Published: January 1, 2002
Maine Auction of Morgan Rank Folk Art Collection Grosses $300,000
By Rita Easton
GRAY, ME. – The Morgan Rank collection of folk and outsider art, spanning the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Century, was the subject of an a recent sale by Cyr Auction Company. Three hundred seventy-three lots crossed the block, generating a gross of $300,000.
Approximately ten percent of that figure was purchased through Leftbid.com, bringing $33,000 of the gross figure.
A carved seated figure holding a rifle, 34 inches high, garnered $4,000. A pair of Moravian wedding chairs, found in Pennsylvania, having carved figures representing different family members holding the back rail, went through Leftbid.com at $6,500; and the top lot, six black life-sized wood carved standing figures holding babies, carved by Tyrone, brought a high bid for the top figure of $13,000, the others selling for between $8,000 and $9,000, all going to different buyers. “We requested anyone who would be interested in buying them as a single lot,” said a spokesman for the gallery, “but they wanted them individually.”
A tramp art drop front secretary, a large and heavily carved piece, with a pierced tin top and a bottom of carved wood, both top and bottom decorated with tramp art stars, went out at $9,000; a carved bust of a military officer with officer, went out at $2,500 for the 30-inch high lot; a red painted Federal five piece set of four chairs and a settee with rush seats achieved $3,000; and three pie safes consigned from the same home brought from $5,500 to $8,500 each.
A yellow many-drawered apothecary cupboard reached $3,000; a “lips” sofa in red upholstery, in original upholstery, slipcover and label, having small stains, garnered $1,750; a “Little Wizard” motorized bicycle with bicycle brakes and a gas motor made $2,250; and a series of bird houses made by a son of a coal miner from southwest Virginia in the 1920s to the 1950’s, who made the bird houses from roofing material, brought $400 and $700, the high going to a model in the form of a cow’s head.
A cigar trade store sign of a gentleman seated with his leg across his knee, wearing a fedora, went out at $4,000 for the carved piece sitting on a box, 4 feet high; a chip carved and paint decorated secretary with marbleized panels garnered $5,000; a wooden bike with a high wheel in the front reached $1,750; a carved natural wood Louisiana group of seven musicians, 21 inches wide, playing their horns and fiddles, sold for $450 for the Dixieland band; and a companion piece, “Shotgun Wedding,” a series of characters standing in front of the preacher, the father wielding a shotgun, also brought $450.
A Windsor chair with an unusual back, with reinforcements and damage, was purchased by Lou Black of the gallery at $500; and a group of canes, carved by William Willard of Hartford who gathered twigs from the property of Mark Twain, the earliest done in 1869, carved with figure and faces, some commemorative, ranged from $300 to $150.
Prices quoted do not reflect a required 10 percent buyer’s premium.
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