Frank Fowler Auction

by Marjorie Wislon

For days I had been looking forward to attending this very large sale with Vera . Frank Fowler was a fellow clock enthusiast, and  member of Quinte Timekeepers which was where my husband and I met him. The auctioneer remembered him as I did — a very thoughtful gentleman. I remember him arriving at my home in Bancroft bearing a plate of his wife’s home-made muffins. He had recalled I always served him coffee.

The clocks fetched very fair prices, l thought. The most popular ones were made by the Pequegnat company. Of those I saw two types of the Pantheon model, a Halifax tall case, a Canuck kitchen clock and a Citadel.

I managed to obtain a Black Forest Wag on the Wall for $50.00 This clock was made in Germany for the British market in the 19th century. The movement has wooden plates, wooden arbours and brass gears. Often the weights and long pendulum are missing. I was lucky with this one.

There were several paintings for sale including those by Group of Seven artists, Franz Johnson, Franklin Carmichael, A.Y. Jackson. Other artists included Maurice Cullen, Manly MacDonald, Frank Panabaker. Interest seems keen in Canadian paintings and so I looked forward to seeing how they fared at this sale. I had looked up “online” for prices and thought it likely that people with very deep pockets would scoop them up. Never in my wildest dreams did I plan on bidding.

As the sale moved on I thought the prices a little soft so my hand just shot up. A young woman behind me seemed to be buying most of the paintings. The auctioneer said the she just smiled beautifully every time she won a bid. I found myself underbidder to four of the paintings. I didn’t feel comfortable bidding more than a certain sum for any one painting. Who knows how much more I would need to bid to be successful. That’s an auction, isn’t it?!  By the way, my friend Mary was busy checking her iPhone while I was bidding and excitedly telling me how many thousands some Group of Seven paintings were selling for. She was cheering me on! I think the most expensive was the A.Y. Jackson which fetched $17,000. The auctioneer said, “How Canadian is this?” He pointed out the Canadian paintings sold to a Canadian lady and going home in a Ford. His parting shot to the young woman was that her cargo was worth more than her car!