The contents of the Conewago Manor Inn – an historic structure dating back to an original 1742 grant from the William Penn family, founders of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania – will be sold without reserve (everything goes, regardless of price) in an on-site auction slated for Saturday, Oct. 23, at the Inn itself in Elizabethtown, Pa.
Elizabethtown is located in southeastern Pennsylvania, just off Route 283, about midway between Harrisburg and Lancaster. The auction will be conducted by Fontaine’s Auction Gallery, based in Pittsfield, Mass. More than 500 lots of fine antiques and accessories will be offered. The Inn is located at 2048 Zeager Road in Elizabethtown.
“It is difficult to fully appreciate the majesty and history of the Conewago Manor Inn,” said John Fontaine of Fontaine’s Auction Gallery. “It has stood, weathering the passage of time, as it witnessed the birth of a nation and its struggles and triumphs, not far from both Philadelphia and Gettysburg. Iron from nearby forges may have been used to fight the American Revolution.”
The original survey of the property is dated June 1, 1739. Then known as the Conewago Manor Farm, it served as the residence for Samuel Smith, a local miller and Indian trader who received the original warranted deed from the William Penn family, in 1742. Over the years, it has been used as a United States Post Office, a railway ticket office and an inn (its usage today). The Inn’s current owners – Keith and Laura Murphy – spent nearly seven years lovingly restoring the facility to its original glory.
It’s been featured twice on Home & Garden Television and has been detailed in Woman’s Day Magazine and other media. And now, the contents of the Inn, much of it consistent with the period of the structure itself, will be sold at absolute auction.
Period furniture pieces will include a ¾ size walnut cylinder secretary, a Federal carved mahogany settee, an inlaid walnut Renaissance Revival pedestal, a crocheted mahogany Empire single-door cabinet, a monumental Renaissance rosewood credenza, a heavily carved rococo meridienne settee, and a heavily carved walnut card table decorated with birds, fruit and foxes. Additional furniture pieces will include an inlaid rosewood tilt-top checkerboard table, a 9-piece Belter rosewood parlor set, an inlaid Hepplewhite mirrored wall shelf, a signed J. & J.W. Meeks rosewood marble-top corner etagere, a rococo marble-top rosewood etagere attributed to Meeks, an unusual mahogany claw-foot display cabinet and a nice walnut cylinder roll-top desk. Beds and bedroom suites will feature a two-piece marble-top Eastlake walnut bedroom set, a rococo rosewood carved bed, a monumental carved rococo ½ tester bed and a carved rosewood full tester bed. Chairs will include a carved rosewood swivel vanity chair and a set of 12 John H. Belter laminated chairs. A Steinway & Sons Duo-Art player piano will also be sold. Lamps and lighting will illuminate the room. Expected top lots include a beautiful pair of brass argand mantel lamps, a highly unusual piano lamp, an Auguste Moreau “Nereide” figural lamp and a large brass astral lamp with prisms. Also, a rare Regina Hepplewhite chime clock with bells will cross the block, as will several early historic samplers, including one dated 1846. Dolls will feature a rare Steiner bisque automaton doll. Doll carriages will include a wicker mechanical horse-drawn doll carriage and an early ebonized doll carriage. Also offered will be a Regina upright mahogany 12-disc changer, and fine estate jewelry, such as a lady’s antique fashion ring and a nice lady’s gold ring with large emerald and yellow diamonds. Decorative accessories will be served up in abundance.
Some anticipated star lots include a mirrored brass display under dome, a James Tufts patented table fountain, a fine silver-plated wine jack, a fine silver-plated water set with porcelain insert, a porcelain “Pot de Crème” service for 12, a large silver plate and cut glass epergne and a Victorian silver plate and glass epergne. Other decorative accessories will feature a 3-piece silver plate mirrored table plateau, a James Tufts toothpick holder, an unusual silver-plated jewelry casket, a Pairpoint silver-plated jewelry casket, many silver-plated combination sets, many rare and unusual napkin rings, a 17-piece Royal Worcester porcelain game set and a 14-piece Royal Worcester porcelain fish set. Staying in the category: a 48-piece partial luncheon service (including left and right hand pieces), a Limoges “Grapes” pattern punch set, a large collection of Tiffany & Co. sterling in the rare “Blackberry” pattern, a collection of Tiffany & Co. sterling pieces in the “Chrysanthemum” pattern (including ice tongs), a large Dresden porcelain dinnerware set, a 6-piece Elkington Neoclassical silver-plated centerpiece set and a collection of Ironstone “Pattern #20” dinnerware. Also sold will be a rosewood marble-top mirrored vanity, a 2-piece parlor set attributed to John Jelliff, a rosewood marble-top mirrored dresser and a 6-drawer lockside with butler’s desk as well as a 6-piece Tiffany Studios gold “Grapevine” desk set, a 39-piece Moser cranberry and enamel stemware set and a 12-piece set of miniature silver creamers and sugars.