Reading Museum Deaccession, Krumrine Collection, Give Pook A Solid Start To New Year

Conduct the auction in Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Downingtown, Ben. – Pook & Pook, Inc. 2022 has started off well, with nearly 600 lots on display at Americana & International Auction January 13-14. Of the 588 contracts offered, 581 were sold, with a sale rate of more than 98 percent. The company went into the sale at a low/high rating of approximately $800,000-$1.2 million and recorded $1,778,105 in sales, sold to in-room, online, over-the-phone, and absentee bid buyers.

Bock maintains a strict annual auction schedule; No single sale ends before business begins the next day. So, perhaps it wasn’t surprising that Jamie Shearer was tired but happy when we got to him after the sale.

“It’s great that we’re busy; it’s definitely better than the alternative.”

The title of the sale was particularly apt, as the top three pieces alternated between Americana or international interest; The latter received the highest honors degree. A portrait of a Russian priest reading a book by Russian artist Vasily Petrovich Vereshchagin (1835-1904) sold to a US commercial buyer for $79,950. Although the work is not signed, the reverse bears the stamp of the Verstchagin group; Its receipt was canceled from the Public Reading Museum, which sent a total of 30 pieces for sale – all fine art that crossed the block on the second day of work.

“The Russian art market is still very hot,” Shearer noted, noting that there was surprisingly high interest in the painting before the sale. While that gave him and James Bock an idea that it would do well, the result far exceeded their expectations.

A surprisingly strong second place finish at $59,520 was a late 1700s fruit wood watch made in Charleston, South Carolina, with Gus Jack’s signature face. According to the catalog, there are only a few hours left for Jack, who initially worked in Jamaica, around 1777. He moved to New York, then worked in Charleston and eventually Philadelphia. The watch was sent for sale from a private collector and sold to a commercial buyer unfamiliar with Shearer.

“There’s a rumor, it’s back in South Carolina. It was the scarcity of the manufacturer’s work that drove the price. He worked a few places. Of those locations, Charleston would bring in the most money. Usually anything in the South was scarce, which It usually means a higher price.”

Third place went to an international plot. In the leaderboard was the bronze Midas cape patented by Mrs. Elizabeth Frink (British, 1930-1993). Reminiscent of an old helmet, it sold to a buyer in New England for $47,120, nearly double the low estimate. Signed and numbered 3/10, the 11-inch-wide piece was sourced from Fine Art London. This was the second sale in which Bock offered one of her works; Her “Bronze Sparrow” made $36,900 when it was shown in September 2021.

From there, the top cut, on either day, was mostly Americana. A pair of oil on a stable oval slab of fruit on slab tables painted by Severine Rosen (American, 1815-1872) showed little interest before selling, but ended up fetching $47,120 from a private collector in Pennsylvania. All still life paintings measure 16 x 20 inches and are signed; They were top sellers for a selection of nearly 60 pieces from the Philadelphia Jack and Marie-Louise Cromeren collection that started Session One. Shearer mentioned that there were quite a few people in the sale who remembered when the Krumrines were collecting about 30 years ago.

The sale offered another piece by Roesen, a particularly unusual coincidence because it was sold on behalf of another seller. The rectangular-shaped work of a similar subject was larger at 30 by 25 inches but sold for less: $22,320. Like a pair of oval examples, it will remain in Pennsylvania, with a local private collector.

Another notable item from the Krumrine collection was a pine pony chest in Berks County, Pennsylvania, which was the first piece of sale. It is decorated with eagles, birds, and spread-winged roosters, and is dated 1806; The catalog described it as “a particularly fine example… in fantastic preservation.” A commercial buyer, who placed a bid in the room, won $42,160.

Two of Shearer’s favorites on sale were from Krumrines, both from Fraktur. Christian Alddorf’s birth certificate fraktur by Judith Alsdorf, born 1799, was made in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and sold to a local collector for $37,200. The other, which Shearer admitted he coveted, was a birth certificate for Jacob Brunengart, born in 1814, made by Daniel Otto, a “tulip flat artist.” He, too, would remain in Pennsylvania, with a collector, who bid on the room, which pushed him to $22,320.

Good things come to those who wait. A Hagerstown, Maryland private collector who missed winning a copper horse and sulky weathervane 15 years ago finally had a chance to get it, which he did, for $44,640. Shearer said there was a competition of up to $8,000, and at the time it was the only buyer and less than unspecified bidder.

Approximately twenty hour long case stands guarded during the preview, with approximately nine examples from Charles West Wilson’s estate of Red Lion, Pennsylvania. Wilson had more watches in his collection, but Pook & Pook made the decision not to sell them all at once; Half a dozen more will be offered in the upcoming Spring 2022 sale. Of those in this sale, an example by John Wood of Philadelphia fetched $39,680, the highest price of the group. He went to a private collector in central Pennsylvania.

