by Lita Solis-Cohen
Auctions are often much more than listings of property for sale; they can be rites of passage, a chance for friends and colleagues to remember a collector. Such is the case of the sale of decorative arts from the collection of Pastor Frederick S. Weiser (1935-2009), a minister and scholar, to be sold at Pook & Pook on January 12 in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.
Weiser was one of the foremost authorities on Pennsylvania German culture and decorative arts. Lisa Minardi, for whom Weiser was a mentor, has written for the Pook & Pook catalog a biography of Weiser and a bibliography of his writing, which will make the catalog more than a memento; it will find a permanent place on many library shelves. Weiser wrote extensively on decorative arts, fraktur, and textiles, as well as church, family, and local history, and he translated account books and church records.
Many of the pieces of furniture, redware, ironwork, and textiles for sale are mentioned in Pastor Weiser's books and articles written over five decades. Some pieces were acquired directly from descendants or retain a provenance to the original owner or maker. Minardi said that Winterthur has announced the donation to the Winterthur Library of Pastor Weiser's research and photograph files on fraktur, tombstones, furniture, textiles, and other objects, as well as his reference books on Pennsylvania arts and culture, which will be available to scholars and the general public.
Winterthur is also finalizing the purchase of 120 fraktur and nearly 200 textiles from the Weiser collection pending final settlement of the Weiser estate. Weiser had a longstanding relationship with Winterthur beginning in 1969 when he cataloged and translated the museum's fraktur collection.
In addition to material from the Weiser collection, Pook & Pook will sell 50 quilts from the collection of Foster and Muriel McCarl; an architectural schrank from the collection of Guy Keemer, a longtime dealer from Hallam, Pennsylvania; a Wilmington clock with a rocking ship on its dial and the name of clockmaker George Crow (working 1740 to 1772); and more.
For more information, contact Pook & Pook at (619) 269-4040 or log on to the Web site (www.pookandpook.com).
Originally published in the January 2013 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2012 Maine Antique Digest