Sale of Kittinger furniture nets hospital $20,000 windfall

SOUTHAMPTON, Pa. — It was standing room only for both days of Stephenson’s Auctioneers’ first antiques and fine art sale of the year, held Jan. 1-2, during which 714 lots changed hands bringing just under $300,000. All prices quoted in this report include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Two items in the sale achieved an individual selling price of $19,555, resulting in a tie at the top-lot position of prices realized. One of the blue-ribbon lots was a William Mason Brown (American, 1828-1898) Hudson River Valley oil-on-canvas landscape that had come from a residence in Bucks County, Pa. Five phone bidders pursued the 21- by 29-inch work, which had been featured on the auction catalog’s cover. One of those bidders, a gallery owner who specializes in Hudson River Valley art, is the new owner of the coveted regional painting.

The other top lot of the sale – from the same Bucks County antiques residence – was an elegant Steinway Model B ebony grand piano, offered with original receipt of purchase from the 1960s. An internet bidder played the final chord at $19,555 against an estimate of $8,000 to $12,000.

Holy Redeemer Hospital in the Philadelphia suburb of Meadowbrook received a welcome windfall of approximately $20,000 thanks to a consignment of 15 pieces of Kittinger (Buffalo, N.Y.) furniture. “A young man had donated all of his mother’s furniture to Holy Redeemer’s thrift store, and they contacted us to sell it,” Stephenson said. A sideboard sold for $4,890; while a secretary and sideboard each added $3,740 to the tally.

A bounty of antique silver and jewelry ignited a frenzy of Internet and phone bidding. A circa-1900 Russian silver and gold cigarette case with the hallmark of Nicholai Kemper (St. Petersburg, 1898-1908) was adorned with names written in script and embellished with tokens that included a frog, pig, crown, German 50-mark note, and Masonic logo. Estimated at $300 to $500, it sold online for $1,610.

To contact Stephenson’s, call 215-322-6182 or e-mail the gallery.

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