Featured Antiques Don’t Use

Gotham Cigar Museum Collection expected to light up Morphy’s June 18 Antique Advertising auction

June 8th, 2011 by

Topsy Smoking Tobacco 2-sheet poster, circa 1890s-1900, 63 x 47 inches, est. $20,000-$30,000. Morphy Auctions image.

DENVER, Pa. – A superb collection of early tobacciana will be smoking its way across the auction block on June 18 as Morphy Auctions presents a 900-lot Antique Advertising sale featuring the specialty collection of the Gotham Cigar Museum of Tampa, Florida.


“It’s amazing how many different types of cigar-related items are sought after by collectors. This premier collection traces to the early days of the cigar industry in America and includes everything from cigar boxes to hand-painted cases to beautiful die-cuts and figural advertising pieces,” said Dan Morphy, owner of Morphy Auctions.


In the 1990s, the owner of the featured collection became interested in the history of “clear” Havana cigars – those that were rolled in the United States in pre-embargo days (before 1963) using Cuban tobacco. “At one time, there were ten of thousands of factories, all over the country,” the collector said. “I began collecting remnants from days gone by and became interested in the actual history of clear Havana cigars, cigar boxes, cigar art and advertising.”


The selection of cigar boxes to be auctioned includes not only rare and beautifully lithographed boxes, but also cigar containers that were artistically “recycled.” Some were skillfully notched and carved into decorative, sometimes practical articles – what collectors call “tramp art.” Other cigar boxes served as painters’ canvases, like the unique pedestal-style tramp art box with a baseball-theme interior image. It may be the only extant example. Another prized piece is a cigar box whose lid was skillfully painted with an attractive early American wooded landscape scene.


Framed die-cut Class A Cigars advertising sign, circa 1890s, 16 x 13 inches framed, est. $200-$500. Morphy Auctions image.

Expressions of fine artistry are also seen in the collection’s mid-19th-century hand-painted and lacquered papier-mache cigar cases. Considered connoisseur’s pieces, these cases were expensive, high-end productions with pullout sleeves to house the cigars.


The collection also features many glass items, including advertising change trays and paperweights with a crossover gambling theme. “Each paperweight contains five dice and could be used as game,” the collector explained. “You’d shake it and whoever got the best ‘hand’ – a straight or three of a kind, four of a kind, etc. – was the winner.”


A variety of exquisite advertising die-cuts is included in the collection. One such piece, promoting Class A Cigars, depicts a girl dressed in an early “sailorette” uniform, waving goodbye with a hankie. Another eye-catcher is the large 4ft-tall by 3ft-wide hand-painted and signed 1874 advertisement for Commodore Ritz Cigars that features the image of a dapper gentleman with prominent moustache and hair parted in the middle.


A select grouping of countertop chalkware cigar store figures featuring busts of nymphs and Indians also will be offered. Three large, highly detailed – and very heavy – bas-relief tobacco-advertising pieces were cast in plaster and framed for wall display. These huge advertising pieces dating to around 1860-1870 measure 4ft by 5ft and were fabricated for the oldest Cuban cigarette maker, La Honradez. “They were offered to me by a collector in Argentina. It’s possible that they are the only surviving examples of their type,” said the collector. The collection also includes approximately a dozen pre-embargo Cuban cigar humidors, many of them carved from rare native Cuban woods.


The auction also includes a number of non-cigar-related tobacciana lots. One of the highlights is a Topsy Tobacco 2-sheet poster with a stunning image of the “Topsy Girl” – known to collectors from the famous Topsy blinking-eye figural clock. The poster is expected to make $20,000-$30,000.


Life-size Indian chief cigar store display model, zinc, late 19th century, marked W. Demuth & Company, 501 Broadway, New York; 91 inches tall, one of very few known. Est. $20,000-$30,000. Morphy Auctions image.

Two cigar store Indians will be offered. One of them is made of zinc, marked W. DeMuth & Company, and depicts a brave with a hunting bow on his back. The other is a carved-wood maiden attributed to Yeager. Each is estimated at $20,000-$30,000.


