Date: Fri 02-Oct-1998
Date: Fri 02-Oct-1998
Hartford Fire Department Memorabilia Offered At Watson Brothers
By Rita Easton
Simsbury, Conn. -- Photographs taken in the 1860s of the Neptune Volunteer
Fire Co #2 of Hartford, Conn., were the stars of an August 17 auction held by
Watson Brothers Auctioneers & Appraisers. Two hundred seventy five attendees
competed for the 350 plus lots, resulting in a gross of $27,000.
Snapped up by the State of Connecticut Historical Society, an 1864 framed
photo of that aforementioned volunteer fire department, with a horse-drawn
pumper parked in front, the photo surrounded with 86 tiny tintypes of members,
reached $2,600. The 27 by 20 inch one-of-a-kind lot was inscribed with a
dedication to Captain Pepian Foreman on the occasion of the first fire
department being formed, and was dated November 14, 1864.
An 1860s photo of Hartford Volunteer Fire Companies wearing helmets on the
steps of the state capitol, the image measuring 18 by 24 inches, brought $350;
a Schuler Cofax fire engine photo, measuring 12 by 13 inches, inscribed "Drawn
by Celebrated Fire Pony U.S. Grant," dated 1867, reached $400; and an 8 by 10
inch photo of a Hartford fire engine made $225. Several Connecticut Fire
Department badges went out at $225 each.
An early oil on canvas, artist unknown, an 1850s portrait of the Greek General
Militiades with bushy white beard, fetched $300; and a Victorian-era oil on
canvas of a seascape with sailboat in the distance was purchased at $120. A
pair of pastel oval portraits depicting a black man and woman were sold as a
pair for $300.
Vintage postcards fetched $400 for a lot of 150; a Roseville vase, "Cosmos
20-8," was purchased at $150; a Victorian sofa in old rose reached $625; a
brass Ansonia mantel clock in the Art Deco style achieved $205; and a Robert
Gerson apothecary jar, standing 14 inches, went out at $85.
Furniture and china proved to be the best buys of the day with an Eastlake
walnut secretary bringing $650; 12 Limoges plates and cake platter fetching
$95; and a turquoise and gold Rosenthal teapot service for 12 dessert set
going for $125. A cobalt fire grenade, and two blue fire grenades were sold in
an early rack for grenades at $440 for all.
Prices quoted do not reflect a ten percent premium.