Date: Fri 30-Oct-1998
Pook & Pook Auction
By J.M.W. Fletcher
LUDWIGS CORNER, PA. -- Pook & Pook, Inc, held its large, two-day autumn
antiques auction on September 25 and 26.
Fine late Eighteenth and early Nineteenth Century furniture and paintings
dominated the more than 874-lot sale catalogue.
According to Ron Pook, Friday evening's event had standing room only. He then
predicted a banner sale for the following day, naming the large number of lots
offered -- the most Pook has ever featured in a fall auction -- as a major
factor. With only three open lines, the phone bank also anticipated a busy
sale. "I have about 200 different bids to execute," said Erin Duffy.
Pook's comments were prophetic. The auction, including a ten percent buyer's
premium, pulled in over $1,100,000.
The top lot, number 61, carried a modest $4/5,000 estimate: a pair of F.
Kemmelmeyer (American, act. 1788-1816) pastel portraits of husband and wife
John Bell and Jane Tilden. The works, 24 inches high by 18 inches wide, each
signed and dated 1814, in their original frames, had descended directly to the
"There was a lot of interest in [the portraits]," commented auction cataloguer
Kellie Seltzer, "some from museums in the Virginia area."
Competition seesawed between floor and telephone, with the most persistent of
the several floor bidders out-distancing the rest to a final price of $50,000.
Other highlights included a southeastern Pennsylvania fraktur bookplate, circa
1800, 3¬ by four inches, depicting two gentlemen in long blue coats with
rapiers, together with another bookplate, ex Susse collection (est
$1,5/2,500), which brought $20,000.
Featured on the catalogue cover, a rare, 12-inch high Pennsylvania tinsmith's
model of a gentleman wearing a blue military jacket and hat, following behind
a two-wheel plow drawn by two yoked oxen, sold at $5,000 (est $2,5/3,000).
Selling for over three times its low estimate of $1,500, copper sulky and
rider weathervane, circa 1900, rode to $4,750.
Outstanding paintings included a 32-inch high by 46-inch wide, oil on canvas
Western landscape signed Edgar Payne (American 1882-1947), which made $14,000
(est $10/15,000). Two pairs of oil on canvas portraits featuring Salisbury,
Conn. sitters, by Ammi Phillips (American, 1788-1865) sold at their low
estimates of $5,000 and $5,500.
Of more than 20 lots of hand woven rugs, a small Caucasian mat with six blue
geometric medallions, 7'5" by 4'5", made $2,750 (est $1/1,400).
Among some 25 lots of pewter flagons, chargers and candlesticks, the top
offering consisted of three teapots, including one bearing the touch of F.
Porter, Westbrook, Me., that made $3,500 (est $5/700).
Seldom seen at auction was an autographed card of introduction, signed and
dated October 7, 1864, by Abraham Lincoln, that sold for $5,000 (est
Also rare and very actively sought after, a 10‹-inch diam eter slip decorated
Pennsylvania redware bowl, bearing a green, yellow and black glazed distelfink
-- or brightly colored bird -- sitting on a tulip, early Nineteenth Century,
ex Sussel collection, made $13,000 (est $2/3,000). Also much desired by the
floor was a pair of Chinese Export porcelain famille rose wall pockets, 10«
inches high, late Eighteenth Century, ex Sussel collection, that sold at
$2,600 (est $600/800).
Prices quoted, unless otherwise noted, do not include buyers premium. The next
Pook & Pook catalogue sale will be held on December 4 & 5.