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Western Pennsylvania sales offer a bounty of attractions

| Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012, 8:52 p.m.
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Slice of life: A. F. King’s “Trompe L’oeil Still Life of Watermelon, Crate, and Knife” is almost nearly life-like enough to eat. Estimate: $20,000-$30,000.
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Starry, starry delight: Created by Black Starr, this pendant is loaded with more than 490 diamonds and 80 sapphires. Estimate: $25,000-$30,000.
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Downtown train: Selden Davis crafted this “Pittsburghesque” photographic image of the Golden Triangle in the “Smoky City” era. Estimate: $1,500-$2,500.
Wild flower power: Measuring 20 inches across, this Tiffany lamps spreads a wide light with a leaded-glass daffodil shade. Estimate: 25,000-$30,000.
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Passage from India: Mine-cut, this Indian18-karat diamond and ruby broach features guiochette engraving with opaque and transparent enamel on the back. Estimate: $3,000-$6,000.
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Coke classic: This vintage Coca-Cola vending machine is ready to serve the world’s leading soft drink.

Auction Watch

A pre-Thanksgiving bounty of sales showers bidders in the coming weeks.

Constantine & Pletcher

Constantine & Pletcher's next sale on Nov. 17, is part of the company's annual “November to Remember” event.

A pair of Rolls-Royce automobiles will jump start the sale in big way. The two 2012 models, from the Ghost EWB series, originally sported sticker price of $360,000 and $320,000. The pricier of the two shows just 63 miles on the odometer while its “more affordable” mate rolled up about 1,000 road miles. The cars sport a definite muscular look that is offset by an overall streamlined design.

Dan Pletcher and company will switch gears and direct the bright lights toward a trio of Tiffany table lamps. For a more traditional look, a Tiffany lamp with a leaded-glass, day-lily shade should send a jolt through the audience with an estimated sale price in the mid-five figure range. Slightly lower priced, but still dazzling in its own light, is a Tiffany model with 10 lily-shaped shades. The final Tiffany offering comes with a 20-inch leaded-glass daffodil shade.

The furniture standouts promise to be a Jacobean-style mother-of-pearl court cabinet, Victorian Rococo carved-turtle top table, a Philadelphia card table and a neo-classical continental walnut clothes press, circa 1790.

Bidders can mine plenty of valuable in the jewelry category, including a 5-carat diamond and solitaire ring, originally sold for $57,000. For real star power, a 1960s “Hollywood” style platinum and diamond earring set, with more than 120 diamonds, tips the scales at more than 11 carats. A timeless keepsake is an Edwardian-style, two-sided pendant watch loaded with 496 diamonds and 82 sapphires.

Among the other highlights are Tiffany and Royal Danish silver sets. Steuben, Loetz, Galle, Daum Nancy are the big names in the sale's glassware. Clocks from Cartier, Seth Thomas and Tiffany & Co. will make sure the hand of time keep moving in style. A bronze statue of a “Wealthy Arab Merchant” should ring up high sale price, and a nice collection of Asian ivories adds a different accent to the sale.

The second part of the sale turns to a sportsman-themed auction that features a lifetime collection of 100 firearms and many pieces of taxidermy, including a standing, full-body stuffed lion. The firepower blasts away with 21 Parker shotguns and skeet rifles, English double shotguns, three Colt shotguns and rifles from Winchester, Browning and Remington. The weaponry also includes pistols and sabers and swords, many from the Civil War.

The sale preview is from noon to 5 p.m. Nov. 16 and 9 to 11 a.m. Nov. 17, followed by the first part of the sale, with the sportsman auction begins at 3:30 p.m., at the Constantine & Pletcher showroom, 1306 Pittsburgh St., Cheswick. Details: 723-275-7190

Concept Art Gallery

Over the past few months, Sam Berkovitz has been on the road to pull together three year-end sales at Concept Art Gallery. The second of those sales is Nov. 17, with another powerhouse lineup of art, furniture and more.

