Paintings by Edouard Cortes top Cordier spring sale May 21-22

CAMP HILL, Pa. – Two paintings by Edouard Cortes (French, 1882-1969) were the top lots in Cordier Antiques & Auctions’ Spring Auction May 21-22 in Camp Hill, Pa. Entitled “The Sunny Bank” and “Byway In Normandy,” the paintings realized $27,000 and $26,000 respectively. The 750-plus lot sale was held over two days in Camp Hill, across the Susquehanna River from Harrisburg.

The multi-consignor sale featured items from over 100 consignors including estates and collectors. Over 300 people were in attendance during the two days in addition to phone and absentee bidders. More than 500 bidders were pre-registered to bid via the Internet through, which also provided an online catalog of the auction. Prices quoted do not include the 10 percent to 15 percent buyer’s premium.

white rapid ice cream dipper
White Rapid ice cream dipper; patented in 1929. When the thumb piece is depressed to move the scraper, a pointed mechanism is ejected from the top. Price realized: $4,750.
Coin op penny arcade peep show: Cheyenne Charlie and the Road Agent. Price realized: $1,300.

Thursday’s sale featured the 50-year ice cream and soda fountain collection of Charles D. Morris of Mechanicsburg, Pa. Over 250 lots were offered including ice cream dippers, trays, signs, freezers, milk shake mixers and more with results covering the full range of price points. The ice cream dippers in the collection, which numbered over 500, included several rare examples such as the Manos Novelty Co. dipper. With its unusual heart shaped bowl, the Manos dipper is considered to be one of the rarest and most desirable of all dippers. It was used to fill special heart shaped dishes, two of which were offered in the sale. A lucky bidder in the room became the new owner of the dipper at $4,500 as well as one of the dishes at $425. A separate floor bidder purchased the second dish at $375. The top lot of the ice cream collection was another rare dipper: the White Rapid invented by George C. White, patented in 1929. When the thumb piece is depressed to move the scraper, a pointed mechanism is ejected from the top. Bidding was very competitive with an out of state collector winning at $4,750. A Eureka conical shaped dipper also did well, hammering down at $1,200 to a phone bidder who bid strongly throughout the sale.

Friday’s session began with numismatics. Gold continued to see strong results including a 1908 Saint-Gaudens $20 in AU condition realizing $1,100 on an estimate of $600 to $800 and a Degussa .9999 fine gold 20 gram ingot selling within estimate at $600. Several Carson City silver dollars were offered including a rarer 1892 date that sold for $375.

Books and documents followed and offered several autographs including a Winston Churchill signed photograph. The photograph, passed down to the consignor from his grandfather, Republican Representative John Crain Kunkel, was also signed by the photographer Harris & Ewing. Estimated at $1,000 to $2,000, the photograph sold to the floor for $1,600. A collection of 26 Civil War letters written by William A. Moudy of Cumberland County, Pa., saw spirited bidding with a collector in the room coming away with the grouping for $1,900.

Also included was an unusual 1918 copy of the Proceedings of the American Society for Psychical Research exploring the Smead Case by James H. Hyslop. The Smead case concerned Dr. Hyslop’s work with a Mrs. Smead who received communications from Martians. This Editor’s Copy, estimated at $400 to $600, included original tipped in drawings by Mrs. Smead showing Martian embroidery, a Martian boat and curtains used in a Martian house. Despite its unusual subject matter, the book saw disappointing results selling to the Internet for $200.

An interesting collection of World War II German medals highlighted weapons and military. Obtained by the consignor in Oberursel, Germany, in the summer of 1945, the set of 15 medals was assembled and sold by a local townsman. The set remained attached to the original card in the original shipping box. Conservatively estimated at $400 to $800, the set sold to the Internet for $1,000. Three Japanese swords were offered including a katana samurai sword attributed to Senjuin Shigehiro. Estimated at $2,000 to $4,000, the sword was housed in a wood storage case signed by a previous owner. It sold just over estimate at $5,000 to a collector in the room.

