Ex-Barlock, a 10½" Spring Season bowl, the only one known, brought $14,300. “Eileen was the only person who had a full set—all four seasons—in that bowl,” Clark said.
The auction listing noted that the tankard had small chips to the base and a red mark. It sold for $28,600, an auction record for R.S. Prussia.
“This is a world record for a piece of R.S. Prussia,” said auctioneer Randy Clark, speaking about an 11½" high tankard with lion decoration. It sold for $28,600 (includes buyer’s premium) at the Randy Clark & Associates Auctioneers three-day sale, from January 30 to February 1, in Dexter City, Ohio.
The buyers were Michigan collectors. The underbidder had once owned the lion tankard and traded it to Eileen Barlock, a dealer in R.S. Prussia and coauthor of The Treasures of R.S. Prussia, published in 1976. Barlock died in October 2013, and all her property went to her half-brother in California. (Her husband, George, coauthor of The Treasures of R.S. Prussia, died in 1984.)
“Eileen was a dealer for more than forty years and was a mentor to so many people in R.S. Prussia,” said Clark.
Asked what made the lion expensive, Clark said that any piece of R.S. Prussia with animals is rare. “And tankards are particularly hard to find,” he added.
Collector Harold Dodds Jr. agreed. “In my opinion, the price achieved was a combination of the provenance of it belonging to Ms. Barlock and two people really wanting to purchase the piece. Lions are a scarce décor in R.S. Prussia, and I would doubt there are more than just a couple of lion tankards that exist,” the one-time board member of the International Association of R.S. Prussia Collectors wrote in an e-mail.
Dodds added that he thought the previous auction record for R.S. Prussia was a tankard with Bird of Paradise décor. “It sold at auction in the early to mid-1990’s I believe for around $15,000-16,000…At the time, it was believed to be the only tankard with the Bird of Paradise décor.”
The successful auction was “a great shot in the arm for the Prussia collecting field. I know many collectors that feel better about their own collections now. It’s good for everyone,” said Clark.
Originally published in the April 2014 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2014 Maine Antique Digest