Published: November 13, 2012
It is sort of like asking the manager of an antiques show, “How did the dealers do at your last show?” You can guess that the answer will be: “Some of the dealers did real well, others did not do well at all.” Of late, that answer, “spotty,” seems to fit the auctions and it was the answer we received from both the auctioneer, Ron Pook, and the consignor, Paul Flack, following the sale of the Collection of Mr and Mrs Paul Flack at Pook & Pook on Saturday, October 27.
Both Ron and Paul agreed, considering the current market, that the sale went well and they were satisfied. Ron noted that while the gallery was not full for the auction, “lots of people previewed the sale for eight days prior to the first lot being sold and we had a large number of left bids, and the phones were very busy.”
Paul and Rita Flack, who were in the gallery for the entire auction, spoke highly of the catalog produced by the auction house and when Paul was asked about the sale of the Weber box, he just said, “Wonderful.” This is the fifth sale of objects from the Flack Collection. “We seem to have one every ten years,” Paul said, recalling the first two, which were conducted by Pennypacker, the third onsite by Christie’s, one ten years ago by Pook & Pook, and now this one. When asked if in ten years there will be another, Paul just smiled and told us his age.
There were lots of quilts in the sale, so it was not surprising that lot 1 was a Pennsylvania pieced Morning Star quilt with a matching crib quilt, circa 1900, that sold for $2,607, within estimate. There was also a good supply of redware, so that category got underway with lot 4, a Bucks County, Penn., sgraffito charger, circa 1810, attributed to Conrad Mumbauer, with a tulip and pinwheel decoration, 11¾ inches in diameter. It sold for $11,258, just under the $12,000 high estimate. And the first fraktur in the sale, of which there were many, was one by Johann Adam Eyer (Bucks County, active 1780‱830), watercolor and ink on paper bookplate, inscribed “John Nold 1823,” with a bird perched on a tulip branch arising from a heart, 6 by 4 inches. Estimated at $3/5,000, it sold for $3,081.
A mahogany sampler stretching rack, delicate turnings and a slide lid compartment, with an attached Chester County, Penn., crewelwork panel dated 1799 and initialed MM, 13½ inches high and 18½ inches wide, brought $4,266 against a high estimate of $2,500, and a folk art carved and painted figure of a deer, Nineteenth Century, with twig antlers and a later base, 13¾ inches high and 11 inches wide, sold for $2,607, under the low estimate, and was bought by New Jersey dealer Jim Grievo, who had forgotten to register for a bidding number and was sent directly to the desk in the lobby to obtain one.
Among the stoneware pieces was a Pennsylvania or Maryland bank, Nineteenth Century, with cobalt floral decoration, 3¾ inches high, that brought $2,370 from Greg Kramer against a $1,000 high estimate. A Pennsylvania chalkware rooster, Nineteenth century, retaining the original polychrome decoration, 7 inches high, went over the $700 high estimate, selling for $1,126. A Pennsylvania Federal cherry one-drawer stand, circa 1810, with extensive geometric inlay and an early label on the interior reading “This table was presented to Eunice Gallup on her tenth birthday October 5th 1810 by her father Nathaniel Gallup.” It measures 27¼ inches high, 20 inches wide, and sold for $4,029 against an estimate of $1,200.
A number of small carvings were in the sale, including a painted pine parrot, late Nineteenth Century, retaining the original polychromed surface, 14¼ inches tall, that sold for $1,896, and a Twentieth Century carved and painted tortoise, 3¾ inches tall, 7¾ inches wide, that went for $1,154. Both sold for just over the high estimate.
About a dozen carved canes were offered, with several doing very well, including a Bally Carver painted cane with bird and mask grip, retaining the original red and black surface, 39 inches long, that went for $5,214, over the $4,000 high estimate, and a Schtockschnitzler Simmons carved cane with horn-in-hand whistle grip, retaining the original painted surface, 37 inches long, at $3,081, over the high estimate of $2,500.
