Season-ending sales include furniture, glass, art pottery
By John Altdoefer
Published: Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
The summer winds might still be blowing in around town, but the local auction scene's theme song could be “See You in September” as most companies will stage modest season-ending sales during the next few weeks.
In Washington, Pa., Three Rivers Auction Co. wraps up summer with a sale of art pottery and antiques, while BHD Auctions in Zelienople introduces a weekly online sale format. Meanwhile, in Cheswick, Constantine & Pletcher returns to its Sunday schedule with the first of many sales featuring goods from a historic Westmoreland County home.
Three Rivers Auction Co.
Just a few blocks away from the heart of “Little Washington,” Tripp Kline closes out the season with an eclectic mix of antiques and collectibles, including a large collection of Roseville and art pottery that will open the Aug. 27 event.
Among the more than 60 art pottery items is a Weller Coppertone jardinière with a happy-looking frog climbing toward the bowl's rim. Decorated in green, yellow and copper hues, the textured vessel could serve as a fruit or punch bowl or even a playful dining-room table centerpiece.
While real-life bears are anything but warm and cuddly, a German Black Forest hall tree elicits smiles as a mama bear watches her curious cub at the top of a carved tree with bare limbs for hanging coats and hats. A glass shelf near the mother's legs provides a place for keys, wallets and cell phones.
The call of the wild might beckon those with a penchant for collecting ivory sculptures, with carved creations from African and Inuit artists. From female effigy figures and pipes to small statues of a polar bear and cub and a set of Inuit figures engaged in fishing, the selections offer a vast range of styles.
Though you can't run it up a flagpole, bidders might rally 'round a Navajo weaving of the Stars and Stripes, on which the stars are actually small squares.
The sale includes a large collection of machetes, which might come in handy clearing away much of the summer's overgrowth. Also up for grabs are a selection of handmade quilts, antique and collectible furniture, a circa 1910 German violin, a pair of Cambridge glass figures of nude women holding large balls on their heads and furniture of many styles and eras.
Potential viewers can preview the goods in person at the Three Rivers showroom from noon to 6 p.m. Aug. 27, followed by the sale, at 382 W. Chestnut St., Washington, Pa. Details: 724-222-8020 or www.3riversauction.com
Well rested from an extended summer vacation, BHD Auctions owner Brian Detch leaps into his fall schedule with a new format of seven-day online auctions. Responding to buyer demands, Detch shortened the length of his web-only auctions to maintain bidder interest.
“People were saying that with the longer sales, they would sometimes forget that they placed a bid,” he says. “The shorter period should help maintain their focus and will help me put more items up for bid, especially since I have a good backlog of goods ready to go.”
With two sales scheduled over the next few weeks, BHD's current sale, which runs through Aug. 29, includes highlights such as vintage painted-porcelain advertising signs from Raleigh cigarettes and Pepsi-Cola, Asian rugs, toy cap guns and cast-iron cars and trucks, vintage political campaign buttons, and antique hand tools.
Starting Aug. 30, Detch opens another Internet-exclusive sale that will sell off the contents of a New Castle home. On the electronic block are furniture of more-recent vintage, clothing, clocks, appliances, glassware, artwork and other household items. The sale ends Sept. 5.
Details: 724-816-0683 or www.bhdauctions.net
Constantine & Pletcher
For the past week or so, Dan Pletcher's been putting in some early hours at Constantine & Pletcher unloading trucks for his upcoming Sept. 1 sale, the first of as many as five auctions that feature goods from the former Bryce mansion in Mt. Pleasant.
Built during the late 1800s, the home belonged to the Bryce Brothers, once one of the foremost glassmakers in America. Specializing in blown stemware and tumblers, the company earned a strong share of the hospitality market in its early days. Along with its more utilitarian line of goods, Bryce earned a strong reputation for its decorative etching, cutting sand blasting and iridescent finishes. During its heyday, Bryce produced items that ended up in the White House. Founded in 1841, the company remained in family hands until 1965, when Lenox purchased the business.
With less than a week before the sale, Pletcher and crew have emptied the contents of seven 24-foot trucks at the company's Cheswick-based showroom, with more to come from the 27-room mansion that was packed nearly floor to ceiling with antiques of all types.
Starting off the series in what Pletcher describes as a “slow but powerful” way, the first sale brings forth a strong selection of glassware, ceramics and porcelain from Stangl, Pairpoint, Meissen, R.S. Prussia and other heavy hitters in that category, including a dozen Tiffany tall-stem wine glasses.
In the clocks group, the timeless choices feature a Seth Thomas No. 3 calendar clock, a Canadian tall-case clock and a walnut “grandmother clock,” which is similar to a grandfather clock but just about two-thirds the size.
Asian artifacts include a Chinese “valuables” cabinet and snuff bottles, carved-ivory quails, Japanese spelter items and bronze incense burners. Art objects include paintings from the Dutch and American schools, while furniture covers a range of pieces from Victorian to Colonial.
Starting off the day, an uncataloged sale will feature glassware from Fenton, more furniture, toys, trains, pottery, Bryce glass and more.
Sale previews are from noon to 5 p.m. Aug. 30 and 8 to 9 a.m. Sept. 1. The uncataloged sale begins at 9 a.m., followed by the main sale at noon, at 1306 Pittsburgh St., Cheswick, Pa. Details: 724-275-7190
John Altdorfer is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.
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