Auctions: A slew of sales, from here to cyberspace

A Jonas Lie painting of a tropical storm could bring $5,000 to $10,000 at Briggs' sale Friday in Garnet Valley.
A Jonas Lie painting of a tropical storm could bring $5,000 to $10,000 at Briggs' sale Friday in Garnet Valley.
Posted: September 15, 2012

Rago Arts and Auction this weekend will conduct a three-day sale featuring more than 1,800 lots of no-reserve, discovery, and great-estate objects. On Friday in Downingtown, Pook and Pook will wind up a two-day sale of more than 1,200 lots; in Garnet Valley, Briggs Auctions will offer items from three prominent Main Line estates. And on top of all this, eBay is conducting an international online "Fall Into Antiques" sale on which bidding began last and ends Sunday morning.

This event is unusual because, unlike eBay's endless flow of goods from individual consigners, bidding on all 550 lots from a limited number of consigners ends at about the same time, and there is no "buy it now" action. Consigners listed on the website include Bloom Antiques, Estate Auctions, Kevin Bruneau Antiques, and Rhode Island Internet Consignment and Sales. Items to be sold include Asian arts, American antiques and fine art.

Attracting great interest as of this writing: a 1920s Navajo blanket (36 bids, stopping at $510); a mid-19th-century Ming-style jade dragon libation cup (42 bids, $355); an 18th- to 19th-century Japanese bronze crane and turtle candlestick statue (44 bids, $222.50); and a 1920s art deco man's Bulova wristwatch (56 bids, $355). The problem with online-only buying is the difficulty in closely examining the pieces being offered.

Which brings us back to the local auctions.

The 700 lots in the Briggs sale, including items from the estates of James M. Symes, former president of the Pennsylvania Railroad; Charles Rankin, prominent attorney and former Delaware County judge; and Main Liner Josephine Bull, an avid collector of Asian and other decorative and fine art, will be offered beginning at 4 p.m. Friday at the gallery at 1347 Naamans Creek Rd. Simultaneously, about 300 of the top lots, almost half of the goods jewelry, will be offered online in a catalog session at

Among the costliest items in the catalog session, according to presale price estimates: a Steinway baby grand piano in a mahogany case ($6,000 to $9,000); an 18th-century C. John Wood Philadelphia tall case clock ($15,000 to $25,000); a Jonas Lie oil on canvas landscape of a tropical storm ($5,00 to $10,000); and an Andrew Wyeth miniature watercolor of a skater in a winter landscape ($3,000 to $6,000).

Jewelry includes three diamond in platinum tennis bracelets (each $4,000 to $8,000) and a diamond and emerald necklace and bracelet ($15,000 to $20,000). Asian art includes a 19th-century Chinese porcelain folding screen ($1,000 to $1,500).

Among railroad memorabilia are a set of B&O Railroad china ($500 to $1,000) and a pair of gold locomotive cufflinks ($700 to $1,200).

Preview: 9 a.m. to sale time Friday at the gallery. For further information call 610-485-0412.

Deals at Pook and Pook. The 600 lots in Pook and Pook's windup session, beginning at 10 a.m. Friday at the gallery at 463 E. Lancaster Ave. and including the estate of Jane H. Miller, of Summit, N.J., are generally affordable.

Most of the furniture has three-figure price estimates, according to the auction catalog (also accessible online at The top pieces are an Eldred Wheeler Queen Anne curly maple highboy ($3,000 to $5,000, one of more than a dozen Wheeler pieces); a 43-inch-high carved French panetiere or bread cupboard ($1,500 to $2,500); three presumably matching lots of Henkel Harris: a dining table and eight Chippendale-style mahogany chairs (each lot $500 to $1,000) and a mahogany sideboard ($800 to $1,200).

Quilts, needlework, scrimshaw, American Indian skookum dolls, tramp art, and other crafts are also in the three-figure range, as are most of the paintings. An exception is a single-lot pair of 72-inch-high by 20-inch-wide landscapes with figures by the American/English painter James Crawford Thom, which has a $1,000 to $1,200 presale estimate.

Four-figure prices are also expected for several of the lots of silver, notably a 127-piece Gorham Old French pattern service ($2,000 to $3,000).

Preview: 9 a.m. to sale time Friday. For further information call 610-269-4040.

Silver plate, steel, ceramics. The 691 lots in the first session of the Rago discovery sale - beginning, like all three sessions, at 11 a.m. Friday at the gallery at 333 N. Main St., Lambertville, N.J. - open with a single-lot set of four Grueby waterlily tiles expected to bring $1,000 to $1,500, according to the online auction catalog accessible at

Also expected to bring $1,000 to $1,500, the session's highest price, are an English arts and crafts aesthetic-movement breakfront; a circa 1900 German pewter drink set of an ewer and six cups; and a set of five Steuben glass shades fitted to an arts and crafts hammered-copper chandelier. Low-end items include a pair of silver-plate Derby Poole cocktail shakers ($30 to $50).

The 650 lots in the second session, beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, range from a French art deco circular wool area rug ($150 to $250) to a Paul Evans welded and patinated steel coffee table with square plate-glass top ($2,500 to $4,000). Other items of note include two Silas Seandel "Volcano" dining tables (each $3,500 to $4,000); an Eero Saarinen Knoll Studio marble and aluminum dining table; and a 2004 Mira Nakashima conoid host chair (each $2,000 to $3,000).

The 693 lots in Sunday's "Great Estates" session open with 33 lots of Charles Lotton glass, notably an iridescent peacock feather lamp with a presale estimate of $3,000 to $4,000. Other top items are a single lot of 100 Morgan silver dollars ($2,500 to $3,500) and a Peter Hanson landscape of the Hudson ($2,200 to 43,200). Bargains: a 19th- and 20th-century grouping of sterling, painted porcelain and glass buttons ($300 to $500).

Doors open each day at 9 a.m. For further information, call 609-397-9374.

Contact David Iams at

comments powered by Disqus