Wednesday, January 20, 2016

An Auction To Watch - Jan. 20-22 Schorsch Estate

Got any spare hours in the next few days? A very important auction starts today, going through the 22nd. The Schorsch family is selling more than a thousand items from the estate of Irvin and Anita Schorsch, many of them incredibly rare, and many from America's colonial days.

Go here for particulars.  It's hosted by Sotheby's...surprise, surprise. 

Only a few quilts, if that, which surprised me -- Mrs. Schorsch was, after all, the well-respected author of Plain and Fancy.   (Maybe the family kept them.)

She was known for other books as well, including Images of Childhood and American Clocks. (Not many items in either of those categories in the auction, either.) A few paintings, but not...

   Granted, this isn't the first auction of items from the Schorsch estate -- nor will it be the last. They were knowledgeable, well-prepared, well-funded, enthusiastic... packrats. (I recognize this, being a packrat myself.)

Jane Hunter Ewing, the gracious lady shown here, went for $50,000.

The auction is chockful of interesting textiles, including:

'dummy panels'   (free-standing needlework pieces, shaped like people, to arrange by the fireplace, minimizing heat loss)

casket needlework panels    (the Schorsches seem to have had a special 'thing' for the Charles II period -- third quarter of the 17th century. Many of their pieces date from this period.)

beadwork basket (dated 1659!)

Kazak rugs

leather and linen fire buckets and bags   (LOTS of these)

needlework pictures, samplers

c.1730 embroidered child's cap and shoes

embroidered mourning pictures (their collection was noted for mourning items.  No doubt many included hair from the dearly departed)


needlework books  (as in cloth books to hold your needles and pins - they were valuable, too)

Plus Colonial currency, furniture, you name it.  Price estimates are fabulous, because that's what the majority of these pieces are -- one of a kind (or incredibly rare), in excellent condition, and now with the Schorsch provenance, as well.

"It is one of the greatest Americana auctions ever assembled," experts are saying. (Go here for an interesting look at how the Schorsches collected All This -- including what All This entails.)

Bidding can be done in person or absentee, as well as via the Internet. You can watch the auction progress online, as well. Yes, there's a buyer's premium, but Sotheby's is saying that all lots will be sold without reserve.

Appraisers will be thrilled to death about this auction, because it should give a better, more accurate 'record of sales' in the current market. Therefore, 'comps' (or comparisons) will be especially important -- at least to us out there who must pay attention to this sort of thing. That's part of my job. I am a personal property appraiser...I cover many things, but specialize in textiles.

I've been watching it 'live,' which is even more fun. You can, too.

  Doesn't the range of these items make you wonder, though, what the family decided to keep?

 Go here to register.

Try not to drool.

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