Published: August 20, 2002
Stoneware and Earthenware Lots Lead Virginia Auction
MT CRAWFORD, VA. – Prices at Green Valley Auctions, Inc’s June Americana and decorative arts were strong, beginning with Friday’s session and continuing on to Saturday. All told, the large crowd enjoyed a well-organized sale and a no buyer’s premium policy.
Saturday morning was a delight for traditional pottery collectors. With 138 lots of stoneware and earthenware, the selection was vast and the bidding reflected the quality of the pieces. Lot 1, a rare A. Keister & Co. three-gallon pitcher from Strasburg, Va., with freehand cobalt decoration sold after heated bidding to a Virginia collector for $21,000. Shenandoah Valley examples proved to be the most popular pieces in this portion of the sale.
The crowd had barely recovered from the pitcher’s record price when an earthenware bear attributed to Winchester, Va., potter Anthony Baecher (lot 7) attracted numerous bidders before being sold to a collector for $27,000. Although it had suffered some losses, this piece was closely related to an example in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center, and is one of only several known to exist.
Rockingham County, Va., pieces also reflected their highly sought-after status with an undecorated straight sided jar signed by the father of Rockingham County pottery, Andrew Coffman (lot 2), reaching $3,100 despite having a rim chip, and a decorated stoneware lidded squat pot by John D. Heatwole (lot 3) sold for $5,900.
Other significant Valley pieces included lot 4, a stamped John Bell molded hanging planter that brought $5,250 and a decorated ovoid jar attributed to the Zigler pottery also garnered much interest. The four-gallon ovoid jar (lot 18) featuring an incised and cobalt male profile with high collar and pony tail and inscribed “Johnny” sold to a bidder on the floor for $6,750. A large array of Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia pottery also held the crowd’s interest, reaching prices from $100 to $1,350.
Decorative accessories followed the sale of pottery but the bidding remained competitive. A James Meredith (Winchester, Va.) coin silver sauce ladle (lot 170) sold for $550, while a Tiffany sterling “Vine” sugar sifter (lot 171) was knocked off at $450. Although unmarked, a Mount Washington Royal Flemish vase with gilded griffin decoration (lot 279) reached $3,400 before selling to a bidder on the phone and a Carnation mold R.S. Prussia tankard (lot 285) sold for $1,400 to a bidder on the floor. Similarly, a pair of Baccarat figural glass candlesticks with cherub stems (lot 296) brought $1,300.
Painting also elicited much interest, with two mid-Nineteenth Century Virginia watercolors by German artist A. Kollner (lots $225 and 226) bringing $4,100 and $4,300 respectively, record prices for this artist. An oil on canvas portrait of a Jack Russell terrier signed Lucy A. Leavers (lot 209) also held the crowd’s interest, bringing $2,200. An impressive needlework memorial picture of silk embroidery and ink on silk (lot 139) with a North Carolina provenance reached $6,250 before selling to an in-house bidder. Other rdf_Descriptions of note include a very rare brass sewing dog (lot 144) that brought $1,900 and an exceptional Shenandoah Valley white oak field basket in old green paint (lot 137), which realized $2,300.
A fine array of furniture also held the crowd’s interest, with Shenandoah Valley pieces attracting the most heated bidding. A Federal walnut tall-case clock (lot 262) from an Augusta County, Va., family proved of interest to a number of bidders before selling for $11,000, while a late Eighteenth Century Shenandoah Valley walnut Chippendale high chest of drawers (lot 268) brought $8,000. Country prices from the region also fared well with an Empire walnut sideboard with 10 punched tins (lot 297) reaching $10,000, a walnut Empire diminutive solid end chest of drawers in original untouched condition (lot 272) bringing $6,000 and a 12-tin walnut pie safe (lot 300) selling for $4,100.
A North Carolina walnut Hepplewhite hunt board (lot 306) dated 1822 sold to a bidder for $10,000, while another North Carolina Hepplewhite piece, a walnut sugar chest on frame (lot 276), reached $4,750. An important Hepplewhite inlaid mahogany demilune card table attributed to Norfolk (lot 264) in need of much restoration sold for $5,500, a price that reflected the condition of the piece.
Friday’s session was also well attended and offered the crowd an eclectic array of rdf_Descriptions. Ranging from Wallace Nutting prints to gold coins, the pieces warmed up bidders for Saturday’s features. Outstanding lots from the first session included a cast-iron Bradley & Hubbard rabbit doorstop (lot A149) which realized a record $4,100 and a carved and polychrome patriotic picture frame inscribed by J.W. Nail (lot A167) that sold to a dealer for $1,600. A selection of art pottery included a Moorcroft center bowl and matching candlesticks (lot A190A) that garnered $1,000 and an uncommon Burmantoft’s faience bulbous bottle form vase with Persian style design (lot A204) also reached $1,000. The numerous lots of gold coins attracted many buyers and prices remained strong throughout that portion of the sale. For instance, a 1907 Saint-Gaudens $20 gold piece (lot A239) sold for a competitive $8,000 an 1807 Turban Head $5 gold piece (lot A243) reached $7,000 and an 1855 $1 gold piece (lot A275) topped out at $9,000.
By the end of Saturday’s session the total amount of sales had reached $683,000, a result that led Green Valley’s president Jeffrey Evans to remark: “The market for Southern — especially Virginia — furniture and decorative arts is at an all-time high. The sky is the limit for furniture with good provenance and original finish.”
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