DENVER, Pa., Jan. 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Morphy Auctions is pleased to report a year of unprecedented new-buyer interest and stellar results across all categories in 2021, with gross sales surpassing $50 million.
"Throughout the year, we witnessed unwavering enthusiasm and willingness on the part of collectors to invest in high-quality antiques and historically important objects," said Morphy’s founder and president Dan Morphy. "The market for exceptional pieces with great provenance was very strong, even in the midst of the second wave of the pandemic. Against all odds, the auction trade held fast and continued to evolve into a powerful microeconomy of its own."
Morphy’s year of estimate-topping prices began with the February 27 sale of Bob and Judy Brady’s prized mechanical banks. The 40-year collection featured some of the most elusive, high-condition banks known to exist. In total, the 184 banks realized $2 million and were led by a J & E Stevens "Shoot the Chute" depicting early comic strip characters Buster Brown and his dog Tige. In superior condition, it swept past its $80,000–$120,000 estimate to close at $156,000.
The spring season was distinguished by a May 18 Early Arms & Militaria Auction. The widely publicized event was topped by a Kentucky long rifle presented by the Marquis de Lafayette to his trusted Tuscarora Iroquois Indian guide Chief Tunis in 1824. It sold for $210,000. The same sale included a group of four cased, engraved French and Indian War map powder horns, three of which had belonged to Lt. Col. Archibald Montgomerie (1726-1796). The quartet sold for $216,000 against an estimate of $100,000–$300,000.
On June 8-9, a dazzling array of fine and decorative art drew an international contingent of bidders to Morphy’s. Alongside a formidable selection of Tiffany Studios stained-glass lamps, classical art, silver, jewels and luxury timepieces, an important Keith Haring (1958-1990 vase flew past its $20,000–$30,000 estimate to settle at $84,000.
On September 29, Morphy’s auctioned the revered Bill Myers collection of antique firearms, edged weapons and early militaria. An extraordinary historical relic, a circa-1780 inlaid pipe tomahawk that had belonged to Sir Alexander Mackenzie (Scottish, 1764-1820), the first European to reach the Pacific Ocean [in 1793], garnered $156,000.
An exciting array of antique and vintage automobilia, petroliana and railroadiana powered across Morphy’s auction block on October 3-4. A 1930s Mohawk Gasoline porcelain neon service station sign with the image of a Native American brave lit up the gallery and sold for its high-estimate price of $120,000. At the same sale, a circa-1920s Bruinoil double-sided die-cut tin flange sign with the image of a ferocious bear roared at $96,000 against a pre-sale estimate of $35,000–$50,000.
Morphy’s Coin-Op & Antique Advertising sale on November 4-6 included 1,500 choice coin-operated slots, ingenious European music machines and early forms of visual entertainment. A circa-1931 International Mutoscope Reel Co., "Grandmother Predictions" coin-operated fortune-teller machine foretold an auction price of $20,000–$30,000 but went on to realize $57,600.
The talk of the November 17-18 Extraordinary Firearms Auction was a fabled treasure from the late Mel Guy’s collection: a Colt Buntline Special single-action Army Revolver with a distinctive 16-inch-long barrel. A model linked to a legend involving famous lawmen of the Old West, it was shipped from the Colt factory in 1884. It sold at Morphy’s for $288,000.
Sarah Stoltzfus, 877-968-8880
SOURCE Morphy Auctions