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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Alderfer Auction & Appraisal Liquidation liquidation Sale of Elkins Park Contents

The emotions were high, the memories vast when after 75 years the Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine de’Ricci closed the doors of the magnificent 100-room Retreat House in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. Over 400 registered bidders came to witness this historical event, many neighbors in awe at the beauty of the original condition the retreat home maintained since the resurrection by the Elkins family in 1902.

Alderfer Auction & Appraisal based in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, was charged with the massive two-day on-site liquidation sale offering the contents of the Elkins Park retreat house. A fine selection of antique furnishings, Oriental carpets, fine art, decorative accessories, sculpture, porcelain, historical books, garden urns and fireplace accessories were all sold on April 22, tallying 475 lots. The following day featured 200 lots of institutional furnishings, living furnishings for ninety bedrooms, kitchen equipment. The audience of over 400 registered bidders via on floor, live eBay, and absentee actively sought bids grossing over $525,000.

The highlight of the auction came Tuesday morning when the Elkins family English clock sold for $341,000 (all stated prices include a 10 percent buyer’s premium) against a presale estimate of $40,000 to $60,000. The famous Dick Whittington musical tall case clock carved figural case stands almost 12 feet tall, featuring dial signed “Joshua Hampson, Fecit 1743” with calendar dials, moon phase dial, two chimes and seven songs. This clock was given to the Dominican sisters when they acquired the property in 1932 from the Elkins family.

The other original piece from the Elkins family was an oak banquet table and 12 Queen Anne-style dining chairs that sold for a combined $15,675. To compliment the adorning iron works in the mansion, assorted bronze andiron fireplace and irons sold for $3,850 to $5,500. Fine art including oil paintings by C. Heinisch, H.W. Kemper, J. Stannard, and T. Olivito sold in a range of $2,090 to $6,050.

Furnishings throughout the home included a Louis XV style vitrine, which sold for $3,850, and a pair of bronze/wrought iron floor lamps for $4,400. An assortment of Heriz Palace carpets ranged from $1,540 to $2,750.

Assorted carved furnishings including Chippendale partner’s desk with ball and claw feet sold for $1,650; leg carved dressing/window bench for $1,650; hall table with two drawers and paw feet, $1,540. A diorama E.E. Kraeuter wood carved nativity scene with hand-painted decorations found a buyer for $5,225.

Many other highlights of the auction can be viewed on the Alderfer Web site:

Alderfer Auction & Appraisal has more than 50 auctions each year, including weekly estate auctions on Thursday, quarterly fine and decorative arts (March, June, September, December) and specialty firearms/militaria, coins, stamps and dolls held throughout the year.