Alderfer Spring Catalog Auction

. April 6, 2008

The variety of merchandise was as large as the crowd that gathered at Alderfer Auction and Appraisal’s Fine and Decorative Arts auction on March 5, 6, and 7 in Hatfield, Penn-sylvania. Interest was strong and was reflected in the large floor, phone, eBay audience, which included over thirty countries worldwide. There was something for everyone. From china to woodenware, from jewelry to military medals and from paintings to corner cupboards, the three day auction was the place to be for collectors.

March 5 kicked off with a collection of 19th-century photography and photography cases. The first half of the collection consisted of a large grouping of union cases featuring various designs and sizes. The second portion of the collection included daguerreotypes, CDV’s, stereoviews, and cabinet cards featuring notable figures and scenic views of the 19th century. Cabinet cards of Western entertainer Pawnee Bill and his wife, May Lillie, each sold for $1,920. Western scenes including Mormon-themed images attracted much interest. A Mormon stereoview by Savage & Ottinger, identified as “Mormon Train Crossing South Platte,” realized $3,162. Another image by Savage & Ottinger marked “Pilgrims Progress Group of Mormons at South Pass” brought $1,495. A grouping of Italian CDV’s sold for $1,680, and featured many hand-colored portraits that highlighted occupations and religious figures in the European country. Cabinet cards of baseball players George Jouett Meekin and Michael Joseph Griffin garnered $3,450 and $2,875, respectively. These baseball images were two of the top viewed lots on eBay out of over 1,200 items that were featured for the three day auction.

Later in the day, a large group of jewelry was auctioned. An 18K Frodsham pocketwatch, circa 1885, sold to an Internet bidder for $2,040. A 4 ctw. diamond pin in the shape of a bow sold for $4,025. The variety of jewelry offered was large, and included rings, pins, earrings, necklaces, belts, and accessories.

The second day of the auction kicked off with a large collection of Civil War items and ephemera-related lots. Civil War era amputation and surgical sets were offered, including one kit that garnered $3,737. Civil War belt plates, buckles, buttons, currency, and accessories were also included in the auction. An 1806 American silver eagle hilt sword, one of several swords auctioned, brought $4,025.

A 1910 leather bound menu for a dinner that honored Theodore Roosevelt sold for $4,312. The menu featured illustrations by several notable artists, including Maxfield Parrish, E.W. Kemble, and F.G. Cooper. Many of the illustrations were hand-colored and highlighted Roosevelt’s travels.

International interest was attracted on many items, including several groupings of Italian pins. A grouping of 14 World War II Italian aviation badges and pins sold for $6,900, to an Italian Internet bidder. Two additional lots of Italian World War II military insignia consisting of a pin and a badge, and a group of three pins, sold for $2,040 and $2,700, respectively. These lots also sold to one of many competitive Internet bidders.

The second day featured several other collections, including a large grouping of decoys. This private collection from New Jersey was the subject of much interest prior to the auction. A bufflehead decoy attributed to Rowley Horner sold to one of many phone bidders for $11,500 against a $1,500 to $2,000 presale estimate, and a pair of redbreasted mergansers garnered $4,312.

The highlight of the day came with the sale of a Cowden & Wilcox/ Harrisburg stoneware jug. The 4-gallon jug featured a peacock and grapes – a rare design combination. Interest was high and bidding was competitive. With active Internet and phone competition, the piece sold for $21,850 to a floor bidder.

Later in the day, a large collection of art glass was auctioned. Makers included Seguso, Moretti, Salviati, and Ferro. An 8-1/2-inch tall glass horse sculpture with spruzzato gold bands realized $1,380. Also popular were several pezzato pieces. An ovoid patchwork pezzato vase brought $1,140. With its aesthetic appeal, much of the glass was sold to Internet buyers world wide.

Finishing the day was a variety of furniture. With re-emerging interest in the style, several pieces of mid-century modern designer furniture were offered. A Philip and Kelvin Laverne bronze table that featured a horse-drawn chariot garnered $3,737. An Eames Herman Miller lounge chair and ottoman attracted much interest nationwide, and sold to the Internet for $1,200. More traditional pieces of furniture drew interest as well. A cherry-finished Dutch cupboard sold for $6,325, and a blue painted jelly cupboard brought $4,887. A mahogany cupboard with classical carved figures realized $5,175.

The third and final day of the auction featured fine art. The pieces offered included a variety of styles and subject matter. Nineteenth- and twentieth-century American and European portraits and landscapes, modernist and contemporary paintings, sculpture and works by the Pennsylvania Impressionists were some of the many types of art featured.

An exciting surprise of the night came when a large format “Old Master” dining scene was sold. The 31-inch by 82-inch painting, offered in “as found” condition, which featured an Elizabethan era family at a dining table, was bid on by countless Internet, absentee, floor and phone bidders. The painting was sold to a phone bidder for $25,875 against a presale estimate of $1,500 to $2,500.

Several pieces by Pennsylvania Impressionists performed strongly. A tonalist landscape by William Lathrop was purchased for $23,000. The painting, titled Harvest Evening, depicted a dirt road with hay being harvested in the distance. The piece was exhibited at several museums during a traveling exhibition during the 1980’s. Clouds Over Holicong by George W. Sotter sold for $17,250. This 10-inch by 12-inch painting featured large clouds, a popular theme for the artist. This was one of four works by Sotter in the auction. Several still life compositions by his wife, Alice Sotter, were also sold earlier in the night.

Ten works by Walter E. Baum were sold during the auction. They highlighted his range of subject matter and style. Several paintings depicted villages in winter and spring. One large format painting, featuring three young children dressed in costumes, brought $6,900. In the 42-inch by 28-inch piece, Baum utilized vivid colors and strong brushwork, a contrast to the lighter and brighter landscapes.

Another notable portion of the auction was the sale of two works by Hermann Herzog. While both paintings were close in size, the subject matter was much different. One depicted a lush river landscape with greens and blues. The second painting depicted a barren sunset landscape with a lone figure at the water’s edge, and contained more orange and rust colors. The paintings, which sold for $20,700 and $25,300, were purchased by one phone bidder for their private collection of works by the artist.

They Meet Their Friends, an oil painting by Pennsylvania artist Nancy Maybin Ferguson, also surpassed expectations. The composition, typical of the artist and popular with collectors, depicts a park scene full of figures and bright, playful colors. The piece sold to one of several phone bidders for $18,400 against a $4,000 to $6,000 presale estimate.

This three-day-sale was one of four Fine and Decorative Art auctions held by Alderfer’s every year. The next catalog auction will be held June 11, 12, and 13. Alderfer Auction is located at 501 Fairgrounds Road in Hatfield, Pennsylvania. For more information, contact H. Brent Souder at (215) 393-3003 or e-mail to: kaitlin@alderferauction.com.

Category: Auction News

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