MOUNT CRAWFORD, Va. – Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates’ June 26 & 27 Premier Americana Auction was a highly successful event and produced robust prices in multiple categories. The two-day format consisted of 1,146 lots of high-quality material from across the country, much of which was fresh to the market, and, in a number of cases, had descended directly in the families of the original owners. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.
Bidding was intense throughout each day with thousands of registered bidders participating by phone and online in competition with a socially distanced gallery crowd eager to acquire something rare and desirable.
Session I on Friday began with a special single-owner session of a fine Upstate New York private collection assembled over the past 50 years, which included a wide range of American furniture, fraktur, folk and fine art, Shaker items, pottery, textiles, advertising and country store, toys and early ceramics.
The remainder of Session I consisted of Shenandoah Valley and other folk pottery, Native American material, baskets, early iron, Bennington pottery and country accessories of all types. Top lot for Friday, one of several surprises over the weekend, was a fine Jose Formoso Reyes (1902-1980) Nantucket “Friendship” basket purse. The exquisitely crafted object with carved seagull plaque to lid went to a collector online at $8,775 (Lot 473 – all prices include 17% buyer’s premium), possibly an auction record for the form.
Other noteworthy results from Session I included an unusual Midwestern decorated anti-temperance figural stoneware jug at $7,605 (Lot 359); a labeled Ernest Vogt paint-decorated Civil War snare drum at $7,605 (Lot 247); an H.C. Smith cobalt-decorated five-gallon stoneware jar at $7,605 (Lot 307); and a Pennsylvania figural pottery pig flask $4,972 (Lot 348).
Session II on Saturday consisted of the firm’s usual diverse selection of Americana and fine antiques, highlighted by fine American furniture, clocks, and folk art from the private collection of Jim and Sheri Swinehart, Cincinnati, Ohio; early firearms and Shenandoah Valley folk art from the private collection of Margie and Gordon Barlow, Augusta County, Va.; and an important group of California paintings from the Russell and Doris Evitt estate collection, Jackson, Calif. Saturday’s offerings included a diverse range of rare objects that generated tremendous excitement from collectors and institutions eager to acquire fresh material of the highest quality, some of which retained historical provenance.
Top lot for Saturday at $52,650 (Lot 1194) was an important group of eight Brock Family (Madison Co., Va.) folk art watercolor profile portraits. Descended directly in the family and fresh to the market, the newly discovered group by an as-yet unidentified hand drew much attention during the preview and went to a determined Mid-Atlantic private collector on the phone bidding against an East Coast institution.
Other noteworthy results from the Saturday session included a George Henry Burgess (1831-1905) panoramic watercolor view of San Francisco, dated 1868, that went to determined West Coast private collector on the phone for $40,950 (Lot 1239); a luminous Thomas Hill (1829-1908) Yosemite landscape at $29,250 (Lot 1068); a Cincinnati Stove Works cast-iron figural trade sign in original surface at $15,210 (Lot 1301), another surprise for the day and likely an auction record for the form; and a fine Revolutionary War flintlock musket with a bayonet at $14,040 (Lot 1003).
Other top performers in Session II on Saturday were a Goldsmith Chandlee (Winchester, Va.) engraved brass surveyor’s compass and case, with historical Woolfolk Family provenance at $15,210 (Lot 1040); a very fine Illinois River Vorhees-Rig paint-decorated Canada Goose field decoy at $12,870 (Lot 1171); and a rare New England Chippendale carved cherry miniature desk in outstanding condition at $11,700 (Lot 1141).
After the sale, company president and auctioneer Jeffrey S. Evans commented, “We were very pleased with the strong interest across the board in this auction. It was good to see bidders back in the building on sale days – socially-distanced and wearing masks, of course – and it was particularly encouraging to witness the kind of robust, sustained bidding over the weekend that produced very strong results across all categories of the sale. A key part of that success was the fresh nature of most of the material offered. We worked very hard to secure these consignments – traveling from California to Texas to New York – and were pleased to see the market respond in a positive way to the collections being offered. It was an honor to work with the Swinehart Collection and the Evitt Collection, for instance, and we certainly hope to continue to attract more like consignments as they come to market.” Evans added, “Our multisession November 2020 Premier Americana Auction will feature several important collections of early glass and other fine material from across the country, so we are looking forward to another exciting sale.”
For details contact Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-434-3939.
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