A sunny Sunday afternoon saw a lively crowd at Dan Ripley’s Antique Helper, gathering to bid on items in a Discovery Auction that included plenty of cut glass, stemware, ironstone, Fiesta ware, and enough porcelain and fine china by the likes of Lenox, Noritake, Wedgewood and Rorstrand to serve a small town a full fledged Sunday Dinner. In addition to the great selection of dinnerware, there were several lots of sterling flatware service and a whimsical collection of salt and peppers as well as a huge collection of vintage advertising including feature Matchbooks and tin litho.
The auction, called by auctioneers from Christy’s of Indiana, started on a high note with the sale of a lovely Beelleek tea set with Shamrock and Basket weave body shape, with an 1891-1926 Black Mark on bottom. Expected to bring between $100 and $200, excitement mounted as the price soared to end at $1,000 plus 15% buyer’s premium, to an absentee bidder.
A large collection of Mason’s Vista Ironstone was offered in 15 separate lots. Prices were strong in this area, with nearly all closing within estimate. A lot of three pieces of Mason’s Red Vista Ironstone, including a serving bowl, relish dish and trivet (est. $50-$150) closed at $100, while a lot of 6 pieces of Mason’s Vista Ironstone Transferware (est. $50-$150) closed at $110, despite a ¼"chip at the corner of the rectangular serving tray, and a 13 piece Ironstone Transferware Demitasse Tea Set (est. $50-$150) closed at $140. A hexagonal footed Ming jar/tea caddy exceeded its high estimate of $150, seeing $170. Sterling flatware came just short of low estimate, including a 90 piece set of Kirk Stieff Reposse flatware with side pieces, which closed just short of its low estimate of $1,500, at $1,300. Nearly doubling high estimate was a very early Irish silver hand forged bowl, possibly from the 17th Century. Marked and numbered 16-10 on the bottom, this beautiful piece, with a high estimate of $400, closed at $700,plus 15% buyer’s premium, to an eBay bidder.
Live bidders had a heyday with non-eBay lots, walking home with some outstanding steals and deals. A set of eight Bavarian gold and white demitasse cups with saucers waltzed away to the tune of $10, while a lot of 45 pieces of Johnson Brothers "The Old Mill" dishes found a new home for just $20. A 77 piece set of Noritake Scheherazade China saw $120, and several large lots of brightly colored Fiesta Ware closed with prices ranging from $10 to $50.
A Lenox Porcelain Sterling demitasse set of six cups and saucers listed on eBay sold comfortably within its estimated $150-$250, closing at $200; meanwhile, a pretty robin’s egg blue case glass Victorian hand painted bride’s bowl on silver-plate base by Meridan (est. $150-$250) closed at $225 and a lot of three hand painted porcelain mugs, including a Willets belleek mug with grape motif (est. $100-$150) closed at $110. A lot of 42 pieces of Lenox china in the Brookdale pattern also exceeded expectations, closing above its expected high of $300, at $525.
Crystal that included several lots of German Bohemian cut glass and St. Louis Crystal faired very well. A two-piece lot of St. Louse crystal, including an old fashioned tumbler and a sherbet stem (est. $150-$250) closed just short of high estimate at $225. Not to be deterred, a St. Louis crystal liquor decanter in the Thistle pattern closed at high estimate of $400. Ending with even more impressive numbers was a six-piece lot of St. Louis crystal stemware in the Chambord pattern (est. 100-$300), closing at $525, and a lot of 3 St. Louis crystal water goblets in the thistle pattern (est. 200-$400), closing at $600.
A single consignor provided great levity with more than 50 whimsical lots of vintage salt and peppers. With lots often consisting of 4 or more pairs, there was plenty to be had; there was more than enough to go around. However, despite the attention paid to this collection, many of these lots failed to meet expectations, frequently selling below estimate, giving collectors a chance to take home some ready-made collections at excellent prices. Some exceptions included an 8 pair lot of Occupied Japan shakers, including two bellboy/porters with hang-on luggage (est. $100-$200), closing at $120, and a similar, 9 pair lot (est. $100-$300), closing at $150. Meanwhile, a lot of 3 pairs of Japan anthropomorphic musical fruit and vegetable head salt and pepper shakers (est. $50-$150) closed within estimate at $120 and a single pair of vintage Japan dancing figural salt and pepper shakers closed precisely at high estimate of $100.
Among the vintage advertising offerings was a tin Litho Edmonsdson’s Red Seal Toffee purse-shaped box (est. $10-$50, which exceeded expectations, closing at $110. But the items that brought the most excitement and attention to this sale were the hundreds of vintage advertising matchbooks, offered in 12 separate lots, showcasing restaurants, retail, and bowling, hotels, motels and more. Nearly all of these lots sold within or above estimate, but some fared even better than others. A lot of approximately 36 adverting matchbooks featuring matchbooks from nightclubs, burlesque shows and restaurants with girly pinups and nudes opened well above its high estimate of $100, closing at a cozy $300. A lot of over 100 vintage advertising matchbooks pertaining to automotive, classic cars, fuels, trucking and industrial products, circa 1940s/50s sold within its estimated $100-$300, closing at $225. But, the high point of this segment came with a lot of over 100 vintage advertising matchbooks pertaining to miscellaneous retail; this instant and rare collection, estimated between $100 and $300, galloped past high estimate and didn’t stop until the gavel came down at $975.
The day ended with sunlight to spare, and the Antique Helper Staff is now busy preparing for the next auction, slated for Sunday, February 13th at 12 noon. Featured in this sale will be a wide selection of pottery as well as the liquidation of Hope’s Shop Antiques from Indianapolis, Indiana. For information about this or other future auctions, please call 317-251-5635 or visit our website at www.antiquehelper.com.