Published: May 12, 2020
Review by Madelia Hickman Ring, Catalog Photos Courtesy Pook & Pook, Inc.
DOWNINGTOWN, PENN. – Pook & Pook, Inc., offered 700 unreserved lots of decorative arts in two evenly divided sessions on April 29 and 30. The sale on the first day was 100 percent sold and only three lots on the second day went unsold, for a 99 percent sell-through rate. The combined sales realized $234,825 against an estimate of approximately $100/160,000.
The sale had always been planned to be an online-only auction event, but with local and state coronavirus restrictions in place, Pook & Pook was not able to offer previews, even by appointment. The house planned ahead, cataloging each lot with additional photographs they anticipated clients would ask for. Additionally, phone bids were not able to be accommodated, though the auctioneer and online bidding clerks were onsite on the sale days.
“One of the things I keep coming back to – we’ve done online only sales since 2014 – so for us, it was business as usual,” Jamie Shearer commented, speaking to Antiques and The Arts Weekly by phone. “That said, we had an astounding number of bidders on the two online platforms – 2,623 as compared to our last pre-pandemic online-only sale when we only had about 1,600 registered online bidders. A lot of them were new to us. We are very thrilled with the results of the sale.”
The top lot on the first day was a cobalt-blue ceramic vase from the studio of Toshiko Takaezu, whose work can be found in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC, the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Honolulu Museum of Art, just to name a few. A buyer from New York state acquired it for $3,438, well past expectations.
Coming in second place was a group of linen, homespun and wool early clothing that made more than 20 times its low estimate when it sold for $3,188; the lot was from the collection of Linda and Dennis Moyer, which will be sold as a single-owner sale later this year. Bringing the third highest price on the first day was a mid-Seventeenth Century English school portrait of a woman that closed at $2,938, to a British bidder.
Other notable results on the first day were seen in a group of three Shooner redware lamps that brought $1,750, an assorted collection of tin quilt patterns from the Moyer Collection that made $1,313, a group of eight colored glass bottles and historic flasks that closed at $1,250 and a Charles Grant Beauregard oil on canvas of a sunset that brought $1,175 from a Canadian buyer.
Leading the second day of the sale, and bringing the top price of either day, was a blue painted drysink that retained its original paint and was bought by a trade buyer, for $5,625. A trade buyer in New England spent $2,938 for a folky portrait of two children that had a great look but was not old. Two lots of pottery exceeded expectations, the first being a pair of Chinese blue and white cache pots that made $2,188 and a Jacob Medinger two-handled redware jug with sgraffito bird decoration that flew to $1,813.
Pook & Pook’s next auction will be a 500-lot decorative arts online-only sale on May 20.
Prices quoted include buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house.
Pook & Pook is at 463 East Lancaster Avenue. For information, www.pookandpook.com or 610-269-4040.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm