Brown’s 49th International Antique Tool Auction
October 29th, 2016, Radisson Hotel, Camp Hill, PA
By: John G Wells
Prices realized in this article include a 13% buyer’s premium. A 3% discount is available for cash or a good check. Prices enclosed in square brackets are pre-auction estimates taken from the Brown auction catalog No. 49. The condition of all items was taken from the same auction catalog and neither the pre-auction estimates nor the condition of items reflect the author’s opinion unless so noted. All photographs are courtesy of Brown Auction Services.
Selected Auction Items
Lot 82. The William Marple’s Ultimatum brace was made very special by being filled with Beech in lieu of the much more often used Ebony and by having an extra long nozzle. It has one chip in the edge of the Ebony head which was balanced by its original complete ivory ring. It had not been buffed or polished, and was rated Good+ for condition. It was valued at [400-800] and sold for $248.60.
Lot 86. The William Marple’s Ultimatum brace rarely seen with a Boxwood infill which increased its value over those with the more common Ebony infill, even though there was a crack in the front infill which had been repaired in 1983. It was rated Good for condition, and was valued at [750-1500]. The opening bid was $100 and it sold for $310.75.
Lot 121. The St, Johnsbury Tool Co., rare double bevel which can also be used as a try square was made under patent No. 125,617, dated April 9, 1872. It has an iron body with two 9 inch steel blades making it more durable although less attractive than the similar version that has a brass body. It is faintly marked with the patent date, was rated Good+ for condition and valued at [1000-1500]. It opened and was sold for $1325. The final price with the buyer’s premium was $1497.25.
Lot 174. This Stanley No. 444 Dovetail plane is in its original, cardboard box with a sweetheart label. This lot includes the fence, the original instruction booklet, a sample wooden dovetail, four original cutters in a wooden box, the original two spur blocks and a small screw driver. The cardboard box has a good label but its lid has four split seams that have been taped together. and it is in only poor to fair condition. The tool is complete; the nickel plating is nearly complete and it was rated near Fine for condition. It is valued at [500-800]. It opened at $350 and sold for $649.75.
Lot 176 The Stanley A45, Type 14 aluminum combination plane, made in 1922 and having a second sweetheart trademark on the skate included a full set of cutters in two labeled wooden boxes, both rods, the cam rest, screwdriver, and the original instruction booklet. It was packed in its original cardboard box in only poor to fair condition with most of a good label, noting some split seams in the lid that have been taped. See David E. Heckel: The Stanley “Forty-Five” Combination Plane. The A45’s are rarely found in Fine condition like this one. It was valued at [600-1,200]. It opened at $800 and sold for $1,921.
Lot 186. The Stanley No.72½ Chamfer plane with the beading attachment—the bull nose attachment was not added until 1909— had 90% of its original japanning on the planes body and 80% on the beading attachment. Only one of the beading cutter from a full set of six cutters with molding profiles cut on both ends was included in this lot. It was rated Good+ for condition, was valued at [400-600]. It opened at $250 and sold for $508.50.
Lot 187. The Gage Tool Co. block plane is exceptionally rare, and sought after. See Roger K, Smith’s Patented Transitional and Metallic Planes in America Volume I, pp 117-123, figures 130a-139b. Only three or four of the earliest examples made by Bridges, Gage & Co. are known to exist and they were not japanned. Three of them were displayed by Ron Cushman at a Mid West Tool Collectors national meeting at Camp Hill, PA, on June 5, 2010. As stated by Roger Smith in Patented and Transitional Metallic Planes in America, Volume I on page 123, in April of 1917, Gage sold the Gage Tool Co. to Philip J. Leavens who then sold it to the Stanley Rule & Level Co. in 1919. Stanley continued making Gage planes until 1941. A few of the earliest un-japanned original examples have been sold at Brown’s auctions numbers 19, 21 and 35 for $3,630 to $4,356. This important which is shown in Roger K. Smith’s PTAMPIA, Volume I on page 122, Fig. 137 has been japanned and has a wood front knob that has split and then wired together. It is very difficult to estimate the real value of an early Bridges, Gage and Co. or Gage Tool Company of Vineland, NJ plane which could have been made between 1880 to 1919 when Leavens sold the company to Stanley. The plane was valued at [300-600] which was significantly lower than the prices noted above. It opened on a bid of $450 and sold for $904.
