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Recalling Rural Life in This Americana Sale

Handcrafted tramp art boxes, figural weather vanes, and colorful game boards are just a few of the historical treasures offered in this week’s Jasper52 Americana sale. These artisan objects vary in function from decorative, utilitarian and even entertainment, though all are threads of 19th-20th century rural life that will create a unique sense of welcome in any home.

This winning polychrome game board dates to the 1880s and features superbly detailed gilded birds and leaves in an Eastlake design motif. It bears a double set of elaborately flourished initials, one set surrounded a lady’s boot cornucopia of blooms, suggesting that one of the game participants was a woman.

Polychrome game board, wood, 1880s, 32 inches x 21.5 inches wide, double-sided. Estimate: $1,200-$2,000

Polychrome game board, wood, 1880s, 32 inches x 21.5 inches wide, double-sided. Estimate: $1,200-$2,000

 

The 120-lot auction features no less than seven weather vanes, including this late 19th-century handmade weather vane of sheet iron depicts Halley’s Comet.

Handmade sheet-iron weathervane depicting Halley’s Comet, circa 1870, 42 inches x 12 inches. Estimate: $1,500-$2,000

Handmade sheet-iron weathervane depicting Halley’s Comet, circa 1870, 42 inches x 12 inches. Estimate: $1,500-$2,000

 

Animals were favorite subjects of factory-made weather vanes. A copper horse vane by W.A. Snow Iron Works in Boston has zinc ears for ballast and bears a desirable natural verdigris. This relic from the turn of the 20th century is equipped with a museum mount.

Ethan Allen Jr. horse weather vane, W.A. Snow iron works, Boston, 26.5 inches wide x 15.75 inches high, 1885-1910, Estimate: $2,400-$3,200

Ethan Allen Jr. horse weather vane, W.A. Snow iron works, Boston, 26.5 inches wide x 15.75 inches high, 1885-1910, Estimate: $2,400-$3,200

 

From a New England collection comes a diminutive late 19th century eagle full-body weather vane on a custom-made iron stand.

Diminutive eagle full-body weather vane on stand, 1880-1890, 22 inches high x 19 inches wide x 15 inches deep. Estimate: $1,675-$3,850

Diminutive eagle full-body weather vane on stand, 1880-1890, 22 inches high x 19 inches wide x 15 inches deep. Estimate: $1,675-$3,850

 

Also in cast iron is a doorstop in the form of a swan. This double-sided example is featured in the The Doorstop Book by John and Nancy Smith, page 91.

Cast-iron swan doorstop, double sided, made by Spencer, Guilford, Conn., 7 7/8 inches x 13.5 inches. Estimate: $2,700-$3,100

Cast-iron swan doorstop, double sided, made by Spencer, Guilford, Conn., 7 7/8 inches x 13.5 inches. Estimate: $2,700-$3,100

 

All of these spectacular items and more are featured in this week’s Americana and Tramp Art auction. Click here to view the full catalog.

Unique Americana Pieces To Transport You Back In Time

“Made in the USA” was once a familiar phrase, most often referring to factory-made goods produced by American labor. In an age in which so many products are imported, antique Americana – whether handmade or manufactured – is noteworthy and no longer taken for granted. There is no doubt that you will be obsessing over the more than 72 vintage items have been curated in this week’s Americana auction.

Few forms exemplify Americana more than a figural weather vane. While weather vanes were often produced in factories in the 19th century, many others were the work of local metalsmiths. All are now considered folk art. Several examples have been curated in this sale, including one that depicts a locomotive and caboose marked “St. J & LC” (St. Johnsbury and Lamoille County Railroad), which operated in Vermont and Maine. This unusual weather vane was handmade circa 1920.

Handmade locomotive and caboose weather vane, circa 1920, 14 inches high by 24 inches long. Estimate: $1,000-$1,500

Handmade locomotive and caboose weather vane, circa 1920, 14 inches high by 24 inches long. Estimate: $1,000-$1,500

No toy of the 19th century represents the American spirit better than the cast-iron mechanical bank, which demonstrates ingenuity and Yankee thrift. A J. & E. Stevens William Tell bank, which depicts the famous marksman, is featured here.

Rifleman, or William Tell, cast-iron mechanical bank, patented in 1896, 6 3/4 inches high x 10 1/2 inches wide x 4 inches deep. Estimate: $450-$600

Rifleman, or William Tell, cast-iron mechanical bank, patented in 1896, 6 3/4 inches high x 10 1/2 inches wide x 4 inches deep. Estimate: $450-$600

Decorated stoneware has not lost its luster among collectors, especially when the hand-decorated design is unusual and nicely executed. A 2-gallon ovoid crock decorated with a large and bold floral design is a fine example. It is marked “William H.E. Warner/West Troy, N.Y.”

Two-gallon decorated stoneware crock, William H.E. Warner, West Troy, N.Y., mid-19th century. Estimate: $300-$400

Two-gallon decorated stoneware crock, William H.E. Warner, West Troy, N.Y., mid-19th century. Estimate: $300-$400

Collectors of firefighting memorabilia will be interested in an early 20th century fireman’s retirement plaque. The large plywood shield was presented to O.E. Berkan, who served on the Newman (Calif.) Fire Department from 1909 to 1939.

Twentieth century fireman's commemorative retirement plaque, circa 1940, shaped plywood, 23 x 23 inches. Estimate: $800-$1,500

Twentieth century fireman’s commemorative retirement plaque, circa 1940,
shaped plywood, 23 x 23 inches. Estimate: $800-$1,500

Another unique item curated in the sale is an oil on board painting titled “Fish Houses” by Long Island, artist Whitney Hubbard.

Whitney Hubbard, “Fish Houses,” oil on board, carved gilt frame, 14 1/4 x 16 inches framed, 8 inches x 10 inches board. Estimate: $500-$800

Whitney Hubbard, “Fish Houses,” oil on board, carved gilt frame, 14 1/4 x 16 inches framed, 8 inches x 10 inches board. Estimate: $500-$800

Additional handcrafted items in the auction include tramp art boxes, patchwork quilts, hooked rugs, trade signs and whirligigs. Click here to view the full Americana sale and be prepared to be taken on a trip back in time.