What’s Selling on eBay: September 2019

What’s Selling on eBay: September 2019

by Deborah Abernethy and Mike McLeod
$4,450 (20 bids, 5 bidders): Automaton Turkish Tea Drinker Leopold Lambert Smoker.
This is an extremely rare and exquisite piece! Never have I seen another hit the market. Antique French Leopold Lambert Tea Drinker Automaton. Never do you see these come to market. The unfortunate part is this automaton was in excellent condition prior to shipping.
He was shipped and arrived in this condition. I’ve had several people tell me he is very much repairable; however, I do not have the knowledge or skill or time to do so. So I am selling him as is. I have taken very detailed photos of this beautiful piece for your viewing. Please take this into consideration when bidding as he will be your responsibility to repair the damages and get him back in working order.
I will have him professionally packaged. He is a lovely piece and I hope he goes to a home that will restore him properly.
(photos courtesy of eBay seller pariscoutureantiques)

DBA: Leopold Lambert (French, 1854-1935) began his career in a clockmaker/ jeweler’s shop in Paris. He became interested in automata and opened his shop in 1886. Lambert’s wife Eugenie Maria Bourgeois was a seamstress and made the clothing for his works.
Lambert’s objects are among the finest made for automata. The golden age for automata was the period from 1860-1910; the Paris workshops were the best.
This is a low price for such a piece and must be due to the damage showing on this object. The seated smoker, rather than the tea drinker, comes to market more often. Skinner sold one of these for $17,650 in 2005.
I have no idea of the cost of restoring this object or the exact extent of the damage.
$5,100 (40 bids, 12 bidders): 1879 W G McComas Antique Wood Beam Hay Barn Carrier Trolley.
Rare. Condition is used.
(photos courtesy of eBay seller countrygal70)
DBA: This device made the work of getting hay into the barn much easier, and it changed the total scope of work for the farmer. The hay trolley was invented in 1867, and this model is one of the early ones. The way you can tell that is the top is wide so it fits on a center wooden beam in the barn for the trolley to travel along. The “newer” ones were smaller at the top and made to fit on a steel rod.
This model has sold for far more than the retail sites show, but also, those offered for sale were not as early as this one. Most of these sell in the under $500 category. This one is just rare.
$9,960 (60 bids, 25 bidders): 17th c. Antique Hallmarked Silver Parcel Gilt Tankard Stein, Polish Royal Wedding.
Measuring 7 7/8 inches in diameter at the base, the overall height to the top of the thumb latch is 10 5/8 inches. On the cover and the edge of the foot are two hallmarks. I have tried, but I have not been able to identify them. There is a 7-centimeter diameter medallion set into the cover commemorating the 1637 marriage between the King of Poland Wladyshaw IV and the Archduchess Cecilia Renata of Austria.
The body of this 17th century tankard depicts the king on horseback. He is leading his army into the castle where soldiers are waiting, and several women are playing drums and tambourines.
This early tankard was given as a trophy by the New York Yacht Club in 1924. The Sloop Iroquois II won the Vice Commodores Cup, and this 17th century tankard was given as a trophy since the cup stays at the Yacht Club. Using antique silver for presentations was not uncommon.
There is some wear to the partial gilt surface, but the tankard itself is in excellent, original condition, and there are no restorations.
(photos courtesy of eBay seller wwolst12)
DBA: These marks are very hard to identify. Most silver books will identify marks of countries, but this particular piece has been in several different countries over the years. I believe that the mark is Matthaus Bock of Koenigsberg. Not because I had access to books on the marks of this type of early silver, but because I poured through auction catalogs of this type of silver being auctioned (and the marks were not shown).
Matthaus Bock also did another tankard for this wedding, and it was engraved as such. However, the photos did not show the wording at the base of the tankard to see if this was also engraved to the wedding. The top engraving did show the New York Yacht Club, and I cannot believe it had the audacity to deface such an object.
Most silver of this period and this quality would sell for similar amounts of money.
$3,800 (34 bids, 18 bidders): N. B. Jacob’s San Francisco, California, Antique Western Bitters Bottle.
Rare! Super condition. Applied, tapered collar. Clear, clean and shiny. Very rare and desirable. This is similar to Jacob’s Rosenbaum’s bitters without the “Rosenbaum’s Bitters” embossing. Couple of minor scratches on the shoulder of one blank side. That’s about it. No other notable marks, dings, abrasions, case wear or other damage of any kind. Amazing near-mint condition. The color would best be described as medium yellow/green. No olive tones.
(photos courtesy of eBay seller (010sgreenberger)
DBA: Of all types of bottles collected, bitters tend to be of the highest value. You would have to be a serious collector to recognize all of the different names of the bitters companies. There are a few points to consider: this bottle is made of glass with lots of imperfections and has an applied rim. Given the impressed writing, it was mold form and not mouth-blown. (This bottle would not have had a pontil mark.) All of this point to this bottle being a period bottle, not a reproduction.
Western bottles are rare and do bring higher prices when sold. This bottle is so rare that I have not been able to find another one that has sold in recent times.

What’s Selling on eBay: September 2019