Lot 188. This rare Stanley No. 11 bull nose rabbet plane with the Liberty Bell adjustment was made in the United States but was first and only offered for sale in London, in the Charles Churchill catalogue of American Tools; it was never offered in a US catalogue. It was featured in “Every Man His Own Mechanic” an 816 page illustrated volume for the amateur artisan published by Ward, Lock & Co., in London. The No.11 appealed to the UK home craft market and like the Stanley No.101-1/2 it is more often found in the UK than in the US. Three different upper body castings have been identified, suggesting there were three or more small production runs. An exploded isometric of the No. 11 is shown in Roger Smith’s Patented and Transitional Metallic Planes in America, Vol.II, p.215, fig. 335a. Sale prices and values have ranged from $2,000 to $6,000. This example in Good conditions opened at $50 and sold for a surprising $1,243.
Lot196. The Foss patent 1¾ x 8½ inch smooth plane lacks its adjustment mechanism, but has a rosewood tote and a rosewood knob. Foss offered block planes at a lower price with Beech totes and knobs and without the adjustment mechanism (Smith, PTAMPIA I, p. 700). The Rosewood tote and knob on this plane is an anomaly. The tote has been skillfully re-glued. It was valued at [300-600] and opened on a bid of $75 and sold for $237.50.
Lot 237. The F. Nicholson “Living in Wrentham”, molding plane has Dutch decoration partly covered by the fence. It was valued at [1500-2500], was rated Good+ for condition. It opened at $200 and sold on a bid of $678.00.
Lot 295. The Hammacher Schlemmer workbench made of Cherry wood, 48 x 19 inches x 40 inches high, has two working vices and was made for an amateur’s living room. It’s a really nice little bench and is rated Fine for condition. It is valued at [600-1200] and opened at a bid of $900 and sold for $1130.
Lot 298. The Trump Brothers, Wilmington DE, Fleetwood No. 2, foot pedal operated Jig Saw, patented July 23, 1872, is mounted on the original 40 inch high cast iron stand finished in blackish green with gold highlights. It was rated Fine for condition, was valued at [600-1000], and opened at a bid of $200 and sold for $678.
Lot 299. Roger’s Miter Planer, patent No. 264,766, September 19, 1882, with two 4 inch wide cutting irons, was manufactured by the Millers Falls Co. See the A. J. Wilkinson & Co. Boston Catalogue, ca. 1888, Roger Smith: P-TAMPIA vol. I, p.151 fig 181; and Plate 25 and Wm P Walter’s & Sons catalogue No. 11, ca 1900, page 62,. This example is lacking the two adjustable guides or fences—which would be almost impossible to find but serviceable fences could be made. It was otherwise rated Good for condition, was valued at [1000-1600] and sold for $480.25 after an opening bid of $400.
Lot 316. This is the very rare Carroll Thomas patent No, 252,065, January 10, 1882, Lincoln Il, combination bevel, try square, marking gauge, rabbet plane and level mounted in the main stock of a cabinet makers square as shown in Roger Smith’s P-TAMPIA I on page 210, Plate 29b. It has one small screw missing from the level vial cover, but otherwise the finish is in better condition than the example pictured. It was rated only Good for condition, was valued at [900-1600]. It opened at $225 and sold for $621.50.
Lot 317. The Ebony octant in a Mahogany case made by E. & G. W. Blunt, working in New York from 1826 through 1866, has three filters, and an ivory scale with veneer graduations for correctly reading important dimensions and was rated Fine for condition. It was valued at [750-1500]. It opened at $1,125 and sold for $1,125 resulting in a total cost to the buyer of $1,271.25.
