Making Americana great again at Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates


‘Henry Clay’ slate blue pressed open salt. Price realized: $22,230. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image

CRAWFORD, Va. – The Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates Nov. 8-10 Americana & Fine Antiques Auction was a highly successful event and produced robust prices in multiple categories. The three-day format consisted of 2,001 lots of high-quality material, much of which was fresh to the market, and, in several cases, had descended directly in the families of the original owners. Bidding was intense throughout each day with thousands of registered bidders from numerous countries participating in house and online. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.

Sessions I and II on Thursday and Friday were devoted exclusively to the dispersal of the important 19th-century American glass and lighting collection of the late Alvina Breckel of Oley, Pennsylvania, and Winnetka, Illinois. Considered one of the finest assemblages of cup plates, lacy period salts, and children’s toys in existence, the Breckel Collection, for which two printed catalogs were created, generated significant presale interest and produced strong prices, along with a few surprises, over the course of two days. Top lot for the Breckel Collection was a Henry Clay pressed open salt in a unique slate blue color. Made at the Boston & Sandwich Glass Co., or possibly Midwestern, the rare vessel shattered its estimate range when two determined private collectors on the phones chased it all the way to $22,230 (above; all prices include a 17 percent buyer’s premium).

Other noteworthy results from Sessions I and II include a rare wagon form pressed open salt in unique medium blue color at $17,550 (Lot 1238); the pedigreed “Parker White” cup plate, an icon of early American pressed glass, at $14,040 (Lot 26); and a highly coveted “Washington” colorless cup plate at $14,040 (below).


‘Washington’ colorless cup plate. Price realized: $14,040. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image

Session III on Saturday consisted of the firm’s usual diverse selection of Americana and fine antiques, highlighted by an important Virginia private collection that included a number of excellent examples of Southern folk pottery and paint-decorated furniture. Several institutional deaccessions were also featured in Session III, including a collection of long rifles and accoutrements from the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, a group of quilts and fraktur from the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, and a large assortment of 18th-and 19th-century English Staffordshire ceramic figures from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.


Great Road decorated earthenware jar. Price realized: $11,700. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image

Top lot for Saturday at $24,570 (Lot 2296) was an important Wythe County, Virginia paint-decorated poplar blanket chest, signed and dated by its maker, Johannes Hudel (John Huddle). A key example in this well-documented group of backcountry chests, the highly desirable coveted object drew much attention during preview and will return home to Wythe County, where it will reside in the permanent collection of that county’s historical society.


Wythe Co., Virginia, paint-decorated poplar blanket chest. Price realized: $24,570. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image

Other noteworthy results from the Saturday session include a recently discovered pair of North Carolina folk portraits by the Guilford Limner at $11,700 (Lot 2177); a fine Great Road decorated earthenware jar at $11,700 (Lot 2001); and a William Aiken Walker Southern genre scene depicting two cotton pickers at $10,530 (Lot 2176).


Pair of Guilford Limner North Carolina portraits. Price realized: $11,700. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image

Furniture offerings in Session III also produced strong results overall, demonstrating some signs of vigor in what can be an unpredictable segment of the market. Top performers in this category of the sale were a Philadelphia carved and figured walnut high chest at $8,190 (Lot 2360); a rare Mecklenburg County, Virginia, walnut semihigh chest of drawers at $8,190 (below); an unusual Baltimore Classical mahogany games or work table at $7,020 (Lot 2321); and a diminutive 18th-century Virginia walnut desk at $6,435 (Lot 2297).


Mecklenburg County, Virginia, figured walnut chest of drawers, which is from a seemingly unique and distinctive regional school of cabinetwork. Price realized: $8,190. Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates image

“We were very pleased with the strong interest across the board in this auction. It was an honor to handle the Breckel glass collection and produce color catalogues for both sessions,” said Jeffrey S. Evans, company president and auctioneer. “The collection sold without reserve, so the results are a true indication of the current 19th-century American glass market. Several pieces sold for more than five times their original prerecession purchase price, and it was encouraging to see all lots receive many bids. The lighting section of the collection performed extremely well, demonstrating the continued strength and interest in that category.” Evans added, “Our June 2019 Americana auction will contain more items from the important Virginia private collection we featured in this sale, including another Wythe Co., Virginia, paint-decorated blanket chest, so we are looking forward to another solid sale.”

For more information contact Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates at or 540-434-3939.