Early Steiff Peter Rabbit toy hopped away with almost $12K at Cottone

Circa-1910 Beatrix Potter Peter Rabbit stuffed animal by Steiff, with a metal Steiff button in one ear, which sold for $9,500 ($11,875 with buyer’s premium) at Cottone.

GENESEO, N.Y. – The January 24 sale at Cottone Auctions was eclectic in the best possible way, posting healthy numbers for lots from several different categories of collecting. Complete results are available at LiveAuctioneers.

The overall top lot was a circa-1905 Tiffany Studios 10-light Lily lamp in favrile glass and bronze, retaining its original patina, which sold for $23,000 ($28,750 with buyer’s premium). But hopping away with a lot of attention and a sum far above its $700-$1,000 estimate was a circa-1910 Beatrix Potter Peter Rabbit stuffed animal, made by the venerable German toy firm Steiff. Created sometime within the decade following the first appearance of the beloved children’s book by British author Beatrix Potter, the rabbit, described as ‘rare’, sported red slippers, an aqua blue coat with yellow stitched details, and the all-important metal Steiff button in its right ear. The Steiff Peter Rabbit secured $9,500 ($11,875 with buyer’s premium).

Another lot that flew far past its estimate was a group of four Wiigwaasabak, or birch bark scrolls, created by the Ojibwa (Anishinaabe) tribal community circa 1900. The scrolls, written in the tribe’s ideographic language with a stylus, were evidently uninterpreted, but could hold information about Anishinaabe history, customs, rituals, song lyrics, or even recipes. Estimated at $500-$800, the foursome brought $7,500 ($9,375 with buyer’s premium).

Further testifying to the breadth of the sale lineup were several lots of Daum Nancy cameo glass miniatures, with the highest performer among them being a trio dating to the early 20th century that took the forms of a delicate cup painted with leaves and purple blooms, a yellow-ground vase with a long neck decorated with red flowers, and a pitcher-like vessel with a spherical stopper. Together, they realized $6,000 ($7,500 with buyer’s premium) against an estimate of $400-$600. And a stoneware jug from 1806, featuring an incised cobalt design and credited to potters Thomas Warne and Joshua Letts of South Amboy, New Jersey, estimated at $500-$800, earned $5,250 ($6,562 with buyer’s premium).

Jasper52 presents Americana from the New Hampshire Antique Dealers Association Jan. 11

Circa-1880s indigo blue feathered stars quilt, estimated at $1,500-$2,000 at Jasper52.

NEW YORK – On Thursday, January 11, starting at 6 pm Eastern time, Jasper52 will present a sale titled New Hampshire Antiques Dealers: Americana, featuring exactly 470 lots of treasures from dealers who belong to the venerated organization. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

The acclaimed contemporary American carver Frank Finney (b. 1947-) is ably represented by his signed, undated, life-size depiction of a common loon. Described as being in “excellent condition,” the lot notes say the work has “Outstanding realistic paint in adult breeding plumage with a lot of character and form.” It carries an estimate of $3,500-$3,750. Stoneware jugs are a perennially popular form of functional folk art. A particular standout on offer on January 11 is a circa-1800 stoneware jar with so-called ‘watch spring’ decoration, attributed to Captain James Morgan of Cheesequake, New Jersey and estimated at $2,500-$3,000. Leading the exquisite selection of quilts is a circa-1880s cotton example that came out of Indiana. Measuring 70 by 86in, the quilt boasts an indigo blue and white feathered stars motif, hand-pieced and hand-quilted with a classic snowflake star design. Characterized as “exceptional,” the lot notes also say “You can see cotton seed residue inside when you hold the quilt up to the light.” Its estimate is $1,500-$2,000.

Vintage glass and Americana made for solid results at Jeffrey S. Evans

MT. CRAWFORD, Va. — Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates achieved strong results for its consignors in the three day 18th- and 19th-century glass and Americana sales held November 30, December 1 and December 2. Complete results are available at LiveAuctioneers.

It’s always remarkable when 18th- or 19th-century collectible glass is found not only intact, but in nearly new condition. Prized by collectors, these items are regular stars at auction, as seen with this circa-1840-1860 pressed Bigler vase. Standing 11.5in in height and made from brilliant deep amethyst-colored glass, it is believed to be the output of either Boston & Sandwich Glass Co. or Mt. Washington Glass Works. Estimated at $500-$1,000, it hammered for $3,500, or $4,375 with buyer’s premium.

Thomas W. Commeraw (circa 1772–1823) was born into slavery but was freed at age seven when his owner, Manhattan pottery manufacturer William Crolius, manumitted the entire Commeraw family upon his death in 1779. Commeraw’s adult pottery output period spans 1796 to 1819, during which he produced this wide-mouth jug bearing his name. Bidders saw the inherent historic value in the jug, sending it to a hammer price of $12,000 ($15,000 with buyer’s premium) from an estimate of only $800-$1,200. Like many freed blacks of the time, Commeraw attempted to relocate back to Africa (in his case, Sierra Leone), but the attempt was not successful and he returned to America destitute. He would pass away soon after, ending an important chapter in American ceramics history.

