Gordon S. Converse & Co. – the fledgling auction house launched just last year – is preparing for its third-ever auction on Saturday, April 25, with a multi-estate sale loaded with vintage clocks, period furniture, estate silver, collectible books and more. The auction will be held in the firm’s gallery, located at 57 West Lancaster Avenue in Malvern, Penn. It will start promptly at noon.
“Our first sales last year were very successful, with a few top-quality items selling well to carry the day, while numerous smaller items sold for low bids and were real crowd-pleasers,” said Gordon S. Converse. “For April, we’re looking forward to another fun event. Locals who want to collect will snag some nice bargains, while the bids for top lots will pour in from England, the West Coast and beyond.”
Over 200 lots will cross the block at the April event. Featured will be vintage clocks, including a collection from the estate of one of Mr. Converse’s longstanding customers. Expected stars of the category include Vienna wall clocks; chime mantel clocks; an Ithaca calendar clock, and a pair of Terry clocks (one produced by Elmer Stennes, the legendary clockmaker who was murdered in the 1960s).
Additional pieces include a chime clock by Elliott of London; a nice mahogany 19th-century grandfather clock with a rocking ship device; and a porcelain cased clock from Philadelphia’s Cliveden estate. “These are always popular,” Mr. Converse remarked, adding vintage clocks are an important part of his young auction company. One of the firm’s two websites is www.ConverseClocks.com.
Fine art will include about a dozen original works by noted, listed artists, to include:
• Julius Rose (German-born American, 1828-1911) – Mr. Rose relocated to the United States and settle in New York, where he became renowned as a landscape painter.
• Josef Israels (Dutch, 1824-1911) – Mr. Israels was brought up in the traditions of the Jewish faith and seemed destined for the rabbinate. But his interest in drawing was strong, and in 1840 his father sent him to Amsterdam, where he studied at the Royal Academy and honed his skills as a premier painter of works having historic and religious themes.
• Marie Laurencin (French, 1885-1956) – Ms. Laurencin was an intimate of Braque, Picasso, Matisse and Appollinaire, among others. Her early portraits show the imprint of the Fauves and Cubists, and her romantic and delicate temperament asserted itself against these schools. She became best known for her ethereal female figure paintings.
Sterling silver will include an important 22-inch coffee urn with an early 19th-century London hallmark, and a pair of serving dishes presented to Senator John Scott in 1907. Period furniture will feature a fine mahogany slant front desk (late 19th century, possibly Philadelphia); and a solid cherry Federal high chest. Rare books will include first-edition parts (1846-1848) to Dickens’ Dombey & Son.
Converse’s last sale, held Oct. 18, featured an eclectic, mixed bag of merchandise. Some of the highlight lots follow:
• An 18th-century American walnut blanket chest, inlaid with the name “Barbara Schmittin” and dated 1787, with old hardware ($3,000+).
• A fine Chippendale solid walnut carved tall case clock by Daniel Rose (1749-1827), 7 feel 11 inches tall, with the four seasons depicted on the dial and a watercolor portrait mounted within the waist door ($18,400)
• A white marble sculpture on an associated cast stone base, attributed to William H. Rinehart (American, 1825-1874), 36 inches tall .
• A Louis XV-style bombe walnut veneer marble-top commode, featuring fine and profuse gilt brass mounts and large Rococo-style pulls and old locks ($6,670)
• An antique one-horse open sleigh, with red and black paint, which did not get a bid and will be offered again in April.
All prices quoted include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.
Gordon S. Converse & Co. is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign an item, estate or collection, you may call them at (610) 722-9004, or inquire by e-mail at [email protected]. Anyone unable to make it to the April 25 auction in person may write in a bid (download the bid form off the website, www.AuctionsatConverse.com, and return by fax).
To learn more about Gordon S. Converse & Co. and the upcoming April auction, log on to www.AuctionsatConverse.com or www.ConverseClocks.com.
Anyone interested in finding out what an item they own might be worth can find out by sending a photo of the item, along with a check for $40, to Gordon S. Converse & Co., Attn: Gordon Converse, 25 West Lancaster Ave., Malvern, PA 19355.