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Arts & Entertainment

Sales offer a bonanza of goods

| Monday, Jan. 4, 2010

It's out with the "aughts" and in with the "tweens" as we kick off a new year and a new decade of local auctions.

Constantine & Pletcher

After a relaxing holiday hiatus and successful New Year's Day sale, co-owner Dan Pletcher admits he's ready to get "back on track in 2010."

"We're returning to our normal schedule with our Jan. 9 sale," says Pletcher. "And it's going to have a big emphasis on fine art."

The big local name is A. F. King, in the form of a large autumnal landscape with some definite Scalp Level influences. Though not as highly coveted as his realistic fresh-fruit stilllifes, King landscapes often fetch hammer prices in the high four-figure range.

Another notable work is by Belgian-born artist Bernard Posthast. Schooled in Paris, Posthast specialized in painting what many critics call "peasant family" settings, many with mothers tending to the needs of their young children. The Posthast on the block holds true to that theme with a mother reading to her brood.

Antique lovers will appreciate an 18th-century Chippendale dish-top candle stand, a New England one-drawer stand and a New England Queen Anne chair from the 1740s. Completing a well-rounded sale is a set of watches, clocks and other time pieces from a local collector, along with silver, jewelry and other antiques and collectibles.

Previews are from noon to 5 p.m. Friday and 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday with the sale immediately afterward at the Constantine & Pletcher showroom, 1306 Pittsburgh St., Cheswick.

Details: 724-275-7190.

Three Rivers Auction Co.

When Tripp Kline returns to the podium on Sunday, he'll preside over a sale of mostly newer items coming from a single household. With a rustic, country cottage look, the furnishings, paintings and accessories offer buyers an opportunity to take home recently manufactured quality items with a vintage feel.

From a selection of area rugs, the best of the lot is a medallion Serapi Karastan number that measures nearly 9 feet by 12 feet. The offerings underfoot include other area rugs, runners, mats and decorative hooked rugs.

In the "ready for immediate use" category are a four-poster queen-size bed, a nine-piece white wicker ensemble, mahogany kneehole desk, baker's table with white marble top and a Queen Anne display table. Suitable for framing and hanging, the collection of art is heavy on outdoor paintings of landscapes and animals, with a smattering of stilllifes. A Tiffany & Co. silver bottle stopper and an H. J. Heinz stone jar are among the A-listers.

Previews will be from noon to 7 p.m. Thursday and 11 a.m. Sunday, followed by the noon sale, at The Three Rivers Auction Co., West Beau and Washington streets in Washington, Pa.

Details: 724-222-8020.

J.S. Dill Auctions

Americana is on the block Thursday at the Zelienople auction house, where a 19th-century coverlet is the main highlight. The tri-color creation shows its heritage with decorative touches that include a grape-leaf motif and the name "G. Crozier" and "Butler PA." Perfect for storing this keepsake is an early Pennsylvania paint-decorated blanket box from Center County with hand-forged strap hinges.

The bulk of the sale items comes from the lifetime acquisitions of a single consignor who is in the process of downsizing the collection. With a wide range of tastes and interests, the owner amassed an eclectic selection that includes an 1828 sampler made by one Lucy Parsons of Onondaga, N.Y.; a thread spool Folk Art stand, sack-back Windsor chair, Walnut swing-leg drop-leaf table and other treasures.

Among the artwork is a late 19th-century print of "Central Park," a location touted in the work's caption as the "finest outing grounds in Western Pennsylvania," just 22 miles upstream from Pittsburgh on the Monongahela River. The pastoral oasis shows a tidy park enclosed by a white picket fence and bordered by railroad tracks in front and the Mon River to the rear. The print is a quaint reminder of places where well-to-do Pittsburghers escaped for a bit of fresh air during early days of the city's industrial age.

An 1855 Colt Root Civil War-era five-shot pistol with holster, storage box and bullet mold are part of a small cache of antique firearms on the block. Also up for bid are an 1849 Colt with it original "Slim Jim," an Honor Guard 50/70 trap-door Springfield rifle from the estate of former Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Martin and an 1858 Army Civil War .44 caliber pistol.

Sticking to its customary Thursday-evening schedule, Dill returns Jan. 14 for a sale still being put together at press time.

Previews for both sales start at 5 p.m., with bidding following at 6 p.m., at the J. S. Dill showroom at 2341 Evans City Road, Zelienople.

Details: 724-453-0853.

Royal York Auction Gallery

Bob Simon opens another decade at the Royal York Auction Gallery with a sale Saturday. It features an 18th-century highboy, a jade-and-ivory Ducks Unlimited chess set, fine French crystal from Saint-Louis, art glass, silver, lamps and chandeliers, plus books, porcelain, china and crystal.

Auction previews are from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday and 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday. The sale starts at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Royal York, 5925 Baum Blvd., East Liberty.

Details: 412-661-1171.

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