These lots are the ones auctioneers don’t want you to know about: fantastic deals, amazing steals and antiques snagged for a song.
A lot of 13 antique and vintage ladies’ fans sold for $100 (that’s just $7.69 each!) at a Jan. 26, 2012 sale by Morton Kuehnert Auctioneers & Appraisers of Houston, Texas. The lot included two large feather fans, two large painted silk fans, six medium painted paper or silk fans, one small gold-on-black Oriental paper fan, and two pierced plastic ones. The value was probably kept low because both feather fans, one large painted fan and one small plastic fan, had some damage.
In Four Seasons Auction Gallery’s Jan. 1, 2012, sale, a drinks table flew under the radar, selling for just $250 against a $1,000 to $2,000 pre-auction estimate. The bronze table was designed by artist Auguste Nicholas Cain (1822-1894). The fanciful work is complete on a marble base with a glass top with figural snails for feet. The table’s tree-like base features a red wing blackbird nest, complete with three hungry newborn chicks, mouths agape, waiting for momma bird to return.
Skinner, Inc. is known for offering spectacular American folk art, but every once in a while sales uncover a lot or two just made for an evening of browsing and sorting.
Take this batch of assorted Christmas cards, postcards, Japanese woodblock prints, and even a framed moth. The lot included 26 late 19th/early 20th century Christmas-themed postcards, two advertising cards, and two cards with engraved pictures; a folio with nine Japanese woodblock prints with figures, scenes and animals; and a framed moth specimen. The entire shebang sold Jan. 18, 2012, for just $50 – the price of two pizzas or just $1.25 per item!
At a commanding 86 inches high, this mahogany two-piece breakfront bookcase with the original circa 1940 Baker Furniture label was a steal when it sold for just $350 at Rago Arts and Auction Center in Lambertville, N.J., April 9, 2011.
It’s believed this two-door closed cabinet/desk is probably a mid-century modern take on the American Postmaster’s desk, made by Wooton and Co., during the late 19th or early 20th century. When opened, the two doors display fitted bookshelves with a center fitted desk interior and an original blue painted metal ratchet lamp. Pulling the mechanical center console out of its compartment reveals a large rosewood writing surface above a drawer. Raised on two plinths, the desk (when open) measures 45 inches high by 28 inches deep by 64 inches wide. It sold for an affordable $375 against a $2,000 to $3,000 pre-auction estimate at a Jan. 1, 2012, auction held by Roland Auctioneers of New York.