Elgin collection brushes $800K at Pook & Pook
DOWNINGTOWN, Pa. – Wallpaper boxes and rye straw baskets were the order of the evening at Pook & Pook, Inc. on Friday, April 15 for the sale of the Elgin collection. With 600 registered bidders, many in the audience, the gallery was hoping. After a dinner of gourmet sandwiches and salads, buyers settled in for the 208-lot sale, with Internet live bidding provided by LiveAuctioneers.com. The total achieved was well over double the high estimate, fetching a whopping $799,778. All prices quoted are inclusive of 18.5% buyer’s premium.
Eugene and Dorothy Elgin were well-known, discerning collectors of Pennsylvania German folk art. Most everything in their collection came from country auctions or private homes in York, Adams and Cumberland counties. They bought excellent examples in exceptional condition. Their interests included furniture, redware, decorated tole, rye straw baskets and a variety of other folk art items.
The sale started off on good footing with some solid prices including two chip carved house banks for $3,318, a nest of 3 rye straw baskets for $5688, a rare Chester County diminutive walnut linen cupboard for $28,440 and a colorful hooked rug with hearts and potted flowers for $10,072. A bright American hooked rug with two stags beneath a stylized floral tree soared over the estimate to reach $6,517. Several appealing rugs with a cat theme brought $4,740 and $5,925 respectively.
If you were a cat person, two fine seated chalkware cats by the same hand might well have proved appealing, the taller bringing $20,145 and the smaller, $7,702. Most of the baskets were in perfect or near-perfect condition. A massive rye straw example with a domed lid did well at $8,887, and a openwork basket achieved $5,214.
“Cora’s Bank”, a fine stoneware bank dated 1874 attributed to Peter Hermann of Baltimore, with double-sided cobalt floral decoration was bid competitively to $20,145. A stunning group of small Pennsylvania wallpaper boxes were offered having various rich blue and orange designs in sizes from 1½” to 4¼” high. To the amazement of the crowd they soared to prices ranging from $592 to $10,665, with many in the over-$5,000 range.
A Simmons parrot with polychrome decorated surface was estimated at $4,000-$6,000 and ended up at $26,070; a Schimmel painted rooster brought almost three times the high estimate for $14,220; and an Albert Abelt rooster illustrated in “Just for Nice” by Machmer did well at $3,792.
One of the highlights of the sale was an excellent tole decorated tray with an octagonal crystallized center panel in pristine condition which after much active bidding ended up for $42,660. A rare red tin tole lighthouse coffee pot with bold foliate and fruit decoration brought $18,960. A very clean walnut Dutch cupboard interested many bidders to $22,515; and a Lancaster County painted poplar seed box achieved $23,700.
Interest in works on paper was high. A vibrant fraktur by Adam Wertz brought $18,960; a small Jacob Maentel portrait of a young woman for $15,405; and a watercolor of a peacock by the Engraver Artist for $14,220. Other items included an Anthony Bacher sugar bowl for $6,517; a cast-iron giraffe form doorstop for an amazing $15,405; a miniature pine firkin for $4266.00 and a slip-decorated redware creamer for $5,925.
To contact Pook & Pook, call 610-269-4040.
View the fully illustrated catalog, complete with prices realized, for Pook & Pook’s April 15 auction online at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.
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Click here to view the fully illustrated catalog for this sale, complete with prices realized.
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE