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An Americana Auction Filled With Color

Handcrafted tramp art, cast metal figures, and original artwork are highlights of this week’s curated Americana auction.

An early 19th-century school girl painting of a young couple in a bucolic setting. It was once a pastime for well-to-do young courting couples to venture into the countryside under the pretext of tending sheep, which this scene depicts.

Folk art courting scene New England, early 19th century, school girl watercolor, 17 ½ x 20 in. sight. Estimate: $1,400-$18,00. Jasper52 image

 

Figural cast-iron doorstops were popular during the Depression era in American and elsewhere. This collection features an American-made full-bodied pheasant doorstop. The beautifully painted game bird is more than a foot long.

Full-bodied pheasant doorstop in beautiful paint, 1920s-1930s, 9 1/8 in. x 12 ¾ in. Estimate: $1,600-$2,500. Jasper52 image

 

A decorative element from a vintage carousel will turn a lot of heads. The cast aluminum figure of a robed woman is signed “CW Parker, Leavenworth, Kan.,” who manufactured amusement park and fair carousels during the early 20th century.

Early 20th-century cast aluminum carousel figure, original paint, signed ‘CW Parker, Leavenworth, Kan.,’ 29 in. x 17 in. Estimate: $2,000-$3,000. Jasper52 image

 

An unusual hand-wrought copper weather in the sale vane depicts a Viking ship with the bow in the shape of a dragon’s head. Including the directional arrow, the weather vane is nearly 20 inches long.

Handmade weather vane depicting a serpent ship, circa 1920, sheet copper. 13 5/8 in. high x 19 7/8 in wide x 1 ½ in. deep, natural verdigris surface. Estimate: $1,200-$1,500. Jasper 52 image

 

The outstanding example of tramp art in the sale is the large mirror frame highlighted by many finely carved figural decorations. This extraordinary frame is dated 1912.

Tramp art mirror dated 1912 embellished with stars, shields, animals, wreaths, vines, weapons and human forms, 30 in. x 34 in wide. Estimate: $1,900-$3,000. Jasper52 image

 

Noting last month’s solar eclipse that crossed the continental US, the sale features a crescent-shaped cast-iron windmill weight embossed with the word “Eclipse.” Vintage farm-style windmills that pumped water came in two basic varieties. Vaned windmills used a tail, or vane, to guide the wheel into the wind. Vaneless mills depended on a counterbalance weight, perched at the end of a wood beam, to perform that function.

Nineteenth century cast-iron windmill weight. 6 in. high x 10in. long x 2 ¼ in. thick. Estimate: $400-$600.Jasper52 image

 

These artisan objects vary from outsider art, paintings, ceramics and more formal Americana. This collection of 19th-20th century rural life will create a unique sense of welcome in any home.

An Ark Full of Americana Gems

Americana and folk art go hand-in-hand in this week’s curated Americana auction, much like the pairs of animals in a circa-1850 Noah’s Ark play set.

The finely made set, one of the few toys many children knew in the 19th century, consists of the 15 1/2-inch-long ark, seven members of Noah’s family, eight pairs of animals, 17 single animals, 18 pairs of birds and 10 single birds; a total of 86 figures. The figures are top-quality and retain their original colors. Other than having some small repairs, the set is in excellent condition. It is expected to sell for $2,200-$2,500.

Noah’s Ark set, circa 1850, total of 86 figures. The ark on its stand is 15 1/5 in. long x 10 in high. long. Estimate: $2,200-$2,500. Jasper52 image

 

Several gaming wheels are included in this sale. A rather curious example is a spinner arrow on a board with the names of automobile models. It appears to date to the 1940s. This whimsical game has a $500-$600 estimate.

Game board with car names – some abbreviated, from the 1940s – Nash, Cad’c, Bui’k, Pack, Chevy, 23 in. x 23 in. x 2.5 in . Estimate: $500-$600. Jasper52 image

 

Also having an automotive theme is a wooden whirligig that depicts an early motorist cranking to start his tin lizzie. The whirligig, in old weathered paint, has an estimate of $200-$300.

Whirligig, circa 1920, 18 1/4 in. high (on museum stand) x 20 in. wide x 15 in. deep. Estimate: $200-$300. Jasper52 image

 

A half dozen handmade generic signs are offered, with messages ranging from “fresh eggs” to possibly noting the location of a men’s room.

‘Gents’ sign, incised letters on thick board with good surface & original carefully worked hangers, Boston, 7 in high x 31 in. h x 31 w x 1 3/4 d c 1940s. Estimate: $300-$400. Jasper52 image

 

Several fine examples of chip-carved tramp art are in the catalog, topped by a large frame with mirror, which is adorned with carved stars and maple leaves. It dates to the turn of the last century and is valued at $700-$900.

Tramp art mirror with carved stars and leaves, circa 1900, 25 in. x 28.5 in. x 3 in. Estimate: $700-$900. Jasper52 image

 

For the fireplace, two cast brass andirons, each in the form of a lighthouse, have a mellow-colored oxidized patina.

Vintage cast brass lighthouse andirons, 13 1/2 in. high x 12 in. deep. Estimate: $600-$700. Jasper52 image

 

Check out the full catalog of Americana items and find your next treasure. 

Handcrafted Americana Brings The Charm

Charming handmade items are featured in this week’s expertly curated Americana auction. From tramp art boxes to collectible bird decoys, wooden frames to vintage gameboards, there are treasures galore found in this collection filled with unique origins and histories.

Following the motto “Waste Not, Want Not,” home crafters once made hooked rugs from rags and fabric remnants, useful items which have since become valued as folk art. A fine example that depicts a trotting horse will pace this auction. In excellent condition, the rug has been professionally cleaned and mounted for hanging.

Hooked rug, 1920s, professionally cleaned and mounted for hanging, 22 x 40 in. Estimate: $800-$900. Jasper52 image

 

Another hooked rug in the auction has a nautical theme and pictures a tall ship under a full sail. Also cleaned and mounted for hanging, it has a $400-$500 estimate.

Immigrants to America practiced their carving skills on cigar boxes and other discarded wood in what is commonly called Tramp Art. A fine example is a rather large and elaborately chipped-carved clock case, which is dated 1919 in large numerals across the crest. The inner compartment is accessed through a door on the front.

Tramp art clock case, chip carved, embellished with hearts, a horseshoe and inset rounds, dated 1919, 15 x 17.5 x 6.5 in. Estimate: $300-$400. Jasper52 image

 

Another 20th-century carving features an American eagle, its wings spread, and grasping an arrow. The carved pine plaque is ready to be hung above a mantel.

American eagle carving, 20th century, pine, approximately 23 x 8 in. Estimate: $150-200. Jasper52 image

 

While not necessarily carved by Americans, stone fruit is an attractive handmade collectible. Lifelike and nearly life-size pieces of fruit were carved from stone and carefully painted, mostly by Italian artisans. Nine pieces of 1930s stone fruit in the auction are certain to be hotly contested.

Collection of vintage stone fruit, carved stone, 1930s. Estimate: $200-$300. Jasper52 image

 

As hard as stone is a sewer tile that is nearly a foot tall. Novelties and ornamental items like it were sometimes made in potteries where the primary products were sewer tile and pipe.

Sewer tile dog, Ohio origin, 1920s, 11 1/2 x 7 x 5 in. Estimate: $700-$800. Jasper52 image

 

Collectible advertising in the auction includes a wooden three-dimensional sign listing a variety of Heinz Soups, which was originally a fixture in a 1950s luncheonette.

Heinz Soups café sign, wood, 1950s, 27 x 13 in. Estimate: $300-$400. Jasper52 image

 

View the full collection of Americana and take a trip down memory lane here.

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.

Why This Americana Auction Charms Bidders

“They don’t make them like that any more.” The remark commenting favorably on handcrafted made-in-America over the past two centuries certainly applies to more than 50 items in this weekend’s Americana auction. Below you’ll find a few standouts from the eclectic collection.
Highlights range from a hand-painted tin sign pointing the way to an office

Tin trade sign, circa 1880, New England. Estimate: $700-$800

Tin trade sign, circa 1880, New England. Estimate: $700-$800

…to a hand-carved pine watch hutch large enough to hold a Big Ben alarm clock.

Carved pine watch hutch, 1880-1900. Estimate: $825-$1,100

Carved pine watch hutch, 1880-1900. Estimate: $825-$1,100

Textiles include an unusual kaleidoscope circular rug and a patchwork quilt depicting row after row of American flags.

Handmade kaleidoscope rug. Estimate: $150-$250

Handmade kaleidoscope rug. Estimate: $150-$250

Twentieth-century quilt with graphic rows of American flags. Estimate: $200-$300

Twentieth-century quilt with graphic rows of American flags. Estimate: $200-$300

Collectors of mechanical cast-iron toys will be entertained by the Punch and Judy bank in the auction.

Punch and Judy mechanical bank, cast iron, late 19th century. Estimate; $500-$700

Punch and Judy mechanical bank, cast iron, late 19th century. Estimate; $500-$700

From a music box playing Christmas carols, to a woodpecker whirligig, these collectibles describe everyday American experiences. They bring a sense of welcome to any home and weave together the threads of rural life.