Sales over the next seven days will offer chances to get oceanic and tribal art; historical ephemera, including an 1893 edition of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin signed by the author; and another category of collectible that evokes a local tradition associated with the new year: vintage firearms.
The vintage firearms, about 60 of them, are being offered by Stephenson's Auction as part of a sale beginning at 6 p.m. Friday at the gallery at 1005 Industrial Blvd., Southampton.
As devotees of the New Year's Day Mummers Parade are aware, the parade traces its history to the mid-17th century when northern Europeans, including Swedes, ushered in the new year by firing guns. Such gunplay is no longer tolerated, of course, although the tradition lives on in the name of the Mummers' umbrella group, the New Year's Shooters and Mummers Association, now presided over by veteran Quaker City String Band captain Bob Shannon.
And the weapons to be offered by Stephenson's are not meant for merrymaking, dating in large part to World War II. According to Cindy Stephenson, they are being sold as part of a general year-end clearing up of estates.
Among the top items are a Walther Luger-P38 and a 1939 German Luger that Stephenson's associate Duane Miller said should each bring $1,000 to $2,000. (The online catalog for the weapons can be seen at www.stephensonsauction.com.)
The auction also features almost half a dozen vehicles, including a Godfrey Sweetwater pontoon boat, and a host of Royal Doulton character jugs from a store in Peddler's Village.
Preview is from 2 p.m. to sale time. For further information, call 215-322-6182.
More vintage weaponry. Vintage weaponry, some from the Civil War, will also be offered by Morphy Auctions beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday at the gallery at 2000 N. Reading Rd., Denver, Pa. The 150 lots include a quantity of Kentucky rifles, notably one made by Adam Angstadt of Berks County, with a presale estimate of $7,500 to $12,500, as well as a German V. Chr. Schilling double-barrel percussion shotgun made around 1800, with a presale estimate of $1,500 to $3,500.
The sale, which is already online at AuctionZip.com, also features swords, powder horns, and a collection of Pennsylvania hunting licenses from 1913 to 1983 with a surprising presale estimate of $1,000 to $1,500. For further information, call 717-335-3435 or go to www.morphyauctions.com.
Ephemera at Slosberg. The copy of Uncle Tom's Cabin is among about 75 books that will be in the 400 lots of ephemera that Barry S. Slosberg Inc. will offer beginning at 10 a.m. Sunday at its gallery at 2501 E. Ontario St.
The book dates to the World's Columbian Exposition held in 1893 in Chicago, where Stowe's sister, the early women's rights advocate Isabella Beecher Hooker, was a participant and brought her sister along. Although feeble of mind, according to Slosberg associate Rob Goldstein, the author managed to sign half a dozen copies, including the one to be sold Sunday, which has a presale estimate of $600 to $800.
Two other documents of note are a rare 1864 Civil War letter written to his wife by Joseph O. Cross, an African American serving with a unit from Connecticut, and a 1797 letter sent to Thomas Jefferson at Monticello from Jefferson's Philadelphia agent, John Barnes.
The letter discussed a sensational encounter between Alexander Hamilton, then living in Philadelphia, and a New York woman named Maria Reynolds that, according to AmericanHeritage.com, led to a political scandal involving adultery and blackmail. Though Jefferson was the recipient, not the author, Goldstein expects it to bring $1,000 to $1,500, because "content on the scandal rarely comes to market."
Nonliterary ephemera in the auction includes what Goldstein calls "fun things": 1930s and '40s Little Orphan Annie collectibles; vintage advertising signs; a 1970s McDonald's employee's uniform top; concrete garden statues of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs; and a 1930s Ingersoll Mickey Mouse pocket watch. Goldstein expects the pocket watch to sell for $80 to $100, more than commoner Mickey Mouse wristwatches bring.
Preview is from 9 a.m. Sunday to sale time. For further information, call 215-425-7030.
Tribal art at Alderfer's. The tribal and oceanic art will be offered by Alderfer Auction & Appraisal as part of its preholiday antiques and collectibles sale beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday at the gallery at 501 Fairgrounds Rd., Hatfield. The 100 or so lots come from the estate of John H. Ahtes 3d, a Wallingford resident and faculty member at Immaculata University, who continued his parents' interest in the art form.
Most pieces are masks, according to Alderfer associate Vernon Martin, some with hair, some with painted faces. There also are figural pieces ranging in size from 6 inches to about 3 feet. Martin expects most of them to sell for between $25 and $125 each.
The sale also features furniture, including contemporary pieces and a 1700s hand-painted blanket chest; cast-iron and pressed-steel toys; and a Schoemaker baby grand piano.
Preview is from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday and 7 a.m. to sale time Thursday. For further information, call 215-393-3023, or to see images, go to www.alderferAuction.com.