Published: April 22, 2003
By David S. Smith
DELAWARE, OHIO – Close to 900 lots of prime Americana crossed the auction block over the weekend of April 11, during a two-day auction that featured the contents of numerous private collections along with select estate merchandise. The Friday evening session of the sale was very well attended with auctioneer Tom Porter reporting a huge crowd. Attendance dwindled somewhat during the Saturday session, as numerous clients opted to leave absentee bids. The auction house reported more than 1,200 absentee bids registered along with 300 plus phone bids, which on numerous lots filled their five available lines.
Highlighting the auction was the collection of James D. Parker, who began collecting antiques in the 1960’s during a period that he termed “late in his life,” at the age of 50. Parker, a Dayton, Ohio native who wrote an antiques column for 18 years published in the Dayton Sunday News, collected antiques into his 90s. An avid collector, Parker spent the last four decades “making up for lost time,” during which he “amassed an impressive and diverse collection” consisting of redware, mocha, spatter and Chinese export porcelains. The Parker offerings attracted attention from collectors throughout the country.
Other rdf_Descriptions in the auction included a collection of Civil War rdf_Descriptions from James Buchman, along with consignments from the collections of J.A. Albers, Joseph Carr, Robert Davison, George Trautman, Ruth Styche and Abe and Elladene Maxwell of Grove City, Ohio.
The Friday evening session of the auction opened with a selection of mocha from the Parker collection with the first lot, a large bowl with earthworm decoration estimated at $2/3,000, selling at $3,850. An earthworm design mocha pitcher was offered next with the lot bringing $4,125, a seaweed decorated large mug sold for $3,025, a large slender pitcher with green and black bands above and below a mocha colored background with dark seaweed decoration went for $4,675, and a creamer with blue ground and tri-colored cat’s-eye decoration was hammered down at $2,970.
Other mocha highlights included a pepper pot with bold and elaborate earthworm decoration selling at $3,850, a small tumbler with marbleized gold, white, brown and black ground and green tooled rim, $3,520, and a pepper shaker with cat’s-eye decoration, $2,750.
An early stoneware keg, believed to be of Ohio origin, elaborately decorated with a large spread-winged eagle with shield and flags was a highlight of the auction. The rare example, believed to have been a presentation piece that had been passed down through a family with veterans of both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, featured an unusually large bung near the base and vertical loop handles on the shoulders. Despite all of the available phone lines being active as bidding commenced on the lot, it sold after heated bidding well above the $10/12,000 presale estimate bringing $29,700 from a dealer in the room.
Redware pieces also did well with a tri-color slipware plate with tulip decoration, attributed to Dryville, Berks County, Penn., selling at $7,975, a nice slip plate with star-type decoration brought $5,610, a large Galena redware jug with a light and bright orange ground highlighted by two slip decorated “balloons” $5,775, and a large slip charger with cross-hatch decoration fetched $4,290. Pieces with names also did well with a loaf dish bearing the name David selling at $3,630, a charger with the name James brought $3,300, as did a Lafayette loaf dish.
Spatter has exhibited quite a bit of popularity in the market as of late and several pieces offered at Garths attracted the attention of collectors. A five-color rainbow spatter ware plate with rayed decoration sold at more than double estimates bringing $6,930. A spatter plate with sponged border and tulip decoration in the center did well at $2,420, while a sponge decorated plate with thistle decoration realized $4,290.
Other pottery highlights included a Fitzhugh export plate with butterfly border and quatrefoil center decoration that sold at $5,500, and a gaudy Dutch cup plate with urn decoration at $2,200.
Leading the auction was an impressive Simon Willard inlaid mahogany Chippendale tall case clock that retained a nice old finish. With a pierced fretwork arched bonnet topped with eagle finials, the clock featured an unusual calendar movement with a painted steel face accented by an actuated rocking ship that was flying an American flag. In overall near excellent condition, the clock, estimated at $40/60,000, sold between estimates at $55,000 going to a midwestern collector in the room.
Other furniture that did well included a country Chippendale two-part wall cupboard in curly maple that sold for $13,750, a Chippendale six drawer high chest in strong tiger maple, $10,450, a nice Hepplewhite tall chest with a three over two over four drawer configuration, $7,480 and a diminutive Queen Anne drop leaf table in an old refinish with graceful cabriole legs sold for $5,775.
Folk art included a large sandstone carving of a native American woman holding a baby in a cradleboard and two children by her sides. The piece, while intact, needed the head to be reattached and sold for $16,500. A seamstress trade sign with applied bobbin and needle on one side and a pair of scissors on the other did well at $2,420, and a nice burl bowl with cutout handles was knocked down at $2,750.
Another unusual accessory was a large pair of Art Deco bronze andirons in the shape of large peacocks that were actively bid and sold above estimates at $5,610.
Items from the Civil War collection of James Buchman did well with a rare Confederate guidon and lance that carried a provenance of Norman Flay- derman selling at $14,300, a Richmond Armory musket with sling sold for $3,630, an Ohio land grant signed by Thomas Jefferson brought $3,300, and an unusual assortment of Civil War textiles including battle flag fragments, uniform fragments and a sliver of wood from George Washington’s casket, also with Flayderman provenance, sold in a single lot for $4,400.
All prices include the ten percent buyer’s premium.
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