Pook & Pook’s June 24th and 25th sale of the Estate of Joyce Bowes Collis recorded strong results, grossing $1.26 million, 19% above estimate. A high degree of interest and strong bidding pushed 47% of lots above high estimate, with a total of 79% of lots hammered down at or above estimate, and a 99.7% sell-through rate.
Furniture was the largest category, led by a monumental Lancaster County, Pennsylvania walnut architectural schrank, ca. 1770, which commanded an equally impressive price of $34,440 (lot 471; estimate $14,000-$25,000). Two quintessential Berks County, PA painted dower chests, late 18th c., both retaining their brilliantly painted original surfaces, brought $13,530 (lot 86) and $15,990 (lot 425). A Sussex County, Delaware hard pine corner cupboard by Ralph Brothers, ca.1800, brought $18,450 (lot 491; estimate $3,000-$5,000), and a Pennsylvania painted poplar jelly cupboard, 19th c, retaining its original yellow and red sgraffito decoration, inspired spirited bidding and sold for $11,070 (lot 308; estimate $1,000-$2,000). Equally desirable was a New England painted pine apothecary cabinet, 19th c., retaining its original herbal and floral swag decoration, selling for $11,070 (lot 530; estimate $2,000-$3,000). Two George I pieces, a two-part oak secretary ca. 1730, and a diminutive oyster veneer chest of drawers ca.1720, brought $22,140 (lot 719; estimate $8,000-$10,000) and $11,685 (lot 725; estimate $500-$1,000). A delightful miniature Pennsylvania painted poplar corner cupboard, 19th c., retaining an old blue surface and salmon interior, brought an outsized price of $6,765 (lot 630, estimate $800-$1,200).
The needlework category achieved a high return ratio, the top lot a large Charles II silk and metallic thread embroidery, late 17th c., depicting royal figures in a landscape, surrounded by allegorical figures, birds, and beasts, that excited many bidders and commanded a $29,520 price (lot 701; estimate $6,000-$9,000). This result was rivalled by an elaborate English or Irish silk on linen sampler, 18th c., wrought by Jane Frame, with a detailed Georgian manor house in a park teeming with animals and figures, which brought $27,060 (lot 683; estimate $3,000-$5,000). An intriguing Charles II stumpwork casket, dated 1653, with heavy embroidery and a secret compartment, brought $15,990 (lot 699; estimate $2,000-$3,000).
It was a strong sale for two local artists. The auction featured 31 works by David Ellinger, including a Pennsylvania Dutch folk art watercolor of a basket of fruit at $5,155 (lot 582; estimate $400-$600); and 31 works by Jeanne Davies, to include a painting of exotic birds selling for $6,150 (lot 222; estimate $400-$600). The top art category lot was an English portrait of a young girl with a bird, late 18th c., which sold for $15,990 (lot 752; estimate $1,000-$2,000).
Additional highlights included the top lot of the sale, an important Montgomery County, Pennsylvania sgraffito redware charger, dated 1790, attributed to George Huebner, which achieved its high estimate of $36,900 (lot 273), and the first lot of the sale, an exceptional mocha pitcher, with earthworm, twig, and tulip decoration, which sold for $13,530 (lot 1; estimate $4,000-$7,000). The final lot, Chinese export Wooley Sheep famille rose porcelain, 18th c., closed the sale with a strong $11,070 (lot 774; estimate $3,000-$4,000).
Pook & Pook will sell the remainder of the material from the Collis Estate on July 28th and 29th in an online Decorative Arts Auction. To find out more go to www.pookandpook.com.