SOUTHAMPTON, Pa. – Stephenson’s Auctioneers, the Philadelphia and tri-state area’s preferred estate specialists, will host a Summer Antiques & Decorative Arts Auction on Friday, September 7. The event will take place at Stephenson’s gallery in Bucks County (suburban Philadelphia), with absentee and Internet live bidding available through LiveAuctioneers.
Featured: Ben Austrian & Abner Zook paintings, kruggerands, Louis XVI clock, horse weathervane, luxury goods, garden ornaments, Steinway grand piano
The 600-lot selection includes high-quality items from a variety of estates, residences and long-held collections. The auction will begin at 1 p.m. Eastern Time with 60 lots of precious coins from a Bucks County collection. It includes gold Kruggerands, Canadian coins, graded silver, platinum and palladium.
“Coins are a really nice way to start a sale, as they attract collectors whose goal is to make them part of their investment portfolio. Many who don’t have faith in the stock market turn to gold and silver coins as a hedge. They bid at a different level than dealers, whose goal is to resell,” said Cindy Stephenson, owner of Stephenson’s Auctioneers.
Collector favorites, Krugerrands are gold coins that were first produced by the South African Mint in 1967 to help market the nation’s abundant gold supply. Each Kruggerand entered in Stephenson’s sale contains one ounce of fine gold and is estimated at $900-$1,300. They are followed by Canadian palladium Maple Leafs, gold half-sovereigns, silver ingots, silver American Eagles and silver dollars; and other coins.
A physician’s residence in Huntingdon Valley (Montgomery County), Pa., was the source of a 1968 Franklin Mint ‘History of the United States’ wooden-cased set (above) containing 200 sterling silver medallions. Each medallion weighs 1.48ozt, and the set is complete with its original paperwork. This hefty treasure chest loaded with silver is expected to make $4,000-$6,000 on auction day.
Stephenson’s will offer silver in other forms, such as a six-piece sterling silver tea service (above) in Reed & Barton’s Pattern 118. This exquisite set has a total weight of 126.535ozt and is estimated at $1,500-$2,500. The auction’s array of silver lines up beautifully alongside the fine jewelry category, whose highlights include a 14K white gold engagement ring (below) with a 1.89-carat round diamond solitaire. The sparkling gem is of I1 clarity and HIJ color. With its grading report included, it could reach $2,500-$5,000 at auction.
Three prized Pennsylvania paintings – two by Ben Austrian and one by Abner Zook – also came from the Huntingdon Valley doctor’s residence.
Ben Austrian (1870-1921) was an artist from Reading, Pa., who gained fame from his paintings of baby chicks. It is said that he gained his inspiration from the flock of chicks he allowed to run freely around his studio. His best-known depiction is the hatching chick that the Bon-Ami company adopted for use on the front of their household cleanser, along with the slogan “Hasn’t Scratched Yet.” That image is used to this day. Original Ben Austrian oil-on-canvas paintings of chicks are highly sought after. Two such paintings are entered in Stephenson’s Sept. 7 auction. Lot 428 shows a single peep gazing at a broken eggshell. Signed and dated 1908, the 8 by 10-inch work is estimated at $1,000-$2,000. Immediately following at Lot 429 is a similarly sized depiction of two peeps in a wicker basket. Signed and dated 1909, it, too, is estimated at $1,000-$2,000.
A widely collected folk artist who sometimes was called “the Grandma Moses of Pennsylvania,” Abner Zook (1921-2010) created one of the sale’s top highlights: a three-dimensional painting of a horse-drawn wagon passing through a covered bridge. It is an especially “busy” winter scene, with children ice-skating on a frozen river below the bridge and a dog running alongside the wagon. The wagon’s passengers are dressed in traditional Amish attire, typical of Zook’s work, which reflects Amish culture. Signed “Abner Zook, Womelsdorf, PA June 1985,” it carries a $4,000-$8,000 estimate.
Among the many beautiful home furnishings is a trio of Bernhardt Design ‘Vika’ upholstered lounge chairs designed by Monica Forster. Crafted on fiberglass frames atop stainless steel bases, the heathery-blue chairs represent the Swedish designer’s first major collaboration with a US firm. While they were made in 2010, they have “a desirable midcentury look,” Cindy Stephenson said. Estimate: $1,500-$3,000
Elegance personified might be the most fitting way to describe a Louis XVI Festeau le Jeune, Paris, mantel clock made in 1785. Created from hard-paste porcelain, it has a porcelain dial with Roman numerals and is presented on a bronze-dore mount flanked by a pair of three-dimensional lion figures. “I’ve never seen another example of this type of clock,” Stephenson noted. It is conservatively estimated at $2,000-$5,000
Other items worth of special mention include a Steinway Model A grand piano being offered with a no reserve and a $2,000-$5,000 estimate, a running-horse folk art weathervane from a Wachung, New Jersey estate, $500-$1,000; a consignment of books from Center City Philadelphia, and a Clarion, Pa., estate collection of sugar shakers, (6) spool cabinets and many other fine pieces. A Bucks County collection includes stylish designer handbags and vintage designer perfumes; while a Doylestown home was the source of a number of concrete and iron urns, garden gates and ornaments.
The Sept. 7 auction will begin at 1 p.m. ET. Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers. For additional information on any lot in the sale, call Cindy Stephenson at 215-322-6182 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.