DOWNINGTOWN, Pa. – Pook & Pook Inc. kicked off its fall catalog season on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, with a 1000-plus lot sale featuring items from several educational institutions, estates and private collections. The sale generated much interest with over 1,100 registered bidders hoping to purchase treasured items.
The Friday night session began with 75 lots from a Michigan collection. The first lot was a vibrant 19th century American hooked rug depicting two large stags standing beneath floral branches (est. $5,000-10,000). The rug sold for $13,035 to a local Pennsylvania collector, ecstatic to take home his favorite item in the sale. Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium.
Encompassing some fine redware pieces, the collection was viewed by local Pennsylvania collectors and dealers. The first was a group of miniatures and a miniature step-back cupboard in which to display them. Many of the pieces carried a provenance of Paul Flack, well known for his pristine collections. A 4 3/4-inch-diameter plate with yellow and green sprig decoration did well at $4,029. Other redware items included a hen on nest attributed to the Haig Pottery for $474, a large seated dog for $6,517 and a shallow bowl with unusual circle and dot slip design for $2,844. A Pennsylvania painted pine hutch table (est. $4,000-6,000), with a Don Walters provenance, attracted attention as well as a Pennsylvania painted corner cupboard with ochre graining and red and black stippled highlights (est. $4,000-8,000). They brought $4,503 and $8,505 respectively. A delicate pair of New England bent rod-back Windsor side chairs with red and black striped grounds and wine decoration did well at $3,081. With a good provenance from the Mary Thornton collection, a vibrantly painted New England blanket chest brought $6,517.
The property of a Dodge family descendent continued the Friday evening sale encompassing the next 100 lots. Featured in the group are various porcelains. Highlights included a Meissen-type porcelain figure of a mother pug and suckling pup for $5,688, a pair of Meissen dogs for $5,925, a Meissen hound for $8,295, a Chinese export tureen and cover for $1,777, Staffordshire pearlware lamp in the form of Atlas with the world on his shoulders for $888 and a pearlware lion for $1,458. Several paintings did well including a ink and watercolor cartoon by Charles Samuel Addams for $8,295 and a Dutch school still life for $5,451.
The sale continued with fine art. A pleasing fox hunting scene by Charles Morris Young titled Breaking the Leap and Cover was bid to $13,035. Two dramatic illustrations by Frank Earle Schoonover were from the story by George Marsh, A Little Tragedy at Coocoocache. One was titled I am Francois Hertel and the other Dem papier sa one t’ousand for de man, bringing $8,295 and $6,517. A comical illustration for the Winchester Firearms Co. by Irving Brown depicting a hound scaring up a skunk fetched $5,925. A rich watercolor of a bald eagle and a watercolor of a great horned owl were both by the artist Earl Lincoln Poole and did well at $3,555 and $3,792. An appealing oil on board industrial scene by Aaron Harry Gorson brought over the high estimate to reach $14,220. A William Aiken Walker cabin scene with five figures and animals was estimated at $14,000-18,000 and ended up at $18,900. Other notable works included a portrait of a ballerina by Louis Kronberg for $4,740, a portrait of Mrs. Godfrey Freeman by Howard Hildebrandt for $4,860, a George Rodrigue with blue dog for $6,075 and a Ben Austrian oil of chicks playing in a straw hat for $4,740.
The end of the first session featured some fine carpets. An antique Mahal carpet with an estimate of $4,000-$6,000 soared to $33,180. One of the two Serapis had a central ivory medallion on a red field with nice ivory corners. It brought well over the top estimate at $20,145. A Caucasian carpet with two turtle medallions on an indigo field and pictured in Sherman, brought $4,029. A colorful almost square Heriz with repeating medallions on a blue field did well at $5,346.
On Saturday, several pieces of important Pennsylvania line and berry inlaid furniture garnered the interest of collectors and dealers alike. Many buyers examined these pieces during the preview week. A Queen Anne walnut chest of drawers, circa 1740 was from either Chester of Delaware County and made $45,030. It was one of only a few that carry the decoration on their tops. A related example is illustrated in Worldly Goods, figure 191. A Chester County walnut spice box, the inlaid door with intertwined line and berry decoration within a circle and the initials “AS” was an exceptional piece and made $30,810. The third piece was a Chester County William and Mary walnut Bible box from the collection of James Sorber, with an inlaid cartouche with the initials and date “AM 1749.” Sailing over the high estimate of $900, it brought a whopping $49,770. Another rare Chester County piece, also from the Sorber collection, was a rare miniature Queen Anne tiger maple chest of drawers dated 1764. It went for $82,950.
