Spring was in the air at Pook and Pook during their two day auction on April 15th and 16th with the total items sold hitting $2,124,918. On Friday the Collection of Eugene and Dorothy Elgin was being offered up at auction while their son Todd was sitting in the audience. He was one of the lucky ones because there was standing room only by the time the auction started.
With 228 items from the Elgins collection being offered, the auction realized 100 percent of the items sold with a total of $799,778. Obviously Gene and Dottie knew that only the best pieces in the best condition were the best antiques to collect. Most of the items came from private homes and country auctions located in Cumberland, Adams, and York county.
Items being offered for sale by the Elgins
They called East Berlin their home where Gene was the town's Postmaster before he passed away in 2010. Gene loved furniture, redware, and decorated tole. Dottie moved into a small apartment after the death of her husband. Her eyes loved the straw baskets, chalkware, cookie cutters, and hooked rugs. When they were in their eighties, their love of collecting was never diminished.
Gene certainly knew how to collect the right toleware. One of the pieces offered was an early nineteenth century tin toleware tray which had an octagonal crystallized center panel bordered by vibrant red, blue, and yellow floral decoration with green foliate accents. It far surpassed the estimate of $5,000-10,000 and realized the top lot sale at $42,660 which includes the premium.
Decorated toleware tray which sold for $42,660
Chester County linen cupboard which sold for $28,440
A rare 1780 diminutive Chester County Pennsylvania walnut linen cupboard with molded cornice over two raised panel doors above a single drawer supported by bold bracket feet was the second top lot at $28,440 which passed the $10,000-20,000 estimate. Schtockschnitzler Simmons was a woodcarver active in the northern Berks County area from 1885 to 1910. He is well known for his bird tree carvings where one sold at Christie's in 2010 for $84,100. Offered in the Elgin collection at Pook and Pook was a Simmon's 6 1/2 inch high carved and painted parrot which retained a vibrant polychrome surface. It well surpassed its estimate of $4,000-6,000 and sold for $26,070.
Well executed polychrome painted parrot done by Schtockschnitzler Simmons sold for $26,070
Nineteenth century Lancaster County seed box which sold for $23,700
Colonial Sense will be bringing to its readers the importance of seeds and four square gardens to the Pennsylvania Germans in the nineteenth century. It was evident from the sale on both days the value of decorated seed boxes can bring at auction. A wonderfully painted Lancaster Pennsylvania seed box retaining its original salmon surface with yellow and green fan decorated drawers with an estimate of $4,000-8,000 sold to Ron Hammer from East Berlin for $23,700. Hammer also bought the 15 3/4 inch 19th century painted cast iron giraffe doorstop retaining its original yellow and brown surface for $15,405. Its estimate was a low $1,500-2,500.
Giraffe doorstop which realized $15,405
A Pennsylvania walnut two part Dutch cupboard with molded cornice above two glazed doors, resting on a lower section with a pie shelf, two short drawers, and two recessed panel cupboard doors supported by bracket feet, retaining an old dry surface with an estimate of $5,000-10,000 sold for $22,515.
Pennsylvania walnut two part Dutch cupboard which sold for $22,515
1874 stoneware bank which sold for $20,145
Stoneware made its mark in the Elgin auction with an 8 inch high Peter Hermann stoneware bank inscribed, "CORA'S BANK 1874" having double sided cobalt floral decorations. It doubled its estimate of $5,000-10,000 with a $20,145 price. The same price was realized with a 10 1/4 inch 19th century fine seated chalkware cat having a salmon mustard, and brown painted surface with a green rim base. The chalkware cat's estimate was $4,000-6,000.
Nineteenth century chalkware cat which sold for $20,415
The Elgins certainly knew how to collect Pennsylvania wallpaper boxes, for the auction prices were certain brisk and brought a total of $74,095 with a total of nineteen boxes being sold. Two top lots which realized $7,703 each were two mid-nineteenth century Pennsylvania wallpaper boxes having a orange floral decoration on a blue ground. Their estimates were $1,000-1,500 and $800-1,200 respectively.
An assortment of wallpaper boxes which were auctioned at the Elgin sale
One loss the Elgins realized in the auction was a rare nineteenth century church cookie cutter in which they were in a fierce bidding war with the late Pastor Frederick Weiser. They were the high bidder at $1,800, At Pook and Pook the cookie cutter along with a love bird cookie cutter brought just $1,067, yet still high numbers for the average cookie cutter enthusiast.
On Saturday, 619 lots of period furniture, fine art and accessories were being offered for sale from several educational institutions and three Pennsylvania estates of Paul Franz of Bethlehem, Helen McAleer of Valley Forge and Ruth Converse of Berwyn. 556 lots were sold at a 90 percent ratio for a total sale of $1,325,140. There was a mixture of paintings from the 18th to the 20th century, Asian arts and bronze statues from Austria, Belgium, France, Italy and America. Most of the American furniture offered was eighteenth and nineteenth century.