An exceptional array of hunting and fishing pieces marks the launch of Morphy’s new Sporting Antiques department headed by Jeff Sloyer. Among the key lots are a 1907 Bristol Steel Rods calendar with the image of a man and woman fishing from a canoe (est. $2,000-$4,000), a 1920 South Bend Lures tri-fold window display in its original box ($2,000-$4,000), and an especially nice 1925 Winchester Arms sign featuring hunting dogs ($2,500-$5,000).


More than 300 lots of soda pop items will be auctioned, with a strong emphasis on Coca-Cola antiques. An early 20th-century trolley car sign could make $6,000-$10,000; while a 1903 tip tray in near-mint condition is estimated at $3,000-$5,000. The extensive selection of early “pretty ladies” calendars includes examples from 1904 ($2,500-$5,000), 1907 ($4,000-$7,000) and 1913 ($6,000-$9,000). The most elusive entry is the 1919 calendar estimated at $8,000-$12,000.


Antique occupational shaving mugs have been a hot ticket in Morphy’s past few sales. “It seems we’ve drawn a large number of additional buyers into the shaving mug market,” Morphy observed. “The new crossover interest is coming from toy, automobilia and folk art collectors.” In the June 18 sale, 100 lots of the coveted mugs will be presented. Dan Morphy’s top-lot picks for the category include a boxer in the ring ($2,500-$3,000), touring auto with chauffeur ($1,500-$2,000) and gardener or florist ($1,500-$2,000).


All forms of bidding will be available for Morphy’s June 18, 2011 Antique Advertising auction, including live at the gallery, phone, absentee, and live via the Internet through Morphy Live or LiveAuctioneers.com. The auction will commence at 9 a.m. Eastern time, one hour earlier than the usual start time for Morphy sales.


For additional information on any lot in the sale, call 717-335-3435 or email serena@morphyauctions.com. View the fully illustrated catalog and all other auction information online www.morphyauctions.com.

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers – Records Set At Fine Art Auction

May 19th, 2011 by


Dan Ripley’s Antique Helper – Art and Antiques Auction

May 10th, 2011 by

Ripley’s Antique Helper May Art and Antiques Auction

Saturday, May 14

10 AM


Friday, May 13

2-6 PM

Absentee and phone bidding available.

Live Internet bidding and audio/video provided by Artfact.

Fellows & Sons Auctioneers & Valuers

September 20th, 2010 by

Pennsylvania minister’s 50-year collection of farm antiques, lanterns, dairy bottles headed to auction, Aug. 14 at Morphy’s

August 9th, 2010 by

Metal pharmaceutical company sign advertising veterinary product Kreso Dip. Sign features images of horses, turkeys, roosters, pigs, sheep and cows; est. $800-$1,200. Dan Morphy Auctions image.

DENVER, Pa. – In 1960, Frank Zeager, a Mennonite minister from Lancaster County, Pa., attended his first auction and impulsively purchased a pair of old door hinges. His father-in-law, who was with him at the auction, asked Frank where he planned to use the hinges. Frank replied, “I just want to look at them.”

Little did Frank suspect his first auction purchase would lead to a 50-year pursuit of country antiques and farm-related Americana. Together with his beloved late wife, Rhoda (who passed away in May), Frank wended his way through thousands of flea markets, antique shops and auctions over the decades, as the two of them amassed a collection of objects they would proudly display and enjoy in their home, a 100-year-old homestead.

The Zeager collection is a living testament to rural Pennsylvania’s early agrarian culture. It encompasses hundreds of rare dairy bottles, glass jars, railroad and skaters’ lanterns, insulators and farm utensils. There are tractor seats and tools, utensils, chicken feeders and graniteware, and an assortment of fascinating kitchen implements including corn shellers and cherry seeders.

Their wonderful array of advertising signs, numbering in the hundreds, includes some real gems that advertise, for example, Vitalic Tires & Motorcycle, Old Fort Seeds, and a veterinary product called Kreso Dip No. 1. A double-sided flange sign emblazoned with the image of a comical, scraggly-looking rooster advertises Conkeys First Aid Products. Many of the rare and colorful signs are in pristine condition.

Circa-1934 emerald green glass eggnog bottle from East End Dairy, Harrisburg, Pa.), 9 ¼ inches, near mint, extremely rare, est. $1,500-$3,500. Dan Morphy Auctions image.

