Auctions: Duck decoys, shaving mugs, and miniatures

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A pine invalid bed made in the 19th century has a presale estimate of $100 to $150 at Pook & Pook. Antique shaving mugs and a water clock are among the other items to be offered.

With extensive sales planned by such family-owned auction companies as Frank & Frank and Pook & Pook, plus a third event to be conducted at the Rhoads & Rhoads Auction Center, this weekend promises bidding that will be fast and furious.

The Monmouth County-based Frank & Frank Sporting Collectibles LLC will be conducting its spring sale of decoys, art, and sporting collectibles Sunday at Tuckerton, N.J., instead of its usual site in Belmar. More than 325 lots of duck decoys, other carved fowl, a few fish, and related sporting items including books and a vintage black bearskin rug, will be offered beginning at 10 a.m. at 215 E. Main St.

The site was chosen so Frank & Frank could participate in the New Jersey Decoy Collectors Show from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow at the Parkertown firehouse, 2½ miles to the north, where it will do free appraisals, according to Jon Frank, whose son, Alex, is the other Frank.

Sunday's sale includes works by such well-known artisans as R. Madison Mitchell of Havre de Grace, Md.; Bob White of Tullytown; and a host of carvers from New Jersey, where, by many accounts, U.S. decoy carving began. Three of the decoys, with four-figure presale estimates listed in the $25 auction catalog, are an American brant ($1,500 to $1,800), an early black duck, and a pintail preener (both $2,000 to $2,500), made by John W. McLoughlin of Bordentown on the Delaware River.

That is where hunting ducks for sport and commerce - and the creation of decoys to lure them - traditionally began in the mid-19th century. Both spread up and down the river, and then later to other duck-hunting centers including Barnegat Bay and the Chesapeake, where Mitchell flourished.

Sunday's sale includes half a dozen decoys by Caleb R. Marter Sr. of Burlington; two pintails by George Murray of Beverly; and an early black duck by Tom Fitzpatrick of Delanco ($2,500 to $3,500). Also, a hollow-carved high-head swan made in Tullytown by White in 1985 has a presale estimate of $10,000 to $12,000.

One of the oldest decoys in Sunday's sale is a rare broadbill with a presale estimate of $2,000 to $3,000 made by Ezra Hankins of Lovelandtown, N.J., who lived there from 1847 to 1936. And a canvasback drake made around 1895 by Lee Dudley of Knotts Island, N.D., as part of a rig used by an officer of the Pocahontas Gunning Club of Back Bay, Va., has a presale estimate of $15,000 to $18,000, the auction's highest.

The Midwest, in the Mississippi wildfowl flyover region (one of four flyover regions into which the United States is divided, along with the Atlantic to the east and the central and Pacific to the west), has its own decoy industry.

Sunday's sale features a dowitcher made by the Dodge Decoy Factory of Detroit ($6,000 to $8,000) and a Canada goose made by the Mason Decoy Co., also of Detroit ($6,000 to $9,000). It was used in the East, however, by the Sedge Island Gun Club on Barnegat Bay near Toms River, N.J.

Other Barnegat Bay artisans represented by works in the auction include Harry V. Shourds of Tuckerton; his grandson, Harry V. Shourds of Seaville; Hurley Conklin; and Nathan "Rowley" Horner. Along with the bearskin rug ($200 to $300), sports-related items include a vintage four-oared sculling boat, the kind still used by duck hunters near the Delaware Bay, which has a presale estimate of $600 to $800.

Preview is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow and 8 a.m. to sale time Sunday. For further information, call 732-938-2988 or go to www.frankandfrankdecoys.com.

Pook & Pook variety sale. Pook & Pook will be busy today with the final session of its two-day variety sale, beginning at 9 a.m. at the gallery at 463 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown. The nearly 800 lots to be offered can be seen online at www.pookandpook.com, starting with Lot 651. The lots include such items as American Indian artifacts, collectible shaving mugs, a pine invalid bed, and a water clock - almost all in the three-figure price range.

The shaving mugs, a single lot of 32 mugs dating to the late 19th and early 20th centuries and enough to get a collector started, are expected to sell for $100 to $200. The 21-by-74-inch pine invalid bed, which basically rests on the floor and is one of many pieces of furniture in the auction ranging from William and Mary to contemporary, should sell for $100 to $150.

The water clock, a late version of a timekeeping device that is almost as old as the sundial, is one of several items being sold off by the National Watch and Clock Museum of Columbia, Pa. It has a presale estimate of $50 to $100.

Preview is from 8 a.m. to sale time. For further information, call 610-269-4040.

Carolyn Sunstein collection. The event at the Rhoads & Rhoads Auction Center is a two-day closeout liquidation tomorrow and Sunday of dollhouses, miniatures, and toys from the collection of the late Carolyn Sunstein, founder of the Philadelphia Miniaturia Show. It was put together by Eileen Rhoads, proprietor of the center with her husband, Ron.

Among the nearly 500 lots in tomorrow's session, beginning at 9 a.m. at the gallery at 20 Bonnie Brae Rd., Spring City, is a jewel of the collection: the Vickerman dollhouse, made around 1815, and its contents.

Eileen Rhoads expects it to bring more than $15,000. That session also features child-size furniture originally from the Garbisch collection.

The 150 lots in Sunday's session, also beginning at 9 a.m., will feature miniature sterling, another Sunstein specialty, including a George I coffee and tea service made around 1720 by David Clayton, with a presale estimate of $6,000 to $8,000. Items in both sessions can be seen and bid through LiveAuctioneers, accessible at the sale's online catalog at www.echant.com.

Preview is from noon to 5 p.m. today. For further information, call 610-385-4818.

 


Contact David Iams at daiams@comcast.net.