A rare six-arm brass angle lamp chandelier that measured 42 inches high by 42 inches in diameter commanded $5,445.

Unique collectibles fare well with Fontaine’s bidders

“Unique collectibles fare well with Fontaine’s bidders” By Carole Deutsch – AntiqueWeek.com

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — One of the most intriguing aspects of the auction business is that it is never dull, and no matter how knowledgeable one is in the field, the only reasonable approach is to expect the unexpected. John Fontaine, a 35-year veteran in the industry, found himself in that “unexpected” position when he agreed to consign the contents of a Hockessin, Del., estate that sold on Jan. 31.

A rare six-arm brass angle lamp chandelier that measured 42 inches high by 42 inches in diameter commanded $5,445.

“We had previously been in the house to sell a collection of antique clocks. The owner had amassed a multitude of collections over the years, and they were well displayed in an orderly fashion,” he said. “When we began the inventory, all was as anticipated until we entered the

basement, the attic, the space above the garage, and virtually every place one could think of to store a box. There were boxes and boxes and boxes and we pulled out thousands of items, some of which I had never seen in my many years in the antiques business.”

Fontaine went on to say that the collector had a good eye and was well known throughout the community.

“They came in droves to bid,” he reported. “We barely had enough parking spaces to support the crowd.”

Above: A vintage sharpener, patented by the Mills Pencil Sharpener Co., was estimated at $100 to $200 and sold for an astonishing $4,114.

Above: A vintage sharpener, patented by the Mills Pencil Sharpener Co., was estimated at $100 to $200 and sold for an astonishing $4,114.

An item opened at $100 and soared to $1,000 before you knew it. The incomprehensible depth and unique character of many of the collections was a major draw.

“For example, there was an entire collection of glass target balls. They were made to be blown up; that was their purpose, so how many of them actually still exist? In addition, there was even the actual catapult designed to launch them.”

Beyond all that might be expected of a serious collector, such as period furniture, paintings, silver, pottery and porcelain, were in-depth collections of mousetraps, typewriters, fire bombs, lodge badges, radios, fire extinguishers, parade belts, ink bottles, camp stoves, apple corers, butter churns, coffee grinders, banks, canteens, tip trays, swords, postcards, arrowheads, powder flasks, pens, angle lamps, skater lamps, black memorabilia, pencil sharpeners, tobacco cutters, miniature planes, spool cabinets, spongeware, steins, pie crimpers, tobacco tins, peanut butter tins, shaving mugs, advertising mirrors, pins, letter openers, shoehorns, stoneware, duck decoys, firearms, coins, Civil War memorabilia, and scores of related accessories, many of which had been packed for decades.

The collections were sold in bulk lots, as well as individually for items of particular interest, and featured 500 lots in total. A group of 14 early pencil sharpeners that opened at $150 brought the surprising sum of $2,057, and a single vintage sharpener that was patented by the Mills Pencil Sharpener Co. sold for an astonishing $4,114. The unusual piece, which was estimated at $100 to $200, had a flat barrel shape approximately 10 inches tall, was painted in black with floral and filigree stenciling, and was operated by means of a frontal hand crank. When asked for his reaction to selling a pencil sharpener for more than $4,000, John Fontaine joked that he did not know since he passed out at $2,900.

Above: Thirteen patented glass target balls, a unique rarity because they were made to be destroyed, sold for $3,630, against an estimate of $250 to $400.

Above: Thirteen patented glass target balls, a unique rarity because they were made to be destroyed, sold for $3,630, against an estimate of $250 to $400.

The 13 glass target balls that he earlier mentioned as a unique rarity sold for $3,630, against an estimate of $250 to $400. The patented balls were made in a geometric diapering pattern with a rough finished mold edge and colored in a variety of shades of amber, smoke, cobalt and green. The compatible early target ball throwing trap had a rough wooden base and a metal beam and bucket catapult with a tension launcher, and it brought $1,210.

Other head-turning prices included an unsigned mallard hen decoy with a collector’s notation that indicated it had a solid construction with the head set into the body, brass eyes, and original paint. The hen carried a high estimate of $250 but flew past that figure to land an impressive $2,783.

Left: A Pairpoint table lamp with a 10-inch-diagonal domed puffy shade that was decorated with a bouquet of yellow roses on a green background and mounted on a Pairpoint rose clustered base sold for $5,748

Left: A Pairpoint table lamp with a 10-inch-diagonal domed puffy shade that was decorated with a bouquet of yellow roses on a green background and mounted on a Pairpoint rose clustered base sold for $5,748

Lighting fixtures performed well, and topping this segment of the sale was a Pairpoint table lamp with a 10-inch-diagonal domed puffy shade that was decorated with a bouquet of yellow roses on a green background. It was mounted on a Pairpoint base embossed with clusters of roses and filigree and had the original two socket light cluster with acorn pulls. The lamp was stamped “Pat. Applied For” and sold for $5,748.

A rare six-arm brass angle lamp chandelier, 42 inches high by 42 inches in diameter, had etched glass globes and opalescent swirl shades, was in very good condition, and commanded $5,445. Nine miniature lanterns with colored shades opened at $100 and finished at $3,509.

A fine selection of firearms was highlighted by a 41-inch-long barrel carbine percussion rifle, signed “CS Richmond, VA” on the front of the lock plate and “1862” on the rear. It had a brass nose cap and butt-plate, a cock and half cock system, and a working trigger, and realized $4,235, against a high estimate of $800.

The price of $3,328 was paid for an 1857 Marston 3-barrel Derringer with three superimposed barrels stacked in a vertical line measuring 3 inches long. The .22-calibre rimfire single action 6-inch handgun had a silver plated brass frame with walnut grips and was signed “Wm. W. Marston – New York City – Patented May 26, 1857.” Firearms accessories included a B. Kittredge & Co. Civil War copper cartridge box that brought $1,645.

Prices include a 21 percent buyer’s premium.

“Unique collectibles fare well with Fontaine’s bidders” By Carole Deutsch – AntiqueWeek.com

No Comments

Post a Comment