|By Pete Prunkl
EVANSVILLE, Ind. —Before raising their virtual bidding paddles during a 21-day internet-only auction, many in and around Evansville wanted to lay eyes on what they prized. To meet the need, William Wilson Auctions scheduled previews at the historic Roach-Gross-Decker House before and during the bidding period of Sept. 5-26. Out of towners ogled the 399 lots via their home computers.
“An internet auction made the most sense,” said Andrew Wilson, president and principal auctioneer before the sale. “The strongest market for much of the merchandise was in the surrounding neighborhood, but the area is not conducive for an on-site sale. Keeping the merchandise at the house instead of our gallery was our best option. For some items, the internet opened the sale to a broader market.”
The 1873 house on a corner lot in what is today Evansville’s Riverside Historic District sold separately from its contents. Bidding by sealed bid closed two days before the end of the internet sale. A local buyer submitted the highest bid and bought the house for $300,000.
A week before the online sale ended, The Intruder by Herbert William Weekes (British, 1841-1914) led the home décor antiques at $550. A dog peering into a feeding tray populated by three nervous chicks, was the intruder in Weekes’s 16 by 24 inch oil on canvas. After a few internet crashes during the sale’s final hours, The Intruder sold at auction’s end for $6,720. All selling prices include a five percent buyer’s premium.
However, The Intruder was far from the sale’s top lot. That honor belonged to two diamond rings that were housed at a bank. A week before the sale’s end both were sitting on a $3,050 bid. At the sale’s conclusion, the 18-karat gold platinum and diamond ring took an unbeatable lead. It was the sale’s top lot at $37,065. A 14-karat gold ring with a 2.04 carat diamond came in second at $15,330.
Box lots were numerous and enormous. For example, lot 48 consisted of 17 boxes of merchandise including Royal Doulton face mugs, Jewel Tea bowls, copper teakettles, milk glass vases, a Daisy BB pistol in its original box, a slingshot, a green glass oil lamp, assorted travel books, advertising pieces and a brass eagle door knocker. All 17 boxes sold for $157.50.
In his article previewing the sale, AntiqueWeek reporter Eric Rodenberg (AntiqueWeek, Sept. 16) mentioned an advertising clock for Ever-Ready Safety Razor. That sold for $430.50. Rodenberg also described a lacy 68-inch green slag and bronze floor lamp with a matching 24-inch shade by Riviere Studio. That stunning lamp brought $4,935.
For more information on William Wilson Auction, visit the website www.wilsonauctions.com or call (812) 682-4000.