Significant furniture pieces were interspersed throughout the sale. A Philadelphia Queen Anne walnut compass seat dining chair with three shells descended from the family of Joseph Priestley of Northumberland made $11,257, and a Queen Anne side chair attributed to William Savery retaining an exceptional old dry surface did very well at $21,330. The Lancaster County walnut Dutch cupboard with outstanding architectural detail brought $37,920. Other pieces included a Chippendale cherry tall clock by Eli Bentley for $10,072; a Pennsylvania Chippendale schrank, circa 1775, for $30,810; and pair of Delaware Valley tiger walnut dining chairs for $8,295.
A vibrant Baltimore appliqué and trapunto album quilt dated 1846 from the Bisnoff collection and signed by the four makers had 25 blocks with intricate floral motifs, the center with a spread winged eagle and American flag. It fetched over double the top estimate to bring $33,180. Several medallion quilts sold, including a Lancaster County, Pa. Centennial Memorial Hall example for $9,480 and an example with George Washington medallion for $5,332. Some outstanding appliqué quilts including Whig Rose ($3,790 and $2,370) were sold.
A virtually untouched Montgomery County piece by the artist Anthony Rehm was the best of an exceptional selection of fraktur. This birth certificate is for Durck Adams Groff and had profuse decorations of a bird feeding her young, parrot, snake, checkerboard hearts, a myriad of flowers and vines, each decoration surrounded by pinprick design and signed by the artist. This rare piece soared to $77,025 and was purchased by a phone bidder. Another unusual rare fraktur by Johannes Bard that featured floral trees and a spread winged eagle in a shield brought $5,688, and several brightly colored examples by Abraham Huth brought $4,503-$5,451. A fraktur metamorphosis is an uncommon item, depicting man’s journey from original sin to death in a series of fold-out folky drawings. Deaccessioned from a New Jersey Museum, this piece did well at $15,405. A Virginia Record Book artist birth record faired well at $4,266 and a Northumberland County, Pa. fraktur by the Rev. Henry Young made $11,257.
A group of American pewter included a Danforth porringer ($1,896) and mug ($2,607), a Harbeson deep dish ($1,007) and a Melville porringer ($1,303). A Connecticut painted fine fireboard, attributed to Stimp was sold for $9,480. A great eye-catching Austrian Art Nouveau bronze table lamp has three spread winged bats with drop shades from their teeth sold for $13,035. Several pieces of important historic blue Staffordshire did well, including a plate with two oval portraits of Jefferson and Lafayette above a view “Aqueduct Bridge at Little Falls” for $7,702 and a similar plate with portraits of Washington and Lafayette above “Entrance of the Canal into the Hudson at Albany” for $7,110. A pleasing New England folk art portrait depicting a woman in a blue dress holding a red book carried an estimate of $8,000-12,000 and was aggressively bid to $42,660. Three amethyst Steigel-type bottles brought $4,746-$5,925. A satirical watercolor drawing by Capt. William Frazer, circa 1801, originally from the Garbisch collection, did well at $5,925. Several folk art storage boxes attracted interest including a New England example decorated with flowers and birds at $5,103, and a Lancaster County, Pa., compass artist box for $42,660. The Pennsylvania redware dog illustrated in The Pottery of the Shenandoah Valley Region by Comstock made $23,700 and a redware sugar bowl and cover with vibrant yellow and black slip dot decoration from the Titus Geesey collection made $8,295. A rare pair of Portuguese silver sconces, 18th century, brought over the high estimate to reach $7,897. Ten watercolors by the well-known 20th century folk artist Hattie Klapp Brunner ranged in price from $1,185 to $5,214.
Military items concluded the auction beginning with an appointment document signed by Abraham Lincoln which brought $7,110. A Fayetteville Armory type IV musket did $4,503, a Richmond, Va., musket, $4,740, and a C.C. Brand whaling gun for $4,860.
For more information go to www.pookandpook.com or call 610-269-0404.
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE