Four Gothic bookcases bring $115,000 at Hal Hunt sale A monumental set of four matching American Gothic bookcases crafted in Philadelphia in 1854 sold for $115,000 at a multi-estate sale held March 13 by Hal Hunt Auctions in Northport, Alabama.
News-Antique.com - Mar 26,2010 - (NORTHPORT, Ala.) – A monumental set of four matching American Gothic bookcases, beautifully crafted in Philadelphia in 1854 and attributed to the workshop of Crawford Riddell, a noted cabinetmaker of the time, sold for $115,000 at a multi-estate sale held Mar. 13 by Hal Hunt Auctions. The sale was conducted in the firm’s gallery, at 5925 Hwy. 43N in Northport.
The bookcases – by far the top achiever in a sale that saw 475 quality lots cross the block – were originally built for the library of the Annandale Plantation in Madison County, Miss. Annandale burned to the ground in 1924 and in 1932 the bookcases were purchased by Col. Robert Bogardus Snowden and his wife, Annie, who installed them in their home in Memphis.
The contents of that mansion, known as Annesdale and named after Annie Snowden, were also featured, as were other private Southern collections. About 350 people attended the sale, which had no Internet or phone bidding (absentee bids were taken, however). “This was a quality, live-auction sale with some outstanding 19th century American antiques,” Hal Hunt said.
“These were not antiques you would typically go out and find,” Mr. Hunt continued. “Many were rare, one-of-a-kind pieces, and it’s hard to even assign a value to such items. Maybe because of that, there was very spirited bidding in the room. In fact, I was a little surprised by the participation. It showed me the market has been sustained for high-end, investment antiques.”
The only soft spot in the sale, Mr. Hunt observed, was Belter furniture, which did not fetch top dollar. “An example was a gorgeous Victorian etagere that went for an unbelievably low $4,600 – about half its real value,” he said, adding, “But that’s what made this such a great sale. The high end prevailed but there were still some bargains. Everybody went home happy.”
Following are additional highlights from the sale. All prices quoted include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.
Beds and bedroom suite really wowed the crowd. A three-piece walnut Renaissance bedroom suite with bronze plaques, attributed to Thomas Brooks, hit $34,500; an oversized Renaissance bed with marquetry inlay and bronze plaques, attributed to G. Herter, climbed to $33.925; and a 2-piece burled walnut Victorian bedroom suite found a new owner for $13,225.
Pieces by R.J. Horner got paddles wagging, too. A fine and monumental oak sideboard went for $28,175; an oak 60-inch winged ladies’ dining table with three leaves rose to $25,875; a rare oak winged ladies’ executive desk breezed to $25,300; and a heavily carved oak fireplace mantel made $10,925. Also, a rosewood candle stand attributed to A. Roux commanded $9,775.
An extremely fine rosewood Renaissance marquetry inlay credenza, attributed to Portier & Styums crossed the finish line at $69,000; a Mitchells & Rammelsberg walnut half tester bed garnered $7,475; a heavily carved walnut etagere, attributed to Mitchells & Rammelsberg, 8 feet tall, rose to $5,750; and a Renaissance mantel mirror (from the Herter bedroom suite) hit $5,750.