The James Spence-authenticated 1787 land deed signed by Benjamin Franklin from the Pennsylvania Treasury Department’s Bureau of Unclaimed Property consignment sold for $13,200 (est. $7000/10,000).
A Standard Model A talking machine sold for $540 (est. $300/400).
This “Hershey’s Velvet Sweet Chocolate” sample label is possibly one-of-a-kind and may have never gone into production. It is a hand-colored lithograph and dates to the early 1900’s. It brought $720 (est. $300/500).
A complete Civil War surgical set made by J.H. Gemrig & Son of Philadelphia, in very good condition and having seen little use, sold for $4500 (est. $1500/3000).
Morphy Auctions, Denver, Pennsylvania
Photos courtesy Morphy Auctions
Morphy Auctions held a diverse 1146-lot decorative and fine art sale February 8 and 9 at its Denver, Pennsylvania, facility. There were a total of 2179 registered bidders; 62% of the lots sold on line, and the auction total was $1,014,000 (includes buyers’ premiums).
Friday’s session opened with a large single-owner grouping of Amphora from the well-known collection of Les Cohen. The first part of this collection was sold at Morphy’s on November 2, 2012. “This is a high-end Amphora collection that has been privately held for many years,” stated Morphy Auctions CEO Dan Morphy. “I was at the New York Pier Show a few weeks after we auctioned part one of the collection, and the consensus was that the appearance of such a noted collection at auction had helped to rejuvenate the market for Amphora.”
Expert James Infante cataloged the collection. Highlights in the February sale included a “Daughter of the Rhine” vase, 18½" tall, with applied jewels and enameled flowers, that sold for $18,000, and a saurian and crab vase, 22½" high, that sold for $13,800.
The sale consisted of a diverse range of decorative art and was made up of several single-owner groupings including a large consignment of paintings, vintage violins, Lester Breininger redware pottery, holiday and patriotic antique postcards, art glass, wristwatches, and music boxes.
A portion of Saturday’s sale included 200 items from the Pennsylvania Treasury’s Bureau of Unclaimed Property including jewelry, rare coins, and ephemera. Several representatives of the treasury came to the sale.
“There was a lot of interest from the media in the runup to this sale, especially because of the Treasury Department items,” said Morphy. A Harrisburg television news station did a feature on the sale. The material came from safe deposit boxes. When no owner can be found, unclaimed material is turned over to the Pennsylvania Treasury and stored in its vault located in the Finance Department offices in Harrisburg. This was the first time in over ten years the state had sent such material to auction.
A handwritten 1787 property deed signed by Benjamin Franklin sold for $13,200 (est. $7000/10,000). A heart-shape and diamond-encrusted 14k gold pendant with a 1.25 carat pear-shaped center diamond sold for $18,600 (est. $7000/10,000). A Rolex “President” wristwatch with an 18k yellow gold band and white gold face and bezel encrusted with round and baguette-cut diamonds, 86.5 dwt., sold over high estimate for $10,800. There were also 60 lots of gold and silver coins and bullion and platinum ingots. A 1908 Saint-Gaudens gold double eagle coin brought $2400, as did a $20 1867-S gold double eagle Liberty coin.
The jewelry, coins, and ephemera from the Bureau of Unclaimed Property were sold unreserved, accounting for 26% of the sale total or roughly $260,000. “We’re very much looking forward to presenting the next Treasury selection, which we anticipate will be sometime in the fall,” said Morphy.
This sale marked the first for Morphy’s new fine art consultant, Patrick Orbe. Among the paintings was the sale’s top lot, View of Niagara Falls, an oil on canvas by Ferdinand Richardt (Danish, 1819-1895) that sold for $37,200.
For more information, contact Morphy Auctions at (717) 335-3435; Web site (www.morphyauctions.com).
This Lester Breininger 1995 redware seated bear with two cubs in a basket sold for $1020 (est. $600/800). The bear was part of a large single-owner group of contemporary pottery from the shop bearing the Breininger name that was in Robesonia, Berks County, Pennsylvania. As a whole, it sold well, showing strength in this specialized market.
This Paul Dachsel vase measuring 12½" high, with beetles and pedicel clusters and in mint condition, sold for $10,200 (est. $6000/8000).
The saurian and frog Amphora vase in deep green glazes and in mint condition sold well above its high estimate at $10,800 (est. $3000/5000).
An Austrian saurian and crab Amphora ceramic vase, 22½" high, sold for $13,800 (est. $7000/9000).
Originally published in the May 2013 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2013 Maine Antique Digest