Copper Hits $92,000 a Pound
The recession is officially over — at least for two Roycroft collectors.
You’ve heard the saying “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.”
Well, “Find a better piece of Roycroft and collectors will beat a path to your auction.”
That certainly was the case last week at Forsythes’ Auctions in Russellville, Ohio, when two phone bidders drove the price for a Dard Hunter-designed, Karl Kipp-hammered copper jardinière scarcely six inches high and seven inches across to an amazing $80,000 – make that a cool $92,000 with the buyer’s premium added to the tab.
Now, in case you are wondering, this is not a one-of-a-kind, newly discovered work of hammered art. It was originally available to anyone who in 1910 wandered into the Roycroft gift shop or picked up a copy of the 1910 Roycroft catalog, where it was described as being “made to take a six-inch flower pot. Price $12.”
I wonder if that is what the new owner had in mind when he paid $92,000 for it….
Odds are a few Arts & Crafts collectors (or non-collectors) have one of these same Roycroft jardinières tucked away on a shelf in their house. And if history repeats itself, as it generally does, we’re going to see one of the same nickel-silver and hammered copper planters featured in the next round of major Arts & Crafts auctions.
For, you see, that under-bidder is still out there…. still searching.
Or — was that a deep sigh of relief you just heard?
When we caught up with auctioneer David Forsythe he was already on the road, over in Canton, Ohio, setting up for his next auction, but he took gladly took time to re-live the moment with us.
“This piece and a couple others came out of an estate here in Ohio,” David explained. “We were selling some other stuff for them, but thought they were pretty good, so saved them back for our Arts & Crafts auction. The consignor had no idea what this piece was worth.”
But someone else sure did. David and his staff had seven people bidding over the phone and two in the audience. “It was pretty exciting when it hit $50,000 — and kept going,” he said. “Its funny, but even after being in the auction business for more than thirty years, you get nervous when the bidding gets that high.”
“But it sure was fun.”
That kind of fun we would all enjoy experiencing.
Until next Monday,
Have a great week!
Next Monday: “The 90% Factor – Or Why Men Drive Their Partners Crazy”
For more information on this auction, please go to http://www.forsythesauctions.com.