For Confederate firearms enthusiasts the centerpieces of Brunk Auctions’ July 12-13 sale are a brass mounted percussion pistol (estimate $4,000/$8,000) and a rare Morse carbine (estimate $5,000/$10,000). Both weapons were manufactured in South Carolina and consigned by a Charleston woman whose collection formed a significant portion of the two-day, 1,100-lot sale.
Engraved on the pistol’s lockplate are two marks: “Palmetto Armory SC” encircling a palm tree and “Columbia S.C. 1862.” On the barrel are a “P” over “V” mark and “Wm Glaze and Co.” The Morse carbine, serial number “601,” was fabricated in Greenville, S.C., on machinery taken from the raid on Harper’s Ferry. Manufacturer George W. Morse invented the small, single shot carbine and produced approximately 1,000 before his factory was destroyed by Sherman in 1864. Morse was a cousin of Samuel F. B. Morse, the inventor of the telegraph.
Fourteen of the sale’s 17 bronze figures came from the Charleston consignor. Most of her collection was French and ranged from the serene to the savage. “Surprise” (estimate $5,000/$10,000), a 36-inch figure of a female nude with Paris foundry marks was signed “Bouret” (Eutrope Bouret, French, 1833-1906). An earlier bronze by Antoine-Louis Barye (French, 1795-1875) depicted a male lion with a front paw on a snake (estimate $2,000/$4,000). Between these extremes was “Kincsem with Charles Madden Up,” Isidore Bonheur’s depiction of a jockey on Kincsem (1874-1887). This champion Hungarian mare earned a record 54 straight wins, an accomplishment that stood unbroken for over 75 years. The Kincsem figure (10 3/4 inches by 12 inches by 3 3/8 inches) is signed in the base and expected to bring $4,000 to $8,000.
“Surprise,” a bronze figure by Eutrope Bouret, stands 36 inches high and is estimated at $5,000 to $10,000.
The Charleston consignor provided three of the sale’s most notable paintings. They were the work of Charleston artist William Aiken Walker (1838-1920). The pair expected to garner the most attention (estimate $10,000/$20,000) depict a male and female picking cotton and standing in a field. They measures 12 inches by 6 1/8 inches. Walker was also a portrait painter on a scale that dwarfs his more famous cotton field paintings. The oil on canvas portrait of “Miss Percy Ferguson, Greenville, Mississippi,” signed “WA Walker/1882” measures a heroic 50 inches by 30 1/4 inches." Young Percy was the daughter of an aide to the victor of the first Battle of Bull Run, General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard.
Of the five pages in the catalog assigned to 19 lots of Tiffany silver, an entire page is devoted to a Chrysanthemum sterling silver tea service. Five of the six matching pieces – the kettle, teapot, creamer, covered sugar and waste – carry marks for 1869-1891. The matching coffeepot is later, 1891-1902. The entire monogrammed set is estimated at $15,000 to $25,000.
Taking up almost an entire page was the description of a 5.5 carat diamond solitaire ring and the woman who owned it. The 14 karat white gold mounted ring was from the estate of the late Pauline E. Poffenberger, Asheville, North Carolina. It was appraised at $168,665. Poffenberger, who went by the monogram PEP, devoted her time to dinner parties with friends, the community of Biltmore Forest and numerous charitable causes. Her ring is expected to bring $30,000 to $60,000 after a $25,000 reserve.
To view all the items in the July 12-13 sale, visit www.brunkauctions.com. For information on Brunk Auctions call 828-254-6846.