Long before mass-manufacturing of advertising, there were carvers who crafted trade signs from wood. Much of this industry was based in the heart of American commerce, New York City, as was the case with Thomas V. Brooks (1828-1895), a leading provider of trade-stimulating figural displays. American Indian chiefs were popular subjects for tobacconists, whose tribal communities introduced Europeans to the native leaf for smoking enjoyment. This example stood 82in in height and had a historically accurate paint-decorated surface restored by master conservator Peter Deen. It sold within range at $35,000 ($43,750 with buyer’s premium).

Believed to have originated in England, this tobacconist display featured a man wearing what the lot notes described as a “Scottish-style cap and blue coat while holding a bundle of cigars” and stood only 41in in height, far shorter than Brooks’ chiefs. Estimated at $400-$600, it brought $5,500 ($6,875 with buyer’s premium).

Founded in 1889, Preservation Virginia is a private non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating and saving artifacts of Virginian history. At one time, its collection included this stunning folk art console consisting of a hand-carved eagle holding up a marble top. Believed to have been made in the late 19th century, the console sold for $10,000 ($12,500 with buyer’s premium) against a presale estimate of $1,000-$2,000.

Skinner collection dispersal produced healthy results at Eldred’s

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EAST DENNIS, Mass. — Eldred’s three-day Fall Sale, which took place on November 15, November 16 and November 17, was capped by the personal collection of Bob and Nancy Skinner, founders of Skinner auction house (now Bonhams Skinner), with numerous items soaring well above their presale estimates. Complete results are available at LiveAuctioneers.

A stoneware molasses double-handled jug proved to be the top item from the Skinner collection. Dated to the 1860s, the jug features wild illustrations of mythical creatures incised in cobalt blue. Dozens of bids drove the jug from an estimate of $3,000-$5,000 to hammer at $55,000, or $69,300 with buyer’s premium.

Today, Weston, Massachusetts is known for being a preferred home to American’s wealthiest individuals, but in 1852, it was the home to Mathias Collins. This fine American School painting is unsigned but includes an old handwritten note on the back that reads: The Estate of Mathias Collins [?] 1852 Weston [?] Mass. Mathias Collins is in his yard. His grandchildren are passing on their way to school. George, Fred & Ann Collins. Their own home adjoins to the grandfather’s estate to the right of the cows in the yard. Painted by an itinerant painter named Miss Polly. Bidders were taken by the simple yet highly realistic depiction, which hammered for $30,000 ($37,800 with buyer’s premium) against a presale estimate of just $1,000-$2,000.

Buyers pushed a $250 opening bid to a hammer of $18,000 ($22,680 with buyer’s premium) for an unsigned oil-on-board American School still life of autumnal fruit. With a pleasing, lifelike look and two horizontal cracks, the still life likely garnered the most bids in the sale.

A. J. King (1881-1963) was America’s premier carver of miniature wooden birds, making them so lifelike and perfectly decorated that they almost perfectly resembled the real thing. The Skinners were big fans of King’s work, amassing a small collection of the handmade displays. Another of the sale’s top lots was a small assembly of various geese varieties, which hammered for $21,000 ($26,460 with buyer’s premium) against a $2,000-$3,000 estimate.
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Stoneware molasses double-handled jug, which sold for $55,000 ($69,300 with buyer’s premium) at Eldred’s.
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American School painting attributed to “itinerant painter Miss Polly,” which sold for $30,000 ($37,800 with buyer’s premium) at Eldred’s.
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American School still life of autumnal fruit, which sold for $18,000 ($22,680 with buyer’s premium) at Eldred’s.
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A. J. King miniature geese display, which sold for $21,000 ($26,460 with buyer’s premium) at Eldred’s.
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Therese Schwartze, ‘The Orphan Girls Choir,’ which sold for $37,500 ($47,250 with buyer’s premium) at Eldred’s.
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Bidders targeted cartridge boards at Miller & Miller sporting auction

Winchester 1884 cartridge display board, which sold for CA$100,300 and top lot status
Winchester 1884 cartridge display board, which sold for CA$100,300 and top lot status
Winchester 1884 cartridge display board, which sold for CA$100,300 and top lot status

NEW HAMBURG, Canada – Three 19th century American cartridge display boards – two from Winchester and one from Union Metallic Cartridge  – sold for a combined $241,900 in an online-only Canadiana & Sporting auction held June 5 by Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. The sale grossed $496,219, including the buyer’s premium. All prices quoted are in Canadian dollars.

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