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Bidders compete for Americana with Underground Railroad connection

Fine examples of American antiques were well-received by bidders in Cordier Auctions' Fall 2018 Antique and Fine Art Auction.

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Cordier Auctions, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, held its fall Antique and Fine Art Auction Nov. 10-11. The sale featured nearly 600 lots of antiques and luxury goods from all collecting categories.

Simon Willard rocking ship tall case clock, $9,000

Simon Willard rocking ship tall case clock, $9,000

Early examples of American craftsmanship and artistry were well-received by bidders.

An intricately decorated tall case clock by master clockmaker Simon Willard, featuring a rocking ship-automaton to the arch, sold for $9,000, while an 18th century Pennsylvania Windsor settee brought $5,000.

 Americana with Underground Railroad connection

The settee was one of several pieces consigned by the Rutherford House in Harrisburg. Built in 1858, the mansion now known as the Rutherford House was the Rutherford family’s home until 1920, when it was sold to Dauphin County. Today, the mansion is used as a senior center.

About Rutherford House

Elaborately carved baroque revival sideboard, $2,700

Elaborately carved baroque revival sideboard, $2,700

The home and the Rutherford family played a significant role in the Underground Railroad during the mid-1800s. Dr. William Wilson Rutherford was vice president of the Harrisburg Antislavery Society in 1847 and provided a station for escaped slaves at his home on South Front Street in Harrisburg. From there, he conveyed them to what is now the Rutherford House, where they were hidden in a barn.

Other antiques offered from this historic home included an English tall case clock with horses, and an early 19th century needlepoint sampler. 

Jewelry, both antique and modern, remains a popular category at these quarterly auctions, and Cordier’s fall installment featured a fine selection. Top lots included a 14-karat 1.60 carat diamond solitaire ring ($4,200) and an antique gemstone lizard brooch ($3,300). A model 3417 dress wristwatch by renowned Swiss manufacturer Patek Phillipe inspired competitive bidding before hammering down at $24,000 to an online bidder.

Porcelain and glassware

The market for porcelain and glassware has softened over the past decade. But a handsome range of porcelain found heavy interest throughout the second day of the sale. Sales include seven large Lladro figures from a private collection. Of those, the late 1970s sculpture “Jockey and Lady” sold for $475. A large Chinese Baluster form lidded vase dated to the 18th or 19th century brought $1,600.

French artists including Charles Francois Daubigny ($4,200) and Antoine Blanchard ($3,600) saw marked popularity, but sculptures by American muralist Robert Wyland also performed well, with one painted cast bronze grouping of marlin hammering to a floor bidder for $3,900.

Also of note: stand-out Mid-Century Modern pieces in the November auction include a mirror and wall shelf set by Paul Evans ($1,300) and a Herman Miller credenza by designer George Nelson ($1,200).

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