Published: April 8, 2003
CHESTER SPRINGS, PENN. – On Saturday, March 8, Wiederseim Associates, Inc conducted a cataloged one-day sale at the Montgomery School. The sale offered more than 500 lots of period furniture, Chinese porcelains, Staffordshire, paintings, marble figures, Oriental carpets and accessories.
The sale consisted of rdf_Descriptions from several local estates, including the estate of Margaret Mako, Norristown, Penn., the estate of Katharine Fletcher, Bryn Mawr, Penn., and the estate of Joanna Reed of Chester Springs.
The highlight of the sale was a consignment from a home in nearby Lancaster, an extremely rare two-gallon stoneware pitcher decorated with extensive dark blue daisies and signed by the maker “T.H. Willson & Co., Harrisburg, PA.” Standing 141/2 inches high, its only flaw was a small chip to its rim. After opening at $5,000 it went up at $500 increments until $10,000 and then by $1,000 increments until hammered down at $28,600.
A collector outbid two phone bidders and two dealers in the room to take the pitcher for what is most likely a record price for this stoneware maker and exceeding the presale estimate of $15/20,000.
Overall, the prices throughout the sale were strong, attributed to the many interesting rdf_Descriptions and a large standing room only buying crowd that determinedly stayed throughout the sale. A girandole gilt framed mirror with a carved eagle crest flew to $6,325. Two marble busts from the Mako estate, each signed “C.E. Summers, Rome, 1884,” went to a phone bidder for $2,530 and $2,640, respectively. The same phone bidder bought two other marble figures, most likely part of a fireplace mantel that sold for a strong $3,960.
Staffordshire generated particularly avid interest throughout the day with a large pair of Staffordshire Ghillies on horseback estimated at $1,5/2,000 galloping away for $2,750; a pair of cows with milkmaids brought $1,650; and a large pair of spaniel figural spill vases exceeded their presale estimate of $1/1,200 and made $1,760.
Several long rifles were offered, the best was signed “J.S.,” possibly from York County, Penn., which shot up to $4,400, while a wall hanger did $1,980. An unsigned tall-case clock with eight-day works, rocking ship movement and sweep second hand sold just below its presale estimate of $6/8,000 at $5,775. A Baltimore Sheraton mahogany dressing table went to a left bid for $1,430 while an English Chippendale mahogany slant-lid desk sold for $1,760.
A French blue and white porcelain mantel clock with lion mask gilt decoration accompanied by two close but nonmatching garnitures sold for $2,400. A massive finely carved oak gargoyle lamp offered late in the sale did $1,485.
Paintings and other artwork were offered throughout the day. Sparking nationwide interest was a collection of six gouache architectural renderings of some of Philadelphia’s finest automobile buildings, including the Nash and La Roche buildings, signed by George A. Newman (1875-1949) which did very well, selling for between $880 and $1,540. Of proud local interest was a watercolor of a house in Chester Springs by Albert Van Nesse Greene (1887-1971). Although not large, it commanded a big price, going for $1,980. A small oil on canvas painting titled verso, “Calm Morning off Boston Light” by C. Dyew, 1888, was anything but calm as it sold to a phone bidder for $3,025. A silver flatware service for 12, sans monogram, by Kirk Stieff in the Queen Anne Williamsburg pattern sold early in the sale for $1,760 and a set of 12 Capo di Monti plates with classical scene borders and armorial center crests served up $1,650.
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