Published: June 10, 2003
DELAWARE, OHIO – On April 11-12, Garth’s Auctions, Inc held a knockout 875-lot Americana auction, despite unsettling world events, a sub par economy and a looming tax deadline. The sale featured the collection of Jim Parker of Dayton, Ohio, who had collected everything from mocha and redware to Chinese export porcelain and furniture.
“Buyers put their economic and war concerns aside for 48 hours,” commented Jeff Jeffers, president of Garth’s. “They showed great appreciation not only for the rdf_Descriptions, which included some of the best Americana to come to the market recently, but, in a broader sense, for the collecting habits of all our consignors.” The auction also included Civil War rdf_Descriptions, several historical blue Staffordshire cup plates, quilts and spatter – something for practically everyone.
A crowd filled the salesroom on both days to compete with bidders from the absentee bid book, the phone and the Internet. In September 2002, Garth’s partnered with eBay LiveAuctions, allowing bidders to bid in real-time from the comfort of their homes anywhere in the world. Not only has this opened bidding to a global audience, but it has also helped rdf_Descriptions realize stronger prices. For instance, a six-inch footed burl jar with a lid, estimated at $500 to $1,000, went for a whopping $7,700. The buyer was in the audience, but the underbidder was on the Internet.
“The alliance with eBay LiveAuctions continues to be a good thing,” according to Jeffers. “They [Internet bidders] showed strong interest early on in several rdf_Descriptions and continued with lots of bidding activity during the auction.”
The top-selling lot was an inlaid grandfather clock by Simon Willard, which also sold at Garth’s July 1999 auction of the Stuck collection. The clock went to a phone bidder from Chicago for $55,000, the same price it brought three years earlier. Chippendale chests ranged in price from $10,450 for a six-drawer in curly maple to $4,950 for a five-drawer attributed to New Hampshire. A buyer paid $3,850 for a Queen Anne two-drawer mule chest, while a Chippendale slant lid desk from Lancaster County, Penn., made the same price. A Chippendale two-piece wall cupboard in curly maple sold for $13,750, and a Hepplewhite nine-drawer high chest went for $7,480.
As for obliterating presale estimates, redware reigned. A pie plate with a tulip design in green and brown slip, attributed to Dryville, Berks County, Penn., more than doubled its high estimate by bringing $7,975. Another pie plate with a different design but the same attribution sold for $4,125, while one with an interesting crossed-snowshoe design in yellow slip made $5,610. Three loaf pans, one reading “LaFayette,” one “Martha” and one “David” brought $3,300, $2,090 and $3,630 respectively. Crossing the block at $2,640 was a redware chamber stick measuring 51/4 inches high.
Another category that showed strong results was mocha. The catalog’s cover lot – a blue and white pepper pot with a white, tan and black earthworm design – was hammered down for $3,850. Pepper pots with decorations ranging from stripes to seaweed sold anywhere from $797 to $2,750. Other notable forms included a pitcher with green bands and black stripes for $4,620; a green, black and tan creamer for $2,970; a large footed bowl for $3,850; a small tumbler for $3,520; and a master salt with a wavy cat’s-eye pattern for $2,090.
Buyers continue to show enthusiasm for spatter. The top lot, a five-color rainbow plate, garnered $6,930, while another plate with a yellow border and a thistle in the center sold for $4,290. A bidder paid $1,100 for a miniature red handleless cup and saucer with a morning glory. An eight-inch plate with a tulip center was sold for $2,420, and yellow cup plate with a red and green cockscomb in the center sold for $1,650.
But this was not the only cup plate worthy of mention. In fact, these little rdf_Descriptions brought big prices: $2,860 for a rare historical blue Staffordshire depicting an American eagle and shield. Another with a portrait of Lafayette went for $1,980, while one of Boston Harbor realized $1,210.
Some rare pieces of Chinese export porcelain sailed across the block, including a rose Fitzhugh plate measuring 93/4 inches with Chinese scholar symbols and mythological qilin figures. It sold for $5,500. A two-color Fitzhugh plate with a green butterfly border and a sepia center, $1,980. Canton also fared well. A covered pitcher made $2,090; a covered tureen, $1,870; a reticulated bowl and underplate, $1,045; and two candlesticks, $1,100.
Other rdf_Descriptions of note included a Confederate cavalry guidon with lance that went to the trade for $14,300. A buyer paid $16,500 for a large sandstone carving of a Native American woman and children by Popeye Reed, and a bidder in the audience went to $29,700 for an early stoneware cooler with an incised eagle and flag decoration. A Liverpool pitcher with a transfer of the “Brig Adventure of Salem” cruised to $4,675, well over its $2,500 estimate, while a seaman’s chest retaining an original painting in the lid of the “Witchcraft built at Chelsea” made $1,980. An Ohio land grant dated October 14, 1801, and signed by Thomas Jefferson sold for $3,300.
All prices include a ten percent buyer’s premium.
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