Weekly Auctions of Exceptional Items
Downingtown, PA, United States
DoneSat, Jun 20, 2009 1:00 PM GMT
Pook Inc. June 20 Auction - Master Estate
The Collection of El Roy P. and Helene Master includes period furniture, fine art and decorative accessories. This collection has remained intact for five generations and it is hoped that others can now appreciate its beauty and fine craftsmanship. This legacy started with the arrival of Henry Janssen from Germany at the turn of the 20th c. He helped start the Wyomissing Industries, including Textile Machine Works and Berkshire Knitting Mills. He had four children, two of whom, Helen and Minnie, became very interested in antiques. Together they went on buying trips along the east coast. Helen married Richard Wetzel and her collection was housed in properties in Wyomissing, PA and Bar Harbor, ME. When she died in 1980, the collection was sold at an on-site auction, one of the largest of its kind. Minnie married Dr. John Livingood and purchased Berksveldt Farm in Robesonia, PA in the 1930's. Minnie had been collecting antiques with her sister Helen to furnish Berksveldt Farm. Unfortunately, she died before she and her husband could move in. Helen Wetzel placed the furniture and collectables in Berksveldt and John moved in with his two daughters, Helene and Elsa. After World War II, Helene and El Roy P. Master purchased the property along with the furnishings. They appreciated the beauty and integrity of the pieces and took meticulous care of them. El Roy, a West Point graduate and officer in the war, eventually became president of Textile Machine Works. Helene was very active in the community and touched the lives of many people. She loved Berksveldt. They entertained graciously, in the beautiful setting, allowing many people to enjoy their home and surroundings. With the death of Helene in 1998, and El Roy in 2008, the collection is now being sold in its entirety. It marks the end of an era for the family.