Vintage political books settle at $23K in Pasadena auction

PASADENA, Calif. — In an excellent result for a West Coast auction house, John Moran Auctioneers sold a tall case clock signed by the Lancaster County, Penn., maker Martin Shreiner Senior (1769-1866) for $14,950 despite some damages and replacements to the piece. The clock was one of 162 lots of select estate items offered at Moran’s March 16 antiques and decorative arts auction.

Moran’s far-reaching visibility was also nicely demonstrated by the sale of a lot of 12 vintage books pertaining to politics, several of which were signed or dedicated by Theodore Roosevelt, with others signed by Wilson and Harding. Attracting a slew of phone and internet bidders from across the country, the books quickly surpassed their estimate of $500 to $1,000, finally selling for $23,000.

Russian fine and decorative arts have yielded increasingly strong results at Moran’s for several years, and the March16 sale continued this trend. A watercolor portrait of a girl in traditional Russian costume by Konstantin Egorvich Makovsky (1839-1915) sold for $12,650 (estimate: $2,000-$3,000) to a European phone bidder. A 19th century Russian icon depicting St. George sold for $1,380 (estimate: $400-$600) and a pair of Russian silver candlesticks, made in 1879 in Minsk, realized $1,265 (estimate: $500-$800).

Sales of silver also remain very healthy. A Queen Anne Brittania standard chocolate pot by London maker John Jackson, dated 1704, far exceeded the pre-sale estimate of $4,000-$6,000, selling for $8,625. A six-piece Mexican silver coffee service, marked “CLS” realized $3,162 (estimate: $600-$900) and a small, delicate pair of Clemens Friedell hammered sterling candelabra brought $4,025 (estimate: $1,500-$2,500).

While their national and international market expands, Moran’s maintains its position as a leader in the regional market as the company enters its 41st year in business in Southern California. The large selection of American Indian artifacts sold very well, highlighted by a Navajo Yei dancers rug that sold for triple its high estimate, realizing $3,737 (estimate: $800-$1,200). Doubling its estimate of $1,000-$2,000 was an Acoma olla-form pottery jar that also realized $3,737.

Other decorative arts highlights were an Indian-theme bronze piece by Franz Bergmann that doubled the high estimate of $1,000, selling to a European buyer for $2,070 and a reddish “Japonaise” copper and silver bowl with dragon-form handles made by Gorham, circa 1880, that brought $2,587 (estimate: $400-$600).

John Moran Auctioneers’ next antiques and decorative arts auction is scheduled for April 27, 2010. Highlighting the sale will be a large selection of estate jewelry, in addition to silver, porcelain, furniture and European fine art.

For more information on Moran’s auctions visit, or contact Moran’s at or 626-793-1833.

Fully illustrated catalogs for each sale are posted at two weeks prior to each sale date. All auctions are conducted at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, Calif., and online at

Photos courtesy John Moran Auctioneers.

antique trader 2010 price guide


*Great Books, CDs, Price Guides & More
*Share YOUR Thoughts in the Antique Trader Forums
*Check out our FREE Online Classified Ads
*Sign up for your FREE e-mail newsletter
*Visit the Antique Trader blog for the latest news and views from the Antique Trader editors
*Enter the Antique Trader Treasure Hunt Sweepstakes