Published: March 27, 2001
HATFIELD, PENN. – Alderfer’s Auction Gallery held their Spring Fine Arts and Decorative Accessories sale on March 7 and 8. Supported by a superb auction catalogue this two-day event offered collectors more than 1,000 lots of porcelain, art pottery, Orientalia, ephemera, carpets, furniture plus over 150 lots of paintings and prints by listed artists.
In association with LEFTBID.com of Omaha, Nebraska, the gallery utilized LEFTBID’S “interactive live auction computer system,” which enables potential off-site registered bidders to log on and to bid simultaneously against the live floor gallery. Mechanically, the system worked fine. The communication delay between the offline bid to the system’s site-operator, with the bid then signaled to the house auctioneer, was no greater than that of a phone-line bid. There were probably an equal number of online bidders as phone bidders.
During the Thursday morning/afternoon auction we interviewed Rock Summer, vice president of LEFTBID.COM.
He explained, “What Leftbid does is offer online auction bidding services for our Internet service to auction house such as we have here today with Alderfer. That allows online bidders to bid live at the auction and have those bids represented. In the last three days I have registered over 70 people.
“Once I am on [have the computer up and running] it only takes one person [to operate the system]. There are a lot of behind-the-scenes things that happen: We build the online catalogue and maintain the sites. We build the catalogue with the descriptions and the images provided by the auction house.
“For the first day of the sale, Wednesday afternoon’s [Jewelry Sale], we had 41 unique visitors to the site. And we successfully sold, I believe, 23 lots. We think we drove 43 percent of the bids. There were 33 people online [during the Thursday morning/afternoon sale]. For the two days we sold, online, $9,975. Thirty-seven different lots represented by 23 different buyers. And today we had 55 unique participants.”
The Wednesday afternoon 300-plus-lot sale of silver, timepieces and jewelry offered a plethora of collectibles. In modern silver, a Georg Jensen six-piece tea set – overall 206 troy ounces – made a strong $25,300. A second 81-piece lot of Jensen flatware in the “Cactus” pattern brought $6,050.
A magnificent monumental footed silver punch bowl by S. Kirk & Son, circa 1920, weighing in at 145 troy ounce, made a not-surprising bid of $15,400. Containing 191 diamonds and 20 emeralds, a fine bracelet brought $8,800. The selection of older hallmarked English silver was limited to a few lots, with a George III footed sauce boat, maker W.B., fetching $797.
A Wedgwood set of Flow Blue “Champoo” pattern had interest to $1,320. Seven graduated gaudy ironstone pitchers made $1,540. A three-tier oak splint loom basket fetched $1,870. With a gravestone shaped top and slant lid, a two-compartment cherry spice box left the block at $2,530. A good tin frame ship’s lantern in cranberry glass saw a bid of $1,155.
Rare and very unusual, a plank of wood (some 14 inches wide by 47 inches long), found in a house in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, sold for $15,400. Known as a “Blessing Board” and with black German script translated, “God Protect This House From All Misfortune And Bring Our Souls Into The Heavenly Abode,” the piece was dated 1811. It sold to a phone bidder.
Very popular with collectors, a good slide lid candle box, dovetail construction, made $2,750. Depicting Washington on horseback, an 11-inch bisque head, wooden arms and legs, with molded and painted features and candy container (sans candy) brought $1,870.
With 54 pieces, a Waterford crystal stemware set had phone interest to $3,520. Without a base to stand on (measuring 20 inches in diameter), an Art Deco leaded glass lampshade still managed to sell at $3,410. For the vintage Lincoln car (1937) collector there was a fine Lalique dragonfly amethyst glass radiator cap for only $3,300. A 36-inch tall ormolu mounted French porcelain urn, with allegorical panels without lid, brought an expected $6,050.
In excellent condition, a living-room-sized, 11 by 17-foot Serapi, handwoven, circa 1900, sold against the phones at $27,500.
Among the 100 lots of furniture was a 15-lite, paint-decorated pine Dutch cupboard that had phone interest and made $11,550. A Pennsylvania walnut kas, circa 1770, sold to the phones at $14,850. An early Eighteenth Century English William and Mary chest-on-chest brought $5,500.
Of more than 180 lots of paintings and prints, the lead lot was an Antonio P. Martino landscape dated 1929, 36 by 40-inches, titled “Clifton Houses,” that made $15,400. A winter landscape with stream by Melville Stark brought interest from the phones, but sold to the floor at $4,675.
All prices listed reflect the ten-percent buyer’s premium.
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