DELAWARE, Ohio — Garth’s Auctions will kick off the New Year with an Early Americana Furniture and Decorative Arts auction the weekend of January 3rd & 4th. The Friday session comprises 410 lots from the collection of Ray and Mary Ann Meisberger, Stephentown, New York, while the Saturday session showcases another 470 lots from various consignors.
The Meisberger Collection reflects a wide range of Americana items from Shaker to spatterware, treenware to pottery, and painted furniture to gameboards, this sale is sure to quickly heat up competition in a room full of bidders on a cold winter’s day. Garth’s CEO Jeff Jeffers noted during pre-auction discussions with the Meisbergers that, “It was clear immediately that Ray really knew his collection and understood it with a sense of humility that was beyond admirable. His passion was noticeable throughout the conversation and it became quite clear that his and Mary Ann’s collection reflected their fine taste and studious nature. It has been our pleasure to get to know Ray and to represent the Meisberger collection. Our only regret is that we didn’t know have the opportunity to know Mary Ann.”
Ray and Mary Ann lived among their collection in their beloved home, the Holcomb House, located in Stephentown, NY. Although they purchased the house in 1985, it’s story began in the 1760s and eventually it was completed in 1790 by Berriah Holcomb, a Revolutionary War veteran originally from Lebanon, Connecticut. Due to the Meisberger’s proximity to Hancock and New Lebanon Shaker villages, Ray and Mary Ann’s interests leaned toward fine Shaker pieces. Ray also had a taste for treen, particularly burl and mortars and pestles. The core of their collection is focused on the 18th century and covers a wide array of Americana.
Highlights of the furniture being offered include a rare and important New York great armchair with some of its original leather upholstery, made around 1700. The chair is ex. Abraham and May (Massachusetts) and was purchased by the Meisbergers at a Hudson Valley farm sale in the 1940s. Of French design and in the Louis XIII taste, this chair was likely produced by an immigrant French Huguenot craftsman in New York’s Hudson River Valley (estimate $4,000-$8,000). An 18th century one-piece decorated cupboard, attributed to Deerfield, Massachusetts, with a nine-pane door over a double-paneled door and old blue and white paint carries an estimate of $3,000-$6,000. A very nice Massachusetts Queen Anne drop leaf table is estimated at $1,500-$2,500 and an early 19th century footstool from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania should sell for $1,200-$1,800.
Additional decorative arts from the Meisburger collection include a New England Shaker storage box with its original red wash (expected to sell for $400-$800). A burl bowl with good figure and interior patina has an estimate of $900-$1,200 and a chandelier found in Hudson, New York has an estimate of $800-$1,600. An important collection of sketches of Shaker objects by June Sprigg (Massachusetts, b. 1953) most importantly includes a copy of Henry Blinn’s plan of Canterbury Shaker Village in 1848 and the group is estimated at $1,000-$2,000.
Mr. Meisburger had an affinity for pottery as well. Several fine pieces will cross the block including several 18th century New York pieces by Commeraw and Crolius. Highlight will certainly include a stoneware jar, impressed with the mark for Thomas Commeraw, New York, ca.1800 and a great Bristol County, Massachusetts green-glazed ovoid redware jar, each with an estimate of $1,000-$2,000.
The sale will continue on Saturday, January 4th with more pottery. A five-gallon stoneware crock with a brushed cobalt standing lion and impressed with a mark for Hubble and Chesebro, Geddes, New York is expected to fetch between $15,000-$20,000. Toward the end of the Saturday session, a sewertile dog, probably Ohio, has an estimate of $750-$1,000.
If blue is your favored color for collecting, you will have several options from which to choose. A two-piece decorated corner cupboard, Ohio or Pennsylvania, 1820-1840, with old blue interior paint has an estimate of $2,500-$5,000. Another painted cant-front cupboard, also with original blue paint, has an estimate of $3,000-$6,000. A pair of American School portraits, early 19th century, is expected to sell for $2,500-$3,500.
A fine collection of spatterware will be sold throughout the session. A yellow border soup bowl with red thistle will be a nice addition to any collection (estimate: $2,500-$4.500). A five-color rainbow pitcher is in excellent condition (estimate: $4,500-$6,500). Of course, the selection of trade signs offered at Garth’s Auctions should never be missed and this sale is no exception. A folksy Live Bait trade sign, found in the Susquehanna River Valley along the New York-Pennsylvania border, is made of wood with applied sheet metal and states “WORMS.” With the nice weathered surface this sign is expected to sell for $200-$400. Another trade sign, a large pig head from the Kingan Packing Company, Indianapolis, Indiana (meat packers for the Union Army during the Civil War starting in 1863) is particularly nice and is estimated at $2,500-$3,500.
To see the fully illustrated catalogs for Garth’s January 3rd and 4th auctions, visit www.garths.com. Preview hours in the main gallery in Delaware, Ohio will be available December 27th thru January 3rd or by special appointment. For further information or to order a catalog, please contact email@example.com or call 740-362-4771.
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