A rare collection of Pittsburgh photography provides an eye-opening look of the city's past, both far and near. One image from the 1920s shows a steaming locomotive chugging around the rotunda of Downtown's Pennsylvania Railroad Station, with the Gulf Building looming in a backdrop of smoky skies. A Eugene Smith print of a more recent vintage shows Downtown from a North Side perspective.

Almost photographic in its rendering, an A. F. King still-life of a plugged watermelon is nearly edible in its realistic look.

A collection of gold, silver and diamond jewelry comes to market with local and Central American roots. Amelia Neville Shields Guirola hailed from Sewickley but married a Salvadoran oligarch. The couple traveled nearly year-round, purchasing rare and expensive items from nearly every region of the world. Many of the pieces reveal their origins and grace subtly. Yet, the oddest piece in the collection of these international socialites is a 10-karat gold city of Nashville pin from country music legend Minnie Pearl.

Art highlights include an Oriental watercolor of a young girl in a harem and a large oil painting of two young men playing dice. A selection of Asian and Middle Eastern carpets in all sizes and styles is up for grabs. Finally, the sale closes with a large group of Asian paintings, porcelain, carvings and snuff bottles.

Previews run from 10 a.m. to 5-30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. The sale starts at 10 a.m. on Nov. 17. at Concept, 1031 S. Braddock Ave., Regent Square. Details: 412-242-9200

Dargate Auction Galleries

When Richard Nixon traveled to China in the early 1970s, the former president opened the floodgates for an Ohio entrepreneur who imported goods from the Red Giant over the next four decades. From his East Liverpool business, Emmanuel Fellouzis bought and sold tens of thousands of items from China and sold them at the weekly auctions he conducted. Though much of what he purchased were reproductions, the bill of goods often included genuine antiques. Now Dargate will devote an entire day of this upcoming three-day sale, Friday through Sunday to selling that collection.

The collection features pottery, snuff boxes, vases, plates and jars. Estimates for goods run from $10 to $1,000. The sale's top pieces include a Gorham sterling silver martele bowl, art glass, a gold cigarette box and a small selection of art.

Previews are fron noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 8, with the sales starting at 10 a.m. Friday and Saturday and noon on Nov. 11, at Dargate, 326 Munson Ave., McKees Rocks. Details: 712-771-8700

Mark Ferry Auctioneers

For this week's sales, Mark Ferry travels to Scottsdale to auction off the contents of the consignor's home in the opening round and a collection of old autos and trucks in part two.

Thursday, Ferry holds an on-site sale jammed with antiques, collectible and everyday goods. The eclectic grab bag features a Victorian sofa and two matching chairs, a French writing desk with gold ormolu, a like-new 1936 Frigidaire, “Gone with the Wind” style lamps, two pay phones and mounted wild boar, bear, sheep and raccoon heads.

Saturday, Ferry returns to rev up the crowd for a car and truck auction. What bidders will find is antique and vintage rides such as Ford Model A cars and MGs. However, most of the vehicles are in need of some tender loving care — a perfect match for weekend DIY mechanics looking for a challenge. To make the job a bit easier, a slew of auto and woodworking tools are on sale, too.

A few days later Ferry reloads for gun sale on Nov. 15. The more than 75 weapons include antique and newer rifles and pistols made overseas and here in the U.S. from Remington, Winchester and other well-known manufacturers.

The 4 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. Saturday sales will be held at 601 Stauffer St., Scottsdale. Previews will be held one hour before sale times.

The Nov. 15 sale will be at The Barn at Ligonier Valley, 1 Springer Road, Ligonier. Doors at open 4 p.m. for previews. The sale starts at 6 p.m.

Details: 724-423-5580.

BHD Auctions

It's back to the web after a recent live sale for BHD Auctions. This internet-only auction run from Nov. 16-29. If you're looking the real thing, a vintage upright Coca-Cola vending machine just might provide the pause that refreshes. Some deep surfing on the BHD web site brings a wave of country furniture, old farm equipment, a vintage cruiser bicycle, Zippo lighter, lanterns and more. Details: www.bhdauctions.net

John Altdorfer is a contributing writer to Trib Total Media.

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