Important American Folk Art from the Ralph and Susanne Katz Collection ( a few more highlights)

This auction was of great interest to me. I made sure I was there to see it in person. Here are a few more highlights:

Lot # 5094 Ammi Phillips - Mary Ann Steenback Gale SOLD for $45,000.

Lot # 5122 Zedekiah Belknap - Young Girl Wearing a White Dress and Gold Beads Passed at $28,000.

Lot # 5139 Painted Fireboard from Moses Martin House, Salem, New York, circa 1830 SOLD at $80,000.

Lot # 5150 Thaomas Chambers - The Gennesee Falls at Rochester, New York circa 1855 Passed at $14,000.



Important American Folk Art from the Ralph and Susanne Katz Collection

January is the time of year when New York City pulls out all the stops for great auctions and shows. Sotheby's will hold the Ralph and Suzanne Katz Folk Art Collection on Saturday, January 21, 2017 at 10:00 am. Other auctions will be held at Sotheby's that weekend,but, this particular auction caught my eye. Here are a few of my favorite things:

Lot # 5143 View of the Berks County Almshouse by John Rasmussen ( 1828-1895), est $80,000-$120,000. SOLD at $420,000.

Lot # 5007 American Gameboard, est $3,000-$5,000. SOLD at $2,000.

Lot # 5150 The Gennesee Falls at Rochester, NY by Thomas Chambers, est $20,000. - $30,000. Passed at $14,000.

Lot 5029 Carved Stone Ram ( with two lambs), est $2,500- $3,500.SOLD at $5,500.

Lot # 5025 Portrait of a Dog wirh Greek Temple in the Background, 19th Century, est $10,000-$15,000. SOLD at $7,000.

Lot # 5038 Egret Decoy by Gus Rorkler, early 20th Century, est $400.-$600. Ha! This was my favorite. Thought I could sneak in with a nice low bid. Nope. SOLD at $3,200.

Lot # 5134 "Watermelon" American School Collage Late 19th/early 20th Century, est $800. - $1,200. SOLD at $1,300.

Lot # 5010 Embroidered Wool Coverlet, Connecticut River Valley, circa 1825, est $15,000 -$20,000. Passed at $9,000.

Lot # 5024 Carved Wood Sculpture of a Dog, Ohio, circa 1845, est $15,000.-$25,000. Passed at $11,000.

Lot #5138 Detail, Painted Linen Overmantle, New York State, circa 1840, est $12,000- $15,000. SOLD at $35,000.

Lot #5011 Hooked Rug, est $8,000.-$12,000.SOLD at $4,800.

And so much more! You can see the entire catalog online at Sotheby'

See you Saturday morning!



History Rocks: Interpreting the Archaeological Discoveries in Moorestown, New Jersey

You might know that the Quakers were the first European people to settle Moorestown in the 1680’s. And perhaps you know that the Lenni Lenape Nation called this region home prior to European colonization.

But, did you know that people groups before the Lenni Lenape travelled throughout New Jersey and made camps here in Moorestown?

We do not know exactly who these people were but an exciting discovery here in Moorestown suggests that the earliest people who travelled here had contact with the Adena people of Ohio. The Adena populated the region from Ohio, spreading east to Pennsylvania and Maryland, north to New York and south to Kentucky. The Adena promoted a culture that was very particular about proper burial presentation. They constructed large mounds of earth to mark the placement of their dead and buried personal objects within these mounds.

How do we know that the Adena people had a connection with Moorestown? The exciting discovery made in Moorestown involves an archaeological survey which took place four years ago. The dig was led by Ilene Grossman Bailey, Senior Archaeologist at Richard Grubb & Associates. The team found pieces of silt stone pipe fragments indigenous to the Adena people. Why are these fragments  in Moorestown, New Jersey? What significance did these pipes have to the people who owned them? Possibly, the Adena may have traded the silt stone pipes with other people groups or perhaps the Adena themselves may have briefly camped here. Maybe other people groups made copies after seeing the Adena’s pipes. In any case, the discovery is an exciting one. This exhibition features relics from the past discovered in various locations in Moorestown including the pipe fragments.

