Published: March 18, 2003
Shaker Garment Hanger Brings $17,000 at Brunk Auctions
ASHVILLE, N.C. – A Shaker cherry garment hanger from the Tim Bookout Collection once exhibited at the Whitney Museum in New York soared to a record $17,000 as the hammer fell at Brunk Auctions February sale. Aside from the original surface the hanger was stamped on both sides “M.E.T. 1864” for carver Mary E. Todd who lived from 1852 to 1881.
Collector Tim Bookout was reknown as an authority on the Western Shaker tradition. As a teenager he began visiting auctions and discovered his life-long passion for collecting. Drawn to the simplicity and functionality of Shaker pieces made in Ohio and Kentucky, Bookout assembled a noteworthy collection of Western Shaker pieces. In 1971 he moved to Atlanta joining the Graduate Faculty at Georgia State University in the School of Art and Design and taught, published and lectured widely in both the popular and scholarly media.
Much of Bookout’s collection offered in Brunk Auction’s February sale had been on exhibition for many years at the Shaker Museum in South Union, Kentucky. Several objects had been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art, The McKissick Museum, The High Museum, as well as other regional exhibits.
Bookout received his Ph.D from Florida State University where he wrote his dissertation on traditional Southeastern basketry. In pursuit of that degree, Bookout collected handmade baskets and pottery. Also, included in the February auction in Asheville, North Carolina were pieces from his basketry and Southern pottery collection.
Another fine selection from the Bookout collection was a double-woven Chittamacha lidded basket by Ada Thomas. The basket sold for $2,500. Many marked examples of Southern pottery including works by the Meaders family; E.J. Evans of Brown Pottery, Arden, N.C.; Edgefield, S. C. potters and face jugs by Chester Hewell were offered in the weekend sale.
A Mt. Washington Royal Flemish vase with hand-painted fish in underwater setting with seaweed and other plants, unmarked, late Nineteenth century from the Bradshaw Estate in Winchester, Kentucky sold for $7,600.
A Shaker cherry single bed with old refinishing made in Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, circa 1860, and exhibited at the South Union, Kentucky, Shaker Museum, sold for $2,500.
Thomas Morain McKenney and James Hall History of the Indian Tribes of North American With Biographical Sketches and Anecdotes of the Principal Chiefs Embellished With 120 Portraits From the Indian Gallery Philadelphia, 1854, octavo edition of the classic work, binder stamp inside front panel “Altemus,” with 120 prints present, red morocco bindings formerly from the Drayton Estate of Charleston, South Carolina sold for $15,000.
A Wladyslaw T. Chemielinski winter cityscape, oil on canvas in a gilt and painted wooden frame sold for $3,900.
A three-piece inlaid walnut secretary/bookcase, late Eighteenth Century, fall board with inlay “1805,” written on top of base “Old Curiosity Shop…Louisville, Kentucky,” one drawer marked “Don. Over by. HB. Fort Wengler, 826 East Market,” from the estate of Ella Bradshaw of Winchester, Kentucky sold for $18,000.
An etching by Rembrandt (Rembrandt Van Rijn, Dutch, 1606-1667), “The Strolling Musicians,” circa 1635, first state light impression on laid paper. This print was collected in the late Nineteenth Century by William Karrman of Cincinnati, Ohio the great-grandfather of the consignor and sold for $3,200.
A Nantucket basket, rounded form, wrapped rim, hinged wooden handle with copper rivets, stencil mark on inside of bottom “R. Folger, Nantucket, Mass.,” from the Bookout Collection sold for $3,000.
Notable also at the February auction was the Gunsmithing Library of the late John Bivins of Charleston, South Carolina. A master gunsmith and woodcarver, Bivins was employed by MESDA in Winston-Salem, North Carolina for many years and later became a decorative arts and preservation consultant to museums and private collections.
Over 70 pieces of artwork by black folk artist Mose Tolliver of Montgomery, Alabama including several self-portraits were auctioned. These paintings were from the folk art collection of Dr Phillip Golomb of Montgomery. Dr Golomb was the personal physician and an early patron of Tolliver’s work.
The February 22 and 23 sale offered buyers over 1,100 lots of furniture, pottery, porcelain, glassware, paintings, baskets, rugs, jewelry, Orientalia, sporting rdf_Descriptions, toys and garden and architectural pieces. Brunk Auctions reached 13,000 customers in all 50 states and 12 foreign countries with a color brochure as well as a website with color photos and detailed descriptions of all rdf_Descriptions. Over 650 people registered for February’s sale; however bids were executed by absentee, phone and the Internet. Internet interest in Brunk Auctions has been on the rise. For this auction 1500 were registered to participate in live bidding through Ebay Live Auctions at www.ebay.com. Absentee and phone bidding accounted for over 1,500 bids.
Brunk Auctions specializes in estates and fine antiques primarily from the southeast. Each year the facility holds seven to ten auctions a year. The next one is scheduled in Asheville for April 12.
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