Frank’s interest in milk bottles began more than 30 years ago when he purchased a Foltz Dairy bottle for $40. Today, that bottle might be worth $2,000-$3,000. Rhoda, on the other hand, had a passion for peanut butter tumblers – the decorative glasses that served yet another utilitarian purpose after the contents had been consumed.

On Aug. 14, 2010, the Zeagers’ collection will be auctioned at Dan Morphy’s gallery in Denver, Pennsylvania (approx. 1 hr. 20 mins. northwest of Philadelphia). “Many outstanding collections pass through our doors, but we’ve never seen anything like the collection Frank and Rhoda Zeager built over 50 years’ time,” said auction company owner, Dan Morphy. “Frank grasped one of the most important lessons about collecting with that very first purchase of door hinges. He bought something he genuinely wanted to look at, and that’s something he and Rhoda continued to do throughout their collecting journey. They bought what they liked, and they always went for quality first.”

The auction of the Frank and Rhoda Zeager collection of farm antiques, glass lanterns, dairy bottles and advertising signs will begin at 10 a.m. Eastern Time on Saturday, Aug. 14, 2010, at Dan Morphy Auctions, 2000 N. Reading Road, Denver, PA 17517. All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet as the sale is taking place through Morphy Live (www.morphyauctions.com) or LiveAuctioneers.com.

All items are available to preview now at Dan Morphy’s gallery. For additional information on any item in the sale, call 717-335-3435 or e-mail dan@morphyauctions.com. View the fully illustrated color catalog online at www.morphyauctions.com.

The Art of Picking – Episode 4

July 19th, 2010 by

Reyne interviews more dealers who display items they have attained while out picking. In this episode we see antique glass plates that were bought for a song and some interesting sewing items that are worth a lot more than you would think.

Ivey – Selkirk June Jackson Rooms Auction

June 21st, 2010 by

Auction June 23rd & 24th  9:30am

Preview June 22nd

Jackson Rooms sessions include American, Continental, English and Asian Antique and Semi-Antique Furniture including bookcases and dining tables.

4th Annual June Festival of Antiques, Mullica Hill, NJ

June 6th, 2010 by

Show promoters Tracy Dodge and Steve Lipman of The Yellow Garage Antiques of Mullica Hill, New Jersey announced that the forth annual JUNE FESTIVAL OF ANTIQUES has been scheduled for Saturday, June 12th, 2010. Tracy and Steve have owned and operated a thirty-five dealer antique marketplace for the last 14 years. Three years ago the married couple started The June Festival to help promote their shop. “We have show quality merchandise in our shop all year long. The idea of a show at the fairgrounds, which is only one mile away, seemed like an ideal way to bring people here that may normally only buy at shows” stated Lipman.”It is definitely working. We have gained more national recognition for the shop as an antiques destination and the day of the show is always one of our best. The town is inandated with serious antique buyers from throughout the region.”

This year’s show will feature 55 quality dealers under the cover of three pavilions and about 50 more dealers set-up on the lawn areas of the Gloucester County 4-H Fairgrounds. The popular event is known for having a great selection of quality antiques ranging from country to formal, large and small. Categories will include country Americana such as samplers, quilts, baskets, folkart, items in original and old painted surfaces, furniture, decoys, redware and stoneware; also fine jewelry, linens and other textiles, ephemera including postcards, formal 18th, 19th, and 20th Century furniture and accesories, lighting, garden accesories, fine glass and ceramics, art pottery, fine art, historical Americana, and much more. In the first three years the show has drawn dealers from all over the East and crowds of fifteen hundred or more.

Headliners for this year’s show include Boggs Boynton of Clarksboro, NJ, Granthum 1762 of Denton, MD, Mark Witus of Gladstone, NJ, Linda Grier of Langhorn, PA, Herman Woolfrey III of West Chester, PA, Sport and Spool of Goldsboro, NC, Country Antiques Two of Mullica Hill, NJ, Ayscough’s Antiques of Chadds Ford, PA, Port Republic Decoys of Port Republic, NJ, and Primarily Primitives of New Hope, PA, to name a few.

The June Festival of Antiques is held once a year at the Gloucester County 4-H fairgrounds which is one mile south of the Historic District of Mullica Hill, NJ on state highway 77. There is ample free parking. Excellent food and drinks from Fat Jack’s BBQ of Washington Twsp. will be available all day during the show hours of 9am-4pm. The show is rain or shine. A portion of the proceeds benefits The Harrison Township Historic Society. Admission is $6 discounted to $5 if an ad or show card is presented.

