Premier Bill Powell antique advertising and toy collection leads ‘endless variety’ in Noel Barrett’s Nov. 18-19 auctionOctober 19th, 2011 by Admin
NEW HOPE, Pa. – “In this business there are only about a half dozen people who can honestly be described as having a golden eye. Bill Powell is one of them,” said Noel Barrett, whose Nov. 18-19 auction features Powell’s peerless personal collection of antique advertising and toys.
Those who have come to know Bill Powell over the years from his beautiful displays at major antique and Americana shows know him as the “go-to guy” for great trade signs, fabulous store fixtures and rare lithographed paper-on-wood toys, Barrett said.
“Bill is one of the great pickers. He would hop into his car and drive all night if something special awaited him at the other end. Whenever you would come upon his booth at a show, you’d know immediately whose it was. He has always favored antiques that are figural, unusual, and have marvelous colors and patina,” Barrett said.
Powell’s collection will be offered in approximately 400 lots during the auction’s
second (Saturday) session. It includes many highly desirable late-19th- and early 20th-century painted-wood signs, each a unique creation. Some are monumental in size, like the 5-ft.-wide “Harness and Horse Collars” trade sign decorated with two stylized horses’ heads and made to fit over a barn door. Two Ingersoll Watch signs are of equally grand size, while several optician signs – one with an oversized pair of spectacles, complete with peering eyes, and the message “Glasses Fitted” – measure 4ft. from end to end.
Another exceptional trade sign is crafted as an actual sled, nearly 8ft. long and painted in red, white and blue with the name “Sonny-Boy.” Other dimensional trade signs include a stylish high-button shoe, a butcher shop bull’s head, and a milliner’s figure of a gentleman wearing a stovepipe hat.
Late-19th-century stone lithography created some of the most colorful signs and posters ever made. Favorites in Powell’s collection include “Laugh At Cigar,” which depicts a circa-1895 saloon interior; and “DeWitt’s Remedies,” with an elaborately detailed image of an early dry goods store.
America’s early shipping and display containers bore colorfully illustrated labels. Powell’s collection includes many such tobacco barrels, cardboard boxes and tins; as well as wood shipping crates with applied paper labels.
In the same vein, Powell built an exquisite sub-collection of lithographed paper-on-wood toys. Many of his superb 19th-century American boats came from the collection of the late William F. Holland, a pioneer American toy collector. Vehicular toys include a wonderful S.A. Smith wheeled eagle with flapping wings, a Paris Mfg. Co. child’s hook & ladder wagon, and an all-original circa-1880 velocipede.
The “endless variety,” as Barrett describes it, also includes metal and porcelain signs; salesmen’s samples, early cigar boxes and figures; lithographed heavy cardboard signs, antique barber poles and primitive fire escape systems; advertising thermometers, and 10 early air rifles and BB guns.
The 400-lot Friday session offers a panoramic history of American patriotism with the Greg and Molly Caron collection.
One of the most highly prized pieces in this connoisseurs’ collection is a painted-wood shield from a War of 1812 warship. The shield was among the contents of the Barbour family’s White Birches Lodge at Follensby Pond in New York’s Adirondack region. It is thought to have come from a ship that operated on Lake Champlain; its counterpart bowsprit is held in the Shelburne Museum collection. The shield is estimated at $18,000-$22,000.
The Caron collection also includes an Adirondack twig table with flag, a painted camp chair with shield, early Uncle Sam parade costumes, a huge array of political and patriotic memorabilia; and a spectacular half-round leaded-glass window featuring a Liberty figure from a Hartford Insurance Co. building.
Adding the finishing touch to the Friday session is the Frank Mohr collection of classic 19th- and early 20th-century American and European trains and toys; extraordinary automata, and Continental toys by Fernand Martin, Lehmann and Gunthermann.
The Mohr collection features one of the largest selections of Ives clockwork toys to come to market in recent years. There are many dancers, including the seldom-seen revolving cakewalk couple; acrobats, boxers, a scarce circus horseback rider, General Grant Smoker, and numerous desirable forms with an African-American theme, such as Suffragette, Stump Speaker, Washerwoman and Nursemaid.
An impressive mid-18th-century Scottish dolls’ house is known by the name of its one-time owner, a Mrs. Farie. The Farie House was a 6-room cottage-style structure when it came into Mrs. Farie’s possession in the 19th century. She added a basement, third floor and finely crafted staircases and paneled doors. During the 20th century, the house was thoroughly cleaned, redecorated and electrified. It has been featured in several books by renowned doll authority the late Flora Gill Jacobs, and appeared in House & Garden magazine. Its auction estimate is $40,000-$50,000.
