Dealers’ estates enhance Cowan’s Americana auction April 10-12

Sharecropper portraits by William Aiken Walker. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000. Cowan's Auctions Inc.

Sharecropper portraits by William Aiken Walker. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000. Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

CINCINNATI – Cowan’s Auctions Inc.’s live salesroom Americana Auction will take place from April 10-12. The auction will feature the Americana collections of the late Jane Murphy of Shandon, Ohio, and Kenneth Erwin, of Portland, Mich., two longtime antique dealers. The auction will offer important Midwestern furniture, folk art, weather vanes, stoneware and other Americana assembled over the years by Murphy and Erwin, both of whom died in 2013. Day one (April 10) of the auction will feature a portion of the Jane Murphy Estate, and will include 500 uncataloged lots. Days two and three of the sale (April 11-12) will feature the catalogued portion of the sale, consisting of over 900 lots from these two great collections, as well as other offerings. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding for the cataloged portion of the sale.

Murphy was a collector and dealer for over 60 years, and a fixture on the southwestern Ohio and southeastern Indiana antique scene. More than 20 pieces of Western Shaker furniture including case pieces and a rare Ohio Shaker tall case clock are included in the sale.

“Jane’s Shaker collection was assembled in the 1960s, when the Southwestern Ohio Shaker settlements were being disbanded,” noted Wes Cowan, president and principal Auctioneer, Cowan’s Auctions. “This represents the largest single group of Shaker material to come to the market in many, many years.”

Some of the items offered from Jane Murphy’s collection of Shaker furniture include a Union Village Shaker curly maple chest of drawers, estimated at $3,000-$5,000, a rare Union Village Shaker tall case clock is expected to sell for $3,000-$5,000, a Whitewater Shaker walnut linen press is estimated at $2,000-$3,000 and a fine Union Village Shaker one-drawer work table is expected to bring anywhere between $2,000-$3,000.

Kenneth Erwin was widely recognized in the antiques world for more than 40 years, and his diverse collection was put together with a curator’s eye. Erwin’s collection focused on “smalls” and great examples of Shaker pantry boxes, early glass, stoneware, redware, folk art, paintings, carvings, decoys, scrimshaw and whales teeth are included in both days of the sale.

The Erwin Estate offerings include a diverse array of fine decorative pieces. Highlighted in the Erwin portion of the auction is a monumental double-handled stoneware merchant’s jug from Pewamo, Mich. The jug features an incised and cobalt painted inscription reading “WH Triphugen Esq / Pewamo, Mich” above a 26-star American flag, and is estimated to sell anywhere between $8,000-$12,000.

“The Pewamo presentation jug is simply spectacular,” noted Cowan. “Many collectors have known about the piece for years, and we expect there to be fierce competition in bidding. It’s a Midwestern stoneware trophy.” Dozens of other pieces of stoneware and redware will also be offered.

Erwin was especially fond of Shaker boxes, treenware and burl objects. Dozens will be offered, with a prime chromium yellow Shaker box expected to fetch between $2,000-$3,000. Many of the boxes are painted and in untouched condition.

“Ken was simply a great collector, with a great eye for quality,” said Cowan. “We were astounded by the variety of his collections.” Historical china, scrimshaw, canes, early glass, baskets, folk art paintings, lighting, advertising, and fishing and hunting decoys will be sold. “Literally, this sale will offer something for everyone – and I don’t say that often,” added Cowan.

Additional notable lots that will be featured in the Americana Auction are two sets of portraits of sharecroppers by William Aiken Walker, both estimated to sell between $10,000-$15,000, a J.W. Fiske Morgan stallion weather vane is expected to bring $8,000-$10,000, two watercolor portraits by Jacob Maentel are estimated at $5,000-$7,000, and a rare New York folk art family record is expected to sell between $8,000-$10,000. Additionally, to round out the sale, Cowan’s will be selling more than 40 quilts owned by a longtime Cincinnati collector.

For more information about the auction or to consign for future auctions, please visit cowans.com or call Kirstie Craven at 513-871-1670 ext. 231.

View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Sharecropper portraits by William Aiken Walker. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000. Cowan's Auctions Inc.

 

Sharecropper portraits by William Aiken Walker. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000. Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Monumental W.H. Triphugen (Triphagen) Pewamo, Mich., double-handle stoneware merchant's jug. Estimate $8,000-$12,000. Cowan's Auctions Inc.

 

Monumental W.H. Triphugen (Triphagen) Pewamo, Mich., double-handle stoneware merchant’s jug. Estimate $8,000-$12,000. Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

J.W. Fiske Morgan stallion weather vane. Estimate: $8,000-$10,000. Cowan's Auctions Inc.

 

J.W. Fiske Morgan stallion weather vane. Estimate: $8,000-$10,000. Cowan’s Auctions Inc.

Union Village Shaker curly maple chest of drawers. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000. Cowan's Auctions Inc.

Union Village Shaker curly maple chest of drawers. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000. Cowan’s Auctions Inc.