Country auctions are not the Memorial Day weekend tradition they once were, but at least a couple persist.
This year, they will share the weekend with two non-holiday-related events, beginning at 11 a.m. Friday with Freeman's catalog sale of Oriental rugs and carpets beginning at the gallery, 1808 Chestnut St.
Most of the more than 100 rugs offered are from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, according to descriptions in the catalog, also accessible online at www.freemansauction.com.
They range in size from a northeast Persia Belouch mat about 2½ feet square to a southeast Persian Kerman nearly 16 feet by 11 feet. Presale estimates range from $400 to $600 for a central Persian Mahal carpet to $7,000 to $9,000 for a Sarouk Fereghan meditation carpet inscribed with verse.
Although most carpets come from the Mideast and Far East, the sale includes an Austrian Orendi carpet with a presale estimate of $800 to $1,200 and an 11-by-12-foot Restauration Aubusson carpet from France that comes from the Philadelphia Museum of Art's collections and has a presale estimate of $5,000 to $7,000.
Kountry Kitchen sale. Moving from a sale in town to one in the country, beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday in the South Jersey community of Elmer, auctioneer Joseph F. Pino will sell off some of the decor and appointments of a South Jersey highway landmark, Kountry Kitchen on Route 40 near Elmer. Unlike the liquidation last February of another landmark Route 40 restaurant, Richman's Ice Cream near Woodstown, Kountry Kitchen is remaining open, but with a possible change of hands, according to Pino.
Pino, who is also a real estate broker but not involved in the business transaction, said the date for the auction was not timed for the holiday but was set because of a former June deadline for the deal. Still, the auction will have the chockablock earmarks of a typical Memorial Day weekend country sale.
"Folks, there are lots of collectibles and junque," says Pino's online ad for the sale, accessible at www.auctionzip.com. "Something for everybody!"
The ad's text, for example, lists a sterling flatware service for 12 - between a potbelly stove and a scrapple pot with cow heads.
Pino said he was unsure just how many lots were up for sale, let alone what might bring the top prices. He mentioned a few of the other noteworthy items: a couple of old brass cash registers, a lot of advertising tins, tobacco jars, a lot of antique perfume bottles, a copper bathtub, an old lard cooker, and an old safe.
. On Monday, two traditional Memorial Day sales will take place. A few miles east of Elmer in Malaga, N.J., Bob Brooks Auction Sales will be offering a vast quantity of decorative arts, including antique samplers and Civil War artifacts, beginning at 7:45 a.m. at the gallery located on Route 47, a mile north of Route 40. (Brooks was the auctioneer who liquidated Richman's, by the way.)
The Civil War material includes three daguerreotypes, a portable officer's field desk, dozens of swords and bayonets, and several rifles, as well as powder horns and field telescopes. One of the samplers was made in 1810 in the quaint Cumberland County town of Greenwich and signed Elizabeth Brown; the other was done in 1842 by Catharine Ann Wynkoop of Montgomery County.
Other unusual items include a carousel horse and, for bidders with a pickup truck at their disposal, an 18-foot post office front from the nearby town of Newfield, with service windows and drop-off slots. Furniture includes an Empire canopy bed dating to 1825, a South Jersey pine blind door, glass-door corner cabinets, a five-piece paint-decorated Cottage bedroom set, and a variety of Victorian and oak pieces.
Farmersville sale. To the west, at 8 a.m. Monday in the Lancaster County town of Ephrata, the Farmersville Auction will hold its annual Memorial Day sale of antiques and collectibles, offering more than 1,500 lots of small items and 300 lots of furniture. The furniture will be offered starting at 10 a.m.
Among collectibles are toby jugs, vintage straight razors, old eyeglasses, milk bottles, spongeware and other ceramics, teddy bears, model trains in a variety of makes and gauges, and toys. Larger items include clocks, chests, and a baggage scale.