Prices in the collectibles category overall were somewhat subdued. An expected highlight was a rare 45 record of Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers. Recognized as the very first US record to include the Beatles, the record featured the songs My Bonnie and The Saints. It sold just under low estimate at $4,000. Among several coin-operated pieces was a penny arcade peep show of Wally Wales (Pathe Star) in “Cheyenne Charlie and the Road Agent” from the original penny arcade at Hersheypark in Hershey, Pa. Estimated at $1,250 to $1,750, the piece was in working condition and sold to a phone bidder for $1,300.

Toys offered several fine lots including a circa 1910 Lionel 202 Electric Rapid Transit summer trolley. Estimated at $1,000 to $2,000, the piece retained a rubber stamp under the base for the previous owner James McFarland, a charter member of the Train Collectors Association. It sold to an Internet for $2,350. A small and unusual clockwork Ferris wheel toy found in Carlisle, Pa., realized $500 as did a Dayton pressed steel friction Roadster.

A large folk art carved and painted swan was a highlight of decorative arts. Featuring an old original surface, the swan sold to the room for $550 on an estimate of $150 to $300. Among several pieces in the auction from the estate of Baron Cassel van Doorn, the celebrated Belgian collector, were two brass alms dishes. Featuring central fluted roundels surrounded by a row of Gothic inscriptions, the dishes sold for $275 and $325. Four lots of early 20th century local folk art by Levier Van Nasdale were offered including log cabins, photographs, and a cement casting of an Indian. Mr. Van Nasdale was a resident of Lemoyne, Pa., and worked with photography, painting and carving, incorporating the local Susquehanna Valley area. The lots sold between $60 and $180 each.

A fine pair of John Bennett pottery vases headlined ceramics. Estimated at $6,000 to $8,000, the signed and dated vases featured yellow flowers and red berries on a green ground and were in excellent condition. After spirited bidding, a collector on the phone came away the winner at $9,000. The Internet was the successful bidder on two Leeds pearlware serving bowls with floral decoration at $550 (estimate $300 to $500). Among art pottery, a Weller Coppertone bowl with frog sold above estimate at $425 while a Roseville Futura rocket ship vase sold within estimate, also at $425.

Asian and ethnographic arts offered several lots of interest with varied results. A Chinese Ming Dynasty bronze wine vessel or lei with silver inlay estimated at $1,500 to $3,000 saw disappointing results, selling for $425 to the room. Other Ming Dynasty bronze pieces were offered in addition to Song, Qing, Tang and Han Dynasty ceramics. A Han Dynasty pottery dragon boat with pagoda realized $750 to a phone bidder. The bidder also won a Song Dynasty qingbai cosmetic box for $425.

Among ethnographic arts was a Hopi pottery olla by Frog Woman. Featuring traditional geometric designs and signed under the base with the frog mark, the olla went to the room at $425 (estimate $400 to $600). Another item of note was a prehistoric Native American slate bird stone found in 1938 on a mountain near Sinnemahoning, Cameron County, Pa. Included in the 1998 issue of the PA Archaeologist, the piece sold above estimate to the room at $325.

A key lot in the glass category was a Hoffman enameled glass perfume bottle. Marked with the intaglio Hoffman butterfly mark, the blue glass bottle was housed in an enameled and gilt metal base and featured a lady and Cupid blowing bubbles to the stopper. After strong bidding, a phone bidder prevailed at $1,600. Among several lots of Steuben and Lalique glass was a signed Steuben Verre De Soie vase. With a diamond patterned body and blue glass threading to the rim, the vase sold to the Internet within estimate at $325.

Included in the silver category was a Mark J. Scearce 14K gold Presidential julep cup. Marked under the base “LBJ” for Lyndon B. Johnson, the cup was housed in its original fitted case. 14K gold versions of the Scearce julep cup were made for stables and this cup was awarded to the consignor’s husband at the West Shore Country Club (Camp Hill, Pa.) circa 1970. The cup hammered down within estimate to a floor bidder at $3,500. Among other silver items was a fine Victorian silver plated epergne with cut glass bowls at $600 and a cased set of Peter L. Krider sterling silver salts and spoons at $325.

Over 70 lots of fine antique and estate jewelry were offered and results overall were soft. Several diamond solitaires were offered including a 2.64 carat estimated at $7,500 to $10,000. It sold to the Internet for $3,500. A 1.37 carat realized $800 on a $1,200 to $2,200 estimate. A 1.43 ctw diamond and green stone Art Deco ring was very popular, selling within estimate at $1,000, while a pair of 1.58 ctw diamond ear studs hammered down for $1,100. A collection of contemporary Native American silver jewelry, including pieces by Curtis Pete, Danny Romero and Bryon Yellowhorse, saw good results with most lots selling within estimate.

