March sales start quietly but increase in intensity

| Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

auction watch

BHD Auctions

BHD's next online-only sale runs Friday through March 14.

The highlight is an early two-piece corner cupboard. According to owner Brian Detch, the cupboard most likely dates to the 1830-1840 period. With a 12-pane, single door on top, the two-door base rests on bracket feet. Bathed in a red wash on the outside, brown paint covers the interior of the two pieces.

Antiques collectors will find the real deals in this sale, with some items tracing their roots to the early 1500s. A set of silver spoons includes an English utensil that Detch says was made in the 1530s, according to hallmarks found on the spoon. Other spoons in the collection include a few “modern” American pieces from the 17th and 18th centuries.

A circa-1550 English silver bodkin is perfect for a seamstress looking to poke a hole in a piece of fabric. Often stiletto-shaped, bodkins could, in a pinch, pull double duty as hairpins for a lady.

Also in the oldies but goodies is a sampling of American samplers from the 1730s to the 1830s.

A set of five signed Steuben gold aurene pull-feather, ruffle-edge shades could add a dash of color and classic American styling to the right lamp.

For history buffs, a Civil War canteen with a hand-stitched cover belonged to a Pennsylvania infantryman who fought at Petersburg. The soldier entered the Union Army in 1864 and was mustered out of the service in June 1865.

Details: 724-816-0683 or

Constantine & Pletcher

With the third installment of the River House sales set for Saturday, Dan Pletcher offers more goods from Lillian Goldsmith's Shadyside antiques store.

The lineup of quality merchandise covers a wide swath of Goldsmith's collecting interests, from early-American furniture to more recent chandeliers and lighting fixtures. Whether it's a pine-chest refrigerator or Dutch marquetry swing-leg table, the choices during this sale offer bidders a diverse selection in genres, periods and type of goods.

One of the standouts is a nearly 5-foot-tall German Black Forest cuckoo clock. Topped by a large bust of a deer with a long pair of antlers, this wall-mounted timekeeper sports a pair of crossed hunting rifles, small game, a hunter's horn and other outdoors-related carvings on its intricately decorated front. And, when the clock strikes the hour, it can play one of nine tunes on its music box.

For more urbane tastes, a blue glass and chrome Art Deco vanity delivers a sleek sophisticated look.

A nice presentation banjo clock will strike the right chord and the right time for a new owner. The Roman numerals on the face provide a classical contrast against the folksy painted landscape of a country estate on its base.

In the furniture group, an American oak S-rolltop desk with swing slides joins an American oak three-piece bedroom set. A Huntsinger mahogany rocking chair adds quaint charm with its subtle carvings and folksy upholstery.

More prints from Goldsmith's personal collection include works from Jean de Boissieu, Francesco Piranesi, J. Pollard and local artist Nat Youngblood, along with some Audubon prints. Also of local note, two watercolors by Rachel McClelland Sutton, daughter of the founder of Shadyside Hospital.

In the delicate-ceramics category, the offerings include French dinnerware, Vienna-style urns, early Staffordshire pieces and items from Nippon, Royal Crown Derby, Leeds, Rockingham, Limoges and pieces from well-known makers.

Jewelry selections will offer an eyeful with 14- and 18-karat rings and bracelets. For gents, there's a collection of fine pocket and wristwatches. Mexican silver stands out among the sterling selection of flatware and other items. For more exotic tastes, art and furniture from China and Japan will offer a Far East appeal.

Previews are noon to 5 p.m. Friday and 8 to 9 a.m. Saturday. An uncataloged sale starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, before the noon cataloged sale. Previews and sales will be held at 1308 Pittsburgh St., Cheswick. Details: 724-275-7190.

John Altdorfer is a contributing writer to Trib Total Media.

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