Auction Highlights for Thursday 2/15/2024

Auction Highlights for Thursday 2/15/2024

With the news that the legendary Hollis Flea Market of Hollis, New Hampshire, along with its neighbor Shirley's Flea Market, have been permanently closed and won't reopen in the spring, there's a new buzz of activity in the region to see who will fill the vacuum. The weekly winter market I frequent has announced it will be extending into the summer, so naturally it was packed with dealers and buyers this weekend scoping out the digs. This led to some good picking, which, together with some local consignments and lots from estate auctions I had to drive to today on opposite ends of New England, helped me put together a great auction for this week.

The auction goes down right here on and this Thursday, February 15th, at 8pm EST.

Here are some highlights:

Memento Mori Grave Rubbings

I had a couple of great grave rubbings from the graves of Jaffrey, NH's own Amos and Violate Fortune a couple weeks ago, along with many others over the years. The two I have this week are very similar, but came from two separate sources hours from each other. I think the fact that they have that old phrase that has garnered such macabre appeal - memento mori - will help them along in the bidding. Both come framed and ready to hang.

Note that these are vintage grave rubbings, and that the practice is frowned upon and scarce today, as it can be destructive to the monuments. Each of these grabe rubbings will open for $25 come show time.

Post Mortem Boarded Photo

At last week's antique market a dealer friend beat me to a great lot of photos with a gorgeous and somber post mortem photograph on top of the pile. I pleaded with him, but he wanted to sort through the lot before selling them off. He brought the lot back to the market this week, and I was able to secure the grouping, including the post mortem. It will open for $25 during the auction.

Another photo of great interest in the lot is an incredible outdoor shot of an undertaker's store front. Lettering above the doorway identifies it as M.A. Simard Undertaker, but I wasn't able to find any more information about its location. A group of people stand outside the store front.

The rest of this great lot of photos will be presented as individual photos and in small lots of cabinet cards and more throughout the show on Thursday.

All is Vanity Print

I have seen this incredible work of art by Charles Allan Gilbert in many forms over the year - as small antique prints, as larger, later reproductions, and as postcards. The sought after version is the print produced by House of Art, N.Y., which is the one I have for this week's show. What's unusual about it is that it is in color, something I have never seen before.

I saw this sitting on a table at the antique market with no one around. I camped out in a chair next to it for many minutes until the dealer returned, determine to purchase it for this week's show. It wasn't cheap, but I never pass up one of these. It will open for $25.

Westclox Earth, Moon, and Stars "Celestial" Clock

This clock comes to us from a consignor who is an expert antique clock collector and dealer. After the success of the 18th century clock he consigned a couple weeks ago, he figured this one might be a winner for our audience. We shall see come Thursday's show!

It is an incredible vintage desk clock and paperweight with the Earth at its center, a crescent moon as its hour hand, and a star as its minute hand. All of this sits against a clock face streaked with stars and celestial bodies. It is ticking away strongly as I speak, in great working condition. Bidding will open at $25.

Episodes of Insect Life by Acheta Domestica, 1851

A book with a spiderweb on the cover, how could I not? I have actually had this book in the past, and was as delighted by it then as I am now. Its an incredible volume profusely illustrated with images of insects, in both their natural and anthropomorphized forms. This book is a lot of fun, and will open at $25 in the auction.

Greenwood Cemetery Entrance Reverse Painting

This reverse painting comes to us from the same consignor, and is actually the door off of an old clock. I almost didn't take it, because it is in very poor condition, with much of the reverse painted details in the church, tree, and sky long peeled away. Still, I think its a cool - and possibly restorable - cemetery collectible from the 19th century. I'm not sure if its the famous Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY, as the entrances do not bare resemblance, though perhaps this clock door pre-dates the entrance we know today.

We initially thought that horse drawn carriage was a hearse, but upon closer inspection, its got people sitting up in it, so unless the corpse within has reanimated, I think its just a passenger car. This piece will open for $25 in Thursday's show.

Incredible Double Daguerreotype Photograph

There are lots of amazing antique photographs in this week's auction, but this double daguerreotype in a pristine thermoplastic case is really a show-stopper. It depicts a very handsome couple elegantly posed and captured with razor sharp focus.

Here are some other photos of note in this week's show:

Derby Silver Co. Silverplate Cameo Dish

I'm not big on silverplate, but I do love things with faces. This stunning antique quadruple plated dish from Derby Silver Company was too lovely to pass up. It has a beautiful cameo woman's face at its center, and cool dragon details on the posable handle. Its marked 1057.

Other Auction Highlights This Week

This week's auction is filled in by loads of other incredible finds that are sure to catch your eye.

Vintage Composition Knock-off Mickey Mouse Statue

Antique Oil Painting of a Pretty Lady Pouring Water

Tattoo: Pigments of Imagination with Photographs by Chris Wroblewski

Antique Halloween Postcard

Barbershop Witch Hazel, Bay Rum, and Toilet Water Bottles

Hand Painted Kewpie Tray

Medical Ephemera

More Great Photos

Undertaker and Embalmer Ephemera

Its going to be another great show for sure. A blizzard is on the way, so I think I'm done picking for the week, but there is still even more than what is posted here coming your way, so there are sure to be many surprises. It all goes down this coming Thursday, February 15th, at 8pm EST, right here on and See you at showtime!

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