New Year's Day has long been a popular occasion for country auctions, and 2008 will be rung in by the tap of gavels at a variety of sales.

One of the more established is at Stephenson's Auctioneers & Appraisers in Southampton. Now in at least its 15th year, the sale will offer more than 400 lots beginning at 10 a.m. at the gallery, 1005 Industrial Blvd.

Many of the items come from the estate of Louise Lux-Sions, who had been a journalist for Time-Life and a book reviewer for both this newpaper and the Evening Bulletin. Among the offerings are a George Nakashima hanging sliding-door cabinet that Cindy Stephenson expects will sell for $4,000 to $7,000.

"We had it authenticated by the Nakashima studio," Stephenson said this week, adding that Lux-Sions kept meticulous records of her acquisitions, thus simplifying their provenance.

Also from that estate is artwork, including two paintings by Patrick Collins, a Delaware River scene titled

Shad Fishing in Frenchtown

by Alan Fetterman,

Winter in New Jersey

by Frank Kirk, and etchings by Woody Crumba. Other paintings include works by Arthur Meltzer, Walter Baum and Joseph Barrett. They are expected to bring four-figure prices.

Also featured at the sale will be furniture from the estate of Center City resident Gustav Gumpert, notably more than 18 pieces by Baker, a well-known contemporary manufacturer.

More Baker furniture comes from a home on the Main Line whose owners are downsizing. That consignment also has a large number of copper and brass plaques.

A large quantity of silver is being offered, as well, including flatware services by Gorham and S. Kirk & Son and hollowware by Tiffany, among others. Miscellaneous items include a collection of Civil War memorabilia and an unusual signed bronze radiator cap in the shape of a German shepherd.

Radiator caps go back to the days when automobile-engine cooling systems were outside the hood and the cap could be decorative, much as hood ornaments are. Stephenson expects the cap to sell for about $500.

Previews are from 3 to 6 p.m. Dec. 28, 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 31, and 9 a.m. to sale time New Year's Day at the gallery. For more information, call 215-322-6182 or go to

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In Ephrata, Lancaster County, Farmersville Auction Inc. is expanding its annual New Year's sale to two days, with a session Dec. 31 beginning at 8 a.m. at the gallery, 33 N. Farmersville Rd., devoted to 1,500 lots of "smalls," including agateware, toys and a shaving-mug collection.

A second session, beginning at 10 a.m. Jan. 1, will offer 500 lots of furniture. Information: 717-354-5095; see choice items at

» READ MORE: www.auctionzip.com

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And in New Jersey, Sunnybrook Antique & Auction Gallery, 1401 State Highway 45 east of Swedesboro, will conduct a "Grand New Year's Day Auction" beginning at 10 a.m. featuring furniture and the gallery's traditional strong suit, architectural items.

Offerings include a quarter-sawn oak art-nouveau mantel, a Victorian double entry door, and beveled- and stained-glass windows. Auctioneer Jim Elias expects the mantel to sell for $1,800 to $2,200. An oak china closet made about 1910 is expected to bring $3,500 to $4,000.

Mission and Victorian pieces also are to be offered, as are several barrister bookcases. Among the more unusual items are a rare flip-top rosewood gaming table and a cast-iron Civil War officer's bed.

Preview is from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 31 and 9 a.m. to sale time Jan. 1. Information: 856-769-8811.

Collectibles at Alderfer's.

The 2007 season will give a last gasp Thursday when Alderfer Auction Co. offers coins, stamps and other collectibles at its gallery, 501 Fairgrounds Rd., Hatfield.

The 400 lots of coins include mint and proof sets and Morgan dollars. The 300 lots of stamps include first-day covers and both U.S. and foreign collections.

Among the collectibles are an inkwell and chocolate pots, plus 75 beer steins - including 18 German military models, the kind denoting the owner's military unit.

The sale also features tractor and farm equipment, including a 1999 John Deere 4500 compact tractor and accessories, all to be offered at noon.

Preview is from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday and 7 a.m. to sale time Thursday. Information: 215-393-3000 or

» READ MORE: www.alderferauction.com

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Contact David Iams at daiams@comcast.net.