Lot 372. The Stanley No. 10¼ C Rabbet Plane has a corrugated sole and lateral adjustment but does not have a tilting handle or knob, is the rarest of the very rare. (See Schade’s Patent No. 707,054, date April 11, 1905 for the tilting handle and front knob. Also see John Walter, Stanley Tools, pp. 363-365). The cutter has 1907 and 1909 trade marks indicating that the plane was probably manufactured between 1912 and 1917. The japanning is about 70%, and there are a few scratches on the cheeks; it was rated Good for overall condition. The value reported in 1996 by John Walter, in Stanley Tools was $750-1500. The estimated value in this auction catalog was [400-800]. It opened at a bid of $875 and sold for $1073.50.
Lot 408. The three arm un-handled plow plane by Israel White, with out the fence bridge which was added later, has a Beech body, arms and fence, Rosewood boxing and Boxwood nuts. It is one of the very rare six examples that were made by White himself, rather than by a shop journeyman. It has an ivory tip on each of its two arms, an ivory scale along the front arm, and an ivory scale on the depth gauge. It has a few minor chips on the threaded arm and is really a super nice plane in Fine condition. It was s valued at [5,000-10,000] and it sold for $$7006.00 after an opening bid of $3000.
Lot 417. The L. L. Davis 23 inch jointer is of the type patented by Charles E. Torrance, patent No. 122,339, January 2, 1872, and shown in Leonard Davis’ patent No. 167,311, dated Aug. 31, 1845. It has a Buck Bros cutting iron, a lateral adjustment mechanism, a Rosewood handle and knob, and is shown in Roger Smith’s P-TAMPIA I, p.182 fig. 222, and Plate 27a on p. 179 and in Andrew D’Elia’s, American Wood and Metal Planes, pp, 196-200. It was valued at [2000-4000], was rated Fine for condition and it sold after an opening bid of $550 for $904.
Lot 425. The Phillips patent plow plane, with Mayo’s improvements, made by the Boston Tool Co. and shown in Roger K. Smith’s P-TAMPIA I pp. 85-90, and figure 95 on page 88 has a full length Rosewood runner on the skate. Also see Andrew D’Elia’s, American Wood and Metal Planes, pp, 316-318 and Lot 580 in this auction. This example has most of the pin striping and good wood and was rated Fine for condition. It was valued at [400-800]. It opened at $800 and sold for $1045.25.
Lot 426, The Union No. 44, 3/8 inch beading plane, is very rare. It was in Good+ condition, noting the loss of nickel plating on the lever cap, and was valued at [250-500]. See Roger Smith P-TAMPIA I, page 259, figures 329- 330. It opened on a bid of $450 and sold for $450 leaving the buyer a total price of $508.50.
Lot 427. The S. C. Tatum & Co. rabbet plane was patented by three workers: John M. Bennett patent No. 284,941 granted Sept, 11, 1883; Samuel E. Hilles patent No. 299,927 granted June 3, 1984 and John A. Keiser patent No. 305,602 granted Sept 23, 1884. See Roger Smith: P-TAMPIA I , p.143, fig. 173. The plane is very rare, was in Good+ condition, and was valued at [800-1600]. It opened at a bid of $225 and sold for $395.50.
Lot 428. The William Steer’s No, 304, adjustable smooth plane, has Rosewood strips let into “T” shaped grooves in the sole intended to reduce friction. It is very unusual to find these with the Rosewood inserts in excellent condition and this example just didn’t quite make it. It was rated Good+ for condition, was valued at [500-1000] and sold for $1017.00 after an opening bid of $650..
