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American country

American country: 10 classic forms

Everyday objects from the Americana countryside have an inherent simplicity that blends well with even minimalist modern interiors. They display elegant lines, pleasing proportions, and vivid colors which add eye-catching highlights to a harmonious room setting. A weather vane or hooked rug mounted on a white wall can make that space.

While retaining basic function, makers often added fanciful touches that elevate the objects into the realm of folk art. The price range for Americana is broad, from hundreds to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The best recommendation is to buy what appeals to the heart and lifts the spirit. Below are 10 country classics that offer a living connection to our roots on the land:

 

Codfish Weather Vane

 

Copper codfish weather vane, 26in x 12in. Estimate: $500-$800. Last Chance by LiveAuctioneers image
Copper codfish weather vane, 26in x 12in. Estimate: $500-$800. Last Chance by LiveAuctioneers image

Once seen from afar, weather vanes were produced in an endless variety of forms to suit the buyer’s fancy. Some like this full-bodied codfish, 1930s-1940s, were factory made, while others were created by imaginative craftsmen in the country. Rare subjects have crossed the million-dollar mark. Look for a well-preserved surface with good patina.

 

Patriotic Shield

 

Patriotic shield, 18in x 20in. Estimate: $500-$1,000. Last Chance by LiveAuctioneers image
Patriotic shield, 18in x 20in. Estimate: $500-$1,000. Last Chance by LiveAuctioneers image

 

Long before Captain America, decorative American shields were displayed at parades, parties, and political rallies. This late 19th century example in rolled sheet iron retains its original red, white and blue paint, which adds value.

 

Hooked Rug

 

Hooked Rug, 48in x 31in. Estimate: $250-$500. Last Chance by LiveAuctioneers image
Hooked Rug, 48in x 31in. Estimate: $250-$500. Last Chance by LiveAuctioneers image

 

Like quilting, hooking wool rugs from a pattern or original design was a popular 19th century pastime. Subject matter ranges from geometrics to animals, people and landscapes. While fingers flew, both women and men completed small throw rugs that were both decorative and useful. Look for excellent condition and color preservation.

 

Woven Basket

 

Cheese Basket, 15½in x 17in. Estimate: $200-$400. Last Chance by LiveAuctioneers image
Cheese Basket, 15½in x 17in. Estimate: $200-$400. Last Chance by LiveAuctioneers image

 

Baskets for gathering, carrying and preparing food came in hundreds of purpose-determined shapes. This 19th century cheese basket in split ash has a pleasing woven pattern and exhibits excellent preservation with no splits and breaks.

 

Carved Decoy

 

Merganser decoy, 11 1/8in x 4½in. Estimate: $400-$800. Last Chance by LiveAuctioneers image
Merganser decoy, 11 1/8in x 4½in. Estimate: $400-$800. Last Chance by LiveAuctioneers image

 

Carved wooden decoys were working birds that spent their days bobbing on the water. This carved pine merganser, late 19th-early 20th century, has the original paint and stable condition that collectors demand. Decoys by famous makers can bring five or six figures in a marketplace fueled by enthusiasts.

 

Folk Carving

 

Carved Hunter, 10in high. Estimate: $300-$600. Last Chance by LiveAuctioneers image
Carved Hunter, 10in high. Estimate: $300-$600. Last Chance by LiveAuctioneers image

 

Folk carving was an outlet for the creativity of naturally gifted artists during long winter months indoors. This sensitive late 19th century figure of an African-American hunter is beautifully proportioned and executed.

 

Batter Doorstop

 

Cast-iron batter doorstop, H. 10 7/8in. Estimate: $100-$200. Last Chance by LiveAuctioneers image
Cast-iron batter doorstop, H. 10 7/8in. Estimate: $100-$200. Last Chance by LiveAuctioneers image

 

Cast-iron doorstops were made in myriad shapes designed to attract and amuse buyers. Among 10 examples in this sale, one prize is this small baseball player stepping up to the plate in an early 20th century uniform. Buyers look for well-preserved original paint.

 

Painted Box

 

Decorated Keepsake Box, 11 5/8in x 6in x 7 ¾in. Estimate: $1,250-$2,500. Last Chance by LiveAuctioneers image
Decorated Keepsake Box, 11 5/8in x 6in x 7 ¾in. Estimate: $1,250-$2,500. Last Chance by LiveAuctioneers image

 

A precious keepsake box, circa 1810, is decorated with well-preserved faux wood grain painting. The exterior colors range from red to yellow, the interior is a vibrant sea blue accented with a small portrait of a man. Surface condition is a paramount factor for all painted boxes.

 

Teddy Bear

 

Early teddy bear, H. 14 ½in. Estimate: $75-$150. Last Chance by LiveAuctioneers image
Early teddy bear, H. 14 ½in. Estimate: $75-$150. Last Chance by LiveAuctioneers image

 

Toys in the past were often improvised or homemade by a family member. This early bear, circa 1900, has a straw-stuffed cotton body with added wool stitching. Playthings were enjoyed by their young owners. Wear is to be expected, but this beloved bear still has charm.

 

Lighting Fixture

 

Early pricket chandelier, 21½ in high. Estimate: $600-$1,200. Last Chance by LiveAuctioneers image
Early pricket chandelier, 21½ in high. Estimate: $600-$1,200. Last Chance by LiveAuctioneers image

 

Early lighting was often forged by the same blacksmiths who shod the horses. This small hanging fixture from late 18th-early 19th century New England has prickets and drip pans to hold three homemade candles; the twisted double-link column at center adds visual interest.

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By Karla Albertson

 

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.

American country