Washington portrait flask demands $28,080 at Norman C. Heckler & Co. A vintage American Calabash flask showing a tree-in-leaf bust portrait of George Washington (circa 1845-1860) sold for $28,080 in a mainly online auction held Sept. 1-14 by Norman C. Heckler & Co.
News-Antique.com - Oct 20,2011 - (WOODSTOCK VALLEY, Conn.) – A vintage American Calabash flask showing a tree-in-leaf bust portrait of George Washington (circa 1845-1860) soared to $28,080 to take top lot honors in an auction held Sept. 1-14 by Norman C. Heckler & Co. The sale featured 151 lots (149 sold) of early glass, bottles, flasks, pottery, game boards, antiques and select Americana.
“Color is king today, and this Calabash bottle had a striking cobalt blue coloration, together with a fantastic mold impression,” said Norman C. Heckler, Sr. “With fabulous color, great embossing and excellent condition, the flask had everything going for it.” The quart flask had an applied sloping collared mouth and tubular pontil scar. It was an exceptional example.
The auction’s second top lot – which also boasted rare color, exceptional condition and great embossing – was a peacock blue “Corn for the World” historical quart flask, made by the Baltimore Glass Works circa 1860-1870 ($19,890). The bottle had an applied flat collared mouth and smooth base. It was visually arresting, with a Baltimore monument and husked ear of corn.
The sale was conducted mostly online, with 320 bidders competing via the Internet (on the Norman C. Heckler & Co. website, at www.hecklerauction.com) and the telephone. Some absentee bids were also recorded. In all, there were 93 winning bidders. Norman C. Heckler & Co. is known mostly for its rare and vintage bottle auctions, but this sale featured more than that.
“The select Americana items represented in this auction (the 93rd for the firm) all did exceedingly well,” remarked Norman C. Heckler, Jr. “The folk art items, and specifically the game boards, far exceeded the pre-sale estimates. Redware and Stoneware pieces, too, were very strong, great decorative items from early manufacturers. Overall it was just a successful auction.”
Following are additional highlights from the sale. All prices quoted include a 17 percent buyer’s premium.
The aforementioned game boards included a fine pair of American paint-decorated examples, rendered in multiple colors. One that measured 16 ½ inches by 16 ½ inches went for $4,680, while the other, measuring 18 ½ inches by 18 inches, finished at $4,387 (it might have fetched more, but for a loss of wood trim border on one side). Both were made circa 19th century.
Period American furniture featured a diminutive wood-painted decorated blanket chest, made in New England in the 19th century and colored an old bright bayberry blue, 21 inches tall and with dovetail construction ($2,925); and a small wooden watchmaker’s (or seed) chest, also 19th century, with 55 dovetailed segmented drawers and diminutive turned pull knobs ($2,691).
Other Americana included a Sicilian glass (or “lava” glass) art glass vase, made circa 1878-1880 by the Washington Glass Company in New Bedford, Mass., black and with pink, green and blue highlights, 6 inches tall ($3,218); and a Redware handled jug marked “John Bell, Waynesboro” (Pa., circa 1860), 12 inches tall and having brown and tan mottled glazes ($2,223).
Returning to early glass, bottles and flasks, a rectangular, light yellow