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News Article  
Furniture, art pieces move fast at Leonard’s auction
By Barb Van Loo

OTTAWA LAKE, Mich. — The viewing time had ended, Richard Leonard had given his opening remarks and outlined the terms of the sale, so it was auction time. He called for the first item, a peach-blow creamer, and from then on, there was a steady stream of desirable items passing across the block. The diversification of items ensured there was probably something of interest to all attendees.

The Kalliope Musikwerke Co., located in Leipzig, Germany, was the manufacturer of music boxes in the l890s and early 1900s. The tonal quality of the music boxes produced by this company was generally excellent. The Kalliope music box presented at this auction was an upright one with 16 discs. This excellent example of an early music box sold for $8,000.

Production of fine furniture by the Berkey & Gay Furniture Co. began in the mid-1800s. This company soon became one of the leading manufacturers of high-quality furniture in the United States. Located in Grand Rapids, Mich., often call the “Furniture City,” it soon became the largest furniture-manufacturing company in Grand Rapids. From the noted company of fine furniture, there was a very desirable five-piece mahogany bedroom suite consisting of twin beds, dresser with mirror, a chest and a nightstand. This set of furniture sold for $1,300. This furniture offering was just one of the many fine examples found at this auction.

Tables made of various woods, in several sizes and in various shapes included a pair of carved mahogany side tables that sold for $200 each; a Johnson-Handley-Johnson Co. carved mahogany octagon-shape lamp table that saw $260; a Victorian carved walnut marble-top table that saw $235; and a tiger oak lamp table with turned legs that crossed the block for $275. The table finding the most interest was an inlaid table by Maitland-Smith, a company that has been creating accent furniture for the last 30 years, which sold for $1,000.

There were several bookcases, secretary/bookcases and desks providing the opportunity for one to select one that would be just the piece for one’s décor. From the 1840s, there was a cherry drop-front desk/bookcase that sold for $600; and from the 1930s, there was a carved mahogany drop-front desk that saw $230.

A large oak post office desk made by the Lycoming Furniture Co. in 1938 sold for $800; and an oak printer’s desk marked Hamilton Manufacturing Co. sold for $300. A Lundstrom leaded-glass three-stack bookcase with a bottom drawer sold for $400; a tiger oak double-door bookcase crossed the block for $535; and a Gunn sectional stacking bookcase with a desk earned a final bid of $325.

A chair and a rocker, a matching pair, were adorned with carved mahogany lion heads and sold for $250 and $275, respectively. A Renaissance burled walnut settee sold for $375; and a pair of 1870s Renaissance Revival American walnut parlor chairs earned a final bid of $400.

Other furniture pieces to cross the block included a carved oak server with a mirror that sold for $210; a baby grand piano by Charles Frederick Stein, Chicago, that saw $200; and an early pine cradle dated 1861 that earned a final bid of $300. This last item was certainly a piece of history, having been made for the person born at that time.

An oak curved-glass claw-foot china cabinet sold for $300; a petite mahogany display cabinet earned $170; a primitive oak cylinder kitchen cabinet saw a final bid of $275; and an oak 10-drawer file cabinet saw $325.

A walnut step-back kitchen cabinet crossed the block at $250; and an oak Hoosier baker’s cabinet and dry sink was declared sold at $425.

Display cabinets always seem to have interested bidders. An oak three-foot general store display cabinet earned $300; and a small mahogany display cabinet saw $170.

In addition to the many furniture items mentioned, there were several additional pieces, including hall trees ($325 and $235), file cabinets, dry sinks, chests, dry sinks, and a Mission oak fireplace mantel that sold for $275. A walnut Victorian étagère sold for $300; a 19th century French Gothic walnut sideboard saw $525; and an unusual Mission oak bar saw a final bid of $250.

There were several pieces of art to enhance the room of your choice. Among them were an erotic lithograph, Yoko Ono Bag One, signed John Lennon, that sold for $550; an oil-on-canvas, Sails of Amsterdam, signed Bevort, that saw $350; and a print of a Hawaiian scene by Casay, a Michigan artist, that earned a final bid of $225.

Display pieces of art included several carved bone (or possibly ivory) pieces that sold for $230 to $375 each, including chariot and horse sculpture, a figurine, and pipes, one long, one very small. A horse sculpture by Giovanni saw $450; Les Moissonneurs by Francais Moreau earned $260; and Biddy Penny Farthing, a porcelain figurine by Royal Doulton, sold for $250.

In addition to items cited, there was a fine selection of guns, many fine glassware and porcelain items, and rugs including one by Karastan. All prices quoted are the hammer price and do not include the buyer’s premium. For additional information on this and upcoming items, contact the auctioneer Richard Leonard at (734) 856-6530 or check out his website at