I know I have been delinquent in my pick of the week and I apologize. I have been very busy gathering, sorting, and cataloging future material that very well could be an upcoming pick of the week. I am silently wondering if I should have named it “pick of every other month or so”. Sometimes what transpires behind the scenes to put together a cataloged auction gets lost. I can personally attest that there are a lot of moving parts with a heck of a lot of talented moving hands making those parts move. That peek behind the scenes will have to be another time.
Today I am digging around in the “way back machine”. As I root around old catalogs, type in random words on our item search from our website and test my memory (only to realize that it isn’t what it used to be), I find something that works for my pick. We are very discerning with the use of adjectives when describing antiques so I knew typing in the word “exceptional” in our past results would yield just that – things that truly are exceptional. With a quick scan, I zero in on lot 402 from the January 7th, 2006 Americana sale: the Exceptional Wrought Iron Door Escutcheon.
Although the beginning of my employment at Pook & Pook was still almost a year away, I was well-aware of the legendary James and Sally Sorber collection of iron. This particular lot happened to be the one of the first purchases by Mr. Sorber for his tremendous collection. Figural wrought iron door escutcheons are very hard to come by and to have one in the form of a Native American Indian would be considered the pinnacle of the wrought iron field. The blacksmiths’ skilled execution in making this piece shows years of mastering his craft. The stern facial features with a flowing, feathered headdress simply could not have been accomplished by the hand of a novice. At just over 8” high, this piece has a commanding presence and certainly explains the final sale price. After the blacksmith’s sparks had landed and the final hammer fell, this exceptional escutcheon had earned an incredible $42,120. Now that truly is an exceptional piece.
By: Jamie Shearer