who, along with her two siblings, were orphaned and admitted into the Ashley Downs Orphanage in Bristol, England, in 1877. Though it had been estimated at just $400/600, interest between two online bidders pushed it to close at $11,115, with a private collector from the Southeastern United States prevailing. Kimbrough wondered if either of the two bidders had a connection to the family or to the orphanage.
If Kimbrough was surprised by the result of the Bristol sampler, the result realized by a pictorial needlework by Mary V. Throckmorton in 1837 was more in line with expectations. Throckmorton was born and grew up in Freehold, N.J., in Monmouth County, where generations of the Throckmorton family had been prominent citizens. Like the Bristol sampler and many of the other samplers in the sale, Routson had acquired the Throckmorton example from M. Finkel & Daughter. It sold to a private collector bidding online for $5,265.
The offerings of Staffordshire certainly dwarfed those of spatterware and stoneware but both categories saw interest and strong results. Among the former, a five-color rainbow wash pitcher and basin that Routson had acquired from Morphy Auctions in 2012, brought $11,115 from a private East Coast collector bidding in the room.
“There is a lot of [spatterware] out there; another auction house had another one the same day. People have a lot of good choices to pick from but spatterware remains very strong,” Kimbrough said.
An eight-sided rectangular spatterware platter with tulip decoration and blue rim blossomed to $2,574. Stoneware was led by a salt-glazed 2-gallon jug made by William E. Warner of West Troy, N.Y., and featured cobalt decoration in the form of a flying eagle with banner. Estimated at $500/800, it flew to $2,691.
Furniture may not have been the strength of Routson’s collection but there were a few surprises to be had. The upper drawer in a serpentine chest of drawers attributed to the Connecticut River Valley had a pencil inscription “This bureau made in 1752;” it exceeded expectations and brought $3,510 from a trade buyer, bidding in the room.
Topping the category at $7,605 from a private East Coast collector was a New England Queen Anne maple chest on chest that dated to the late Eighteenth Century and retained an original red stained alligatored finish and its original brass hardware. The chest on chest was one of more than 30 lots that had provenance to the collection of Susie and Richie Burmann, who live in both Ohio and New Hampshire. Another piece with Burmann provenance was an Ohio fraktur birth record drawing for Esther Fisher and dated 1827, that flew past its estimate to bring $3,276.
A second sale of the Routson Collection, featuring spatterware and historical transferware, will take place November 15.
Highlights from the 625-lot various owners’ sale of Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century glass and lighting on May 21 included consignments from Indiana, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, and produced consistently strong prices throughout the day. A Pittsburgh free-blown and engraved celery glass that was attributed to the firm of Bakewell, Page & Bakewell led the day and sold to a private collector, bidding on the phone, for $4,095. The piece was from the New Hope, Penn., collection of David Paar, whose collection produced several of the day’s top prices.
Also, from Paar’s collection was a pressed lacy Gothic arch-and-heart covered dish with original tray at $3,159, a blown-molded whale oil or fluid peg lamp at $2,574, the same price realized for a Thomas Cains free-blown and pressed stand lamp. A pair of cut overlay oval and punty kerosene or fluid peg lamps in green, attributed to Boston & Sandwich Glass Co., circa 1850-60 burned out at $1,075 from an estimate of $300/500.
Chase Lanford, Jeffrey S. Evans’ department head of glass and lighting, said, “The biggest surprise to me was the strength of the cut overlay lighting. Those are prices that have not been possible for a long time and we are seeing very strong prices with cut-overlay lighting. The pair of peg lamps was particularly strong and surprising.”
The next sale scheduled at Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates will be Premier Americana July 2-3.
Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house.
For additional information, www.jeffreysevans.com or 540-434-3939.
January 24, 2023
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