Alderfer Auction Offers Something For Everyone

Hatfield, PA – Alderfer Auction Company had banner sales the week of September 10th, 2012. They held a Coin auction on September 11th, Discovery Art on September 12th and their annual Fall Fine & Decorative Arts auction on September 13th. The Coin auction yielded over $42,000 for just 157 lots. The Discovery Art auction brought many surprises including $4,500 for a painting in the manner of Horace Pippin’s “Choir Practice” and $9,828 for an abstract oil on canvas painting with an illegible signature.

The Fine & Decorative Arts auction finished off the week with over 275 lots. They were offered both live and online through with nearly 400 registered bidders from 13 different countries around the world. The site saw over 73,000 views in just 14 days with over 1,000 views of the painting by Edmund D. Lewis alone. The auction had quite the variety of jewelry, decorative arts, and artwork including a collection of timepieces, antique furniture, and sculptures from the Estate of Dr. Selma Burke.

Dr. Selma Burke, an African-American sculptor and painter, was a nurse before receiving her M.F.A. from Columbia University in 1941. She won a competition in 1943 to design a portrait of then President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt which was used as a model for his image on the dime. Burke’s work did not have an extensive auction history prior to this auction but her sculpture of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., lot 3211, brought a record-setting price of $14,760. Alderfer’s also fetched the second highest price for her work, $10,200, for the bronze figural carved vessel.

Alderfer’s also offered an impressive collection of timepieces from Cartier and Patek-Philippe to Chopard and Bovet. There were two Patek-Philippe watches in the sale, one 18K yellow gold with 18K yellow gold linked band and one 18K yellow gold with leather band, bringing $6,600 on the floor and $4,920 online respectively. The Bovet watch realized $8,190 and the Chopard $4,500. Other standouts were a pin by Van Cleef & Arpels bringing $3,300 and a 14K yellow gold and diamond necklace with an estimate of $400-600, realizing $960.

The auction had a few musical instruments as well; a Steinway & Sons living room grand piano from 1910, a Gibson Mastertone banjo, and a limited edition Richelieu banjo for the 100th anniversary of the Philadelphia Mummers. The piano drew enormous interest and caused quite the bidding war between the floor, the phones, and the Internet. After reaching $24,000, it sold to a bidder on the floor. The banjos sold to the same bidder for $1,230 and $922.50 respectively, exceeding their presale estimates of $500-700 for the Gibson and $300-500 for the Richelieu.

One surprise of the day was the 1818 needlework by Lydia Noble from the Philadelphia Union School. The presale estimate was $400-600 and after some very lively bidding between the phones, floor, and Internet, it sold to the floor for $3,802.50. Another was the 8-day tall case clock by Jacob Hagey of Hilltown, Montgomery County, PA, a prominent family of Montgomery County clock makers. It brought $8,180 when it had an estimate of $3,000-5,000. The clock made its way to Alderfer’s on the roof of a car travelling from Port St. Lucie, Florida. The collector, originally from the Northeast, brought it with him to Florida when he relocated. When he decided to sell the clock, he wisely chose to bring it back to the region it was originally crafted and to Alderfer Auction since they have such a great reputation for selling Hagey clocks.

Alderfer Auction is currently accepting consignments for the next Fine & Decorative Arts auction on December 13th as well as for the Winter Coin auction and monthly Discovery Art auctions. Since 1959, The Sanford Alderfer Companies have been dedicated to providing creative solutions to those in transition with auction and appraisal services of personal property and real estate as well as liquidations of businesses and other financial assets for individuals, estates, and corporations. For more information, please call 215-393-3023 or visit