Clock carried historical twist: Dargate bidders eager for furniture

PITTSBURGH – Dargate Auction Galleries rang in the New Year in style. A Jan. 18-20 sale featured more than 2,000 and drew and 564 registered buyers from across the United States and Europe.

A collection of antique Chinese furniture and accessories that had originally been imported directly from China for private use was one of the sale’s highlights.

An antique kitchen cabinet with highly carved and pierced doors and sliding panels sold to a Pittsburgh buyer for $1,050. Another Pittsburgh buyer bought a carved antique Chinese elm coffer for $1,100.

All prices listed do not include 15 percent buyer’s premium.

North Carolina collection.

Dargate also offered items from the estate of Dame Catherine Cummings Carpender of Wilmington, N.C.

A 19th century Meadows & Co. sterling silver pitcher sold to a San Francisco dealer for $1,550. Small in size, the elaborately decorated piece was made by the Philadelphia company circa 1831.

A set of circa 1900 mahogany Chippendale dining chairs sold to a Pittsburgh buyer for $3,100. The six side chairs and two armchairs had open-carved Gothic style splats and cabriole legs carved at the knees and terminating in ball and claw feet.

Tall clocks.

An 18th century English tall case clock from a local collector, signed “Batty Storr,” went to a Canadian buyer for $3,500. Storr, lived in England between 1710-1793 and made several fine clocks during that time. The Storr clock offered by Dargate had an oak case and a brass and silvered arched dial with reticulated mounts of dolphins, masks of Diana and scrolling leaves.

Clockmaker Jacob Blumer of Allentown, Pa., provided a early 1800s tall case clock. The Blumer family was made famous for the actions of Jacob Blumer’s father, Rev. Abraham Blumer, who hid the Liberty Bell in the basement of his Allentown church, The Zion Reformed Church, during the Revolutionary War when the British were melting bells for ammunition.

A Massachusetts dealer was the successful bidder on the lot for $4,950.

Another mahogany tall case clock went to the same buyer for $3,900. The mid-19th century clock had a painted face detailed with conch shells. Its moon-phase dial pictured a sailing vessel on one side, and a detailed landscape on the other.

1808 birth certificate.

A decorated Pennsylvania Dutch birth certificate was hammered down for $1,150. The certificate, made for Elizabeth Groff in 1808, had been passed down through the family prior to its auction. The text was in Old German and identified Elizabeth’s place of birth as Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.

Despite some condition problems, a 19th century Russian coronation beaker was the object of much attention at the sale. The enamel on metal cup was a tapered cylindrical shape with one side bearing the Imperial eagle in black, and the other side with the crowned cyphers of Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna. The cup sold to a New York City gallery for $420.

Buyers from many states vied for the chance to own an antique cranberry and clear glass candelabrum. The cut-to-clear design consisted of a central bowl with six crystal arms. The piece sold to a Pennsylvania buyer for $1,500.

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