Special thanks to professional archaeologist Jack Cresson for lending a substantial part of his collection to the exhibit and providing a flint knapping demonstration on the opening day of the exhibition. Thank you to Dr. Gregory Lattanzi, New Jersey State Archaeologist Curator for his assistance in identifying and interpreting the recent finds and his instructive presentation at the Society’s October General Meeting. Thanks to the New Jersey State Museum for the loan of early tubular pipes to compare and contrast at the exhibit.

The Historical Society of Moorestown is open every Tuesday from 1-4 pm and the second and fourth Sundays of each month from 1-3 pm. There will be a free Holiday Open House on Friday December 2, 2016 from 5:30 -8:00 pm. The exhibit will be open to the public.

Smith Cadbury Mansion, 12 High Street Moorestown, NJ 08057

Map of Moorestown indicating locations of early artifact discoveries

Corresponding display case to the above map

Laurel Creek section of Moorestown

RCA section of Moorestown

The pipe fragments which inspired the exhibit

Pipes on loan from the New jersey State Museum for comparison

The section of Moorestown where the pipe fragments were discovered

Professional view of pipe fragments

A collection of artifacts on permanent view at the Historical Society of Moorestown




From the Ground Up: Archaeology, Artisans, Everyday Life

Anyone who knows me has come to learn that I am quite obsessed with the earliest history of the Delaware Valley. I’ve read John Watson’s three volume set, “Annals of Philadelphia” (and drew maps and took notes) twice and would read it again if I had time.

When I heard that archaeological excavations were being performed along busy I-95 in Philadelphia, I could barely contain myself. Where and when would the discovered artifacts be presented to the public?

The answer is the Museum of American Glass at Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center in Millville, New Jersey. But, hurry! The exhibition ends December 31, 2016.

This exhibition was everything I hoped it would be. Over 600 artifacts on display are placed in groups organized by first, contributions from Native Americans, then, potters and glassblowers, featuring the Dyottville Glass House in Philadelphia, then, fragments of household items from the late eighteenth to early twentieth centuries. I easily spent two hours reading the placards and examining the objects. There are maps and old photographs of the city. There are photographs of the dig itself and of the participants. There is a video on flint knapping demonstrated by Jack Cresson, local archaeologist. There is a scavenger hunt game for children within the exhibit. There really is something for everyone. Photography is permitted, which I appreciated since there is no accompanying catalog. Besides the exhibition is the excellent Museum of American Glass itself. It is a comprehensive and beautiful look at glass production through the years and is very informative. I highly recommend a visit for anyone interested in glass objects.

Another reason for my enthusiasm for this exhibition is that the Historical Society of Moorestown is also presenting an exhibition on early found objects in  Moorestown. The title is, History Rocks! Interpreting the Archaeological Discoveries in Moorestown. The focus is on the earliest people who passed through the area and what they left behind. More details on this exhibit in my next blog post.

Native American Pipe Fragments 800 - 1500 AD

Stoneware debris with focus on the Remmey Pottery

Household items recovered from the dig

Dyottville Glass Works Washington-Taylor Flask

Witch Balls

Glass Hats

I love this glimpse into another time.......

Rare Blue Vase

Pitkin Flasks

On the left, a child's thimble. Imagine a little one working on her sampler.

Discovered dishes

Children's Plates


Moorestown's Own Jack Cresson- video demonstration


Delaware Antiques Show - 2016

It is always a treat to visit the Delaware Antiques Show. Classy, sophisticated, subtle - it does not knock one out with razzle dazzle but rather, demonstrates educated good taste. It is not boring. On the contrary, the dealers are quite knowledgable and are happy to discuss the unique items in their booths. Winterthur benefits from the proceeds of this lovely show.

Below are a few highlights from 2016.

Sofa sold by Sumpter Priddy

Pair of New England fan back Windsor side chairs - Stephen/Douglas

Unique volute or "ear" on a fan back Windsor side chair - Stephen/Douglas

Beautiful starburst quilt - Lowery Antiques

Fiddle Head-  Norwood Spirit of America Antiques

Beverly Norwood, Spirit of America Antiques & Lisa Hammell, Noonmark Antiques