|By Don Johnson
DELAWARE, Ohio — Every other month Garth’s Auctions conducts an event that differs considerably from its fully cataloged sales. Known as the Eclectic auction, the event features hundreds of diverse lots, all sold without reserve.
There is no print catalog. While about half the material is cataloged online, the rest can only be seen in person.
The format has generated considerable enthusiasm in recent years, whether the bidder is a dealer, bargain hunter or someone willing to pay top price to fill a hole in a collection.
The typical sale attracts 600 to 700 bidders and has been grossing more than $300,000. Those numbers indicate the Eclectic formula is working.
During the December auction, a variety of items did well, including coins, silver, cased furniture and lighting.
The best of several table lamps was a Pairpoint example with an unsigned, reverse-painted, 16-inch shade depicting sailboats, on a signed, brass base with an openwork, tapered stem. It sold for $5,523. (Prices include the buyer’s premium.)
A Pairpoint having an unsigned, 16-inch shade showing a winter landscape with a house, on a signed copper base with a paneled stem and scalloped foot, made $3,760. A fully signed Handel lamp realized $3,290. It had a textured bronze base holding an 18-inch shade decorated with a forest scene.
Other lighting included a Jefferson table lamp that sold for $470. It had a stepped porcelain base, three lights with glass fonts and a 14-inch textured shade with a reverse-painted lake scene. From the mid-20th century, a French newel-post light after August Moreau, the three-light spelter lamp depicting a robed woman in the Art Nouveau style, 28 1/2 inches high, brought $646.
Among the sterling silver, 93 pieces of Wallace flatware in the Grande Baroque pattern, mid-20th century, realized $3,856. A pair of three-socket candelabra, Mexican, mid-20th century, 7 3/4 inches high, made $1,567.
“I love selling silver at the Eclectic auctions. It just performs beautifully,” said Amelia. “It never sells under the money.”
Art glass included a Quezal vase with a green and gold pulled-feather decoration, marked, 8 1/4 inches high, at $3,525, while a Webb Cameo vase, blue with a floral and foliate decoration, marked, 6 inches high, having a rim chip, was $823.
Of the American art pottery, a Rookwood Vellum vase with a forest landscape by Edward Timothy Hurley, 1913, 11 3/4 inches high, brought $1,763. A Weller Sicard vase in a tapering form, 8 3/4 inches high, was $783.
Five pieces of Gustavsburg sold together for $2,290. The lot of 20th-century Swedish pottery consisted of two plaques with floral fossil-type motifs, 8 3/4 inches square; a plaque with a white swan on a pond in front of houses, 14 1/4 by 11 inches; a bulldog figure, 12 inches high; and a lion figure, 16 inches high.
Other ceramics included a Belleek reticulated, covered basket with branch-form handles and three-dimensional flowers, 5 1/4 inches high, minor damage, at $823.
Among the artwork, Le Cocktail by Louis Icart, drypoint and aquatint, pencil-signed and with a windmill blindstamp, having a 1932 copyright, sold for $4,113. A framed abstract lithograph by Marino Marini (Italian/Swiss, 1901-1980), from the Shakespeare II series, depicting multiple figures on a purple ground, signed and numbered 43/50 was $1,506.
There was strong interest in music-related antiques.
A Stella double-comb music box in a mahogany case with a carved foliate decoration and one drawer, late 19th century, with approximately 50 discs, sold for $3,408. An Edison wax-cylinder phonograph in an oak case with a domed lid, original oak horn, late 19th or early 20th century, with seven cylinders, was $2,233.
Likewise, Indian artifacts saw competitive bidding, with an Adena humped gorget in quartz, Kentucky origin, 4 inches long, selling for $881; tapering pendant, banded slate, Ohio, 4 inches long, $764; and a crescent bannerstone, banded slate, Mahoning County, Ohio, 5 1/2 inches long, both ends missing, was $646.
Of the furniture, a Krieger two-piece buffet in mahogany, French, late 19th century, having an arched top and floral-carved doors, more than 99 inches high and 63 inches wide, realized $1,410. A 12-tin pie safe in Southern pine, having punched designs of circles and diamonds on the tins, mid 19th century, 56 1/2 inches high by 43 1/2 inches wide, was $999.
A Victorian bookcase with two glazed doors over two drawers, walnut with burl accents, 83 1/4 inches high by 51 inches wide, realized $823. A Victorian marble-top dresser in mahogany veneer, having a tilting mirror, serpentine top and three drawers, sold for $176.
Among the firearms, a Colt third model derringer, 19th century, .41-caliber rimfire with 2 1/2-inch barrel and walnut grips, was $999; Colt World War I commemorative pistol, 20th century, .45-caliber automatic model 1917, “Battle of BelleauWood” on the grip, in a display case, $1,998; and a Winchester model 1886 lever-action rifle, 19th century, .45-90 caliber with a 26-inch octagonal barrel, made $2,468.
Miscellaneous items included a family record sampler, probably Worcester County, Mass., “Wrought by Susan Dwight aged 10 years 1826,” 16 inches square, at $1,175; Clark’s spool cabinet in mahogany, six drawers with ruby glass inserts, missing one wooden pull, $1,116; pewter ice cream mold in the form of a ship, 13 inches long, $470; and a cast-iron Overland circus wagon toy having two horses, driver, rider and a bear, made by Kenton Hardware Co., 14 inches long, was $353.
Quality is one factor in the success of the Eclectic sales. “The key is we really don’t take junk for those auctions,” said Jeffers. “People don’t have to sit through sessions of a dozen lots of uninteresting or terrible-quality things.”
Many of Garth’s clients started at the Eclectic auctions before becoming interested in the material at the fully cataloged sales. “They graduate to better things,” Jeffers noted.
One recent addition to the Eclectic sale has been a Thursday session devoted to a specific genre of collecting. Buyers can expect more Thursday sessions this year. Otherwise, sales are the first Friday of every other month, beginning in February.
For more about Garth’s, phone (740) 362-4771 or visit www.garths.com.