The opportunity to have a ready-made set for anyone so inclined to a tiger maple mantel in the middle of the eighteenth century with curvy sides came with a selection of little things that gradually built up over time, with additions made by some of the previous owners, whom Shearer said, “Read Like Who’s Who in American Decorative Arts.” Among the hands it has previously been passed on have been Barry Cohen, Mr and Mrs Paul Flack, Joel, Kate Cobb and David Church. A Mid-Atlantic commercial buyer took it for $17,360, within estimates.

Sellers often bring in high expectations that cannot always be met, so when a seller is happy with the price achieved, it is especially rewarding for the auction. Such was the case with an oil-on-canvas illustration by Clara Elsin Beck in her original Art Nouveau frame estimated at $1.5/2,500, but sold to a commercial buyer for $16.120.

“It was sold by the Pennsylvania Educational Institute, which had a few other things in the sale. When I called them, they were yelling and yelling; they saw the sale online,” Shearer said.

Prices shown include buyer’s premium but may not include additional fees for online bidding.

The upcoming Pook & Pook’s Americana & International sale will begin in early April.

For additional information, or 610-269-4040.

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The bulk of the sale was Vasily Petrovich Vereshchagin’s oil (in Russian, 1835-1904) on an oil painting of a Russian priest, for which bidders in both the United States and Russia competed. In the end, a US commercial buyer paid $79,950 for the contemplative scene, which was previously in the collection of the Public Reading Museum ($1,000).


The rarity of this fruitwood watch—described by South Carolina’s Gus Jack as “important” and made in South Carolina, circa 1790—helped push the price to $59,520, paid for by a commercial buyer who Jimmy Shearer said may have been in South Carolina. . Sent to Pook by a private collector ($8/12,000).


“It was a really cool thing,” said Jimmy Shearer of Elizabeth Frink’s 11-inch bronze Midas Head statue that sold to a buyer in New England for $47,120 ($25/35,000).


A couple of oval still life paintings by Severine Rosen, only one of which is shown here, came from the Jacques and Marie-Louise Cromerin Collection in Philadelphia. The 16-by-20-inch pair will remain in Pennsylvania, and will go to another private collector who paid $47,120. ($15/30,000).


Patience is a virtue. This brass horse and weathervane, which came from the New York collection, had slipped through the toes of Hagerstown, Md. , about 15 years ago, but he persevered to win it for $44,640 ($2/4,000).


“We’ve been working very well with painted boxes and it’s nice to see something in the mid-range doing well,” said Jamie Shearer. A sales-room bidder paid $42,160 for this pine pony box in Berks County, Pennsylvania, dated 1806, which was from the Cromarin Collection ($12/18,000).


“[Charles Wilson West] We had a lot of watches, we tried to separate them, and there were a lot of watches for sale at once. Pointing to the 21 models in the sale, nine of them are West’s property, said Jimmy Shearer, pointing to the 21 models in the sale. A private collector from Pennsylvania paid $39,680 for this ($8/12,000).


Like most Pook & Pook sales, there were several fractals on display. This example, made by Christian Alsdorf for Judith Alsdorf in 1799, is most accomplished. It was from the Krumrine Collection and was sold to a local collector for $37,200 ($6/9,000).


“Absolutely gorgeous,” Jimmy Shearer said of this Pennsylvania painted poplar hanging wall box. According to the catalog, it is closely related to the work of Samuel Blank of Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, and was its source for James, Nancy Glazer and Jack and Marie-Louise Cromeren. A local collector bought it for $27,280 ($12/18,000).


One of the cancellations was the public reading museum “Moonlit Cove” by Albert Pinkham Ryder. A New England buyer paid $24,800 for an oil on canvas, which measured 10 x 14 inches ($6/9,000).


“It embodied everything you wanted and was my favorite piece of the sale,” Jimmy Shearer said. The combination of colors and birds was part of the appeal. A local Pennsylvania collector, giving room showing, paid $22,320 for Jacob Bronnegart’s birth certificate in watercolor ink and watercolor by Jacob Bronnegart, made in 1814 by Daniel Otto, aka “Flat Tulip Artist” ($8/12,000) ).


This 28″ by 40″ oil painting on canvas of the pack ship Margaret Evans by John Staubart (American, b 1929) in 1968 Sails to a New Home is in a private collection in New England for $19,840 ($8/12,000).


If you want to have a ready-made set of works that have been handled by some of the best companies in the field, a lot to follow was the mid-18th century tiger maple rack with scalloped sides. It included 26 small boxes of wallpaper, pillows, brooches, and sculptures that were highly coveted personal belongings of Pennsylvania Germans. A Mid-Atlantic trade buyer took home the estimated amount of $17,360 ($15/20,000).


“We had six phone shows on it,” James Shearer said of this Tiffany Studios table lamp with a lemon leaf shade that came from the Midwestern collection. This style appears to be common in that region, as the buyer was also from the Midwest. Fetched $17,360 ($8/12,000).


“It had a great frame; I just love it.” Bidders clearly agreed with Jamie Shearer as interest pushed this 24″ x 30″ oil on canvas illustration by Clara Elsene Peck from an estimate of $1,5/2,500 to $16,120. The commercial buyer prevailed.


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