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Paintings of Pueblo Indians take top spots during estate auction in Illinois
By Jo Ann Hustis

OTTAWA, Ill. — Paintings by a professionally trained, important Illinois artist noted for her bold landscapes and artistic composition, topped sales at the Matthew Bullock two-day combined estate auction at $26,640.

The single highest seller was the Grace Ravlin oil painting entitled Indian Dance at Laguna which crossed the auction block on July 27 at $9,100 plus a 10 percent buyer’s fee. Executed in about 1917 and showing some water damage, the oil-on-canvas scene portrayed Pueblo Indians, a peaceful Southwestern tribe known worldwide for their artistic creations. Prior to the sale, auctioneer Matthew Bullock estimated the painting to bring $4,000 to $6,000.

The runner-up at $7,500 was a 1917 oil-on-canvas of Pueblo Indians entitled Between Dances Cochiti New Mexico. Third was Palace of Cortez Cuernavaca Mexico at an even $2,000. Following at $1,100 was Church by the River Indian Scene in New Mexico in original frame. Her others sold at $650, $450, $150, $500, $140 and $800.

Ravlin was born in Kaneville, Ill. in 1873 and died in 1956. She studied art in Paris, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art and the Chicago Art Institute. Her paintings are gaining in popularity and sell in the $2,000 to $14,000 range. Her work is featured at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Newark Museum, and the Luxembourg Museum in Paris. Those auctioned off were from her family, and probably the largest Ravlin collection known.

In addition, an auctioneer’s lifetime accumulation of R.S. Prussia porcelain – about 150 pieces – brought surprisingly high bids, especially in that the name has undergone a dramatic drop in collector interest in the past decade. “The late Alan Jumper of Marseilles was an auctioneer for some time and this is what he collected through the years,” Bullock noted. “A lot of his collection was bought at auctions.”

First on the block was a 10 1/2-inch castle scene bowl at $180, followed by a mill scene bowl at $120, a cottage scene bowl at $50, and a castle scene sugar and creamer at $100. A rare tankard with Dutch girl decoration started at $500 and sold on line at $800. A castle scene plate began at $50 and ended at $165 to an on-line bidder. A cottage scene plate went at $150, mill scene cake plate at $80, lavender clematis berry bowl at $60, and matching 10-inch berry bowl and six serving bowls at $120.

A lavender clematis chocolate set with several dings in the four saucers rose from a $300 start to a $460 finish. An open handle cake plate brought $85, a celery tray $40, an 8 1/2-inch bowl $45, and 10-inch bowl $90. A tea set with one rim chip which began at $50 and ended at $150, an 11 1/2-inch dresser tray at $50, celery tray at $40, and a mustache cup at $85, all in the lavender clematis pattern.

Finishing lower were two R.S. Prussia floral demi cups at $17.50, a sugar cube holder at $7.50, six unmarked 5 1/2 inch dessert bowls at $5, a three-piece cream, cup and saucer in the swan pattern with Germany pitcher at $7.50, and a hairpin box at $25. Miscellaneous pieces included an ES Germany hand painted creamer and sugar with rim chip at $10, Royal Vienna footed bowl at $130, and an antique tea saucer at $30. A porcelain vase with steer and cow decoration went at $55, floral tankard at $25, and a Chief High Hawk plate in attractive blue at $35, all with the ES Germany mark.

Another high seller was the neon spinner advertisement clock worded “Kendall Oil 2,000 mile” on the face. All parts were in original working condition, as was the flashing neon light on a spinner dial. “Kendall advertising clocks are fairly rare,” said Bullock, who gave it a presale estimate of $800 to $1,000. The clock struck home at $900.

A collection of 1840s-1850s glass bottles evoked much interest. A green historical flask with eagle cornucopia decoration went at $220, an olive green ink bottle, possibly Stoddard glass, at $50, a General Taylor-Washington flask at $55, a blue Capitol District Seltzer Company bottle at $25, and a Congress & Empire Springs Saratoga NY forest green bottle at $80.

Waterford cut glass, which lacks collector interest today, brought $45 for a set of six port wine glasses, $25 for two wine glasses, $55 for a decanter, $50 and $35 each for two 8-inch bowls, $45 for a 10-inch decanter, and $65 for a 12-inch decanter. By contrast, two American Brilliant Period cut glass pieces signed Libbey sold at $65 for a lemonade pitcher and $90 for an exquisite 9-inch intricately cut bowl.

The Waterford Glass Company of Ireland closed in 2009, and reopened in 2010 as a visitor and manufacturing facility. Most Waterford crystal is produced today in Slovenia, Czech Republic, China and Germany.

Surprisingly, the auction of many Peltier Glass marbles failed to attract local collectors. Ottawa was the home of Peltier Glass Co., which closed three to four years ago in the current nationwide economic downturn.

“Some Peltier marbles are very common and others are hard to find,” Bullock noted. “Advanced collectors try to put together unusual base colors like green and off-white.”

Of the several comic pieces in the collection, an Annie marble with green base sold at $250. An Annie marble on an ordinary base would be about $100. The other comic marbles, including one with an off-white base, brought $50 to $100 each.

Bullock was pleased at the quality of the merchandise and the public’s response. There were 350 bidders online, and just under 150 bidders in attendance. “They stayed all the way to the end,” he said.

The next weekend consignment auction is being considered for late October or early November. For information, contact Matthew Bullock Auctioneers at (815) 970-7077, or go on line to www.Bullock Auctioneers.com.

8/5/2013
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