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Painted Furniture Headlines Garth’s Country Americana

Review by Madelia Hickman Ring for Antiques & The Arts Weekly

Full article and photos published June 2, 2020


COLUMBUS, OHIO – Garth’s Auctioneers & Appraisers’ May 16 Country Americana sale offered more than 425 lots and was more than 96 percent sold at the end of the day, with some post-auction sales being transacted in the days immediately following.


“The sale largely did as we expected, with a few surprises. We saw some very active and spirited bidding, which is always good to see,” Jeff Jeffers remarked afterwards. “We were able to offer both a physical preview, by appointment only, which quite a lot of people came to, and large numbers of condition report requests, so people could bid with confidence. The results of the sale still speak to people wanting a sense of normalcy in this COVID world. We still had bidders who had never bid with us before, which is great to see. We have been talking about how we can keep that momentum going, once there is a return to a normal pattern.”

An American Civil War-era pie safe in old green and yellow paint and punched tin panels depicting eagles, banners, powder flasks and pistols scored the top price of $8,100. The safe, which had an estimate of $3/5,000, had previously been handled by Tanning Antiques of Pittsburgh, Penn., and was purchased by a trade buyer from the Southern United States. Of the safe, Jeffers said, “There was a lot of interest because of the folksiness of the tin panels and the paint color. It was a known entity and once people found it was available, it was ‘game on.'”


A group of several paintings were consigned by a retired doctor/collector who had lived in London for much of his life and purchased them overseas. “The paintings should have done well, and did. They had been well cared for and restored, and while prices might have been slightly stronger, the images and subjects were great, and the restorations were acceptable.”


Several miniature paint-decorated blanket chests were in the sale and most found buyers, though Jeffers thought the one that was passed might sell after the sale. “Miniature chests in good paint with solid proportions are always going to perform well,” he said. Bringing the most was an early Nineteenth Century example with black trim and vinegar sponging that brought nearly eight times its low estimate when it sold for $7,800. Another brought $5,100.


Other lots that stood out to Jeffers were a Sheraton inlaid chest of drawers attributed to Kentucky that had, in his words, “exuberant inlay” that a buyer from Kentucky got for $7,200 and a tall pair of American Masonic columns with globes he described as “fabulous,” which a buyer who had never purchased from Garth’s before took for $2,400.


Garth’s Auctioneers & Appraisers are at 589 West Nationwide Boulevard. For information, 740-362-4771 or www.garths.com.


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