In the foreword he wrote for the catalog of his 40-year personal collection of antiques that Pook & Pook Inc. will sell May 5, dealer James Grievo says a love of weather vanes dominated his passion from the start. Indeed, there are 11 in the sale beginning at 10 a.m. at the gallery in Downingtown, with half of them expected to bring five-figure prices.
But the 400 lots to be offered are otherwise so diverse as to suggest that Grievo, who lives and works with his wife, Sheryl, in Stockton, N.J., is consumed by the thrill of acquisition for its own sake. "It was never about the money," he said this week. "It was the love of finding great things."
In the foreword, he recalls a country sale years ago near Harrisburg where he spotted — and coveted — a dry sink that he thought he could get for $700. Bidding quickly topped that, but he stubbornly held out and finally got the sink for $2,250.
Grievo also estimates that he has traveled 1.6 million miles in pursuit of his passion. Those travels included a 1971 trip to Bernardsville, N.J., where he stumbled across a circa 1830 5-by-6-foot cupboard at a house sale with a price tag of $50 that he snapped up — even though he had to bring it home atop a 1968 Volkswagen Beetle.
The cupboard is among items in the Pook & Pook sale, with a presale price estimate of $2,000 to $4,000, according to the auction catalog also accessible at www.pookandpook.com. The catalog also mentions the many friends and acquaintances with whom he clearly enjoyed dealing.
One weather vane, a circa 1880 copper prancing horse with a presale estimate of $25,000 to $45,000, came from his friends the New York dealers Susan and Sy Rappaport. A copper weather vaneof the Massachusetts Wampanoag tribal Chief Massasoit came from the Morristown, N.J., antiques show ($30,000 to $50,000).
A Waltham, Mass., copper weather vane in the form of a steer, with a presale estimate of $10,000 to $15,000, came from regular Grievo source Mary Page, a collector in Warner, N.H. The weather vane with the highest presale estimate, a circa 1880 copper ten-point buck weather vane expected to bring $40,000 to $80,000, came from a private Massachusetts estate.
Grievo said his only reason for selling the collection was a sense that it was time to simplify things. His dealer inventory is not in the sale and he plans to stay in business.
Previews: noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. next Friday, and 8 a.m. to sale time May 5 at the gallery at 463 E. Lancaster Ave. For further information, call 610-269-4040.
Fine art, clocks, and glassware. William H. Bunch Auctions and Appraisals also expects some five-figure prices at a catalog auction of decorative and fine arts beginning at noon Tuesday at the gallery at Chadds Ford. But the sale also will have interesting lesser-priced items, notably tribal and native pottery; miniature dioramas of stores and household interiors; and collectible sugar shakers and fine glassware.
One item with a five-figure presale estimate of $15,000 to $25,000, according to the online catalog accessible at www.williambunchauctions.com, is a carved and inlaid Walter Durfee nine-tube hall clock, one of a dozen or more clocks in the 525-lot sale. Also expected to bring $15,000 to $25,000 are Two Women Eating Corn and Melon, a semiabstract oil on board by Angel Botello (1913 to 1986), and The Indian Hunter, an 1860 bronze by John Quincy Adams Ward (1830 to 1910) that is a copy of the original in Manhattan's Central Park.
Previews: noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, and 9 a.m. to sale time Tuesday at the gallery at One Hillman Dr. For further information, call 610-558-1800.
Treasures at Stephenson's. Beginning at 11 a.m. Friday, earlier than usual, at its Bucks County gallery, Stephenson's 700-lot sale of antiques and decorative arts will offer gold and silver estate jewelry, a collection of automotive-related signs and hood ornaments, and fine art from area homes, and an opening 200 lots of collectible figurines.
Jewelry includes two silver bracelets: a simple bangle designed by Vivianna Torun Bulow-Hube for Georg Jensen ($200 to $300) and a Mexican sterling bracelet with links featuring carved green Mayan faces ($100 to $200). Automotive memorabilia includes porcelain advertising signs for such gasoline brands as Texaco, Sinclair, Pennzoil, Quaker State, Gulf, Socony, and Atlantic.
Fine art includes two works by John Fulton Follinsbee: a sepia sketch of fishermen on the Delaware River, titled Digging for Bait, and an oil-on-canvas landscape with docked boat that came from a Montgomery County residence. It has a presale estimate of $8,000 to $12,000.
Preview: 9 a.m. to sale time Friday at the gallery at 1005 Industrial Blvd., Southampton. For further information, call 215-322-6182.
Couture, textiles in New Hope. Beginning at 10 a.m. Friday and Saturday, the Charles A. Whitaker Auction Co. will offer more than 900 lots of spring couture, vintage fashions, and textiles at the Eagle Fire Company, Route 202 and Sugan Road, New Hope. The sale will feature property from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Shippensburg University, and items from private collectors and estates, including a spectacular red alligator steamer trunk and luggage from the estate of Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney.
The trunk is expected to bring $3,000 to $5,000 at Saturday's session. It also will feature couture from the early 19th century to current designers.
Previews: 8 a.m. to sale time Friday and Saturday. For further information, call 215-817-4600.