Alderfer's Autumn Auction Yields a Bountiful Harvest of Americana Treasures

  • HATFIELD, Pennsylvania
  • /
  • October 20, 2011

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John James Audubon, Barn Owl, sold for $16,950.
Alderfer Auction
Chester County architectural corner cupboard that realized $15,820.
Alderfer Auction


On October 12th, 2011, the Alderfer Auction Company auctioned off the Estate of J. David Miller of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, in a $500,000+ sale. In accordance with Mr. Miller’s last will and testament, and with great insight, it was Mr. Miller’s wish to have his collection sold in Bucks County. Alderfer’s selected the Eagle Banquet Hall in historic New Hope, Pennsylvania, to hold the sale.

Mr. Miller was an avid collector of Americana, fraktur, needlework, folk art, Mercer and Moravian pottery, artwork, books, and period furniture, especially pieces from Pennsylvania and Bucks County. His collection was so exceptional that some of his pieces have been featured in museum exhibitions. This sale brought out family and friends of Mr. Miller as well as long-time collectors, prominent antique dealers and institutions such as the Mennonite Heritage Center, the Mercer & Moravian Tile Works, and the Mercer Museum.

At the time of his death, he had a 1787 jointer plane (sold for $3,575 to the Mercer Museum) in the Winterthur exhibit “Paint, Pattern & People, Furniture of Southeastern Pennsylvania”, a Chippendale tall chest from the Ridge Family of Bucks County (sold for $11,000) on display at the Mercer Museum, and the painting “Union Soldiers in Combat 1895” by William T. Trego (sold for $13,200) which was a part of the “William T. Trego Catalogue Raisonne” at the Michener Museum.

The Delaware Valley walnut lowboy with the Peter Trego family provenance went to a buyer in Florida with Bucks County roots and hammered down at $31,900. Based on the research Mr. Miller had on the families that owned the piece, the buyer believes it may have passed through a branch of their family. The Ridge Family tall chest and the Trego painting also went to the buyer from Florida.

Delaware Valley walnut lowboy hammered down at $31,900.
Alderfer Auction

The Mercer & Moravian Tile Works won many pieces for its museum including the very rare frog fountain spout that realized $1,921 and a Mercer tile top table that hammered down at $1,356.

Some other standouts were a David Kulp bookplate that realized $23,100, an award of merit with a mermaid that realized $10,450, a pictorial sampler and John Drissel writing box that each sold for $9,900, a John James Audubon barn owl that sold for $16,950, and a Chester County architectural corner cupboard that realized $15,820.

Overall, it was an exciting and successful day. Alderfer’s saw over 400 registered bidders and over half a million dollars in sales. Alderfer Auction will also be selling Mr. Miller’s properties, his gorgeous 6 bedroom home in Doylestown, PA and his rustic retreat in Pipersville, PA, on November 2nd, 2011. Please contact Brent Souder and visit for more information.

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