Skinner monthly Discovery auctions are approachable and keenly followed by seasoned and novice buyers alike for their affordability and diverse, eclectic offerings. A recent Country Americana auction featured a broad and eclectic selection of 18th, 19th, and 20th-century furniture, folk art, ceramics, metalwork, fine art, and textiles. Department specialist Kyle Johnson weighs-in on some of the areas where he saw strong auction results.
Six Graduated Painted Firkins, 19th century (Lot 18, Sold for: $1,599)
Six Graduated Painted Firkins, 19th century
This group of six graduated buckets hammered for $1,300, outperforming the expected $600-800 estimate. Despite exhibiting a few minor condition issues as a result of age, general wear and use, the pleasing and original painted surfaces on each of these buckets were enough to nearly double the estimate. These would look great in a country setting, either stacked or filled with fresh wildflowers.
Small Group of Wooden Domestic Items (Lot 25, Sold for: $1,230
Small Group of Wooden Domestic Items
This group of wooden domestic items, hammered for $1,000, well past its $400-600 estimate. There were a few pieces of particular interest in this lot, including a large blue-painted turned bowl, a miniature firkin, and a butter stamp with an ornately carved eagle, bearing the initials “M.R.” Buyers are looking for strong examples of a form and found that in this grouping.
Two Cobalt-decorated Stoneware Crocks, “John Burger/Rochester” and “J. & E. Norton/Bennington, V.T. (Lot 338, Sold for: $1,107
Two Cobalt-decorated Stoneware Crocks, “John Burger/Rochester” and “J. & E. Norton/Bennington, V.T.
Cobalt-decorated stoneware is plentiful at auction. These two cobalt-decorated stoneware crocks, hammered for $900 against a $200-300 estimate. While Norton crocks from Massachusetts and Vermont are plentiful in these parts, we don’t see much representation from upstate New York. The second crock in the group, the John Burger of Rochester, with a simple and well-centered flower and number “2” has contributed to an upward trend in the stoneware market from this region.
Two Julius and Edward Norton “Bennington Stone-Ware Pottery” Broadsides, mid-19th century (Lot 90, Sold for: $431)
Two Julius and Edward Norton “Bennington Stone-Ware Pottery”
Broadsides, mid-19th century
Piggybacking on the success seen in stoneware, two broadsides for J. & E. Norton’s “Bennington Stone-Ware Company,” sold for $350. Rarely do we see 19th century ephemera relating to the material we sell. Showing vignettes of the pottery, these price sheets caught the attention of both ephemera and stoneware collectors, as well as historians.
Leeds Creamware Ceramic Teapot, England, 18th century (Lot 202, Sold for: $738)
Leeds Creamware Ceramic Teapot, England, 18th century
A Leeds creamware teapot with pierced gallery and green striping, hammered at $600, past its $300-400 estimate, despite having a restored lid. One might attribute its success to its 18th century origins, but I think the simplicity and clean design were the main contributors.
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