Page 10 - JOA8-21
P. 10

               WHAT’S SELLING ON eBay

                                                          by Philip Hawkins and Mike McLeod

            $5,150 (38 bids, 18 bidders): 18th C. Folk                                               $2,999 (40 bids, 14 bidders): Antique Oil Gas
            Art Portrait, Pastel, Charcoal Drawing,                                                  Sign ~ SOCONY, Mobil, Vacuum Oil ~
            George Washington. Hand-drawn in the                                                     Diamond Filpruf Bottle Carrier. This is an orig-
            18th-century, watermarked Fabriano Paper,                                                inal set as shown. Overall, in good, solid shape.
            this life-size original pastel and charcoal                                              The last picture shows two bottles that are
            drawing depicts a profile of George                                                      Vacuum only … no mention of SOCONY.
            Washington. He is wearing a large white collar                                           Carrier has good color with wear as would be
            with a ruffled cravat which is similar to his                                            expected. Leave the made in India crap for the
            Revolutionary War military jacket. This is a                                             beginners. (photos courtesy of javadogcafe)
            very well-drawn, strong profile of George
            Washington. We carefully removed it from the                                                  PH: Petroliana is the category for collect-
            18th century, reverse-painted Eglomise glass                                                  ibles dealing with memorabilia from gas
            and a 21 1/2 by 27-inch gold gilt frame. The                                                  stations and the petroleum industry. This
            18 by 23 1/2-inch laid paper has a Fabrino                                                    includes vintage gas pumps and parts, oil
            watermark in the lower right-hand corner.                                                     cans, bottles, racks, advertising signs,
            Fabriano Paper is well known for its quality,                                                 road maps and the like. As with most col-
            and the company has been in business since                                                    lectibles that had expectations of being
            the 14th century.                                                                             used, condition of item and finish plays
               Unsigned, this large 18th century George                                                   into value. I was able to locate two reported
            Washington drawing is original and not after                                                  sales of complete Mobil Oil Filpruf carrier
            any other drawing or painting. A unique                           racks with bottles in the last couple of years: one sold for $2,400 at Milestone
            feature of this drawing is the background,                        Auctions in August 2020 and one at RM Sotheby’s for $1,750 in August of
            which is actually watercolor and not pastel. In                   2019. Our eBay seller received a bit of a premium over the most recent sale.
            the close-up photographs you can see a very
            tiny hole in front of the white cravat and some
            light rippling to the paper.                                      $750 (28 bids, 5 bidders): Rare Pepsi-Cola
               The thin 18th century Eglomise glass has a rippled surface and a few   Drape Glass Bottle 6 oz., Pat. 1925. Up for your
            tiny dimples. There is some very light wear to the black, but the very large   consideration is a rare “Drape” Pepsi bottle dated
            majority of this early glass mat is original with no restorations. There also   1925. Manufactured in New Bern, N.C., the
            is some wear to the gold gilding on the frame, but it also is in very good   birthplace of Pepsi-Cola, which was founded in
            condition. This important 18th century charcoal and pastel drawing of   1898. Bottle has embossed markings: “Pepsi Cola”
            George Washington is Americana Folk Art at its best. It is certainly of   (on side), “Patented Feb 10, 1925,” and “New
            investment quality. (photos courtesy of eBay seller wwolst12)     Bern, NC” (on bottom). The bottle has been re-
                                                                              filled and re-capped with a 1951 crown/cap by
                                   PH: George Washington was not only our first   previous owner. Bottle shows scratches and scuffing,
                                   president; he was our first cult figure. His death   but no chips or cracks are seen. (photos courtesy of
                                   in 1799 was traumatic for our young country,   eBay seller starrla22.)
                                   and mourning his passing was felt in every
                                   corner. Virtually every from-life portrait is   PH: Most soft drink companies we are familiar with
                                   known. This appraiser believes this example is a   originated in the later years of the 19th century and
                                   “mourning portrait” done after Washington’s   the first decades of the 20th. Ginger Ale was devel-
                                   passing and is based on an engraving of the last   oped in Ireland in 1851, root beer was first publicly sold
                                   portrait in life of Washington done by the artist   in 1876, and the first cola was sold in 1881. According to
                                   Charles Balthazar Julien Févret de Saint-  Bottle Bonanza, at Pepsi—once bottling started in
                                   Mémin (1770–1852) in Philadelphia. (The    1905—bottle shapes, designs, and colors were pretty
                                   original portrait whereabouts are unknown, but   much left to a local manufac-turer until 1933 when Pepsi
                                   many 19th century engravings exist for which it   went from a 6-oz. bottle to a 12-oz. bottle, but it was not
                                   is the source. See image below.) The seller’s   until 1940 that Pepsi had a standardized bottle across all
            example takes some liberty with the clothing (the original was a military   bottlers – one with a molded name and paper label.
            jacket), but the face is unmistakably a copy of the Saint-Mémin sketch.   The drape bottle was made and used specifically
               Innumerable portraits of Washington were done in the 19th century   in the New Bern, N.C., area. As such, it had a small pro-
            after existing portraits. Early, well-done versions still draw interest   duction, and survival numbers would be guesswork as they would not have
            when they appear for sale. Prints, engravings, oils, pastels and watercolors   been thought out of the ordinary at the time.
            are common.                                                          I was able to find another example for sale at Reggie’s Antique Pepsi-
               This year, a 19th century oil portrait after the original by Gilbert   Cola Bottles website for $425, which would be a good deal compared to
            Stewart reportedly sold for $25,000, (an original Gilbert Stuart of   the eBay example for a collector.
            Washington sold for $285K in 2015), and another late 19th/early 20th
            century oil went for $35,000. A charcoal version of the St. Memin profile   Philip Hawkins, ISA AM, AAG is an accredited member of the International
            portrait sold at Briggs Auction in 2018 for $900. It is not uncommon for   Society of Appraisers and a founding member of the Appraisers Association of
            original early, reasonable copies to realize $1,000-$5,000 at auction.   Georgia. He can be reached via the ISA website or at 404-320-7275.
            8           Journal of Antiques and Collectibles
   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15