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symbols of America

NHADA picks symbols of America for online auction April 30

symbols of America
Pair of American shields, zinc, 1880, 23in. x 16 in. x 1½in., about 20 lbs. each. Estimate: $2,800-$3,200. Jasper52 image

NEW YORK – An Americana and folk art auction orchestrated by the prestigious New Hampshire Antique Dealers Association features many iconic and colorful items that symbolize the nation. This online auction will be conducted by Jasper52 on Tuesday, April 30, beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern time. Bid absentee or live online exclusively through LiveAuctioneers.

The Great Seal of the United States, the nation’s coat of arms, was first used publicly in 1782. The design incorporates a shield in red, white and blue. A century later, a metalworker crafted a pair of large U.S. shields (above), which are offered in the auction and expected to sell for about $3,000. The nearly 2-foot-high zinc shields have raised stars and retain their old paint.

Before the Second Continental Congress selected the bald eagle as the U. S. National Symbol on June 20, 1782, the wild turkey was given consideration. Common sense prevailed and the eagle was chosen because of its long life, great strength and majestic looks. Nevertheless, turkeys are held highly among sportsmen to this day. A wild turkey carved by famed folk artist Frank Finney of Cape Charles, Virginia, is offered in the NHADA Americana auction. The 9-inch-long turkey (below) exhibits outstanding form with well-executed relief carved wing and tail feathers and realistic paint. It is signed on top of the base with a scrolled “F” (est. $1,800-$2,000).

symbols of America
Turkey wood carving by Frank Finney, 6 5/8in. high x 9in. long x 2¾in. wide on 3¾in. x 6 3/8in. base. Estimate: $1,800-$2,000. Jasper52 image

Nothing denotes Americana more than a figural weather vane. An unusual example presented in the auction depicts a feather quill, the writing instrument of choice in early America. The 5-foot-long vane was crafted in 1900 of copper and zinc in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It comes with a metal display base (est. $$3,500-$3,800).

symbols of America
Quill form weather vane in old yellow paint, 60in. long, 1900, zinc and coper, Lancaster, Pa. Estimate: $3,500-$3,800. Jasper52 image

Several trade signs are included in the auction catalog, none more impressive that a large tooth that once hung outside a dentist’s place of business. The wood carving in old paint depicts a molar with three roots (est. $5,000-$6,000).

symbols of America
Large tooth dentist trade sign, wood with iron loop hanger. Estimate: $5,000-$6,000. Jasper52 image

John Bradford Moore was a renowned trader in New Mexico who established the Crystal Trading Post 1896. An early marketer of Navajo weavings, J.B. Moore became a major source for quality Navajo rugs and was an innovator for the mail-order business. A large J.B. Moore Navajo woven rug in the auction dates to 1910-1915. It has minor wear and no staining. Its edges are intact (est. $3,800-$4,800).

symbols of America
Navajo woven rug, circa 1910-1915, 84in. x 70in, minor wear, early 20th century. Estimate: $3,800-$4,800. Jasper52 image

Although a small, paint-decorated box in the auction is Norman French in origin, it likely immigrated to America in the 19th century. The dome-top box retains its original lock and key (est. $1,450-$1,850).

symbols of America
Paint-decorated box, mid-19th century, 8¼in. long x 4¼in. deep x 5in. high, Norman French in origin. Estimate: $1,450-$1,850. Jasper52 image

Among the more than 300 lots listed in the auction catalog, many symbols of America, are cobalt decorated stoneware, chip-carved tramp art, primitive paintings, handmade quilts, and cast-iron andirons and doorstops.

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