John Chaski Antiques

American Material Culture

Market Watch: From the Collection of Peggy du Pont Smith

Market WatchJohn Chaski
"Hey bros!  It is going to be so sweet living next door to you.  We're going to be like the most chill neighbors ever.  Dude, I brought you something, like a house warming gift but from the new neighbors.  It's a red Snuggie.  Bartholomew, show him the Snuggie!"

"Hey bros!  It is going to be so sweet living next door to you.  We're going to be like the most chill neighbors ever.  Dude, I brought you something, like a house warming gift but from the new neighbors.  It's a red Snuggie.  Bartholomew, show him the Snuggie!"

So that Edward Hicks Penn's Treaty, the cover lot, did not sell.  I've never been a fan of when a sale is considered to be a great success when actually the sale is a disaster but one thing breaks out.  On the flipside, I don't think the cover lot passing makes a sale much less successful when the rest of the story is as positive as this one was. 

Here are the numbers:  9% unsold; 6% sold below estimate; 21% sold within estimate; 64% sold above estimate.  SIXTY-FOUR PERCENT!  And this was not the most untouched stuff in the world.  I'm not saying it was rough by any stretch, but it was not collected for condition.  There were still bargains.  

At $27,500 lot 6063 was a bargain in my mind, but it's the sort of thing I like.

At $27,500 lot 6063 was a bargain in my mind, but it's the sort of thing I like.

After the Schorsch sale last January, I think this was a great step forward for the Pennsylvania hardwood market.  At that sale a lot of things that had been bought recently sold for nickels and dimes on the dollar.  Sometimes provenance is great to have and makes a sale easier, but in the case of this sale I think it was helpful that the things had been off the market long enough that they weren't fresh in everyone's mind.  I'll leave you with one of the stars from this year's Americana Week, and the top lot from the Peggy du Pont Smith sale.

Lot 6010, a William & Mary valuables chest in the form of a high chest, Southeastern Pennsylvania, 24 3/4" high.  There were some little lip repairs.  The lower drawer was rebuilt a long time ago.  The age-old question: if you can't find another one, how much does it matter?  To the buyer and underbidder it didn't much.  $612,500.

Lot 6010, a William & Mary valuables chest in the form of a high chest, Southeastern Pennsylvania, 24 3/4" high.  There were some little lip repairs.  The lower drawer was rebuilt a long time ago.  The age-old question: if you can't find another one, how much does it matter?  To the buyer and underbidder it didn't much.  $612,500.