MORRISTOWN, Tenn. – Frank Hodges, Jr., was both a collector and second-generation antiques dealer, but most of all, he was a lover of history and the early art and relics of his native East Tennessee. When Frank passed away last spring at age 87, his son, Frank Hodges III, came to the realization that he could not maintain the vast collection his father and grandfather had built. He decided to keep only the pieces that were most meaningful to him personally and to offer the rest to collectors in an October 21 auction that will be held onsite at the Hodges family home. John W. Coker will conduct the live auction, with absentee and Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers.com.
Both Frank Hodges Sr and his wife Bootie were descendants of early Tennessee settlers, including the Crosby, Corpenning, and Coques families. They jointly operated Radio Center Antiques in Morristown and developed close friendships with dealers in the Northeast, particularly auction house owners Bill and Sally Snyder of Lancaster, Pa.
“From the late 1950s through late 1960s, the Snyders made monthly trips to Morristown. The Hodges and Snyders networked and helped each other amass incredible collections,” said John Coker. “The Hodges family collection is so astounding in its size and breadth, it very well could take three more estate auctions to liquidate the antiques that fill the five properties they owned.”
Frank Sr and Bootie had a passion for primitive pottery, which is evident in the sizable, high-quality selection included in the October 21 auction lineup. Lot 201 is a circa-1840 Moravian pottery figure of a lady holding a flower (shown above). This extremely rare piece stands around 8 inches tall and is estimated at $10,000-$20,000. Another figural Moravian production is Lot 200, a charming green pottery pie bird formed as a chicken (below) and displaying excellent “feather” detailing. Estimate $1,500-$2,500.
An appealing advertising piece from the 1890-1910 timeframe, Lot 74 is a blue and white stoneware rolling pin (below) emblazoned “Compliments of Pawling Bros., Coatesville, Pa.” Very desirable to collectors of early Americana, it could possibly roll out a winning bid of $300-$500.
Several important stoneware and earthenware pots will be auctioned. Lot 102 is a signed Christopher Haun pot (below) made circa 1850-60. “This particular pot is historically important because Haun was not only a well known potter, he was also convicted and hung for being one of the East Tennessee Bridge Burners during the Civil War,” Coker explained. The vessel measures 8 inches tall by 5 inches wide and exhibits a warm terracotta drip glaze. It is estimated at $20,000-$30,000.
Attributed to Thomas Chandler (Edgefield, S.C., 1810-1854), a double-handled pottery jug (below) slip-decorated in the “Broken Stem Flower” motif is estimated at $4,000-$6,000; while a 12½-inch-high Greene County, Tennessee, pot believed to be the work of Sam McFarland (second below), could reach $2,000-$4,000.
Tennessee furniture of note includes Lot 100, a wonderful circa-1820 walnut corner cupboard (below) with arched doors and wavy glass. In excellent condition, it has even retained its original hinges and stands on its original feet. Comparable examples appear in The Art & Mystery of Tennessee Furniture by Derita C. Williams. The Hodges cupboard is expected to make $8,000-$12,000 at auction.
Lot 80 is a beautiful circa 1840-1870 Greene County, Tennessee, cherry wood with secondary tulip poplar pie safe (shown at top of page). The front doors have tin panels with a design featuring punched Masonic arches over graduated hearts. The side panels are punched with a diamond pattern surrounded by arches. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000
Lot 227 is a stunning example of fine furniture craftsmanship. Made of rich, burled mahogany, the circa 1810-1825 Jackson press was probably made in Eastern Tennessee and features 18 glass panes per door. Structurally sound, it is estimated at $4,000-$6,000. Lot 50, an 1850-1875 walnut pier mirror could add grandeur to any home while still capably serving its intended purpose. Its estimate is $2,000-$4,000.
Several antique powder horns have been cataloged, including Tennessee examples with direct provenance from pioneer families, and Lot 262, a very special 1820s Virginia Quaker powder horn (two images shown above) decorated with inscriptions and drawings that include figures holding long rifles, a Native American, a heart, shield, snake and possible Masonic symbols. This particular powder horn descended in the Corpenning family to the Hodges family and is expected to make $1,000-$2,000.
Quilts and textiles; antique dolls, glass, artwork, clocks, flasks, books, blanket chests, silver, early copper and ironwork; a limestone basin, hat pins, a child’s or doll’s 1870s rocker, four dulcimers, folk art, numerous primitives, and even a 1941 Buick Special Model 46S, 2-door straight 8 with less than 10,000 miles round out the eclectic auction selection.
John Coker’s Oct. 21, 2017 auction of the Hodges family estate collection will begin at 10 a.m. CDT / 11 a.m. EDT. Bid absentee or live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers. For additional information on any item in the sale, call John Coker at 865-475-5163 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.