The Father's Day weekend auction at Downington, Pennsylvania-based Pook & Pook Inc. gave the Americana market a needed shot in the arm. Several contested lots surpassed their modest pre-sale estimates, including a pair of Boston Chippendale mahogany dining chairs that stepped up to $163,800 from a $1,500-2,500 estimate.
This June 19 and 20 sale of the Estate of Helene and El Roy Master of Robesonia, Penn., consisting of about 733 lots that totalled $2,373,257.25, included a bold and beautiful Philadelphia Queen Anne transitional carved mahogany scroll top high chest, ca. 1755, that brought $128,700 (prices include a 17% in-house buyer's premium and 22% via Live Auctioneers bids).
Bidders were not only rabid for Colonial-era furniture. Fine and unusual examples of American and English glass, silver, and ceramics exceeded estimates and bolstered buyer confidence.
In American decorative arts, folk-crafted frakturs and samplers, vibrant and elegant Tiffany favrile glass, and colorful 19th-century glassware delighted buyers. Of note: a rare pair of South Jersey pitchers and witch balls, ca. 1850, steel blue with opaque white loop decoration, attributed to Whitney Glass Works, 9" h. and 9 1/2" h. with a $5,000-8,000 pre-sale estiamte snagged $28,080.
After last fall's plummet in prices and a spring season of blah results, the healthy above-estimate marks for Pook & Pook's sale gives a glimmer of hope for the revival of the antiques market. Aiming low with the pre-sale estimates may have been a good strategy for stimulating bidding.
For further coverage of the sale, read Antiques & The Arts' review.