A Pennsylvania pieced and appliqué friendship quilt, dated 1846, with 64 squares in leaf, floral and various geometric patterns, some with signatures, 72 by 69 inches, sold for $2,844, almost twice the high estimate. A red tole dome lid document box, Nineteenth Century, retaining its original vibrant fruit decoration, brought $7,110, and a Pennsylvania sheet iron Indian weathervane, Nineteenth Century, retaining a salmon over red surface, 34¾ inches tall, sold for $3,792, just under the high estimate.
A Pennsylvania round oak basket, retaining old green surface, 12 inches in diameter, sold just over estimate for $1,185, and a Shenandoah redware flower pot and undertray, Nineteenth Century, 8 inches high, manganese splash decoration on a cream ground, brought $2,133 against a high estimate of $600.
Only one swell-bodied weathervane was in the sale, a copper peacock, late Nineteenth Century, probably Cushing & White, retaining an early gilt and verdigris surface, 20 inches high and 35 inches long, that sold for $8,295, just a hair over the low estimate. A David Kulp watercolor and ink laid on paper Wissler family record with red and black script and typical tulip trees, 117/8 by 77/8 inches, sold for $4,860, just a bit over twice the high estimate, and a Berks County, Penn., painted pine dower chest, circa 1810, retaining a vibrant red and yellow cat’s-eye decoration, 26¾ inches high, 48 inches wide, went just over the high estimate, selling for $8,888.
Two painted dome lid boxes by the Pennsylvania Compass Artist, circa 1800‱840, were in the sale, including one with typical red and white geometric stylized flowers on a blue background that sold under the $15,000 low estimate at $9,480, and a Bucks County sgraffito redware charger, circa 1810, attributed to Conrad Mumbauer, decorated with potted tulip, 11¾ inches in diameter, sold over the $20,000 high estimate for $26,070 to Greg Kramer.
Selling for $4,503, just over the high estimate, was a Pennsylvania 2-gallon stoneware jug, Nineteenth Century, 13¼ inches high with a cobalt man in the moon decoration and the maker’s name, Cowden & Wilcox, Harrisburg, impressed around the spout. A diminutive Pennsylvania painted pine cupboard, circa 1820, recesses panel door, retaining old red surface, 36 inches high by 22 inches wide, brought $5,832, well over the $2,500 high estimate, while a carved and painted bird on a stump, Schtockschnitzler Simmons, 6¼ inches high, sold for over the $4,000 high estimate for $10,665. A similar carving, only 6¾ inches high, sold for the same amount to the same bidder.
A set of six New England painted Windsor bent rod back dining chairs, early Nineteenth Century, probably Maine, old yellow surface and a foliate decorated crest, attributed to Daniel Stuart, Farmington, Maine, went for $5,688, just over high estimate. Also selling for just over the high estimate was a Pennsylvania painted tall post bed, circa 1830, boldly turned posts and broken arched paneled headboard, retaining the original bright salmon surface, bringing $2,673.
A Pennsylvania redware Conestoga wagon-form bank, Nineteenth Century, 5¾ inches high, sold for $4,977, with Jim Grievo listed in the provenance, and a Pennsylvania painted pine dower chest, late Eighteenth Century, attributed to Johann Rank, the front decorated with three potted tulip panels on a blue ground, bracket feet, went for $15,405, exceeding a high estimate of $12,000.
Selling for $11,850, just over the high estimate, was a Pennsylvania redware seated dog, Nineteenth Century, clutching a basket of fruit, 5¼ inches high. Another Jonas Weber painted trinket box, circa 1840, the lid and sides decorated with flowers and the front with a pair of trees flanking a flowering bush, all on an orange ground, retaining the original hinges and tin hasp, sold for $23,700, well over the $6,000 high estimate; and a Pennsylvania pieced eight-color rainbow bar quilt, early Twentieth Century, 74 by 72 inches, went just over high estimate, making $2,015.
To keep up with the schedule of sales conducted by Pook & Pook, 610-269-4040 or www.pookandpook.com .
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
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