Information and photos of past shows is available at www.yellowgarageantiques.com or contact The Yellow Garage Antiques at 856-478-0300.

Dressing For Success With This Sheraton Period Inspired Find!

May 31st, 2010 by
According to legendary designer Coco Chanel, “Fashion is architecture:  it is a matter of proportions.” So is it possible that fashion could also be perfectly scaled furniture as well?  Take a look at this remarkable antique dressing table that I recently spotted at New England Antique Show’s Spring Fever Antiques and Design Show and Sale and decide for yourself!
It wouldn’t be hard to “dress for success” with this handsome piece of furniture in your boudoir. Here we have an unmarked, two-tiered Sheraton Period inspired dressing table from around 1830.  It originally belonged to a family from southern Maine who had connections to New York City.  It is constructed from solid cherry with bird’s eye maple veneers on the front face of each of its four drawers.  Each drawer has simple cherry knobs; the top right drawer has a lock (perhaps to keep secret treasures, well, secret). The back of the piece is detailed with two mirror-image curved swirls, which compliment the table’s otherwise rather linear appearance.  The table’s straight legs are slightly tapered and are finished with arrow-style feet, meaning that they are cylinder-shaped, tapered, and separated from the leg by a turned ring.
The wood used on this dressing table is simply gorgeous, even after nearly 180 years! The piece is primarily constructed from cherry.  The wood from cherry trees has been recognized for centuries for its superior woodworking properties.  As a matter of fact, there is evidence that the Greeks and Romans used cherry for furniture making as early as 400 BC!  Cherry wood starts out a rich red-brown color and darkens with age; it takes finishes well and retains its satiny, glowing appearance due to its generally uniform texture.
The other “eye catching” wood on this piece is the bird’s eye maple detailing on the drawers. No one really knows what causes this pattern of tiny swirling eyes in the wood grain; scientists believe it is a combination of genetics, location, climate, microbes, and other factors.  In addition to the maple as seen on this table, the “bird’s eye” pattern can also be found in maple, ash, mahogany, beech, walnut, and birch lumber.  Because wood with bird’s eye qualities is relatively rare, it can cost several times that of other woods.  This helps to explain why it is used in limited quantities and as a veneer on this Sheraton Period dressing table.
So what exactly is the “Sheraton Period?” The Sheraton period dates from approximately 1790 through 1820.  It is named after Thomas Sheraton, an Englishman who lived from 1751 through 1806.  Sheraton started out his career as a cabinet builder, but in his late 30’s he moved to London where he became a consultant and teacher in the furniture industry.   Sheraton is best known for his writings, which were quite influential at the time. These publications included “The Cabinet Maker’s and Upholsterer’s Drawing Book” in 1791, “The Cabinet Directory” in 1803, and “Cabinet Maker, Upholsterer and General Artist’s Encyclopaedia” in 1805.  Interestingly, it is believed that Sheraton never actually built any of the items featured in his books, so the “Sheraton Period” refers to a type of design rather than a specific manufacturer or artist.
Furniture from the Sheraton Period has several typical features, many which are evident on the dressing table under discussion. Overall, pieces are rectilinear and symmetrical in style. They have a study but elegant look to them.  Sheraton designs have legs that tend to be straight and tapered; sometimes they are reeded or have detailing to resemble classical columns.  They also usually have simple rectangular or cylindrical feet; heavier pieces may have bracket or bun feet.  Another very common feature is the use of more than one type of wood for decorative purposes.
Knock on wood, I would like to thank Martin Ferrik of Martin J. Ferrick Antiques of Lincolnville, ME sharing this nearly two century old piece fine piece of furniture with me. Martin specializes in American and fine arts and is a regular dealer at New England Antique Shows throughout the year.  Wooden it be nice to make this piece yours?  Email Martin at martinjferrick@yahoo.com for more information!
What is your very favorite antiquing, vintage, or design find? Let’s talk! Click here to learn more.
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Sotheby’s – Important 20th Century Design – June 16th, 2010

May 26th, 2010 by

Our June 16th auction of Important 20th Century Design represents a tightly curated chronological survey of American and European design from the turn of the century through the present date.