Noel Barrett’s Friday, Nov. 18 session will commence at 4 p.m., with a same-day preview from 9-4. The Saturday, Nov. 19 session starts at noon with a three-hour preview starting at 9 a.m. The auction will take place at the Eagle Fire Hall, 42 N. Sugan Rd., New Hope, PA 18938. Internet live bidding and online absentee bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.com.
10.10.11 Round Top, TX— Marburger Farm has done it again. The twice yearly mega-show in Round Top, Texas has overcome hurricanes, wars, recessions and more. This Sept. 27–Oct. 1, the prospects included all of those, plus the tail end of the driest, hottest Texas summer in decades. But the not-so-little show that could pulled off a winner again.
After two hot days, about noon on Thursday, a clap of thunder sounded. “In our tent,” said Patrick Kenny of upstate NY’s South Porch Antiques, “with each clap of thunder, people clapped back. When the rain started to pour, they cheered and yehawed, as only Texans can yehaw. At Brimfield, we cried over rain. At Marburger Farm, they were cheering in the aisles.”
As the rain continued, someone turned up the volume on “Amazing Grace” and shoppers found that the 10 football field size tents and 12 historic buildings on Marburger’s 43 acre site provided perfect cover for shopping over 350 exhibitors from 38 states and several nations. Kenny sold gilded frames, a pair of nine-foot tall glass doors from an 1890 Pennsylvania building and a three foot wide mirrored ballroom ceiling disc from a 1920s Catskill resort. Like many antiques sold at Marburger Farm, that piece will travel further west to a Seattle shop.
West coast wholesale buyers dominated the opening days. ”In spite of the heat early on, the designers and store buyers were here,” said Julie Harris of Kansas City, MO. “The first two days were strong selling days for me.” Harris sold, antique trunks and silver sporting trophies, many of them going west.
Most exhibitors reported good to utterly outstanding sales, with many setting career records. “Our closing day on Saturday, was the highest we’ve ever had,” said Rhonda Holden of 2 Girl’s Stuff from Dallas. Holden sold six rugs, Spanish Colonial iron and antique bottles topped with industrial gauges for use as bookends and sculpture.
Another Texas dealer, Ray Veazey of San Antonio, had shoppers fighting over a French canopy bed and huge metal leaves from a 1980s Neiman Marcus display by Emilia Castillo. “Of the 29 Marburger shows that we have done,” said Veazey, “this was our top 3rd in gross sales. The shoppers who come to Marburger Farm are real troopers. I’m really thankful that they came.”
Studio F’s Kara Fogertey of St. Louis MO and Mike Whittemore of Punta Gorda, FL had their best show ever. They sold eight mirrors, eight pieces of upholstered furniture, an 18th c. carved English bookcase and every zinc-topped table they brought. “We save stuff for six months just for Marburger,” said Whittemore. “and then we price things right for the market. Instead of getting that extra 10-20%, we do it in volume at Marburger Farm.”
Danny Martin of L’Antiquario Antique Tiles from Miami Beach, FL reflected, “In spite of everything, it was one of the best shows we’ve ever had anywhere—really up there.” Martin sold a large trumeau fireplace surround with faux marbling, a French leather tri-fold door to be used as a headboard and thousands of reclaimed antique floor tiles from European buildings. Colleen Martin reported that “Some people were into architecturals because they are renovating and others because the building market is coming back. We have about 30 homes to follow up with antique tiles because of this show. Marburger Farm did not disappoint.”
First-time Marburger exhibitor John Tuttle of Atlanta’s ReWorks summed it up: “Everything I had ever heard about Marburger Farm was true. There is more great merchandise and more talent at Marburger Farm than at any show I have ever seen.” Tuttle brought talent in tow by creating 150 lamps from re-purposed antiques such as old boot forms, hubcaps, musical instruments and architectural fragments. “Just one store buyer bought 18, another bought 14, all going to NM, AZ, CA and other western states.”
“Marburger Farm has evolved into a national and international crossroads for antiques and for talent,” says show co-owner Rick McConn. “We had our highest international and national attendance. One shopper kept texting photos of merchandise at the show to a niece in Hope, AR. A text returned: ‘Where is the nearest airport?’ With a private plane and a local airport, she was here shopping that very afternoon. And she fit it all into the plane, except for two carved eagles that had to be shipped. Hope springs eternal.”
Co-owner Ashley Ferguson believes that one reason this show was so compelling for shoppers was the introduction of a special contract requiring all merchandise to be antique, vintage pre-1989 or re-purposed from antique pieces. “You don’t have to paw through piles of reproductions at Marburger Farm,” says Ferguson. “We had the show vetted by an appraiser from the “Antiques Roadshow” and he pronounced us ‘a clean show.’ Marburger dealers search all over the world for the antique, vintage and re-purposed pieces that bring authenticity into a home—and that makes a difference.”
