|By Susan Emerson Nutter
YOUNGSTOWN, Pa. — Condition is often king when it comes to the value of antiques and collectibles, but rarity can also be a major influencer of price. Such was the case when the top lot of Carey Auctions New Year’s Day event was a stoneware jar that had been broken and professionally repaired.
The miniature stoneware jar was attributed to G & A Black Potter, Somerfield/Confluence, Pa. Standing a mere 5 1/8 inches high by 4 ¾ inches wide, the jar featured a side profile of a man as decoration. Also included was the inscription “Here She Is” and the name “Annie.” This is one of the few miniatures from this pottery known to exist, which helped it sell for $6,000 despite the repair.
Another stoneware jar signed Boughner and decorated with a bold cobalt blue tulip decoration did well making $3,850. The 4-gallon jar was impressed with the “Boughner” name. A Hamilton/Greensboro Pa. stoneware decorated pitcher with cobalt stenciling and brush marks up both sides of the front made $1,000 despite a chip on its spout.
Brian Carey (of Carey Auctions) knows his way around an auction. He should. Carey began attending farm auctions with his grandfather at the tender age of 5. Those life experiences sparked an interest that could not be denied and by the time Carey was 16 years old, he was laying the groundwork for his passion. Auctioneer school was followed up by an apprenticeship, and when he passed the auctioneer license exam in Pennsylvania, there was no stopping him. Carey has worked as an auctioneer ever since. This year his firm’s annual New Year’s antique auction again featured all that is special about attending an auction.
Whether a purchase is made or not, Carey wants people to enjoy the experience.
This New Year’s event was a nice mix of what is popular with today’s collectors, and those who know this industry, know paint-decorated furniture is in demand. When said pieces hail from Somerset County, Pa., or are attributed to Soap Hollow; all the better.
Carey offered several examples from this genre with a paint-decorated Somerset County, Pa., blanket chest dated 1844 and wearing the “Lazy Tulip” decoration selling for $3,500. Having a red background with yellow and green tulips, as well as stars and dots, this chest wore bracket feet and was 42 inches long by 24 inches high and 18 inches deep.
Another decorated blanket chest was a Soap Hollow example, larger in size at 49 inches wide. It brought $2,100. Having two drawers and cut-out initials “MT”, the chest was dated 1848.
A pie safe made of cherry and attributed to Shenandoah Valley did well selling for $2,250. With finely punched tins and curly maple drawer front, the pie safe was a nice usable size being 50 ¾ inches high by 42 inches wide, and 20 inches deep.
A Luxury Coffee wooden box store display in original condition with its bold yellow background painted with black lettering was a nice usable 32 inches high and sold for $1,300. It also wore black stenciling which indicated it held “100 Lbs.” of coffee. And another food stuff sign; this being a “Be Healthy/Drink Milk” porcelain example measuring 20 inches by 9 inches realized $325.
Other advertising offered included items pertaining to the perennial popular genre of petroliana. A one-piece Pennzoil gas pump globe in its original cardboard box was bid to $2,500; while a wire frame Pennzoil oilcan rack featuring a tin advertising sign on top sold for $975.
Jewelry and decorative arts rounded out the remainder of this New Year’s Day auction with a Tiffany 18K gold pocket watch having a documented Patek Philippe movement selling for $2,000, while a George Washington reverse painted glass portrait at 11 ½ inches high by 9 ¼ inches wide went to $700.