Published: March 8, 2011
One buyer single-handedly made the day for Crocker Farm’s March 5 stoneware and redware auction in just two lots.
Millionaire businessman Adam Weitsman, who runs an upstate New York scrap business, and who has already donated the bulk of his massive stoneware collection to the New York State Museum in Albany, N.Y., picked up another two pieces for the museum at this sale.
The sale started with a bang with lot 1, an American stoneware memorial jug for a potter who drowned, which Weitsman’s agent bought over the phone for $138,000, including the 15 percent buyer’s premium.
Auctioneer/owner Tony Zipp said the sale was “great &†with a very, very large crowd,” and reflected sentiment that the economy is improving. “Stoneware is really strong now. The lower lots are mixed but once you get beyond that, the prices are strong. When you get into the top market, the prices are off the charts!”
The memorial jug was a consignment from the Los Angeles area and as soon as Crocker Farm began advertising it in mailings and in trade papers, the buzz grew deafening. The previous record here for the number of phone bidders on a lot was eight, this jug had nine bidders vying for it.
Estimated at $20/30,000, the jug opened at $10,000 and went up in $5,000 increments until it hit the $60,000 mark with bidding down to just Weitsman and the underbidder. Bidding jumped by $10,000 bids until Weitsman prevailed.
A little later, Weitsman’s agent bid for and won lot 15, a profusely decorated Poughkeepsie, N.Y., 14-inch-tall storefront stoneware jug that came out of a New York home, for $103,500. Weitsman noted he bought both pieces expressly to become part of the museum’s collection.
“The New York State Museum in Albany is in the process of building one of the finest stoneware collections known and many of the amazing pieces have come from past Crocker Farm auctions,” Weitsman said.
Tony Zipp noted this sale had 100 more consignments than the November sale and took in more money by lot 15 than the entire fall sale. After doing major renovations to their new auction gallery, the Zipps are gratified. “We really needed a shot in the arm. This was way beyond! The sale was so good,” Tony said.
Rounding out the auction’s “top five” were an important Pennsylvania redware heart-shaped inkstand that fetched $28,750, an important “Coerlears Hook/N. York” (Thomas Commeraw) stoneware jar at $25,875 and a John Bell redware pottery dog figure for $19,550.
A complete report on the sale will appear in a future issue.
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