One of the highlights was another seed chest constructed and painted by Joseph Lehn (1798-1892) from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The seed chest was a rare painted pine and poplar piece which was in exceptional condition. It had a scalloped crest with three decoupage female portraits over a case with twenty red drawers with ivory and green striping flanked by sides with decoupage floral garlands. The Lehn seed chest which stood 19 inches high well surpassed its estimate of $15,000-30,000 by selling for $52,140.
Joseph Lehn seed chest which realized $52,140
In the furniture department, a Lancaster County Chippendale walnut dressing table, circa 1775 with a notched corner top overhanging a case with one long and three short drawers supported by cabriole legs terminating in ball and claw feet sold for $18,960. A Pennsylvania William and Mary gateleg dining table circa 1730 with an estimate of $3,500-6,500 sold for $15,405. A Philadelphia Chippendale walnut armchair circa 1770 with cabochon carved crest rail and claw and ball feet beat its estimate of $3,000-5,000 and sold for $11,258.
Lancaster County Chippendale walnut dressing table sold for $18,960
Chippendale secretary of Chief Justice Tristam Burgess of Rhode Island realized $10,665
The 1795 Chippendale mahogany secretary desk of Chief Justice Tristam Burgess of Rhode Island sold for $10,665 which was within the estimate of $10,000-15,000. It was in two parts, the upper section had a broken pediment top centering on a flame finial above two doors with scalloped sunken panels, the lower section a base with butler's desk above three long drawers which were supported by ogee bracket feet. A Chester County walnut tall chest dated 1792 and initialed "HH" had a molded cornice over three short drawers with line and berry inlaid corners above two short drawers and four long drawers supported by bold ogee bracket feet and retaining original brass hardware sold slightly above its estimate of $20,000-25,000 for $26,070.
Chester County walnut tall chest dated 1792 sold for $26,070
Also, a well executed double portrait watercolor painted by Joseph H. Davis (1811-1865) with an estimate of $10,000-20,000 sold for $15, 795. His subjects were John and Hannah Rollins which was dated 1835.
A piece of Pennsylvania or Maryland redware shattered its estimate of $1,500-2,500 by selling for $13,035. The redware bowl which was inscribed Christian Gingrich with German script and dated 1832, having yellow, green, and brown slip trailed vines, descended through the potter's family to the current owner.
Christian Ginrich redware bowl dated 1832 sold for $13,035
A pair of Jacob Maentel (1763-1863) watercolor portraits of Michael and Elizabeth Hellman of Lancaster executed in 1804 sold within the estimate of $8,000-12,000 for $11,543. The watercolor was executed when Michael was a member of the Pennsylvania legislature. In the Elgin sale the previous night, a Jacob Maentel watercolor portrait of a young woman holding a flower sold well above its estimate of $3,000-5,000 for $15,405.
Well executed and colorful frakturs and reward of merits sold for commanding prices. A Johann Karl Scheibler (Active in Westmoreland County 1769-1806) ink and watercolor fraktur dated 1806 for Jacob Christman with an estimate of $3,000-5,000 sold for $9,480. One of the finest examples of Daniel Peterman's work (York County 1797-1871) more than doubled its estimate of $5,000-10,000 by selling for $23,700. It was a birth certificate completed in 1834 for Wilhelm Keller with central script flanked by two female figures holding trailing vines with perched birds below stylized hearts and flowers and a central vignette of a woman.
Daniel Peterman (York County, PA 1797-1871) fraktur sold for $23,700
Just in time for easter, one of the earliest American portrayals of the Easter rabbit was a reward of merit completed by Johann Conrad Gilbert (Southeastern Pennsylvania active 1775-1810). With a low estimate of $800-1,200 it sold almost twenty-fold to Winterthur Muesum for $23,700. A similar example is in the Colonial Williamsburg collection.
Reward of merit completed by Johann Conrad Gilbert (Southeastern Pennsylvania active 1775-1810) sold for $23,700
To highlight our cooper article Colonial Sense brought to you, a large 28 inch high painted pine staved barrel with an old gray surface with an estimate of $1,500-2,500 sold for $4,266. The barrel along with other items mentioned are included in our slide show.
There were two Wilhelm Schimmel wood carvings being offered in the two day auction. The first offered was a carved and painted rooster that the Elgins collected. With an estimate of $3,000-5,000, it sold for $14,220. The second was a large 20 1/4 inch high carved and painted spread winged eagle which sold at Sotheby's Helen Jannsen Wetzel Collection in 1980 but failed to sell here with an estimate of $30,000-50,000.
The staff at Pook and Pook were courteous and professional in every sense of the word. Jamie Shearer who wears many hats at Pook and Pook offered his appraisal services to any potential bidder who was interested. Marybeth Baldwin who is in charge of Trusts and Estates along with the other Pook and Pook staff worked both the phone banks and showed items during the preview. Pook and Pook went above and beyond other auction houses with a buffet and open bar during Friday night's auction. Pook and Pook is always looking for quality consignments for their next auction. With their knowledgeable staff and more than thirty years in the antique industry, they are committed to achieving the top dollar for your consignments.
Marybeth Baldwin of Estates and Trusts at Pook and Pook working the phone banks.
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