Published: August 16, 2010
On June 26, Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates conducted its semiannual cataloged auction of Americana, antiques and decorative arts. The 567-lot auction began at 9:30 am Eastern time and concluded in just under five hours.
The auction included material formerly in the collection of Dr E.R. Eller, who was curator at Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh, Penn., from 1949 to 1969; deaccessioned material from a Virginia institution, fresh offerings from the Hilda Fried estate of New York City; numerous Shenandoah Valley estates and several private Virginia collections.
The sale’s champion lot was a two-piece Pennsylvania paint decorated poplar Dutch cupboard from the Eller collection that retained its original two-tone grain painted surface. In excellent condition with no replacements or major repairs, the cupboard sold to a telephone bidder for $17,250.
A floor bidder won a pair of French palace urns marked for manufacturer Samson Porcelain Works. Each Chinese-style covered urn, with extensive chinoiserie polychrome decoration and gilt highlights, measured 19 inches in diameter and 30 inches high. Despite a rim chip and light hairline to one urn, this monumental pair achieved an astounding $13,800.
Wasting no time in climbing to $10,925 was a circa 1825 Pennsylvania mahogany and cherry tall case clock, signed “Jacob Eby/Manheim,” that stood 102 inches high and retained its original weights, pendulum and winding key; an American sailing ship graced the clock’s moon phase dial. The Eby clock received a lot of preauction interest, and by the time it crossed the block, multiple absentee and telephone bidders were all vying for the win.
An 89-inch-tall Shenandoah Valley of Virginia Federal inlaid cherry tall case clock, which was in “very good as-found condition,” brought $7,475, and a 91-inch Pennsylvania Queen Anne walnut tall case clock sans weights and in unknown working order realized $5,750.
Two Maryland pieces each achieved $6,900 †an oil on canvas portrait painting and a cast iron stove plate. In its original frame and measuring 49½ by 54 inches overall, the colorful circa 1840 painting was attributed to John Beale Bordley II, who beautifully captured the innocence of four Burroughs children and a family kitten. The extremely rare Rock Forge Furnace (Washington County, Md.) stove plate decorated with columned arches, tulips, stars and hearts was inscribed “D : S Hughes,” “Fornace” and “1771.”
Four folk art watercolors on paper from the Eller consignment resulted in impressive prices. All were colorful, primitive-style depictions of rural life by Hattie Klapp Brunner (1889‱982), an artist commonly referred to as “The Pennsylvania Grandma Moses.” A winter scene featured a covered bridge in snow, $1,265, while the other three were richly hued autumn views with subjects that included a train traveling through a small town, $1,725; a red covered bridge, $2,875; and a quaint country auction, $3,220.
Other notable artwork included a 16½-by-22½-inch (sight) oil on canvas titled “Herder with Sheep” by William J. Hyett (1876‱952) that was signed by the artist and dated 1910, $2,415; and a 9-by-5¾-inch unframed oil on board painting titled “Valley Falls, Alleghany Co., VA” on verso and signed “G. Emmolt / 1877,” $1,955.
Two Nineteenth Century silk on linen needlework samplers were excellent buys at $2,070 †one wrought by Mary W. Moon of Albemarle County, Va., and the other by Annie E. Giles, who was possibly from Maryland.
A tiny, 3-by-2¼-inch brightly colored Pennsylvania watercolor and ink on paper fraktur drawing of a bird perched on a tulip realized $1,380; a tall price for a piece that was about the size of a credit card. While examining the bible of Henry Erb (1808‱885) of Manheim, Penn., that had been consigned for the auction by Erb family descendants, Jeff Evans discovered the circa 1830 unframed watercolor tucked away within the pages; the period pencil inscription on the back explains that it had been received as a 19th birthday gift.
Only slightly larger were a pair of Virginia-attributed watercolor and pencil on paper profile portraits from the late Eighteenth or early Nineteenth Century. These diminutive portraits of a lady and gentleman, which measured just 3¼ by 2¾ inches each, were mounted on paper and framed, and although the pair suffered from some losses and a small crease and stain, this lot also brought $1,380.
Other items of note included an 8½-by-6¾-inch Italian micromosaic Grand Tour plaque from the Fried estate, $1,725; a “Merrick’s Six Cord” oak revolving spool cabinet, patented July 20, 1897, $1,610; a Swiss Vacheron & Constantin 18K gold case pocket watch, $1,495; and an 8-gallon stamped “W.H. Lehew & Co. / Strasburg, VA” two-handled stoneware jar with brushed cobalt decoration, the largest Lehew jar recorded to date, $3,335.
All prices quoted include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.
Upcoming sales at Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates include antique sewing (August 28 and December 4), early American pattern glass (September 25′6) and early American glass and lighting (October 23). For information, www.jeffreysevans.com or 540-434-3939.
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