top of page

Ohio Collections Net $950K For Amelia Jeffers

Published on Antiques and the Arts Weekly – May 21, 2024.

Review by Madelia Hickman Ring

DELAWARE, OHIO — The 40-year collection of an unidentified Ohio couple was the focus du jour at Amelia Jeffers Auctioneers & Appraisers on May 3, giving bidders nearly 425 lots of Americana: silhouettes, portraits, tavern and trade signs, ceramics, toleware, treen, painted wooden objects, textiles, regional furniture and folk art. More from that collection followed on May 4, when another 567 lots included the Beth and Earl Trimble stoneware collection as well, the Lifetime Collection of Audrey Caspari and Ohio River Valley historical and decorative objects. Nearly $950,000 was realized during the two-day event, which Amelia Jeffers confirmed after the sale.

Reading “Worked by Mary Jane Mitchell, Halifax Ky,” this 17-by-17½-inch linen and thread sampler was made circa 1840 and had provenance to the 40-year collection. It will be going back to Kentucky to a buyer there who paid $25,500 for it. It was the top lot of the two-day event ($4/8,000).

“Both sales got a lot of attention. The couple live just 20 miles south of Garth’s Barn and are well-known and respected locally. Their collection represented them well: it was full of charm, interest, depth and authenticity. I feel really great that they asked me to handle the sale of their collection.”

The 40-year collection was the source for the top lot, a Kentucky needlework sampler worked circa 1840 in Halifax, Allen County, which was sold on the second day to a Kentucky private collector for $25,200. Worked on linen and attributed to Mary Jane Mitchell Claypool (1831-1913), the sampler featured a stylized flower and leaf border on three sides that centered an alphabet above a cider barrel, log cabin, American flag and the words “Liberty,” “To log cabin frugality we owe our independence,” “Wm. Harrison” and “Worked by Mary Jane Mitchell, Halifax Ky.”

William Kennedy’s portrait of a Rhode Island lady was dated 1845 and featured notations on the back identifying where she was from. Measuring 24 by 19 inches in a wooden frame, the oil on wood panel had an extensive provenance, including most recently the late Audrey Caspari. It sold to a Mid-Atlantic collector for $19,375 ($5/10,000).

A portrait of a Rhode Island lady by William Kennedy (1817-1871) was not fresh to the market but boasted noteworthy provenance that more than made up for that usually desirable element. Once handled by Hirschl & Adler Folk and Joan Brownstein, the charming portrait had been auctioned previously at Sotheby’s (1983), Christie’s (2004) and Freeman’s (2015) and came to Jeffers from the estate of known collector, Audrey Caspari. A buyer in the Mid-Atlantic, bidding online, won it for $19,375.

The first installment of stoneware from the collection of Beth and Earl Trimble crossed the block on the second day, led at $18,000 by a rare, decorated plot marker for C.E. Dilliner of New Geneva, Penn. According to the catalog, it featured freehand incised and cobalt highlighted text and decorative foliate motifs and is one of only four examples known. The buyer was bidding in the room, one of about 100-125 people who Jeffers said attended the sale each day.

A buyer bidding in the room blew away their competitors to win this tin, brass and walnut salesman’s sample windmill for $11,400 ($400/800).

Another bidder who came to the sale was successful in winning a salesman’s sample windmill with a tail lettered “H. Croft./ Pat. Nov 14th / 1876 / Springfield. Ohio” on one side and “Croft” on the other side. It stood 32½ inches tall and spun to $11,400, nearly 15 times its high estimate.

Bringing the within-estimate price of $10,800 was a late Nineteenth Century Native American maiden tobacconist figure that stood 68 inches tall overall. It had evidence of being repainted and was attributed to New York trade figure maker Samuel Robb ($1851-1928).

The second day of the sale featured six works by Ohio realist painter Emerson Burkhart (1905-1969), including “Before the Harvest,” a 1956 oil on canvas composition that had been commissioned by a farmer in Fayette County. It will be staying in Ohio, with a private collector who prevailed against local and farther away bidders with a $9,375 bid.

An online buyer drove the bidding to $8,125 on this Nineteenth Century hollow-body molded copper horse and sulky weathervane that measured 33 inches long ($3/6,000).

A horse and sulky molded copper weathervane attributed to LW Cushing and Sons that had previously been sold at Garth’s Auctions ran past its $3/6,000 estimate to $8,125, the highest price of the first day of the sale. It was one of four vane examples that day, all of which exceeded expectations.

This charming watercolor portrait of a young girl was published in A Loving Likeness, American Folk Portraits of The Nineteenth Century, the exhibition catalog for the 1992 show at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Gallery in Princeton, N.J., of the same name. A trade buyer at the sale won it for $5,160 ($300/600).

Watercolor folk portraits were a strong category on the first day with several achieving prices high enough to warrant placement towards the top of the sale. A dealer at the sale paid $5,160 for a full-length profile portrait of a young girl holding a rose that had been illustrated in Marna Anderson’s A Loving Likeness, American Folk Portraits of The Nineteenth Century (Princeton, N.J., 1992). A hollow-cut silhouette of a young boy attributed to Ezra Wood, who is also known as the “Puffy Sleeve Artist,” that was featured in the same publication sold to a different buyer in the room for $4,800.

An online bidder paid $4,000 for this group of three American painted child’s buckets that dated to the late Nineteenth Century ($600-$1,200).

Another strong category on the first day was painted wooden ware and a group of three late Nineteenth Century painted wooden child’s buckets was one of the highlights of the offerings. Measuring 4½ inches high and 5½ inches in diameter, the group was topped off at $4,000 by an online bidder.

Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house. For information, or 740-362-4771.

Attributed to Ezra Wood (Massachusetts, 1798-1841), this hollow-cut silhouette of a young boy, 5¼ by 4¼ inches in its original rope-twist carved gilt frame had been published in The Magazine ANTIQUES (July/August 2014) and a 1992 exhibition catalog. Exceeding expectations, it sold for $4,800 ($2/4,000).
Painted boxes and other small objects were fan-favorites, including at $5,875 this Nineteenth Century New England pine candle box, 6 inches high by 10½ inches long, with vibrant stylized floral decoration on a black ground ($1/2,000).
This 4-gallon stoneware churn, made by Hamilton & Jones in Greensboro, Penn., had thistle decoration and stood 15¼ inches high. From the Beth and Earl Trimble collection, it achieved $10,200 from a buyer at the sale ($4/8,000).
Approximately 100 lots of stoneware were offered over the span of the two-day event, much of it from the Beth and Earl Trimble stoneware collection. This cobalt-decorated stoneware plot marker, 20½ inches tall, is one of just four known and sold for $18,000 to a buyer in the room ($15/25,000).
Besting five other works in the sale by Ohio artist Emerson Burkhart was “Before the Harvest,” a 1956 oil on canvas composition that measured 27¼ by 48 inches. Won for $9,375, it will be staying in Ohio ($3/6,000).
This tobacconist trade figure of a Native American maiden holding cigars sold to an Ohio collector for $10,800 ($7,5/15,000).


bottom of page