The Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates November 8-10, 2018 Americana & Fine Antiques Auction was a highly successful event and produced robust prices – along with a few surprises - in multiple categories. The three-day format consisted of 2,001 lots of high-quality material, much of which was fresh to the market, and, in several cases, had descended directly in the families of the original owners. Bidding was intense throughout each day with thousands of registered bidders from numerous countries participating in house and online. 

Sessions I and II on Thursday and Friday were devoted exclusively to the dispersal of the important 19th-century American glass and lighting collection of the late Alvina Breckel of Oley, Pennsylvania and Winnetka, Illinois. Considered one of the finest assemblages of cup plates, lacy period salts, and children’s toys in existence, the Breckel Collection, for which two special color printed catalogues were created, generated significant pre-sale interest and produced strong prices, along with a few surprises, over the course of two days. Top lot for the Breckel Collection was a Henry Clay pressed open salt in a unique slate blue color. Made at the Boston & Sandwich Glass Company, or possibly Midwestern, the rare vessel shattered its estimate range when two determined private collectors on the phones chased it all the way to $22,230 (Lot 1066 – all prices include 17% buyer’s premium). Other noteworthy results from Sessions I and II include a rare wagon form pressed open salt in unique medium blue color at $17,550 (Lot 1238); the pedigreed “Parker White” cup plate, an icon of early American pressed glass, at $14,040 (Lot 26); and a highly-coveted “Washington” colorless cup plate at $14,040 (Lot 250).

Session III on Saturday consisted of the firm’s usual diverse selection of Americana and fine antiques, highlighted by an important Virginia private collection that included a number of excellent examples of Southern folk pottery and paint-decorated furniture. Several institutional deaccessions were also featured in Session III, including a collection of long rifles and accoutrements from the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV), a group of quilts and fraktur from the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA), and a large assortment of 18th-and 19th-century English Staffordshire ceramic figures from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Top lot for Saturday at $24,570 (Lot 2296) was an important Wythe County, Virginia paint-decorated poplar blanket chest, signed and dated by its maker, Johannes Hudel (John Huddle). A key example in this well-documented group of backcountry chests, the highly-coveted object drew much attention during preview and will return home to Wythe County, where it will reside in the permanent collection of that county’s historical society. Other noteworthy results from the Saturday session include a recently discovered pair of North Carolina folk portraits by the Guilford Limner at $11,700 (Lot 2177); a fine Great Road decorated earthenware jar at $11,700 (Lot 2001); and a William Aiken Walker Southern genre scene depicting two cotton pickers at $10,530 (Lot 2176). Furniture offerings in Session III also produced strong results overall, demonstrating some signs of vigor in what can be an unpredictable segment of the market. Top performers in this category of the sale were a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania carved and figured walnut high chest at $8,190 (Lot 2360); a rare Mecklenburg County, Virginia walnut semi-high chest of drawers at $8,190 (Lot 2298); an unusual Baltimore, Maryland Classical mahogany games or work table at $7,020 (Lot 2321); and a diminutive 18th-century Virginia walnut desk at $6,435 (Lot 2297).

After the sale, company president and auctioneer Jeffrey S. Evans commented, “We were very pleased with the strong interest across the board in this auction. It was an honor to handle the Breckel glass collection and produce color catalogues for both sessions. The collection sold without reserve, so the results are a true indication of the current 19th-century American glass market. Several pieces sold for more than five times their original pre-recession purchase price, and it was encouraging to see all lots receive many bids. The lighting section of the collection performed extremely well, demonstrating the continued strength and interest in that category.” Evans continued, “The overall excitement and strong sales in the Americana session reflect the freshness and quality of the merchandise offered.” Evans added, “Our June 2019 Americana auction will contain more items from the important Virginia private collection we featured in this sale, including another Wythe Co., Virginia paint-decorated blanket chest, so we are looking forward to another solid sale.”

The firm is currently accepting consignments for all 2019 auctions. Please email consign@jeffreysevans.com for a free evaluation of your property. For complete auction results, a schedule of 2019 sales, or more information, visit www.jeffreysevans.com, email info@jeffreysevans.com, or call 540.434.3939.

November 21, 2018, 7:54 AM