Shaker items will headline Meissner's April 28 on-site estate sale in New Lebanon, N.Y. The estate of the late Albert “Al” Cassavant will be sold at an on-site auction on Saturday, April 28, at 11 a.m. The auction will be held by Meissner's Auction Service in New Lebanon, N.Y.
News-Antique.com - Apr 13,2012 - (NEW LEBANON, N.Y.) – The estate of the late Albert “Al” Cassavant -- a longtime and dedicated collector who owned two local antiques shops over the course of his long and fruitful life – will be sold at an on-site auction on Saturday, April 28, at 11 a.m. The auction will be held at the Cassavant residence, located at 5 Main Street (corner of Rte. 22) in New Lebanon.
“Al and Ruth operated their antiques business here in town until around 2000, when poor health started to get the best of him,” said Dolores Meissner of Meissner’s Auction Service, the New Lebanon-based firm conducting the auction. “They were fixtures at the Brimfield (Mass.) and Kurtztown (Pa) shows. Al would always set up at Brimfield, no matter how poorly he felt.”
Between 450-500 lots will be offered in a wide variety of categories, to include Shaker furniture, early primitives, antique lamps and lighting, a smoke bell collection, a perfume bottles collection, a shaving mugs collection, historical blue transfer ware, early toys, figural humidors and more. There will be no Internet bidding in the sale but phone and absentee bids will be taken.
From 1980-2000, the Cassavants operated the Tryon House Antique Shop out of their historic, circa-1760s home in New Lebanon. The contents of the home, to include their many collections, will be in the April 28 auction. The couple’s long love affair with Shaker furniture is legendary; they were friends with the Mt. Lebanon, Canterbury and Sabbathday Lake Shakers.
Al Cassavant was born April 13, 1920. He was a World War II Navy combat veteran, having served on the destroyer USS Laws. He married Ruth prior to the war’s outbreak, on May 8, 1940. After his honorable discharge, he went to work for General Electric, in Naval Ordnance. He was an avid coin collector in the 1940s and ‘50s (note: there will be no coins in this auction).
The Cassavants’ fascination with the Shaker community began in the 1940s. When the Mt. Lebanon Shaker Village dissolved during that period, they acquired several furniture pieces that were made there. In the 1950s, they would make trips to the Canterbury, N.H., and Lebanon Hancock Shaker villages, where they became close friends with some of the Shaker Sisters there.
In the early 1970s, Al and Ruth made their home available to the Shaker Sisters when they were away, attending a ceremony for the First Day of Issue for the U.S. Postal Service Shaker envelope. Several items in the sale were gifts, given to the Cassavants by Shaker Sisters Bertha Lindsey and Miriam Wall of Canterbury, N.H., to include boards from the Shaker barn.
In the early 1960s, Mr. Cassavant began a new collection – early antique bottles. He loved to go out bottle digging, and was a member of the Berkshire Antique Bottle Association. By the 1970s he and Ruth had branched out into other areas of antique collecting, and they opened a shop, called Cottage Antiques, located at Nopper’s Antique Center in