Published: August 30, 2022
Review by Z.G. Burnett, Photos Courtesy Schultz Auctioneers
CLARENCE, N.Y. – Schultz Auctioneers conducted its three-day Antique Estate Auction August 18-20, with more than 1,500 lots offered and 98 percent of those sold, and sales totaling about $420,000. While many multi-consignor auctions of this type are often described as “eclectic,” few achieve the level at which they include both sports memorabilia and human remains in the top lots, along with many other oddities and outliers. For those with a penchant for the unusual, this was not an auction series to miss.
The first day’s sale on August 19 focused on antiques, artwork, furniture and decorative arts. The top billing belonged to a mahogany Steinway & Sons grand piano, complete with a serial number and restored a couple of decades ago. Steinway & Sons pianos have been appearing in the upper lots frequently of late, especially antique examples like this. It sold for $15,000, three times its low estimate.
An oil on board of Niagara Falls with a rainbow by Claire Shuttleworth, a New York native, was the highest priced work of art in the sale. “It’s the best Claire Shuttleworth [we’ve seen],” said Ben Schultz, co-owner and auctioneer. “We’re happy to say it is staying in the state and going to a private collection in Buffalo.” The painting sold for $11,563.
Jewelry was popular in this first sale, with two pieces whose arcane qualities made them that much more beautiful. An engraved 14K gold necessaire compact mirror decorated with diamonds and sapphires, made for hanging from a woman’s chatelaine belt, added $8,125 to its swags and flourishes. Following right behind was a figural pillbox of a dog’s head, crafted from mixed metals and accessorized with diamonds and enameling, which sold for $5,313. Both lots far exceeded their initial estimates.
The auction on August 19 brought country antiques and vintage clothing, but it was a Reed & Barton illustrated catalog of silver and gold plate that swept the block. Valuable to collectors and dealers alike, such a catalog is an excellent resource for identifying Reed & Barton pieces. The catalog served up far beyond its $200/400 estimate for $5,625.
Taxidermy in all different kinds of mounts was a strong category in the August 20 sale; canaries and game birds in domed half-mounts mingled with full-sized standing mounts. Yet it was two documented leopard rugs that made the upper cut of the lots, one of which was the highest selling object in the session’s sale. Both unfortunate felines were hunted by Dorothea Haus Ross (English, 1906-2000) in 1968 during a safari in Kenya, before establishing her namesake foundation to protect vulnerable children from human trafficking. The first leopard rug sold for $4,375 despite a broken tooth and measured 6 feet 4 inches. The second leopard rug and one of the second-highest lots was 7 feet 4 inches long, the largest leopard in Kenya to be taken at that time. Its teeth were in worse condition, and it sold for $3,750.
The second highest lot, tied with the longer of the two leopard rugs, is bound to win the neighborhood’s “Best Decoration” prize this Halloween. A real human skeleton who came with the name “Frank” as well as his own coffin also sold for $3,750. From the late Nineteenth or early Twentieth Century, “Frank” was once a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows who donated his body to medical science. He and his coffin are now part of a private New York City collection.
Prices quoted with buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house. For information, www.schultzauctioneers.net or 716-407-3125.
September 28, 2022
September 28, 2022
September 27, 2022
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm