The estate of E. Edgar Hoover Bankard, President B&O Railroad around the turn of the 20th century provided a number of outstanding lots for November 17 Turkey Creek Auctions sale in Citra, FL. The highlight of the sale was a four inch tall art glass owl signed by René Lalique. Beginning in 1925 Lalique began to produce a limited number of glass automobile “mascots” as hood ornaments were then called. The first mascot was commissioned by Citroen. As they gained in popularity Lalique engaged the Breves Gallery in Knightsbridge to supply and install mounting hardware for them. But the mascots could also be used as exquisite paperweights for office use by leaving off the mount. The actual number of mascots produced is unknown today due to a lack of records but a large number of the less expensive models such as the falcon, boar, St. Christopher and the most common, a small cock were produced. Significantly fewer of the more expensive models, including the owl, the fox and the comet, were made.
Auction owner Charles David Glynn said he expected the owl, estimated to be from the late 1920s, to sell in the $1,000 range. He was pleasantly surprised when a leading Lalique expert from New York appeared in the audience and led the bidding. After a brief floor and phone battle the New Yorker took home the owl for $47,300. Other art glass in the sale included a 19th century Victorian cranberry glass epergne, $660 and three pieces of blue Stuben, an Aurene bowl, $495, a frog, $121 and a ruffle-top vase, $413.
The Bankard estate provided another treasure in the sale in the form of a 19th century framed oil on large mahogany panel entitled "Maternity," signed Cesare Dell Acqua, dated 1867, in overall good condition with some restoration in the upper field. Cesare Felix Georges dell’ Acqua was an Italian, 1821-1904, specializing in historical scenes. Bidding commenced with three bidders from London on the phones and one floor bidder. The floor bidder, a local collector, stood his ground and won the prize for $39,600. An oil on canvas landscape signed “F. DeHaven” (Franklin Benjamin DeHaven, American 1856-1934) with original frame, entitled "Oaks and Clouds Afternoon--Oct. Near Willington, Connecticut” sold to a Florida dealer in the room for $4,290 and another DeHaven landscape, "Swimming hole, Granby, Connecticut”, went to the same buyer for $2,475 and yet another oil on canvas landscape in the original frame "Indian Summer" by Gustav Adolf Wiegand (German-American 1870-1957), with the artist’s history on back also went to the dealer for $2,640. Florida Highwaymen art from five of the original artists crossed the block selling for between $800 -$1,300.
Silver found a comfortable place with a Georg Jensen heavy 14in handled tray in floral blossom design, 583 grams, reaching $1,430 and a Russian silver cigarette box with enamel and inset stones, bearing a Fabergé hallmark sold for $770.
Antique banks were available to pick up any loose change. A 19th century Tammany mechanical bank made $220, a 19th century still bank with smiling black face "Smile and Save Money" brought $248, a 19th century cast iron ice cream churn bank made $165 and a 19th century Santa cast iron mechanical bank earned the most at $633.
Pottery covered the field. A Japanese cloisonné vase with crane decorations sold for $825, a rare salt glazed umbrella stand with raised alligator, probably Whites Utica, showing a chip to the rim, $1,265, a Florida stein with an alligator handle, $1,210, a variety of face jugs (A.V. Smith, Harold & Grace Nell Hewell, Albert Hodge, Patton, Charlie Moore, Reggie Meaders, Nussba, etc.) ranged from $60 to $200 and blue decorated crocks, salt glaze, sponge ware, various sizes and styles went from $25 to $1,000.
A little history also did well. A presentation sword belonging to Lieutenant Guth from the Hudson County Artillery, Union Hill Station, dated January 1, 1863 sold for $4,840.
Turkey Creek Auctions is located at 13939 N. Highway 441, Citra, FL 32113. Regular antiques auctions are held on the third Saturday of each month.