Rare Spitler chest sells for record $356,500 at Jeffrey Evans auction
MT. CRAWFORD, Va. – The Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates Americana and Fine Antiques Auction on June 20 was a success by all accounts and boasted strong prices in virtually every category. The sale’s top lot, an important Shenandoah (now Page) County, Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, blanket chest (above) decorated by Johannes Spitler, sold for $356,500. The price set a new record for a Spitler-decorated blanket chest at auction. LiveAuctioneers.com provided absentee and Internet live bidding.
The Long family, for whom the yellow pine chest was made, settled in the Massanutten area in the 18th century, and the chest had stayed within the family for six generations, residing at historic Wallbrook Farm for the last 100 years prior to its appearance at auction with Evans & Associates. The artistry of the geometric and figural imagery attracted strong bidder interest, with a private Virginia collector triumphing over a Virginia institution.
“It was a great pleasure to handle the Long family Spitler-decorated blanket chest. It is not often that such an important piece comes to market directly from the original owner’s family where it has resided for more than 200 years. We are proud to now hold the no. 1 and no. 2 record auction prices for a piece of folk-decorated furniture by Johannes Spitler,” said Jeffrey S. Evans.
Another Shenandoah Valley item of nearly equal rarity in the auction, an important fraktur taufschein attributed to Jacob Strickler, made for Susanna Rothgeb and dated 1806, sold for $29,900, more than doubling its estimate.
The sale included several other fine fraktur examples. A rare group of Frederick County, Virginia, fraktur birth records made for the Carter family, by the Record Book Artist, comprising three informational sheets and three accompanying pictorial pages, dating to the first quarter 19th century, sold for $21,850 (estimate: $8,000-$12,000).
Other areas of the sale produced positive results as well, demonstrating some signs of vigor in what is often an unpredictable market. Silver was just such a category that exhibited strength.
Likewise, uncommon furniture forms in good condition continue to hold value, and several pieces with these qualities produced strong results at the auction.
Native American material was also met with bidder enthusiasm and included a range of objects such as stone tools, toys, ceramics and textiles.
Folk pottery remains a staple at Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates, and this sale did not disappoint. Featuring a single-owner collection of Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia stoneware, the pottery portion of the auction included 200 lots of material with strong prices achieved throughout.
For further information email email@example.com or call 504-434-3939.
Click here to view the fully illustrated catalog for this sale, complete with prices realized.