A surprise in the sale was a religious banner, the only one in the sale and estimated at $2000/4000. The lot quickly surpassed the estimates with a phone bidding war. The end result was $33,350. The 1920’s paint on muslin banner, 35" x 68", had 13 images and the words “And The Lord Answered Me, And Said Write The Vision And Make It Plain Upon Tables.” Slotin photo.
Fraternal objects show up in the Slotin sales fairly frequently. A 1930’s Order of Red Men cabinet with arrowheads, carved animal figures, and battle axes, all mounted under old glass, reached $1610. Slotin photo.
Three examples of work by Minnie Evans (1892-1987) were offered, including the catalog cover illustration. These colorful and intricate works, involving multiple media, drew much attention and active bidding. Lady with Flowers (shown) from the Rosenak collection, 1967, a 16" x 21" collage of oil and ink on paper and attached to board, sold for $23,000 (est. $4000/6000). Not shown, Central Male Face with White Bird flew away to the same bidder for $7475, and Male Face Surrounded by Flora and Fauna brought $5060. Slotin photo.
Slotin Folk Art, Buford, Georgia
The fall auction at Slotin Folk Art on November 10 and 11, 2012, in Buford, Georgia, featured 1225 lots with a substantial portion from established collections. The catalog cover and associated marketing communications specifically mentioned the Chuck and Jan Rosenak collection (171 lots), the Kelly Ludwig collection (87 lots), and over 60 lots from the Columbus (Georgia) Museum. In fact, the sale contained a number of items from at least a dozen other major collections. Most of these collections had been featured in prior Slotin sales, but large quantities of unsold material remained to be offered this time.
Chuck Rosenak was present at the sale. The collection that he and his wife, Jan (who died in June 2012), had assembled over the years was featured. The Rosenaks are perhaps best known for their publications: Museum of American Folk Art Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century American Folk Art and Artists; The People Speak: Navajo Folk Art; The Saint Makers; and Contemporary American Folk Art: A Collector’s Guide. All of these books are widely used and cited. Rosenak made some comments to the bidding audience about the beginnings of the collection and the need for continued advocacy to the museum world about the importance of folk art.
Two crib-size quilts met estimates. An anonymous, older hand-stitched Schoolhouse example reached only $132.25 (includes buyer’s premium), a bargain for a vintage piece. A quilt called In the Garden of Temptation, with a slithering snake curled around Adam and Eve, brought $373.75. Signed and dated “Carol Alfrey 2012,” it was hand stitched and in mint condition.
An African-American whatnot open shelf with a framed mirror on top sold in house for $690. It featured a heart with crossed arrows in a frame on the back below the mirror.
Sixteen lots of carnival heads, knockdown dolls, banners, and advertising drew active bidding. Prices ranged from $264.50 for a single large knockdown double-sided cat made of painted heavy canvas to $2530 for a “Devil Child” sideshow banner made up of three panels of painted canvas, from the 1950’s and signed “Sigler.” Other circus-related advertising items included a late 19th-century painted oilcloth poster at only $264.50 and a colorfully painted canvas “Zola the Wizard” banner for $1035.
Not all lots were American. A collection of nine Mexican carved coconut shells sold for $402.50 to $1380, mostly to off-site bidders.
Six decorative game boards were sold. Four were paint on canvas, and two were reverse-painted on glass with foil. Prices ranged from $488.75 to $1840. Both of the reverse-painted checker/chess boards sold to the same buyer. One of those two featured wallet-size photos (family?) for the red squares ($1840), and the other board bore the International Order of Odd Fellows symbols ($1380).
The Saturday session sold well over 800 lots to a nearly full house. Sunday’s session added an additional 400-plus lots. A significant portion of the sales were to on-line, telephone, and other absentee bidders.
Slotin Folk Art offers two auctions each year as well as its annual Folk Fest, including around 100 artists, dealers, and galleries exhibiting their wares. The 20th annual Folk Fest will be August 16-18. The spring Masterpiece sale is scheduled for April 20 and 21. For further information or to request a catalog, call (770) 532-1115 or (404) 403-4244 or visit the Web site (www.slotinfolkart.com).
Three examples of wooden animals carved by Felipe and Leroy Archuleta were offered. This koala bear by son Leroy is typical of the unromanticized representations Leroy is known for. Enhanced with rope, marble eyes, and plastic claws, this example brought $1265.
Old Glory, one of two examples by Ab the Flagman, brought a strong $2415, well over expectation. This early example utilized wood scraps mounted on a cabinet door. The other example (not shown), which had been used as an illustration in Detour Art, more than tripled its presale estimate and reached $4600.
James Castle combined spit, soot, and graphite to create Three Figures in a Store Front (5¼" x 6½") and Tenement Houses (shown), a double-sided 5¼" x 7½" (sight) work. They brought $11,385 and $18,400. Slotin photo.
Originally published in the March 2013 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2013 Maine Antique Digest