The show also made a difference by hosting a benefit booth for the Houston affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, as well as for the Brookwood Community, a Texas non-profit group that empowers adults with special needs. Additionally, a portion of the show’s ticket proceeds benefited Susan G. Komen-Houston to help in the fight against breast cancer.
A similar survivor spirit is one reason that Marburger Farm thrives: Texas shoppers are resilient. Exhibitor Beverly Williams of Warren, TX sold a French cupboard to a woman from Bastrop, TX, scene of recent fires that destroyed over 400 homes. “With her,” reports Williams, “were two other women from Bastrop, all next-door neighbors and all had lost their homes in the fire. Here they were at Marburger Farm, shopping to rebuild and to replace antiques that had been handed down in their families. They bought all over the show and I sent them all home with gifts from my booth. It touched my heart to see their spirit.”
In that spirit, the Marburger Farm Antique Show invites you, wherever you live, to the April 3-7, 2012 show, deep in the heart of Texas— where the bluebonnets are pretty darn resilient too.
The Spring Marburger Farm Antique Show opens Tuesday April 3 for Early Buying Admission from 10 am until 2 pm. Regular admission begins at 2 pm until 5 pm that day. Admission is good all week and parking is free. Shopping continues on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 am until 5 pm and on Saturday, April 7, from 9 am until 4 pm. For maps, photos, the show blog and information on tickets, groups, the Marburger Café, on-site shipping and special events, see www.roundtop-marburger.com
On November 2nd Sotheby’s will offer a sale of Fine Furniture, Tapestries, Ceramics, Clocks, Silver and Carpets with many pieces from distinguished private collections.
Highlights from this sale include a pair of French gilt-bronze mounted porcelain vases, second half of the 19th century, signed A. Maglia, a rare Spanish Iron-Mounted Bone inlaid painted and parcel-gilt Vargueño on stand, a pair of George III giltwood armchairs, circa 173, attributed to François Hervé, commissioned for the 5th Duke of Devonshire, and The Battle of Zenobia, A Flemish Classical Tapestry, Brussels, possibly the workshop of Gerard Peemans, second half 17th century.
Sotheby’s Paris – Orfèvrerie Européenne, Boîtes en Or et Objets de Vitrine – Important European Silver and Objects of VertuOctober 6th, 2011 by Admin
The Paris important European Silver and Objects of Vertu sale will include around 50 lots of gold boxes and objects of Vertu and 250 lots of European Silver from 16th to 20th centuries.
The Vertu section will feature a nice selection of fans such as “L’Allégorie de l’Amour”, with Princess Marie von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen monogram by Mr Alexandre, Paris, circa 1880, as well as some Viennese enamelled and crystal silver-mounted pieces and gold boxes.
The silver section includes notable pieces from all over Europe. From Spain there are two 17th century salt-cellars. From France a coffee-pot by Pierre Germain, a pair of three-light candelabras by Pierre-Louis Goguelye, Paris, 1785 and a large Odiot silver-gilt soup tureen embossed with the coat of arms of Prince Borghese. Pieces from Germany include beakers and tankards and from Belgium there is a pair of rare large candlesticks by Philippus Moermans of Antwerp, 1674-1675. Italy is represented by a rare and large holy water-stoup made in Genoa circa 1580, but you will also find pieces from Russia, Austria, Hungary and South America. There is also a nice selection of 19th and 20th century pieces such as tea and coffee sets, jardinière, claret jugs and a wide selection of silver table services.
Sotheby’s New York – Property from the Collections of Lily & Edmond J. Safra – Volumes I-VI – Catalogue Now OnlineOctober 5th, 2011 by Admin
Six years after the landmark auction of Property from the Collections of Lily & Edmond J. Safra, Sotheby’s is honored to hold a second series of sales dedicated to the remarkable collections of Lily & Edmond J. Safra. The four-day auction is comprised of six sale volumes whose contents represent the pinnacle of their respective collecting categories, from magnificent European furniture and works of art to Russian porcelain, Cosway bindings and 19th century paintings and interior watercolors.
John Coker’s Oct. 29-30 no-reserve auction features two fresh, long-held collections of toys, lunchboxes and folk artOctober 5th, 2011 by Admin
NEW MARKET, Tenn. – John W. Coker is a Tennessee auctioneer better known for his sales of fine and decorative art, but when the opportunity arose to handle two outstanding toy and lunchbox collections – each from a collector of 40+ years – he jumped at the chance. More than 100 cardboard boxes later, Coker knew he had the makings of a terrific auction, and one that toy collectors “would go crazy over.”
Coker’s 1,000-lot Oct. 29-30 event, which will be held at the company’s gallery near Knoxville, is 100% unreserved. “Whatever the high bid is, that’s what the toy, lunchbox or folk art item will sell for,” Coker said.