Lot 429. The earliest patented cast iron plane, Type 1, was patented by Hazard Knowles, patent No. 4859X, granted August 24, 1827, and was sold in Brown’s 44th auction. This example is a Type 2, 7-1/2 inch smooth plane, probably cast by Savage, ca. 1845, having an upstanding knob on each end but not having a cusp on the top edge of the sideboard above the mouth and is therefore not Type 1. Type 1 would have had an upstanding cusp in the sideboard just above the mouth; these are extremely rare with only two or three examples are known to exist but this Type 2 is still very scarce.. It has a Butcher iron, was rated Fine for condition, was valued at [8,000-12,000]. It opened on a bid of $2000 and sold for $4068.
Lot 430. The Challenge 9 inch smooth plane was patented by Arthur Goldsborough, and was made by Tower and Lyon in the smooth and jack sizes only. See Roger K Smith, P-TAMPIA I, p166, figures 201 and 202. This example has a crack in the tote, some of the black paint has worn off, and otherwise it was rated Good for condition. It was valued at [1,000-2,000] and sold on a bid of $1,582.00 after an opening bid of $900.
Lot 467. The Stewart Spiers 18 inch dovetailed fore plane with a 2-5/8 wide cutter, has a beautiful Rosewood infill. It was rated Fine for condition, was valued at [800-1500]. It opened at $400 and sold on a bid of $706.25.
Lot 469. This 10½ inch dovetailed steel miter plane is rusty and corroded overall. It has a 2¼ inch Ward & Payne iron which is rusty and worn down by use. It has a dark Rosewood infill, a super tight mouth. It was rated Good for condition, was valued at [400-800] and opened on a bid of $850 and sold for that same amount leaving the buyer with a total cost of $960.50.
Lot 549, This beautiful boxed set of twelve Norvell-Shapleigh Hardware Co. No. 12N 10B nickel-plated bevel-edge firmer chisels, 2 to 1/8 inches wide and 14 inches long were rated Fine. They were valued at [125-200]. They opened at $350 and sold for $734.50.
Lot 580, This is a Phillips improved plow plane with a stronger and stiffer body than the Phillips plow plane in Lot 425. See Andrew D’Elia’s, American Wood & Metal Planes, pp, 316-318 and Roger K. Smith P-TAMPIA I plate 17, page 87, noting the plane with the Babson & Repplier No. 7 Doane St. oval stamp on the skate, and the M. C. Mayo’s –Improved – Jan. 1, 1872 stamp on the fence. It is finished with black japanning and high lighted with gold and red pin striping. It was one of the most attractive iron plow planes in this auction. It was rated Fine for condition, was valued at [400-800]. It opened at $750 and sold for that same amount leaving the buyer with a total cost of $847.50.
Lot 582. The third model of the nickel-plated Edwin Walker adjustable profile plow plane has eight adjustable plates used to create molded surfaces. It has a minor loss of nickel plating, a single miss matched replacement web screw and only one of the original cutters. It was rated Good for condition, and was valued at [550-1,000] It opened on a bid of $250 and sold for $508.50.
Lot 588. The beautiful solid Rosewood Mockridge & Francis self-regulating three arm plow plane was made by the Newark N. J. partnership of Mockridge & Francis. Its arms and the center adjuster are trimmed in brass as shown in Rosebrook and Fisher, Wooden Plow Planes, p. 206. It is in superb condition, noting that it has only one cutter. It is undoubtedly one of the finest wooden plow plane ever made, and was certainly the best one in this show. It was valued at [6,000-12,000]. It opened at $3,000 and sold for $6,780.
Lot 593. This is number three of a batch of ten re-productions of H. Chapin’s No. 239¼ self-adjusting bridle plow planes made by America’s most accomplished finest plane craftsman, the late Robert Baker. They have Apple wood bodies, boxed Lignum Vita arms and cast iron adjustment mechanisms. This one sits on a nice laminated wood display stand which like everything that Bob has made is first class. It is Mint, was valued at [1,500-2,500]. It opened at $400 and sold for $1,130.
by John G. Wells