Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Auctions: Philadelphia-area auctions focus on silver and gold

Three voluminous sales between now and next weekend will market the metallic: sterling silver table services, gold coins - and a chaise longue entirely clad in copper.

Three voluminous sales between now and next weekend will market the metallic: sterling silver table services, gold coins - and a chaise longue entirely clad in copper.

Among the three sales, the top prices are expected to go for the silver that is a highlight of Wiederseim Associates' antiques auction beginning at 9 a.m. June 18 at the Ludwig's Corner firehouse, 1325 Pottstown Pike (Route 100). At least two of the several dozen lots in the 500-lot sale, which includes items from the estates of Dixon D. Brinton, Suzanne Newhall Alexander, and P.C. Dewey, could bring five-figure prices.

The top lot of silver is a Tiffany & Co. "Chrysanthemum" service for 12. Weighing in at 249 troy ounces, it includes luncheon, dinner, and butter knives; luncheon, dinner, seafood, salad, and berry forks; and soup, bouillon, dessert, and grapefruit spoons. The lot has a presale estimate of $15,000 to $20,000, according to the online calendar accessible at

Also in the sale are a quantity of individual "Chrysanthemum" pieces. Other flatware includes a 1910 Gorham "Fairfax" service ($1,200 to $1,500); a 1936 Wallace "Sir Christopher" partial service for 12 ($2,500 to $3,500); and a Lunt "English Shell" partial service for eight ($1,500 to $2,000).

Another silver highlight is a massive (321 troy ounces) tea service made by Bailey Banks & Biddle for the 1913 wedding of Helene Marie Schmidt, heir to the Schmidt's Brewery family, and Baron Carl Czoernig-von Czernhausen. It has a presale estimate of $9,000 to $12,000.

Expected to command a five-figure price is a rare surveyor's compass made around 1790 by Goldsmith Chandlee of Winchester, Va., for John Hooe. Hooe is identified in the catalog as plantation manager for George Washington's adopted stepson, John Parke Custis, and the compass may have been a gift to him from Washington. It has a presale estimate of $20,000 to $25,000.

Previews are from 2 to 5 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. next Friday, and 7 a.m. to sale time June 18 at the firehouse, on Route 100 about a mile north of Route 401. For further information, call 610-827-1910.

Copper chaise at Kamelot. The copper-clad chaise is among the more than 750 lots in Kamelot Auction House's "Town and Country Collection" sale beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday at the auction house in the 4700 Wissahickon Ave. complex. Unsigned but made around 1980, according to the online auction catalog accessible at, the chaise, with airplane-type rivets holding the copper to its frame, has a presale estimate of $1,500 to $2,500. (Online bidding is also available at the website.)

It is one of the "town" pieces that dominate the auction, along with paintings, porcelains, and decorative and architectural objects in a variety of styles, including modern and art deco.

Among the opening 200 lots are Chinese and Japanese decorative arts, notably a pair of large Chinese gilt-wood carved foo dogs made around 1940 ($3,500 to $4,500); bronzes, including a 19-inch Erte polychrome bronze figure titled Astra ($1,000 to $2,000); and paintings, including works by such local artists as Charles Morris Young, Walter Elmer Schofield, Antonio Martino, and Charles Lewis Fussell.

Furniture in the auction's town segment includes two pairs of French nickel-over-bronze torchères, each with a presale estimate of $2,000 to $3,000; and, from a Haverford estate, a pair of gilt-wood console tables expected to bring $1,000 to $15,000.

"Country" pieces (garden and outdoor decorations) include ironwork, outdoor furniture, and planters, notably a cast iron Townley urn made around 1880 with a presale estimate of $2,000 to $3,000. Previews are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. For further information, call 215-438-6990.

Coins at Pook & Pook. The gold coins will be featured by Pook & Pook Inc. at its three-day, 1,900-lot sale of generally affordable decorative arts at the gallery in Downingtown. The nearly 50 lots, along with some other coins and precious-metal items, will be offered at the second session, beginning at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Gold, of course, is much in the news these days, and the coins to be offered are expected to bring more than their weight's worth, though not by much. A 1914 $20 gold St. Gaudens offered for sale has a presale estimate of $1,800 to $2,500, according to the auction catalog (also accessible at

Weighing in at 33.44 grams, according to the website, about two grams over a troy ounce, and with a troy ounce of gold currently selling for about $1,546, the coin's scrap value would be about $1,668.

The top presale estimate, $4,000 to $8,000, is for an 1806 $10 half-eagle, gold-draped, bust coin. A French proof commemorative medal with profile busts of Napoleon Bonaparte and his second wife, Marie Louise, dated 1811, has a presale estimate of $3,000 to $3,500.

The session also features more than 100 lots of weaponry and nearly 70 lots of Boehm porcelains from an East Coast educational institution, according to the catalog. Among the weapons are military pistols and rifles and three sets of dueling pistols, notably a matched and engraved pair of French Alfred Gauvin pistols with a presale estimate of $4,000 to $7,000.

Most of the Boehm figures are birds, generally perched on branches, and most should sell for less than $500, although a grouping of orchids and hummingbirds has a presale estimate of $500 to $1,000.

Among the 760 lots in the opening session, beginning at 10 a.m. Wednesday, are furniture; stoneware and other ceramics; paintings, including a depiction of David Rittenhouse's birthplace in Fairmount Park; and military items. Most are expected to sell in the three-figure range, but a large, 19th-century Majolica tureen and a Louis Vuitton leather and brassbound trunk made around 1860 have presale estimates of $3,000 to $5,000 each.

The final session, beginning at 10 a.m. next Friday, includes bronzes, carpets, and Chinese, Japanese, and other Far Eastern furniture and decorative items, including a massive incense burner ($1,000 to $2,000).

Previews are from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, and 9 a.m. to sale time on the sale days at the gallery, 463 E. Lancaster Ave. For further information, call 610-269-4040.