The Saturday, Oct. 29 session, which commences at 10 a.m. Eastern time, contains more than 450 lots of toys and folk art from the collection of a prominent Eastern Tennessee businessman who began collecting in the 1950s. Many of the toys were displayed at the consignor’s place of business; he always bought and never sold.
A featured highlight is the vast collection of Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola advertising toys, many of them rare, early examples pictured in Petretti’s Coca-Cola Collectibles Price Guide. “There are more than 100 Coca-Cola toys, and all are different,” said Coker. “They’re across the board in terms of manufacturers – Metalcraft, Smith-Miller, Buddy ‘L’ – and there are many from foreign countries, including Spain (Paya), Germany, Mexico and Italy. There are also special-edition Christmas productions and wooden ones made during World War II. There are many that I have never seen before.”
The consignor recalled that the first toy he ever owned was a Metalcraft Shell Oil truck complete with wood barrels. “My daddy paid only one dollar – maybe less – for that toy. It made me appreciate the unusual, and that followed through in my collecting,” he said. The truck is included in the auction inventory.
The owner of the toys commented that the advertising trucks in the collection have never been polished, waxed or restored. “I kept them as original as possible, in ‘as-found’ condition,” he said. “Most of them have 85% or more of their original paint.”
The consignor’s brother-in-law once worked for Lionel, and through that connection, the collector was able to acquire several coveted train sets, including a rare Coca-Cola set and another branded for Ford Motor Co. that was available only to employees.
Additionally, there are die-cast advertising toys, two matchstick ships and a carved Noah’s Ark with figures. A rustic log farmhouse that took 10 years to make is so highly detailed, it even includes a gun over the mantel and a dog on the porch. It opens up and is accompanied by many additional accessories and outbuildings.
The consignor explained that many of his best pieces purchased over some 40 years came from Northern or Eastern dealers who traveled to the Mt. Dora show in Florida to escape winter weather. “They would come to sell, then they’d go fishing. They knew what I wanted and would bring along their best for me,” he said.
The consignor also built a sizable collection of folk art and unusual advertising items. The auction will include a Medders family stoneware vase adorned with a snake, leaves and grapes; and 20-25 face jugs, including around five from the fabled Medders family of potters. Other noteworthy items include two Nipper ‘His Master’s Voice’ chalk figures, and a 6-ft.-high Leland McNamee’s Minstrels poster.
The Sunday, Oct. 30 session features approximately 360 lunchboxes, 30+ loose Thermoses – some quite scarce and desirable – and box lots of Thermoses and lids.
The lunchbox collection came from the estate of a man who collected from the time he was 15 until the day of his passing last fall. “His collection reflected pleasant memories of the lunches his mother packed for him when he was a boy,” Coker said. “His family owned a grocery store that made local deliveries, and his mother, who worked at the store, was an excellent cook. She would fix unbelievable sandwiches for the children, and opening their lunchboxes at school each day was an eagerly anticipated event.”
In his adult life, the collector traveled to shows far and wide, searching for lunchboxes. He bought metal, vinyl and plastic lunchboxes; and brunch bags, and he favored those that depicted robots/space, Western scenes and TV series of the 1950s and ’60s.
“There are many very rare lunchboxes in this collection, and they’re in absolutely beautiful condition,” said Coker. Among the highlights: Captain Kangaroo, Beany and Cecil, three or four Tom Corbett Space Cadet boxes in baby blue and red; five different Roy Rogers lunchboxes and many coveted dome-tops, including a Porky Pig model. An especially nice brunch bag promotes Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. It is finished in bright yellow and black, and emblazoned with the show’s best-known catch phrases.
The rarest of all lunchboxes in the sale is the 1954 ADCO metal Superman box depicting the Man of Steel fighting an evil robot with eyes that can ignite anything in their path. With its colorful graphics and superhero theme, it is considered the ultimate prize to lunchbox collectors.
“There is so much to see in this sale. If I were a collector of toys or lunchboxes, I would make it my mission to view the contents of these collections, either in person or online,” said Coker. “Everyone loves fresh collections, and these are two of the freshest.”
John W. Coker’s Oct. 29-30 auction will take place at the Coker gallery at 1511 W. Hwy. 11 East in New Market, TN 37820. All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.com. Tel. 865-475-5163, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Coker’s online at www.antiquesonline.com.
New York– Phillips de Pury & Company announce ‘The World of Muriel Brandolini’, an interiors auction celebrating the life and work of decorator Muriel Brandolini. A blaze of color on the fall calendar, Brandolini’s sale will include works from her wide-ranging collection of decorative arts, contemporary design and fine art, as well as examples of her own signature line of furniture.