18th Century Antiques Find New Life at Cordier’s Fall Fine and Decorative Arts Auction

December 14, 2018

Simon Willard Rocking Ship ClockCordier Auctions, located in Harrisburg, PA, held their fall Antique and Fine Art Auction on November 10 and 11. The sale featured rare antiques and luxury goods from all collecting categories, drawing bidders from around the globe.


Early examples of American craftsmanship and artistry were particularly well-received by bidders. An intricately decorated tall case clock by Massachusetts master clockmaker Simon Willard, featuring a rocking ship-automaton to the arch, sold to a bidder online for $9,000, while an 18th century PA Windsor settee brought $5,000.


The settee was one of several pieces consigned by the Rutherford House in Harrisburg, PA. Built in 1858, the mansion now known as the Rutherford House was the Rutherford family’s home until 1920, when it was sold to Dauphin County. Today, the mansion is used as a senior center.


The home and the Rutherford family played a significant role in the Underground Railroad during the mid-1800s. Dr. William Wilson Rutherford was vice president of the Harrisburg Antislavery Society in 1847 and provided a station for escaped slaves at his home on South Front Street in Harrisburg. From there, he conveyed them to what is now the Rutherford House, where they were hidden in a barn that once stood nearby. Other antiques offered from this historic home included an English tall case clock with horses, and an early 19th century needlepoint sampler.


Jewelry, both antique and modern, remains a popular category at these quarterly auctions, and Cordier’s fall installment featured a fine selection. Top lots included a 14K 1.60 carat diamond solitaire ring ($4,200) and an antique gemstone lizard brooch ($3,300). A model 3417 dress wristwatch by renowned Swiss manufacturer Patek Phillipe inspired competitive bidding before hammering down at $24,000 to an online bidder.


Although the market for porcelain and glassware has softened over the past decade, a handsome range of porcelain found heavy interest throughout the second day of the sale, including seven large Lladro figures from a private collection. Of those, the late 1970’s sculpture “Jockey and Lady” sold for $475. A large Chinese Baluster form lidded vase dated to the 18th or 19th century brought $1,600.


French artists including Charles Francois Daubigny ($4,200) and Antoine Blanchard ($3,600) saw marked popularity, but sculptures by American muralist Robert Wyland also performed well, with one painted cast bronze grouping of marlin hammering to a floor bidder for $3,900.


Mid-century modern furniture has been one of the best-selling categories at auction for the past several years, and Cordier’s auction house has offered designer pieces in all of their 2018 quarterly sales. Stand-outs in their November auction included a mirror and wall shelf set by Paul Evans ($1,300) and a Herman Miller credenza by designer George Nelson ($1,200), among others.


In total, the auction spanned close to 600 lots over the course of two days. Prices quoted above are hammer prices.

Diamond RingAntoine BlanchardPatek PhillippeCarved Sideboard