It is with great pleasure that we at Pook & Pook, Inc. have the privilege to represent Paul and Rita Flack in the sale of their outstanding collection of Pennsylvania folk art and antiques from their personal collection. With Paul's impeccable eye, knowledge, and patience, not one but several collections have been formed over the years, this being the sixth and finest of all of them. The sale will be held Saturday, October 13th and will comprise just over 250 lots. Bidding for the sale will be available via telephone bidding, absentee bidding, online exclusively on bidsquare.com, and in-house at Pook & Pook’s Downingtown location.
Paul and Rita have spent decades becoming acquainted with local collections, plucking prized folk art pieces from assemblages throughout the Keystone State and beyond. Both Paul and Rita are experts in the fields of slip decorated pottery, fraktur, and quilts, and this latest assemblage of their collection represents these objects in abundance. A large draw to the sale will be in its collection of extraordinary fraktur, with over seventy pieces crossing the auction block. Pieces of exceptional quality and provenance will be included in the sale, with renowned makers including Christian Strenge, Arnold Hoevelmann, David Kulp, Johann Adam Eyer, and Mr. Flack’s favorite, Andreas Kolb. Charming and whimsical depictions of fantastical creatures play across pages of fraktur, including mermaids, winged angels, and dog-headed sea serpents, all still retaining their delightfully vibrant and varied color palettes. Perhaps the finest example of fraktur in the sale is illustrated on the catalog’s cover lot - a full plate drawing of a gentleman in a red coat by Conrad Gilbert, carrying a $20,000-$30,000 estimate.
Lovers of local textiles will be delighted to see the extensive selection of quilts, coverlets and hooked rugs on offer. The quality and condition of the Flack’s quilt collection underscores their keen eye for collecting and includes many examples of quality craftsmanship. Highlights include an attractive appliqué and trapunto quilt ($5,000-$8,000), an intricate Pennsylvania patchwork Bowmansville star quilt ($500-1,000), and a lively Pennsylvania Amish patchwork Jacob’s coat bar quilt ($500-$800).
A charming grouping of smalls comprises the bulk of this sale, from local makers of renowned importance. A lovingly selected collection of carved and painted wooden objects and include a small Jonas or Jacob Weber box ($3,000-4,000), two Heinrich Bucher dresser boxes($2,500-3,500/$3000-5000), two Schimmel winged eagle carvings ($4,000-6,000/$2,000-4,000), a Schtockschnitzler Simmons cane ($2,000-3,000), and a John Reber horse carving of “The Great Grey Ghost”, a fourteen-time world record winning trotter. A dynamic collection of painted and carved wooden birds are scattered among redware and stoneware and include expertly crafted pheasants, barn swallows, a family of owls, and a rare Virginville Carver painted bird on a pedestal ($10,000-15,000). Painted furniture will also be on offer in the sale and includes Berks County blanket chests, brilliantly painted corner cupboards, and boldly decorated chairs.
Locally painted fine art is also represented in the Flack’s collection and includes a remarkable Charles Hoffman watercolor landscape, ca. 1864, depicting the “Hospital and Poorhouse & Lunatick House of Northampton County” ($30,000-50,000). This exceptional watercolor painting includes the finest and most minute details, from horses and wagons, to children playing with dogs, and even readable date stones on every building. Four Hattie Brunner watercolor scenes are also on offer early in the sale, and include a springtime farm scene ($2,000-3,000) and three lots of winter town scenes ($1,500-2,500), all representing Brunner’s typical playful landscapes.
By Pook & Pook Inc.
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