Syrup jugs bring sweet results at Jeffrey S. Evans auction

MOUNT CRAWFORD, Va.—Due to excessive springtime rainfall and several other delays inherent to new construction, their new auction facility was not quite completed in time for the June 6 auction of Miniature, Kerosene and Early Lighting, so that sale was conducted from the old gallery at Green Valley Auctions. Auction goers familiar with the old location were treated to a glimpse of the new company’s state-of-the-art operation when the auction lots were displayed on a 52-inch monitor as they came up for sale. With new equipment and new auction software, Jeff Evans’ first auction under the company that bears his name went off without a hitch.

Miniature, Kerosene and Early Lighting auction highlights

The 485-lot auction featured the second half of the Marion and Carleton Cotting miniature lamp collection and the collection of the late Joan Bone, a founding member of the Historical Lighting Society of Canada. More than 400 miniatures were sold in 245 cataloged lots, including Victorian art and opalescent examples, a wide variety of colored patterned stand and finger examples, junior banquet and parlor examples, student and other metal examples, and peg lamps.

Also offered for auction were nearly 200 early to late period kerosene lamps that included triple dolphin, swan, and other figural bases, many good Victorian opalescent stand and finger lamps, a colorless Marriage lamp with rare original match cover, several cut overlays, early colored base and font stand lamps, and several banquet and parlor lamps.

Among the more than 40 whale oil/fluid period stand and finger lamps sold were blown and pressed, and flint early American pattern glass examples. The catalog contained a good selection of kerosene parts as well as related material that included "Baby" and red globe skater’s lanterns, match holders and more.

Three miniature lamps with matching shades, including two from the Cotting collection, were among the top five lighting lots. An amberina miniature lamp that stood just 7 3/4 inches tall achieved the highest auction price ($2,530), while a blue opalescent Spanish Lace miniature ($1,150) and a cased multi-color spatter example ($1,092) performed well for the Cotting consignment. Tying for the sale’s second-best price ($1,380) were a lot of two brass skater’s lanterns from the collection of the late Joan Bone, and a ceramic lithopane shade with gilt and black enamel decoration that carried a Fenton Art Glass Museum provenance. The skater’s lanterns included one with a ruby globe, and the lithopane shade was fitted on an electrified brass single-arm student lamp.

antique glass
Royal Oak syrup pitcher ($1,265)
swastika pitcher
Swastika syrup pitcher ($4,887.50)
antique glass
Synora Lace syrup pitcher ($1,380)

Highlights of 19th and 20th century glass auction

By mid-June, the new building was in the final stages of construction, and all staff and equipment were moved to the new location just more than a week before the firm’s June 27 cataloged auction of 19th and 20th Century Glass. With an emphasis on Victorian wares, this auction featured the sugar shaker and syrup jug collection of Watt and Janet White, the second half of the Helen Liveten milk glass collection, a large collection of Greentown glass, another consignment from the Fenton Art Glass Museum, and a wide selection of art glass.

This time, with five TV monitors suspended from the ceiling throughout the gallery, floor bidders couldn’t help but know what lot was being sold at any given moment. For those who could not attend the sale, the option to submit absentee bids was available up until two hours prior to auction time.

As expected, the most sought after pieces in this 806-lot auction were from the White collection, with the early 20th century syrup pitchers taking eight of the top ten auction prices. The showstopper was a Dugan Glass Company 6 1/4-inch high green opalescent Swastika syrup pitcher. Although this little jug received a conservative presale estimate of $800 to $1,200, a $4,250 absentee bid was quickly surpassed, and the lot finally sold to a very serious phone bidder for $4,887.50.

Other top-dollar syrup jugs included an amber-stained Flowered Scroll with undertray ($1,380), a red Synora Lace ($1,380), a rubina Royal Oak ($1,265), a Coinspot Nine-Panel mold in cranberry opalescent ($1,035), a blue Daisy in Criss-Cross ($1,035), a cranberry opalescent Daisy & Fern Northwood Swirl mold ($977.50), and a blue Acanthus-stippled example ($920). Rounding out the top ten lots were a chocolate glass milk pitcher in the Feather pattern ($862.50) and a pale yellow Mt. Washington Crown Milano bride’s basket with floral decoration ($1,035). All prices include the 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Throughout the years, Jeff Evans’ auctions have always had a very strong absentee bidder presence, but in the past the behind-the-scenes process has been entirely manual and very time-consuming. With the new, easy-to-use online absentee bidding platform powered by Auction Flex, bidders can register with a User ID and password to use for all auctions, and the bidder can request to receive e-mail confirmation for every bid placed as well as e-mail notification whenever he or she has been outbid. The bids are entered directly into the Auction Flex software by the bidder and then the bid report is uploaded for the auctioneer just prior to sale time.

Since eBay discontinued its live auction platform at the end of 2008, Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates has contracted with Artfact Live and Invaluable (Artfact’s international counterpart) to provide access to Internet bidders around the world. Artfact has proven to be an exceptional program and a major improvement over the eBay Live bidding platform. At, those with appropriate Internet capability can watch as the auction lots come up for sale in real time and approved bidders can bid “live” with the click of a button. To bid through Artfact, bidders must complete the Artfact registration process and be approved by the auction house.

Artfact also has an absentee bidding option, which closes two hours prior to sale time, just like absentee bids placed through Those who prefer absentee bidding should keep in mind that any lots won through Artfact are subject to a 3 percent Artfact online transaction fee. No additional transaction fee is imposed on absentee bids placed directly with the auction house through its Auction Flex bidding software.

The next auction is a July 25 cataloged auction of Southern Decoration, Americana & Fine Antiques that begins at 9:30 a.m. EDT. For additional information and a list of upcoming auctions for 2009, visit the firm’s Web site at

Photos courtesy Jeffrey S. Evans and Associates.