Buyers from all over the country took advantage of a unique opportunity in January’s sale: to obtain a piece of Florida history. (And they’ll be doing it again in March.)
“We were honored to have been chosen by Dr. Frankel to pass along pieces of his collection,” said Edwin Bailey, Blackwell’s owner. “He has spent years searching for these pieces — as a passion, not an investment or a business — and his knowledge of Florida art and antiques is nothing short of encyclopedic.”
“It is a somewhat esoteric field of interest, though,” Bailey said, “and we worked very hard to ensure that the other passionate collectors of Floridiana showed up.”
And show up they did. One of the nice surprises, a Royal Hickman flamingo pottery flower frog, realized $3,450, including buyer’s premium. Hickman worked with Haeger Potteries in the 1930s and again in the 1950s, but during the mid-1940s, he operated his own pottery business out of Tampa – right in Blackwell Auctions’ backyard. Other Hickman Florida pieces did remarkably well, far surpassing their high estimates.
Other noteworthy lots from the sale included a vintage Florida Seaboard Railroad neon sign from the 1950s, which sold for $3,300. A St. Petersburg City Hall leaded glass sign from the 1940s did indeed charm bidders, selling for $2,415. Hand-painted and hand-lettered, the sign was purported to be from a larger City Hall stained glass window.
Highwaymen landscape paintings by Willie Daniels and Sam Newton also performed well at the auction, as did several old Florida photographs that Dr. Frankel treasured for their capacity to “show the true character of the people who settled our state.” He commented that he is “proud to have passed on many important pieces of our state’s antiquity to bidders who are sure to treasure them all the same.”
Round two is right around the corner. Blackwell will be holding another Florida art and antiques auction on March 14, 2020.