Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information


“The compilation of these collections were truly a labor of love,” begins Garth’s chief executive, Jeff Jeffers. “Together, they represent an outstanding assemblage of country Americana and folk art that is hard to find.” The collections to which Jeffers refers belong to an unnamed Texas gentleman and John and Rose Anna Kolar of Hudson, Ohio; both selling at Garth’s on January 12, 2013. The release of the catalog just before the Christmas holiday has created quite a buzz. “The phones are ringing and emails flowing in,” remarks Jeffers. “It has been a terrific response. I think people are excited to see such breadth of quality, color and folk aesthetic under one roof, and we are proud to represent it.”

Country Americana from the collection of a Texas gentleman sets a vibrant stage for Garth’s January 12th auction in Delaware, Ohio.

Highlighting the auction are a number of folk art items, including a highly desirable and important tobacconist Indian figure attributed to the shop of Samuel Anderson Robb (New York, late 19th century). The well-carved Indian princess wears an elaborate headdress and retains her original polychrome paint. Mounted on a period base with iron wheels, the 79”h royal figure is estimated at $25,000 – 50,000. Also sure to attract attention is a terrific prancing carousel horse (Est. $6,000 – $9,000) by Charles Looff, one of the earliest and foremost Carousel designers. For lovers of the figural form, there really is no shortage of options in the auction. A life-size saddle-maker’s horse model (American, late 19th century) with original paint and made of wood, iron and plaster, stands 15 hands high and should bring between $6,000 – $10,000. A dozen highly sculptural weathervanes will also be featured, including a large example depicting a full bodied cow standing an impressive 27.5” in height and 43.5” in length. Attributed to New York and made of copper, the highly detailed and monumental cow has a pleasing verdigris surface and is estimated at $2,000 – 4,000.

A large collection of unusual Americana advertising signs will hit the block during the one-day session, including an advertising clock with eyeglasses: the two-sided wall mount clock is labeled “Roy Victor”, topped by a pair of glasses (having one red lens and one blue) and measures 49.5” in height. It is estimated at $2,000 – 4,000. A rare late 19th century museum banner with original paint features automated dancers at “Thompson’s American Museum of Curiosities” and is estimated at $3,000 – 5,000. A 20th Century example from Springfield, Ohio, the “Imperial Res’t, Home Cooking” double sided sign has holes cut for lighting. In original paint and an impressive size (60” wide by 43” high), the sign is expected to fetch $1,500 – $2,500. Five barber poles offer five different versions of a classic form and range in estimate from $200 – $2,000. “Trade signs speak to the whimsical side of Americana collecting, I think,” comments Jeffers on the selection. “Personally, I appreciate the color and forms – and, particularly the charm of the message.” Buyers who also appreciate the genre will have choices ranging from “Occident Flour” to “The Horseshoe Riding Ranch” and such figural examples as a boot and a 10’ well-appointed bellman directing guests to the “Lobby.” Not quite a trade sign (but speaking to the whimsical side of collecting) is the bucking “Pony” carnival game: two ponies composed of oil cloth on a wood frame in original paint with broom head manes (Ex American Garage, Est. $2,500 – $3,500).

“Our Texas collector sourced things from all over the country,” comments Jeffers. “He used some very good (and, in fact, often some of the strongest) names in the business. His intention was to enjoy a world-class collection of color and utilitarian form.” A selection of 26 (mostly) painted cupboards should be put to good use by collectors looking for strong color and good form. Among the group, a rare vernacular one-piece pine wardrobe from Texas, with two doors over two drawers, each with large diamond shaped panels and is surmounted by a crest with peaked pediment, estimated at $2,000 – 4,000. A mid-19th century decorated stepback poplar cupboard (probably Pennsylvania) is an exceptional example of country American painted furniture. Ex-Olde Hope Antiques, the two-piece cupboard has two six pane glass doors with a vibrant blue interior over a base of three drawers and two doors, all resting on turned feet and retaining a charming old grain-painted decorated surface. At 83.25” high, it is estimated respectfully at $4,000 – 8,000. At an impressive 120” length, a Columbia County, New York dry sink, constructed of pine and poplar, has a shaped gallery over the central open compartments flanked by drawers and doors and retaining an old grey paint (Est. $4,000 – 6,000).

Blue, yellow, green, grey and red painted furniture add a pop of color to nearly every spread of the 88 page catalog. Among the blanket chest options is a wonderful decorated Chippendale example from Pennsylvania. Inscribed “Barbara Erthmenem” and dated 1802, the poplar chest retains it’s original paint, consisting of a fanciful tripartite facade with tulips; the sides painted with fanciful stars (Est. $4,000 – $8,000). A fine decorated miniature blanket chest (likely from western Virginia), and believed to date from the second quarter of the 19th century, retains its original stylized floral decoration in red and gold on a green ground in a wonderful state of preservation. At a sweet 11.25” high, the dovetailed case is raised on bracket feet is estimated at $12,000 – 16,000. Five other blanket chest will be sold throughout the auction.

A selection of smalls and furniture from the Kolars helps to round out the auction. “John and Rose Anna Kolar have an amazing sense of the Americana aesthetic,” comments Jeffers. “They have collected for nearly 40 years and culled the collection once in the early 2000’s – but, have continued to live with some of their favorite things before sending a portion to this auction.” Among the selection of Pennsylvania items is a fraktur, dated 1834 with angels and a heart in a decorated frame and having belonged to Fred Koch (Est. $1,000 – $1,500). A set of six decorated chairs attributed to Massachusetts (and probably by Jonathon Whitney) have well-shaped tablet-tops and original red and black graining, highlighted with yellow, gilt-stenciled grapevine with golden grapes on the crests. With a provenance that includes Susie & Rich Burmann (New Hampshire) and David Wheatcroft (Massachusetts), the set is estimated at $2,800 – $3,200. A particularly fine oil on canvas portrait by William Matthew Prior was completed in 1858 and depicts George C. Hodgson Jr. and Matilda Hodgson, each holding a flower, signed and dated on the reverse. Illustrated and discussed in Ebert and Ebert, American Folk Painters, the portrait is estimated to sell between $6,000 and $9,000.

Garth’s Country Americana: Painted Furniture & Accessories, Folk Art, and Textiles Auction catalog is available online at, or via mail for $30 (postage included). Preview hours will run from Monday, January, 7 through Saturday, January, 12 at Garth’s location at 2690 Stratford Road, Delaware, Ohio 43015. For more information, please contact [email protected] or call 740.362.4771.