Washington portrait flask garners $60,840 at Heckler's Internet-only auction A portrait flask showing George Washington and a classical bust (possibly Henry Clay) soared to $60,840 to take top honors in an Internet-only auction held Jan. 27-Feb. 6 by Norman C. Heckler & Co.
News-Antique.com - Feb 24,2013 - (WOODSTOCK, Conn.) – A big, beautiful and colorful portrait flask showing George Washington and a classical bust (possibly that of the noted 19th century American orator Henry Clay) soared to $60,840 to take top honors in an Internet and catalog auction held by Norman C. Heckler & Company (www.hecklerauction.com). The sale opened on Jan. 27 and closed Feb. 6.
The quart flask boasted a rare “screaming” yellow color, with a sheared mouth and pontil scar. It was made circa 1840-1860 by the Baltimore Glass Works (Baltimore, Md.) and was the top lot of the 162 lots of vintage bottles that came up for bid. The auction attracted just over 1,000 bidders, mostly from the U.S. but also Canada, England and Australia.
“This was a very strong, successful sale, and I attribute that to the tremendous diversity we had, both in terms of categories and colors,” said Norm Heckler of Norman C. Heckler & Company. “What impressed me was the fact that 90-95 percent of the bottles in this auction were in color; very little was clear. The variety of offerings appealed to a wide range of buyers.”
Mr. Heckler pointed to the numerous consignors as another contributing factor. Sold were bottles, historical flasks, medicines, early glass, wine bottles, pattern molded and free-blown glass and more from the collections of Gary Hatstat, Dr. Gary and Arlette Johnson, Kristopher Kernozicky, Valerie Mikalonis, Hiram Norcross, Robert W. Skinner, Jr., Bernie Roberts and others.
By the time the final gavel came down, more than $375,000 had been tabulated. The majority of the action came over the Internet, with 1,015 registered bidders posting more than 42,000 views, but some phone and absentee bids were also recorded. “It was actually a stronger sale than I even expected,” Mr. Heckler said. “Was it timing? The economy? The diversity? Probably all three.”
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a 17 percent buyer’s premium.
A pair of portrait flasks showing George Washington and Zachary Taylor, both made by the Dyottville Glass Works (Philadelphia) performed well. One was made circa 1840-1860 and was colored a rare yellow with olive tint. The half-pint flask made $14,040. The other was a Prussian blue quart flask, made circa 1860-1870, with a nice strong mold impression ($10,530).
One other Washington flask also deserves mention. It was a beautiful sapphire blue quart, with a sailing frigate portrait, made by Albany Glass Works (Albany, N.Y.). It was made circa 1847-1850 and finished at $18,720. Also, a Pitkin type flask, colored a brilliant clear medium lavender amethyst, made circa 1822-1829, gaveled for $19,890.
Two other lots topped the $10,000 mark. One was a Type 1 free-blown lily pad compote on a solid standard with applied circular base, aquamarine, possibly made by Redford Glass Works (Redford, N.Y.), circa 1840 ($11,115). The other was a medium cobalt blue scroll flask, probably made by the Louisville Glass Works (Louisville, Ky.), circa 1845-1860 ($10,350).
An Art Glass pitcher, made circa 1888-1895 in a Royal Flemish fish