Americana And International Auction At Pook & Pook On Oct. 9 and 10

Pennsylvania Folk Art To Shine At Special Two-Day Sale

September 25, 2020

If you have been stuck inside for too long, dreaming of travelling across the eastern United States and beyond, dream no more. Pook & Pook Auctions has brought the world to you. The Downingtown, Pa., auction house’s upcoming two-day auction on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 9 and 10, will have items crossing the auction block from collections all over the country, from Ohio, Michigan, and Maine to Florida and, of course, Pennsylvania.
The sale will kick off with items from the collection of Edson J. Brown and Ross M. Trump of Ohio, beginning with a stunning Soap Hollow chest of drawers followed by a plethora of pipsqueak toys. This folky collection includes many fine pieces of furniture, chalkware, a dizzying number of wallpaper boxes, and an impressive carved and painted cigar store Indian Chief (est. $8,000-$12,000). Also worth mentioning is an outstanding Pennsylvania treenware canister (est. $6,000-$8,000). This turned and sponge-painted canister with its unique fish design is one of the finer examples of American treenware known and definitely one of the can’t-miss items to watch at this sale.
The Brown/Trump collection in session one is full of one-of-a-kind items like a bird Ferris wheel, not a bird tree, a Ferris wheel. With four beautifully painted birds riding along and a fifth perched on top, this fun piece is sure to be highly coveted (est. $3,000-$5,000). The collection closes out with an impressive assortment of spatterware china. The two began collecting in the 1950s and amassed an extensive array of fine early, mostly Pennsylvania country folk art.
The opening night of the auction will also include the continuation of an incredible selection of mochaware china coming from a collection so big, it couldn’t all fit in a single sale, or even two. It will be spread out over three sales. Pook & Pook’s previous Americana auction featured some superb examples from this grouping. Among the expected highlights will be a large presentation cup (est. $3,000-$5,000) with dotted bands and an inscribed cartouche.
The first session will finish up with more than two dozen pieces of timeless fine art and sculptures, including a large piece by Ben Austrian depicting a mother hen and 11 baby chicks (est. $5,000-$8,000), and a beautiful landscape titled “Winter Interior Woodstock, New York” by Emile A. Gruppe (est. $6,000-$9,000).
Session two on Saturday morning will begin with the collection of Ann G. Sickles and features some of the most exquisite samplers to come across the auction block in recent memory. For instance, a silk-on-gauze crewelwork sampler by a Harriet Hayden from New Hampshire in 1817 (est. $10,000-$12,000) will be offered. This sampler has a broad outer band of flowering vines surrounding a center panel depicting a maiden beneath a tree.
Following the Sickles collection, expect to see lots more spectacular items, beginning with an important American whirligig of a soldier (est. $15,000-$25,000). At 26 inches high, this carved and painted whirligig commands attention and bears long, sweeping paddles and an intimidatingly stern expression behind his bushy, black mustache. The sale continues with more artwork, a collection of carved whimsy canes, and plenty of classic antique furniture such as an incredibly wide 19th century corner cupboard with original flame grained surface and a walnut Dutch cupboard, ca. 1800. Fifteen tall case clocks are up for auction, one of which is inscribed by John Smith of Lancaster, who is referenced in “Clockmakers and Watchmakers of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania,” and is one of only two known clocks of such provenance known to the author. The clock boasts fully carved tympanum and sides, an eight-day works, and a carved rooster atop the broken arch bonnet (est. $10,000-$20,000).
For baseball fans, the sale will also feature a baseball signed by the 1932 New York Yankees with signatures from Lou Gehrig, Lefty Gomez, and Babe Ruth, among others (est. $4,000-$6,000). The Saturday portion of the sale will continue with two more single-owner collections from Michigan. The first is comprised mainly of New England antique furniture. The second features some striking 18th- and 19th-century oil-on-canvas portraits, including one of a young girl holding a doll (est. $2,000-$3,000), as well as several very nice miniature portraits, brass pieces, and Delft pottery. A huge selection of silver follows, including a rare Tiffany & Co. lap over edge sterling silver flatware service, ca. 1880 (est. $5,000-$8,000).
The next collection coming across the block is the collection of Mr. and Mrs. George P. Bissell Jr. The pair spent their lives amassing a lovely collection that is full of heart and warmth and character, as well as more than a few incomparably delightful and important pieces. The sale will include a marvelous selection of silver, such as a Georgian silver flatware service (est. $10,000-15,000), a set of 18 English silver dinner plates (est. $10,000-$15,000), and a New York silver tankard bearing the touch of Adrien Bancker (est. $10,000-$15,000). After the silver, the Bissell collection continues with an important Philadelphia Chippendale mahogany dining chair elegantly carved by an unnamed maker dubbed the “spikey leaf carver” (est. $15,000-$20,000). Another cigar store Indian will be offered on day two, this one a counter top sized Indian Maiden attributed to Samuel Robb, ca. 1900 (est. $5,000-$8,000). Two Schimmel carved birds, the first of which is a spread wing eagle (est. $15,000-$20,000), and the second, an unusual eagle on a nest (est. $20,000-$30,000), will also be featured.
If buyers do not find any full-size furniture they desire, a collection of antique miniature furniture will come towards the end of the sale. Some of these pieces, like the miniature china cabinet with marquetry and inlay (est. $2,000-$3,000), are just as impressive as their full-size counterparts. Rounding out the sale is a selection of international material from across the pond. If you’re looking to add some prestige to your office or home library, perhaps consider the pair of Newton & Son globes on mahogany stands (est. $5,000-$8,000). Rare enough to find one in such condition, it is even more lucky to find a matching pair where the celestial globe hasn’t been lost or separated from its terrestrial partner. The only thing classier than that would be a golden harp, but that might border on ostentatious. Bidders will have to make that decision for themselves, as there is in fact a Sebastian Erard bird’s-eye maple and giltwood English harp (est. $1,000-$2,000). The sale will close out as usual with a selection of fine carpets, with a few outstanding palace-sized carpets, such as an early 20th century Heriz (est. $8,000-$12,000).
Interested bidders are encouraged to visit Pook & Pook’s website at for additional information about the upcoming auction. For questions regarding condition; additional photograph requests; online, in-house, phone or absentee bidder registration; or to purchase a printed catalog for the sale ($40), customers can email or call 610-269-4040.
Gallery exhibitions and auction attendance are by appointment only.
To schedule or reserve a spot, call 610-269-4040.


More Articles