Published: August 14, 2007
Thousands of lots of country Americana drew buyers to this Thousand Islands community where the St Lawrence River and Lake Ontario intersect. The draw was Iroquois Auctions’ three-day sale of the estate of collectors extraordinaire and preservationists John and Jane Logan.
The site of the sale was the Logans’ 90-acre farm, Burnt Rock Farm, which was packed with their collections and with the contents of their museum in the Chaumont Grange. There was also a nine-hole golf course and the attendant equipment. In addition, the contents of the family’s mile-long lakeside property †including boats, antiques and fishing and hunting items †were all moved to the farm for the sale. Auctioneer Gerald Petro estimated the number of objects as “a conservative 5,000.” Many lots were sold as buyer’s choice.
The Logans’ collection of blue decorated stoneware alone was first estimated to number about 70 pieces, but in the final run-up, Petro unearthed another ten. Interested buyers represented 20 states. The star was a crock made by J.C. Wealde of nearby North Bay, N.Y., and decorated with a cow and trees that sold for $3,200 in spite of condition problems. An 1854 example made in nearby Watertown, N.Y., sold for $1,400. Fourteen stoneware examples decorated with birds included two with paddle tails that realized $1,500 each. One example that was broken and missing its handles realized $150.
The impressive gathering of textiles included six highly desirable coverlets woven by area weaver Harry Tyler, and more than 30 patchwork and appliquéd quilts. An exceptional Tyler coverlet in indigo and white was woven in 1840 for Fanny Clark with an allover snowflake design, a border of trees linked by an iron fence and lions in the corners. It sold to a dealer for $3,900.
Another indigo and white example woven for Anna Klock in 1852 with a center snowflake design, eagles in each corner and a border of bowls of foliage and vegetables, sold to the same dealer for the same price.
A third Tyler coverlet, with an overall snowflake design with a border of trees and fences and characteristic scowling lions woven in indigo and white in 1842 for Persis Heath, sold for $2,900 to the National Museum of the American Coverlet. The museum also paid $2,100 for a red and white example made for Sylvia A. Bentley in 1847 with an eagle. Tyler’s eagles were used on 60-cent postage issued in 2002.
Museum director and curator Melinda Zongor said the museum was thrilled to get the coverlets, which she bought over the phone while out to breakfast. The museum was established only last year, and funds are still in somewhat short supply but, Zongor said, museum directors and other supporters cobbled together the money to acquire these quilts.
A late Nineteenth Century St Lawrence skiff that has been on loan to the Cape Vincent Historical Museum realized $3,600 from a Logan family member, who is taking it to Chicago.
A buckboard with red wheels and tongue and a green painted body made by Lansing Wagon Works from the Logans’ extensive collection of horse-drawn conveyances was $1,800.
One Northeastern mahogany plantation desk from between 1830 and 1860 sold for $850; four others ranged in price from $600 to $800. A Victorian walnut marble top stand from the 1870s realized $700. A large early Nineteenth Century dry sink fetched $450, while a smaller example was $300. A Nineteenth Century Shaker mushroom capped rocking chair realized $400, while two other examples were $175 each.
A Gum Ball Dandy trade stimulator realized $500, as did a Rubberball Shooting Game, while a Nineteenth Century kaleidoscope on stand in the form of a ship’s compass made by C.C. Bush of Providence, R.I., realized $375.
A handsome 17½-inch burl walnut bowl dating from the 1830s was missing a chunk along the rim and sold for $2,600. A handsome tiger maple dovetailed tool chest with plenty of compartments had a Watertown, N.Y., signature and sold for $2,100. Two matching 16-drawer apothecary cupboards from a Nineteenth Century Chaumont drug store brought $225 each.
A ledger detailing the 1793 voyage of the vessel Mohawk from London to Philadelphia sold for $2,200.
An album of postcards of the Adirondacks and the Thousand Islands went to a local collector for $1,700. Buyers found much to appreciate in the way of tintypes and cartes de visite, Thousand Islands images and other ephemera.
A European watercolor portrait of a paddle-wheeler amid mountains was signed illegibly and sold for $1,700. A charcoal drawing of Civil War soldier Isaac Logan, grandfather of John Logan, pictured with his medals, fetched $200.
An 1830s tall clock made in Litchfield, Conn., and signed “Hopkins” had wood works and sold for $750 due to having been refinished. A brass and sheet metal eagle from the mid Nineteenth Century fetched $375.
Two identical double-wheel “Swift Mill” cast iron coffee grinders by the Lane Brothers of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., were offered. One, with mint condition paint, was $550, while the other, a duller example, was $275.
An early American flask in green glass with an eagle and shield sold for $2,300, despite the best efforts of one dealer who tried to discourage all other bidders by insisting the piece had a crack. There was no crack and the flask went elsewhere.
Over the years the Logans collected thousands of books that were sold in box lots for a total of $30,000 and went primarily to the trade.
All prices reported reflect the hammer price as no buyer’s premium was imposed. For information, 315-668-2346.
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