Two landscapes by well known French Impressionist Edouard Cortes (French, 1882-1969) were the top lots of the two-day sale. Entitled “The Sunny Bank” and “Byway In Normandy,” the paintings were purchased by the consignor’s parents at Findlay Galleries, Chicago, in 1956. As expected, bidding proved to be intense among the floor and phones with the same phone bidder prevailing on both pieces. Estimated at $20,000 to $30,000, “The Sunny Bank” realized $27,000 while “Byway In Normandy” finished slightly lower at $26,000.

Another highlight of the art category was a portrait of a child by Raoul du Gardier (French, 1871-1953). Estimated at $800 to $1,000, the portrait proved to be quite popular, hammering down to the Internet at $1,500. A painting of a yawning puppy by John Henry Dolph (American, 1835-1903), another piece from the estate of Baron Cassel van Doorn, sold for $2,700 while a large landscape by Edward Gay (New York, 1837-1928) realized $4,750.

In addition to paintings, several prints were offered including a Currier & Ives small folio lithograph “American Railroad Scene.” One of the most popular of the Currier & Ivies prints, the piece flew past its estimate of $200 to $400 to close at $1,300 to a phone bidder. A phone bidder was also successful on a Norman Rockwell artist’s proof of “America Marches Ahead” for $1,900. The print was purchased by the consignor from Peter Caras (American, 1941-), an illustrator who studied under Rockwell.

Among the textile offerings was a late Empire needlepoint sampler wrought by Rebecca Weston, Chambersburg, Pa., in 1859. Featuring unusual hair work wreaths flanking a central monument at the bottom, it sold above estimate to the room at $600.

Clocks, lighting, rugs and furniture included several interesting pieces. A Le Coultre illuminated globe timepiece, estimated at $400 to $600, saw strong bidding, ending up at $1,700 to a phone bidder, while a Howard No. 70 Regulator finished at $1,200. A key lot in lighting was a large and heavy cast bronze chandelier from the Pennsylvania Capitol Building. Originally hung in the original Telephone Room of the Ante Room in the Senate, it was removed during alterations to the space in 1967. Estimated at $500 to $1,500, heavy interest in the piece drove bidding to the final price of $4,500.

Furniture prices continued to be soft with a few notable exceptions. Among several pieces of Chinese furniture was a set of four circa 1900 to 1910 rosewood nesting tables featuring profuse carvings of dragons and foliage. Estimated at $400 to $600, the tables sold to the Internet for $1,600. Other furniture highlights included a Pennsylvania two part corner cupboard at $1,600 and a circa 1900 bow front china cabinet at $1,200.

Friday’s sale finished up with the nautical collection of the late Raymond A. Farr of Hummelstown, Pa. Mr. Farr was an avid collector of nautical antiques and collectibles throughout the 1970s and mid 1980s. He collected all over the country with many items obtained in Nova Scotia and Maine. Frank O. Braynard, author, artist and maritime historian, used Mr. Farr’s collection and reference archive in several of his maritime books during this time period.

The collection offered a variety of nautical collectibles including ship advertising prints, lanterns, and photographs. The star lot of the collection was a porthole relic from the USS Maine. The sinking of the Maine on Feb. 15, 1898, precipitated the Spanish-American War though the exact cause of why it sank remains a mystery. The porthole appeared to have been cut directly from the hull with a 28-inch square section. Mounted in a fitted wood case with metal display stand, the piece bore a plaque reading “1898 1912 Air-port Relic USS Maine Secured for Cols. Camp 49 United Spanish War Veterans through the efforts of M.C. Edw. L. Taylor Jr.” While it sold below estimate, the relic still brought a respectable $1,500 from a collector in Florida.

Other items of note included a circa-1865 embroidered sailor’s remembrance at $450 and a pub table from the RMS Queen Mary at $150. Mr. Farr’s complete reference archive containing photographs, newspaper clippings and ephemera was also offered in five lots, all of which sold above their estimates.

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