It is very gratifying when a collection comes to the market with provenance. We have in this auction the privilege of not one but three different collections each with its own collecting history.
The first collection, put together over the past 55 years, has a wide variety of material from early lighting to textiles to forged iron pioneer items, tools and early furniture. There are scarce examples of Sandwich glass whale oil lamps, tole and iron whale oil lamps, antique kerosene lamps, and a number of candle lanterns. There is a small grouping of Ontario coverlets. As well there is a selection of furniture in paint including early harvest tables, chair tables, blanket chests, Windsor arm chairs and rockers, and washstands. Most of these items are accompanied with their sales receipts. Many of the receipts bring back fond memories for some of us considered part of the older crowd who went to Tim Potter auctions in Napanee, or attended the Jim and Penny Curtis auctions in Waterloo, or travelled down to NY State to attend the auctions of Buzz Hesse, an antique dealer but also a former NY State archeologist. For those who love painted toleware what better place to go than a PA auction like Pook and Pook? Many pieces in our auction retain their sales tags from these auctions.
The second collection was mostly put together 30- 40 years ago. The collector purchased folk art from well-respected dealers in Toronto, the GTA as well as Quebec. For instance, he purchased from Home Again Antiques in Yorkville who had the vision to buy most if not all of the original Ewald Rentz collection that first came to market, one of the most fluid and well executed pieces Rentz ever created. Rentz who captured in his carvings some of the most famous people and events of his day was moved by Mohammed Ali who had boasted that he had fought and beaten everyone there was to beat and the only thing left to do was to fight a bear. So Rentz carved a large figure of Ali and a boxing bear. The actual quote was “I should be a postage stamp. That’s the only way I could ever get licked”. Rentz took a little artistic licence.
There are pieces in our auction by folk artists that very rarely come to the public market. Most times their pieces trade hands privately and we don’t get a chance to bid on them. Three notable artists whose works rarely come to the public marketplace but are in our auction are the very important folk artists Philippe Roy of St. Philemon, Quebec, Marie Cecile Bouchard of Baie St. Paul, Quebec, and Colins Eisenhauer of Lunenburg County, NS.
The collection of folk art pieces is accompanied with sales receipts from Home Again, Mike Rowan, Sotheby’s etc.
The final collection came with detailed notes from the purchasers as to where they purchased the antiques, and sometimes who created them. So often the history is lost and just knowing the origin of the piece or its creator greatly adds to the intrinsic value of the piece.
If you love country antiques and folk art, this is an auction not to be missed.